Michael Williams II and his wife Felicia Williams.
By Deborah M. Walker
LANSING, MI — Platinum Keyz Recordings LLC offers a laid-back atmosphere in a professional setting. Using state-of-the-art equipment and its expert staff, Platinum Keyz has what every artist, or business, needs to complete any audio or visual production project.
“Platinum Keyz is multifaceted. We do audio as well as visual production. We are also affiliated with a few firms out in California in bringing artists and talent here. Platinum Keyz is the foundation, hopefully, to bring Hollywood to Lansing,” said Michael Williams II, owner, and CEO of Platinum Keyz Recording Studio.
Williams said that Platinum Keyz has helped artists achieve their dreams for more than three decades. The producer started his business in the basement of his home 31 years ago. Back then, Williams said he was doing a lot of promotional work. He also did television production and had a television show called The Music Entity. The show started on the Public Access Network and then moved to Channel 53. Williams said his wife, Felicia, came up with Platinum Keyz based on an old keyboard. He said his wife has always been there for him and has been a leading source of inspiration.
Platinum Keyz offers audio and visual production services and event planning. There are three separate studios to accommodate artists of all skill levels. The warm decor and plush seating provides a relaxing environment for creating one-of-a kind projects. The spacious studios invoke an inviting feeling and are designed to make the clients feel welcome and comfortable.
Studio A is designed for professional-grade artists. It is ideal for those using multiple instruments and vocals. To rent out Studio A is about $80-$90 per hour, but the costs usually depend on the project.
Studio B is in the final stages of being completed. Studio B is designed for solo artists or instrumentalists but can accommodate other musicians. The price for this studio averages about $68 an hour.
Studio C is designed for an artist who strives to complete the project individually. The artist can “just go in there and hammer it out,” informed Williams. The studio is a small private room of about 250 square feet and is equipped to handle independent production.
Video, audio, and television production are also offered at Platinum Keyz, and the cost depends on the project’s scope. Williams said he had much success with his audio and visual studio. For example, the studio has been utilized for sound production and video editing for the Lifetime movie “Generations,” directed by Sheila Thompson from Hollywood, California. It has also produced #1 iTunes hits for the artist Clayton Morgan and the global #1 hit “Groove Tonight” by Martone on Reverbnation.
Platinum Keyz offers beat-making services for individuals who want to lay down the vocals. Event planning is also available for those looking for a venue to host their function. The studio can accommodate a large or small crowd.
New Artists Welcome
Williams said it is easier to work with new artists because they do not already have a process, and they are open to new ideas. He works with experienced artists as well, he said, but new artists need the help, and he is happy to help them achieve more than they possibly thought.
“If you are interested in taking your career to the next level, that’s the area I work in… artist development,” Williams declared.
Daniel Davie, who raps under the pseudonym Marvin Ariza, said he has worked with Platinum Keyz since 19. He and his friend went because of the affordable price and stayed because of the outstanding service.
“We were a couple of college kids, and that seemed like the best place. Ever since the first couple of sessions, he saw something within us and pushed us to get better with each song and try different things. In the past three years, I have seen my music flourish under the direction of Williams. We have worked together on over a hundred songs,” informed Davie.
Williams recently hosted a workshop and a seminar conference geared towards new artists. He said the event taught newbies how to get past writers’ block and formulate a song. The event also taught artists about media promotions.
“This is more than just a hobby. If you want to take it seriously, it can be more than just a hobby for you,” explained Williams.
Artist development classes are offered every Sunday from 5:30-7:00 p.m. at the studio. The cost of the class is $25 per session. Williams said he would like to add more courses such as production because he has received a lot of inquiries about that.
Williams explained that new artists could take as many classes as they chose; however, attending classes should be ongoing. Artists may have different areas that require extra training, such as stage presence. They may need a critique on walking on stage or performing in front of a crowd. Williams said there are different levels to the amount of training new artists may require.
Advice for New Clients
Williams said the best advice he can give to new artists coming in for the first time is to be well-rehearsed if going into the recording studio.
“It’s going to be much better for yourself, a more effective type of session. The frustration won’t set in, especially when people take themselves way too seriously, but when they come in here, they don’t take their music seriously. Some people think they can just hop in a booth, and they’ve seen it on TV or social media, but this is an art… it is also a skill to get on the mic,” explained Williams.
The microphone can be intimidating for some artists, said Williams. Maintaining voice level is essential for success in the studio.
“You are staring at the mic, but it’s staring back at you, and some people see it. Even when they are in there by themselves, they almost get stage fright within themselves,” Williams said.
Equipment for beginners
Williams advised new artists to get the best affordable and within-budget equipment. He warned that many new artists rush out and purchase new equipment without understanding how to use the equipment they have.
“If you get the best equipment you can afford and learn the ins and outs, every increment of the [instrument] I believe that it would be more valuable to you, and you would probably use that until the wheels fall off,” informed Williams.
Williams explained that he works with anyone that needs branding, media, or content.
He has worked with NARAS since 2015, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences; abbreviated NARAS, which is famous for its Grammy Awards.
If you are interested in learning more about Platinum Keyz Recording Studio, stop by 5708 W. Saginaw Hwy, Lansing, MI, 48917, on the west end of the Lansing Mall. You can also visit them online at www.platinumkeyzrecordings.com or call them at 517-657-4800.