Hitsmith Records/Musikverlag  

Hitsmith Records/Musikverlag is an independent music production house, publisher and record company. We started operation in 2002 under different firms and  got registered in 2008 in Braunschweig, Germany. The company is built on the Halle family legacy, Bel-Pen Recordings, Bamenda – one of the first commercial recording studios, labels and music production houses of Cameroon, founded in the early eighties by entrepreneur, producer and musician Zachariah Halle Azoh-Mbi (Zach).

It was normal for the company to house its artists at the Halle family home, giving it the feel of a music institute nurturing some of the most brilliant musical minds of the country. Some visited daily, others lived there for a while whilst some stayed for years. Musicality in general, recording know-how, song philosophy and music jargon was exchanged all day long, all week long. It was a place where boundaries sometimes diminished into music and recording technology.

Hitsmith Records/Musikverlag also controls the entire catalogue of Bel-Pen Recordings, and continues the legacy to create and release recordings  rooted in its purpose of origin: HEAL | BUILD | INSPIRE.

The Lost Boxes of Hounslow: How Hitsmith Records was Born

Besides composing, mixing and recording for multimedia agencies, artists and bands, Mbachi Halle was a vocal coach and piano teacher in a music school in Braunschweig, Germany; where he started in 2002.

As his passion for creating and recording music deepened, his joy for teaching began to vanish. The teaching flame finally went out and he decided to quit the job at the end of 2007, which forced him out of the school building in which he had his studio set up.

While working on plans for a new studio, The Mbach decided to keep the system running by sending all his gear: a decent amount of which he had gathered during the years, to his brother Nuks; a drummer based in London. Of the nine boxes sent, two never arrived Hounslow where Nuks resided. In one of the two missing boxes was the heart of the studio: a 2005 G5 Power Mac stacked with peripherals, totalling a worth of over ten thousand Euros. Due to unfortunate conditions of the insurance policy covering the transport, a compensation of one thousand five hundred Euros is all that was paid out.

The Mbach became desperate and frightened by the possibility of loosing what he had worked so hard to build. As the only available option to keep alive the fruit of his creative work: his songs, he decided to use the amends from his lost studio to start a record label and publishing company, through which he will release the songs. By March 2008, Hitsmith Records/Musikverlag was registered in Braunschweig, Germany.

A lawyer from Braunschweig was troubled after hearing the story of the lost boxes and decided to pick up the case once more, leading to a further compensation of two thousand Euros, which The Mbach used to finance the very first Hitsmith Records release.

Owning a label forced him to learn the business, which brought him the understanding that true creative value was not necessarily in equipment, but in excellent songs, and how to nurture and manage them. He stopped morning his lost studio and instead submitted to the fierce resolution to some day become a master of song and sound. Stripped off all the technology, he turned to music production, business and engineering books, in which he found great pleasure and solace.

He eventually built another studio in which he has since been composing, writing, producing and mixing for artists, bands, and multimedia companies; some, already international giants and some growing.

These days, apart from his creative work, he is also the head of the label and Publishing company. He never sent important boxes to London again –  preferring to take them there himself. Even though his business start with London was rather unfortunate, it has still become a loved and frequently visited third home.


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