Music is a sport, Plug the Jack wants to democratize it
Damien van Strydonck, founder of Lokabox, wanted to revolutionize the recording and rehearsal studio sector. The first center opens in Brussels.
From creating a pure and loud company toa business that matches your passionthis is today’s challenge Damien van Strydonck. The man has founded and managed for many years Lokaboxa self-storage company, before selling it to Carlyle and Safestore in 2020. He then gave it two years to prepare for launch Install Jacks.
This new company opened the first studio center in Woluwe-Saint-Etienne, east of Brussels. At about 500 m², space counts 21 studios divided into four categories: practice (6 studios), recording and production (7), podcast (2) and DJ (6). Everything is ready to operate.
“With this new company, I will combine professional activity and passion.”
“Rehearsal studio not only complete drums and a complete sound system, but also amps for bass or guitar and keyboards”, explain the founders. Plug the Jack puts them available for artists, amateurs or professionalsin very accessible condition.
“I am a musician, Damien van Strydonck underlines. I have played piano and harmonica and I have been singing for thirty years. I did it as an amateur, but it is in my DNA and with this new society, I will combines professional activity and passion.” He adds that in concrete terms, this changes everything: “In the Lokabox project, of course there is an entrepreneurial and team spirit, but with Plug the Jack there is also a sense of music. In the morning, I don’t feel like I’m going to work anymore!”
Formula tested… and approved
From October to December, he opened the center’s doors for several artists, such as singers Juliette Bensimhon Where DJ Jim Aves which have formula tested and suggestions for improvement. Comments from the second named: “I can’t believe, at Plug The Jack, we’re working on really sharp gear. To give you an idea, it’s with this type of console that DJ Tomorrowland will be performing in 2023. The DJ Booth also lets you crank up the volume and feel the vibe clubbing and it’s so good!”
Since January 2, the place has been operating. “There is clearly a shortage in the market for centers of this type, continued Damien van Strydonck. Existing studios are expensive and not easily accessible. And my credo is that every voice deserves to be heard. We would welcome there as well the group DJs, beatmakers, rappers, slammers, pure singers... Music has become a kind of sport these days.” He also relied heavily on development podcast.
Plug in the Jack as well an online site, which is used for registration and reservation. At the same time, the Brussels start-up aims to bringing together the artists who use his studio on a special website. To “create links between them, encourage collaboration and thus form a community”.
On the business side, Damien van Strydonck did it fundraising to 850,000 euros by gathering some of the shareholders who have accompanied him on his Lokabox adventures. This amount allowed him to establish the first center and to prepare for the second, which will open in September on a site near the Beekkant metro station in Brussels.
Then? “We plan to go ahead with a much bigger second round, possibly later in the year, he replied. We will use this tool to apply in other Belgian cities, such as Antwerp, Ghent and Liège.” Later, when the startup has an established model, it plans to tackle the Dutch and French markets.
- Damien van Strydonck, who sold his company Lokabox in 2020, launched a new activity called “Place a Jack” (“plug in an instrument”).
- The start-up opens its first center in Brussels which has 21 pre-equipped studios, divided into four categories: rehearsal, recording and production, podcast and DJ.
- Plug Jack makes it available to any artist, amateur or professional, in very affordable conditions.
- It has raised 850,000 euros to finance its deployment in Brussels and plans to conduct a second fundraiser at the end of the year to expand the spectrum to other major Belgian cities, before trying adventures abroad.