In this short interview Julien tells us more about how the Audio Production MA was instrumental to setting up JBM Studio, how he and Ben progressed from there and what opportunities they offer to current students.
How did the Audio Production MA set you up for your career, in terms of know-how, inspiration and contacts?
JBM Studio actually started as our MA thesis. The aim was to create a business plan, find a location to place our studio, register the business entity and start looking at a potential revenue stream. We had no idea what we were getting into but we knew one thing: we loved what we did!
Alan Fisher Head of Commercial Music Department was an extremely positive influence and we felt he really knew how to motivate us. Initially we didn't know how to break into the market and he offered lots of practical advice, as well as inspiration. We stuck to it despite it being tough at the start and in time we got busy.
How do you remember your time at the Faculty of Media, Arts and Design?
Both Ben and I loved our time at university: I started on the part-time Audio Production MA first in 2001, then told Ben to come and join me, so he enrolled in the full-time course. We both attended university in the US before coming to the UK for our Masters. We liked the collaborative approach to teaching in the UK – it was very different to the US practice.
Tell us about the Qatar Men's Handball Championship 2015 project (6.5 million YouTube views so far!).
The anthem for the Qatar Men's Handball Championship 2015 was a collaboration of artists in 24 countries. We travelled around the world to record the music video, as well as doing interviews and filming back stories with the artists. We are now in the process of editing these into a 'making-of' documentary.
I got in touch with Alan Fisher to see if there were current music students interested in doing remixes of the anthem for the documentary. I wanted to give the director some variations of the song to choose from. Alan passed this on to his students and I currently have four submissions for selection later on in the edit process.
Do you have any other particularly exciting projects in which current students can get involved?
We are always on the lookout for talent and up-to-the-minute musical ideas that come from the younger, more 'free of mind'. We don't just want to use what has worked in the past – we want to push boundaries. We have a number of projects in the pipeline and hope to continue to collaborate with the University of Westminster in giving opportunities to talented students.