AMR Studio has a surprising history that easily qualifies it in the "not your average recording studio" category. Stephen Adwell is the mixing master responsible for dreaming up a recording studio which evolved from a dream to a reality, steering AMR to the successes it has today.
Born in Wichita, Kansas and raised in the small town of Chanute, Kansas, Stephen Adwell has always been destined for music. With a music teacher for a mother, Stephen grew up surrounded by private piano and voice lessons morning, noon, and night.
However, it was at age 11 that Stephen got his first taste of a motivating musical instrument for himself (without his mommy's influence.) It was in the shape of a $25 garage sale snare drum. Rock and roll.
Stephen's parents were a great influence in his decision to build his own recording studio. With his father being an electrical engineer, and his mother well-versed in the language of music, it only made sense the product would result in Stephen creating his own recording studio.
Before the studio was established, Stephen got his feet wet with a slew of "garage bands". He had been in and out of various bands from high school through college and beyond with bands titled: The Nameless Band, The Third Apparition, Alive Inside, The Vanguards, Southern Nights, and Rogues Among Us.
These bands led him on various tours from Texas to New York, Washington, Seattle, and (almost) California. When the band van catches on fire on the side of the road, sometimes tours get cut short. True story.
Between late night practices, band van breakdowns, and designing merch, Stephen also went to various colleges and completed his Associates in Applied Science with an emphasis in Recording Arts Technology from Labette Community College in 2009.
Each college class, band practice, show, and tour formed puzzle pieces that he was able to assemble to fulfill his own dream. Having the experience as a band member and working with various bands, Adwell understands the dedication and passion it takes to book shows and to gain attention of the fans. He understands the importance of the quality of the product will only showcase if the true talent of the band or individual that is crazy enough to claim music as their passion. Stephen has experienced on a personal level, more than most, what music can bring to a person's life.
Stephen not only claims music as his passion, he owns it. Throughout his journey from pre-teen drummer to successful recording studio artist, it was one woman who shared and supported that passion for music. Over half of Stephen's life has been spent with his high-school-sweetheart, turned wife, Leah. He met the love of his life at age 11, (coincidentally the same year he fell for the snare drum.)
Their love story, (the girl not the drum), really picked up in the 8th grade as Stephen asked Leah to a school dance. They survived the barely-able-to-look-her-in-the-eye-out-of-sheer-shyness phase, through the roller coaster of high school, only to be followed by the hardships of living together and making it on their own. Those around them never had a doubt they would be together forever and were not surprised when they married in 2010. Stephen says Leah is his better half and she has always believed in him in their 18 years together.
Much like the ups and downs of a relationship, AMR Studio has been dragged through the mud more than once. While others face their own struggles, AMR Studio has literally doggie paddled its way to success.
The studio started in a shabby rented out space then relocated, as the Adwells did, to Houston, Texas. Unfortunately as time would tell, AMR studio was built on floodplain. The studio was devastated by water damage in April 2016 in the Tax Day Flood.That night was one of their most difficult as Stephen and Leah were sitting on the roof of their house with their two dogs, looking down at the water below and imagining what kind of future was in store.
The Adwells had accumulated two feet of water in their house and had to begin salvaging what they could. They spent three months rebuilding the studio and began recording again with bands such as Apothica, Zero Detail, 54 Reasons, Vox Vocis, Outside at Night, Rogue Gallery, Wanderers, Forgive Us All, Valeluna, Hello Hero, The Courage, Ari & The Skeletones, and the list goes on.
Then, like any good survival story, it was only 17 months later the devastation happened again. Like a sick plot twist Hurricane Harvey destroyed their house and studio. Only this time, the flood came when Leah was 32 weeks pregnant with their first born son. Luckily, the Adwells were taken in by the community and their family and friends to rebuild their life once again. They stayed with family for five months, without a home to bring their new born baby to. Julian Douglas was born in October during the midst of it all, rekindling the fire to push through. With all of the past washed away, a fresh new era became necessity more than just a desire.
Stephen and his family returned to the flooded house and studio only to discover it had been destroyed by five feet of water. Stephen and his father dismantled each piece of gear, part by part, to dry and repair. With friends and family by their side, the Adwells are relentless.
However there is a happy ending: Now in Tulsa, OK, nice and dry, AMR studios is up and running again! The path of destruction only proved to make AMR Studio and all involved stronger and smarter. It goes to show that when there is passion and determination nothing can stop a dream from coming true. Stephen, Leah, and now little Julian, are unstoppable when it comes to helping others achieve their goals. AMR Studio's mission is to help the artist create music in a way the captivates listeners and cultivates A NEW ERA Of MUSIC! If that doesn't inspire you then I don't know what will.