Q&A With Brunel Studios

4th July 2019

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We caught up with BIMM Bristol Songwriting graduate Emma Lawrence on her latest business venture, Brunel studios, which offers affordable rehearsal and artist development facilities for musicians throughout the city.

What makes Brunel Studios such a great choice for musicians?

At Brunel Studios we have created not only a rehearsal space, but a creative space in which there is easy access to everything you need as a DIY musician. Within the studios there are four rehearsal rooms which are soundproofed and fully equipped with good quality equipment to make rehearsing easy.

To enhance your experience, you can book out our 13 x 6m live room with full stage, lighting and mirror wall. There is also a writing room, which you can hire out or book sessions with our in-house producer Jordan Round (BIMM Alumnus), who can help get demos finished and recorded to the quality you need.

If you are in need of promotional content, you can book a photo shoot or video shoot with our in-house photographer Sam Gould (another BIMM Alumnus) with just a click on our website. With the introduction of our DJ room in July, you can perfect your DJ sets on either CDJs or vinyl decks. And from August ’19,  we will be commencing instrumental and vocal lessons which you can book with our professional musicians. All of this comes at affordable prices with room bookings starting at just £5 an hour!

What made you decide to open a rehearsal studio?

Having lived in Bristol for four years as a music student, I became aware of the much needed space for musicians in and around city, so they can express their creativity at an affordable price. A lack of affordable studio space in Bristol is prominent in comparison to the wide ranging and diverse music scene. Brunel Studios became on idea in which we wanted to give a helping hand to musicians like ourselves who need to be given a platform to enhance and develop their capabilities and confidence.

What steps did you take in order to turn the idea into a reality?

Networking is key when starting up in the music industry, as it’s all about who you know. So, we attended as many events as we could. It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to create the studios – in the space of three months I was not only brainstorming and promoting the plans, but physically building and creating them as well. Deadlines were a constant issue with the start-up, as they can creep up on you. Also, most jobs couldn’t be started until another job was finished. But all the hard work has paid off and Brunel Studios has become a realisation of our vision.

How has your first month of business been?

Starting up a studio as an unknown entity will always have its struggles in the beginning. You need to gain people’s trust first, and this is what we’ve been focusing on. This has already started to show within the first month of opening as we’ve had many happy customers returning weekly!

Can you tell us a little about being open 24 hours?

As I’m sure many will know, being a musician is not always a full-time job and many of us have other paid work happening alongside performing; making it hard to find time to rehearse. Being open 24 hours gives our customers the opportunity to book a rehearsal at a time that suits them. With our coded access doors, you are sent a unique code for the front door and whichever studio you book, meaning you can book for anytime of any day! The codes are sent to you when booking a slot through our website.

Were any particular elements of your course that’ve helped you in this new business venture?

I graduated from BIMM Bristol last year with a BA (Hons) Degree in Songwriting alongside many other people involved in the Brunel studios venture. The performance elements of the course helped us to understand the importance of rehearsals and band development, which helped us create the initial idea for Brunel Studios. We also learned a lot about branding, which has subsequently helped in the branding and marketing of the studios.

Are there any special offers on at the moment?

We currently have offers each month and for July we are offering 20% off photo and video shoots. Keep an eye out for the launch of our DJ room and instrumental lessons in the next few weeks.

Book with us via our website – brunelstudios.co.uk

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James Watts

Social Media Assistant, Professional Bassist and Music Journalist. Career highlights include performing at some of the UK's premier music festivals, recording in Abbey Road and interviewing Debbie Harry.