Phantom Vox, the West Hollywood studio owned by Grammy and Latin Grammy-winning artist Draco Rosa, is set to close at the end of the month.
The studio has hosted musicians ranging from Mexican band Kinky and Spanish rock star Enrique Bunbury to Coldplay and Sara Bareilles. Over the past year, The Fairfax Sessions, a series of invitation-only live performances by eclectic artists, were held at the studio.
With the enigmatic appeal of the Puerto Rican artist’s intense songs, the studio hidden away on a cobblestone courtyard on Fairfax Avenue has the feel of a gothic curiosity shop, with a collection of sometimes unsettling artifacts (a ventriloquists’s dummy, a zombie-like mask), paintings, found photographs, and mirrors. Over two weekends (Feb. 22 and 23 and March 1 and 2), Phantom Vox will open to the public for a sale that will include art and objects, studio gear, clothing from the artist’s own line, Vagabundo, and other “used and abused apparel,” and packages of his own Puerto Rican coffee brand, Café Horizonte.
“It’s a good old fashioned yard sale,” said studio manager Tom Baumgartner, reached by phone after the “armamentarium” sale and studio closing were announced by Rosa via Instagram today (Feb. 12). “If the price is right I’ll sell anything.” Make that almost anything: the Neve console is definitely not available.
Baumgartner said that Rosa planned to relocate the studio to his farm in Puerto Rico, adding that the artist would be laying low for a while. He is scheduled to undergo his second stem cell transplant next week.
After being diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2011, Rosa recorded “Vida” at Phantom Vox with friends and collaborators including Juan Luis Guerra, Marc Anthony, Ruben Blades, Calle 13, and Romeo Santos, who literally gathered around the artist during dark days. When "Vida" debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums in March of 2013, Rosa was cancer free. The album went on to win the Latin Grammy Album of the Year, and the Grammy for Best Latin Pop Album.
In December, Rosa's manager Angelo Medina revealed that “Draco faced a new challenge”; the cancer had returned. More recently, sources close to Rosa recently reported that he was responding well to treatment. The artist was not available for comment Wednesday, but Baumgartner noted that Rosa was energetic, arriving at the West Hollywood studio earlier in the day on his motorcycle.