Yasin El Ashrafi

HQ Recording Studio provides a relaxed, creative environment located in the heart of Leicester city centre. At the beginning of 2019, they completed an extensive refurbishment enabling them to have high quality recording facilities across two rooms, with the latest in cutting edge digital software and hardware.




5 years
Cost of capital
Amount invested
Product type
Blended – part grant, part loan


Originally set-up as an outlet for the freshest and most exciting music to come out of HQ Recording Studio in Leicester, HQ Familia is a record label and collective of like minded artists, producers and creatives with the focus on pushing the boundaries of art and music. When it came time to capitalise to on its growing success Yasin El Ashrafi, Founder and Director, knew it would be difficult to get finance from a bank so approached Key Fund who quickly offered a part loan, part grant investment.


HQ Recording Studio supports vulnerable and unemployed adults, using music and spoken word, music studio recording, events, and performances to combat mental ill-health, addiction issues and low confidence. Over the last eight years, Yasin has offered free studio space to unemployed young people to explore their talents, mentoring up to 100 young people for the Big Lottery funded Talent Match project.                                      

Revenue model

The social enterprise generates its own income streams through commercial studio hire, mastering and artist development services, and gives participants a way of making an income and a sense of purpose, with their activities often leading to employment.


A Key Fund investment of £50k helped Yasin set up an additional recording studio to double his capacity for his commercial clients, charitable funded projects, and record label HQ Familia. He was also able to recruit of a full-time general manager.

''Through their energy, charisma and thoughtful approach they do an amazing job of re-engaging young people who feel forgotten. Whatever business challenges come their way, Yasin finds an entrepreneurial way forward.''

          - Jane Austin, Operations Manager Key Fund

''I felt this is the time to take the risk to enable me to capitalise on all the opportunities arising. A bank wouldn't have touched us, so to be able to access finance with part of it as a grant took a lot of the sting out of it. Key Fund moved quickly and were really supportive. This investment is amazing because it doubles my capacity and doubles our earning capacity as we now have two studios for hire instead of one.''

          - Yasin El Ashrafi, Director HQ Recording Studio