Recorded sound only dates back to the late 19th century. And music recording as we know it today is much younger. Even professional recording studios are often repurposed rooms and buildings that were built for other uses. With the advent of increasingly cheap and portable microphones and mixing devices, it’s never been easier to record wherever you are, whenever you want. Sometimes you might want to record somewhere strange out of convenience, or just for the story. But if you’re a musician, it can’t hurt to mix things up now and again to see what kind of strange acoustics or unlikely inspiration can be found in unusual recording locations.
Legends like Nas, Swizz Beatz, and Just Blaze all stopped by this summer to check out the Sprite Corner, a pop-up bodega on New York’s Lower East Side. MMG member Wale even recorded a song there with a choir, which got us thinking about what other outlandish places have people recorded music. Here are 15 places to record a song besides a studio.