Ben Folds in Nashville Studio

Ben Folds in Nashville Studio

John Partipilo

He put up a good fight, but singer-songwriter Ben Folds announced on Friday he'll be leaving his recording space at the historic Studio A in Nashville's old RCA building after the property's brand-new owner raised the rent 124 percent.

"Haha," Folds says in a message to fans and supporters on Facebook, "and we’re moving out as soon as our current lease runs out. That means we will be there until end of November."

Folds has been a tenant of the Music Row space for twelve years. In June, after it was announced it would be sold, he sounded the alarm on social media and beyond out of concern the building would be marked for demolition as part of the rapid redevelopment of the area. Tim Reynolds of Bravo Development finalized his purchase of RCA this week.

The singer reached out to musician friends like Elton John and Amanda Palmer, among others, and "Save Studio A" became a micro-cause in the larger fight among preservationists and purists to save Music Row in Nashville. "This whole #‎SaveStudioA and #‎SaveMusicRow thing was never about me (or the former owners or Tim Reynolds) and that’s why the issue has resonated with people here and around the world who are concerned about retaining Nashville’s identity, culture and music economy," he writes.

Folds appeared on MSNBC's Morning Joe on Friday morning in a segment called "The Changing Face of Music Row." Watch:

Reynolds is on record saying he will not demolish the building, though Folds says he's skeptical a music studio could afford the new rent.

"We have and will continue to send investors and planners his way who have ideas on how to both preserve the space, keep the studio working and make everyone the money they want," he writes. "I will continue to raise public awareness of the grand history of Music Row that is threatened by hasty development."

Read Folds' full letter:

Dear All,

After closing on the purchase of 30 Music Square West, home of historic RCA Studio A (of which I’ve been tenant for 12 years) Tim Reynolds of Bravo Development in Brentwood TN has just informed us that our rent will be raised 124%. Haha, okay Tim, we got it, and we’re moving out as soon as our current lease runs out. That means we will be there until end of November. He is on public record saying he will not demolish the building, though I’m not sure how any studio owner could make bottom line with rent that high.

We have and will continue to send investors and planners his way who have ideas on how to both preserve the space, keep the studio working and make everyone the money they want. I will continue to raise public awareness of the grand history of Music Row that is threatened by hasty development. Today we did Morning Joe and an NPR segment on 360 will also air soon – many more outlets to come. My hope is that all our efforts have given us a moment to pause and consider how Nashville might continue to grow, while also retaining the identity and culture that has made it Music City.

Since the rally was held at the studio on June 30, a group called Music Industry Coalition has formed, elected a Board, begun filing its official papers with the state, fashioned a mission statement and collected over 1500 members. Their mission is to give the working folks in the music industry a voice and to work with city officials on a plan for Music Row that allows our music culture to co-exist with new growth. I will continue to help them in any way I can.

Yeah, I’m sad personally, but I had a good decade plus run and will be recording as much of my new album as I can there before November, including with the absolutely incredible sextet yMusic from New York. The Nashville Symphony and I recorded my Concerto For Piano and Orchestra there recently. What other studio can handle 80-piece orchestras in one take?

This whole ‪#‎SaveStudioA‬ and ‪#‎SaveMusicRow‬ thing was never about me (or the former owners or Tim Reynolds) and that’s why the issue has resonated with people here and around the world who are concerned about retaining Nashville’s identity, culture and music economy. Thanks for reading, and for the concern and effort! It’s working. That’s all I got to say.

Ben