Julia Craik, managing director of the Premises Studios in London, has died due to complications relating to COVID-19.
Craik is remembered by her colleagues as the “super-organised big sister” at the recording studio and rehearsal space, where she served for the past 24 years.
“We are all in shock,” reads a statement posted to the official Premises Studios social channels.
The immediate cause of death was “heart failure following complications from what seems to have been a severe bout of COVID-19,” the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus, according to the statement.
Craik passed away in hospital on the morning of April 19. “Her partner Richard was able to be with her when she died and is of course very distraught,” the statement continues. “We spoke to her last week and although she was obviously in a lot of pain, she and Richard were very hopeful that the worst was over.”
Entrepreneur Peter Conway remembers Craik as a straight-talker in an industry that “often thrives on bullshit.” Craik “was passionate, savvy, knowledgeable, level headed and vivacious,” he writes in a tribute published in London Jazz News. “A little light went out in the world tonight.”
Over the past 30-plus years, the studios in Hackney have cut recordings for a who’s who of music stars, from Amy Winehouse to Ben E. King, Gladys Knight, Rihanna, Blur, Buena Vista Social Club, Arctic Monkeys and many others.
A tireless campaigner for renewable energy, Craik guided a project in 2007 to install solar power on the site, thought to be a world first for a recording studio. Her work won the Music Week Award for Best Green Business in 2011.
A 100 People profile piece describes Craik as “an exceptional communicator about solar as well as an exceptional manager. She is a true example of a pioneer in solar communications.”