British rapper, singer, and songwriter Stormzy released his third album, This Is What I Mean, in November last year. The record, which hit No. 1 in the UK album charts for three consecutive weeks, was recently nominated for Album of the Year at the 2023 Brit Awards.
UK-based studio monitors manufacturer PMC have announced that they made their Dolby Atmos demo facility available to producer Will Reeves in order to mix the immersive Atmos version of This Is What I Mean.
Reeves was commissioned to produce the Atmos mixes in October, and asked PMC if he could use their London-based demo room after collaborating with the brand on an Atmos-focused Beyond the Mix seminar.
”PMC’s facility is an amazing room with exceptional acoustics and monitoring,” Reeves says. “I knew that by mixing the album of there I would have the best possible chance of making it sound incredible. Delivering great results with Atmos involves skill and a thorough understanding of the format, but it also involves great monitoring so that you can really hear what is happening with the soundfield.”
Reeves initially created the Atmos mixes for lead singles Hide & Seek and Firebabe alongside his assistant, Pierpaolo Demarchi. Once Stormzy's label, Def Jam, had approved the mixes, the rest of the album soon followed.
“It was challenging because we had to gather material from a number of different sources,” Reeves says, “but once we got underway it was very straightforward and we had the whole project finished in less than a month.”
This Is What I Mean was recorded at Miloco Studios, a studio complex located on Osea Island in the Blackwater Estuary, off the coast of Essex. Stormzy invited a number of notable collaborators to contribute to the album, including Amaarae, Sampha and Jacob Collier.