On certain nights in downtown Jersey City, on the corner of Christopher Colombus and Barrow St, passersby get treated to a live musical performance that may or may not last only a few seconds depending on how fast they’re walking.

This isn’t the usual musical corner, mind you. There’s no street musician or stereo playing out the window. No alleycats or beagles howling through the night. There’s just a wall. An ugly, yellow wall tinged by lamplight and sometimes covered in street art or faded graffiti.

“There’s a really good spirit here. This building is magical,” says do-it-all employee John Dolan. More family member than staff member, Dolan has worked at JC Studios for years and, having seen the way other studios operate, thinks ‘JC’ has a more creative vibe.

“[Other places] it’s all about money. This place is about creativity and culture... I live in New York and I still feel Jersey City still has so much more to offer.”

You don’t really know what to expect when walking into JC Studios. The photos on the website make the space look like a slick, modern recording studio, but the idea of any modern business finding a home in the “Waterbug Hotel” seems completely foreign in the #JCMakeItYours era of downtown Jersey City. And yet, there a modern recording studio exists.

Check out the video to meet the owners of JC Studios and hear their thoughts on running a recording business, their challenges and favorite moments since taking over the business, and what it’s like to own a small business in a gentrifying Jersey City.

Song: Lip Action “When I See You” http://lipaction.bandcamp.com/

joseph_galbo_smaller.jpgJoseph Galbo is a member of the Jersey City bureau of The Citizens Campaign's City Storytellers, dedicated to telling the stories of citizen empowerment and showcasing civic innovation. This story was produced for FocalPointJC, an initiative of the Jersey City Bureau.