Circle House's Happy story
SINCE its launch 15 years ago, the Circle House recording studio in north Miami has been used by a number of major acts. Last year, American singer/ producer Pharrell joined the list of artistes to record at the facility, owned by the Inner Circle band.
One of the songs he did was a dance number called Happy which turned out to be a monster hit, topping charts in the United States, the United Kingdom and 20 other countries.
Roger Lewis, founding member and guitarist of Inner Circle, told Splash that Pharrell spent considerable time at Circle House working on G I R L, his second album which was released this year.
He says Happy's runaway success is another shot in the arm for Circle House.
"It brings so much credibility to the studio because it's such an international smash record. And the fact that it was recorded at Circle House makes more legitimate producers want to come there and work to try to capture that same creative vibe," Lewis said.
Circle House opened nearly 30 years after Lewis and his younger brother and Inner Circle bassist Ian, re-located to South Florida.
It came in wake of Bad Boys and Sweat (A La La La La Long), two massive hit songs that revived the band's fortunes.
Jay Z, Beyonce, Kelly Rowland, Drake, Rihanna, Lil Wayne, Sean Paul and Shaggy are some of the big names who have recorded at Circle House.
The Lewis brothers formed Inner Circle with guitarist Stephen 'Cat' Coore and keyboardist Michael 'Ibo' Cooper in 1968.
They had a number of hits throughout the 1970s with charismatic singer Jacob Miller. The chunky Miller, who led the band on songs like Tenement Yard and Tired fe Lick Weed In a Bush, died in an auto accident in March 1980.