Producer and singer/songwriter Taio Cruz put his Beverly Hills, CA mansion on the market in early March, 2021, asking $8.5 million for the five-bedroom, 5,691-square-foot compound built in 1955. While the real estate listing shows off the house’s vaulted ceilings and chef’s kitchen, let’s take a closer look at what really matters—Taio Cruz’s home studio.
Cruz had a string of international hits in 2009 and 2010, including a pair of U.S. number ones, with “Dynamite” and “Break Your Heart.” While he’s still releasing albums, in recent times, Cruz has spent a lot of time writing tracks performed by other acts, including Jennifer Lopez, David Guetta, Usher, Ludacris, Lil Wayne, Nick Jonas, Olly Murs, Cheryl Cole, McFly and others. No doubt, a few of those songs came to life in his home studio.
One of the coolest things about this room is the table, because it tells a story. Sure, it’s a nice, big space to work on, but look at its edges—the paint is worn away, chipped and accidentally scraped off over time, because this is a real work room, not just a bit of showmanship for when guests come over. Despite how tidy the room is for photos (and one of the overhead LED lights is out, by the way), clearly a lot of time has been spent here, dragging songs kicking and screaming into existence.
Dominating the well-soundproofed room are a massive pair of PMC MB2S XBD Studio Monitors, towering over everything else. Right beneath them are another pair of loudspeakers—in this case, they’re ADAM Audio S3X-H Horizontal Active Nearfield/Midfield Monitors.
At the center of the table space is an ultrawide-class Benq monitor, sitting behind a Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S49 Mk2 Keyboard Controller. To the left sits a wireless phone and both a PreSonus Monitor Station V2 Desktop Monitor Controller and an Apple MacBook laptop. Right next to them on a Lucite stand is an Ableton Push 2 MIDI Pad Controller. Meanwhile, on the right side of the table sits another MacBook, and just behind that is a MacMini.
Below the Table
Under the table on the left in a rack hangs a Samson S-Patch Plus 48-Point Balanced Patchbay, while the power gear lying on the floor between the two racks includes a pair of APC AV Black 1.5 kVA H-Type Power Conditioners.
The right-side rack has some interesting equipment in its grasp, too. At the top is a Universal Audio 1176LN Classic Limiting Amplifier, while beneath it sits a Chandler Limited TG 2 Pre Amp/DI. The next RU down holds an Apogee Electronics Ensemble Thunderbolt Audio Recording Interface, placed just above an Avalon Design VT-737sp Channel Strip. The lowest spot is taken by a dbx 286s Channel Strip with De-Esser.
There’s no knowing what the microphone might be behind that pop filter, but the two keyboards on the right are a Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol A61 Keyboard Controller atop a Kawai VPC1 digital piano.
ADAM Audio monitors seem to be the speakers of choice for Cruz. In the small hallway leading into the studio, there’s a Pioneer DJ rig with yet another MacBook, bookended by ADAM Audio T7V 7-inch Powered Studio Monitors, with two pairs of Roland’s V-Moda brand headphones casually placed atop them. Elsewhere in the house is a spare bedroom with its own small recording setup—another ultrawide monitor, a PC of some description, a Focusrite Scarlett interface…and more ADAM Audio T7Vs.
Cruz bought the property in 2012 for $4.05 million, and it has plenty to offer the next occupant—five bedrooms, views overlooking Los Angeles, floor-to-ceiling glass doors, a guest suite in its own wing, massage room, private gym, and right outside the studio, an infinity pool, hot tub and cabana. No doubt the next owner will also benefit from the good vibes from all the creative work that happened in that home studio as well.