Rootfire is a music and arts incubator and tastemaker founded in Charlottesville, VA, with partner offices in Oakland, CA. Our mission is to empower artists and create public value with an ecosystem of resources, media, supporters, and events. We are committed to being an active, long term ally to the oppressed, using our platform to spread awareness, practice anti-racism, and support artists to do the same.
Create a sustainable financial model that provides artists with the funding they need to record and release their music and to build successful businesses around their art.
Curate authentic content that represents the voice of the community, telling stories of those who paved the way before us and amplifying under-represented voices in the music industry.
Convene communities to raise support for artists and connect with each other through media, music, and lifestyle experiences.
WHAT WE DO
Rootfire Cooperative | Provide interest free loans and label services to artists allowing them maintain 100% ownership and control of their music throughout the entire process.
Rootfire.net | Amplify the work of the Cooperative through editorial content, curated playlists, and a comprehensive events calendar.
Festivals and Events | Create opportunities for artists to engage directly with primed audiences and give fans opportunities to support the artists they love.
Founded in 2010, Rootfire began as an artist manager’s blog and a series of mixtapes hosted on Soundcloud.com. The mixtapes attracted more than 2.8 million followers, establishing Rootfire as a key tastemaker of the international reggae community. In 2015, Rootfire formed a strategic partnership with Ineffable Music Group and began providing interest-free loans to independent artists as a means to sidestep traditional record labels and put full control of the music and revenue in the hands of artists themselves. Rootfire Cooperative, our label services division, has released 12 albums to date — one has been nominated for a GRAMMY and six have reached #1 on the Billboard Reggae chart.
What does the name mean?
The name Rootfire tells the story of a fire that starts underground, deep in the roots of a tree. The tree burns unnoticed until the center of its trunk catches and fire opens it up in a blaze. At the center of Rootfire’s RF logo is a very small bird nestled between the two letters. The bird is flying forward with an egg in its mouth while looking backwards over its shoulder, a Ghanaian Sankofa symbol. It reminds us to acknowledge the progress that came before (look back over your shoulder), to take what’s good from where we came from (the egg), and to keep moving forward to create the future.
How do I get involved?
We work together as a community to support the artists and there are a number of ways you can help…
1. Become a supporter. Rootfire’s community works hard to help artists build sustainable businesses and maintain 100% ownership and control of their music. Your support help us keep the engine running and the community thriving.
2. Check out RootfireTV and make a donation to the artist while they’re live streaming. We’re building this as we go in response to the Coronavirus outbreak and the money goes directly to artists about an hour after their stream ends. You can also make a donation to Rootfire’s general fund if a stream is not currently in session.
3. If you’re an artist interested in Rootfire Cooperative support, please submit your information here. We review submissions on a quarterly basis.
4. Follow our Progressive Roots Playlist (updated weekly) on Spotify, Apple, Soundcloud, and Youtube
6. Tell us about artists you think we’ll love.
For All Inquiries email: rootfire [at] rootfire.net
PO Box 154
Charlottesville, VA 22902