Introducing Rooted Sounds

5th November 2018


Introduce yourself…

I am Joseph Cowan, a third-year Music Industry Management student at BIMM Bristol, driven to succeed in becoming an established Music Supervisor. Music has always been my passion; I’m incredibly fascinated by the songs selected for pieces of media (Film, TV, Game). I continually question not just what but why the elements of both the audio and the visual evoke the emotions and responses that it does when paired. From this interest, I have developed a vast amount of the knowledge and skills required to find effective music for any type of media.

What is Rooted Sounds?

Rooted Sounds is a multi-University platform for student Directors, Artists & Composers, to connect those who are passionate about emotionally engaging with others through their art.
I provide a free music supervision service for student filmmakers, helping create a brief entailing their musical vision for their film and then help select the most effective song from the library of music uploaded by student artists.

For student artists, this is a free platform to not only create contacts with potential future leading filmmakers (Sync’ being a very lucrative avenue to utilise in an artist’s career), but also a chance for free exposure, broadening an artist’s audience and heightening the recognition from record labels. It is a valuable opportunity for students and will add to their portfolio of achievements.

How did the idea come about?

I’m constantly networking and often found myself discussing with music publishers how they get countless requests daily from student filmmakers to get commercial songs licensed; often they are told that it is unobtainable due to the timeframe and fee. Speaking about this with student filmmakers, they informed that they often approach student artists last minute to obtain music for their film. It was mentioned how this distracted them from focusing on the film itself, but also meant they couldn’t put enough research into the music that would work best for their film.

I am very proactive and eager to be practising Music Supervision now; I knew that I could provide a service that aided student filmmakers and connect them to talented student artists. I also knew – from my studies at BIMM – that this is very beneficial for student artists because Sync is a great source of exposure and revenue; also helping them build valuable relationships.

What has been the biggest challenge so far?

The biggest challenge is persuading student artists to engage with an opportunity that most don’t feel is necessary due to the mainstream framework of succeeding as an artist. As students, a common perception is that sync isn’t necessarily urgent to consider at this stage. This is true, however, there are rarely opportunities such as this one for students, so it’s very beneficial to utilise this to aid their position now and for the future.

Do you have any ideas for the future of the platform?

There are many avenues Rooted Sounds could go down, but the one I am currently working on is connecting with a talented producer to add a post-production service, aiding student filmmakers further.

How has studying at BIMM helped you develop this idea, and as a music industry professional?

The connections I have made with the lecturers and students have not only inspired me but helped me in many ways. I’d like to highlight Danny Champion, as he has been incredibly supportive, responding to my countless emails and advising me on how to make it all work.

Are you looking for people to get involved? If so, how?

I am always looking for people to get involved where they can; I want this to be a chance for others to further their experience in what they’re passionate about. If you would like to have a chat about anything, contact me via the Rooted Sounds Facebook page.


Sarah-Louise Burns

Having been part of the BIMM Marketing Team since 2016, Sarah has been working in Social Media Marketing since 2013. She Graduated the University of Hertfordshire in BA(Hons) Photography and Media Business and has a keen interest in the power of social media.