Applications are open for the Red Bull Music Academy 2012 in NYC!
Application Period: February 2 - April 2, 2012
Montreal Event - March 2 @ S.A.T.
Application form and info at www.redbullmusicacademy.com
For all information, FAQs and to download the application form, click on the website: www.redbullmusicacademy.com
One of the most iconic cities on the planet, NYC has been immortalized in the pantheon of music - incubating genres like hip hop, disco, house, bop, no-wave, and post-punk among others. NYC is inspiration central: a place where people from all nations collide, bringing music, culture, and attitude with them. Music is everywhere, from cars cruising the block banging hip hop mix shows to the indie rock stars of tomorrow mashing drums in East Village practice spaces. Boomboxes blasting Willie Colón soundtrack outdoor domino games, and hipster troubadours play fiddles in the subway while kids shout the words to the latest A$AP Rocky single down the train aisles. After all, nothing’s equivalent to the New York state of mind.
The Red Bull Music Academy is excited to become part of this sonic kaleidoscope this fall. From September 30 through November 2, 2012, the world-travelling music lab and festival will set up shop in the city for five weeks' worth of workshops, concerts, club nights, and all-round musical extravaganzas held all across the boroughs.
Producers, vocalists, instrumentalists and DJs across all genres who will be at least 21 years of age by September 30, 2012 are eligible to take part and can download an application form from www.redbullmusicacademy.com and send it off with a selection of their tunes before April 2, 2012.
To find out more, musicians can attend one of the Red Bull Music Academy’s three-day ‘Bass Camp’ sessions in Moscow, Warsaw, Rome, Madrid, Beirut and Antwerp, amongst other cities. Participants will receive a full-fledged mini-Academy experience including studio facilities for collaboration, inspiring international lecturers, and a host of club nights. In addition, interested applicants can also attend one of the many introductory one-day sessions being held throughout February and March in over 50 countries worldwide. More information on the whereabouts of these events can be found on www.redbullmusicacademy.com/events.
The Red Bull Music Academy’s yearly compilation entitled ‘Various Assets’ is set to be released at the end of February. Containing 35 tracks (all recorded at the 2011 Red Bull Music Academy in Madrid), this “audio yearbook” is just a sampling of the once-in-a-lifetime moments that came out of the Jurassic Park-like Academy compound at Matadero Madrid: from arpeggiated acid to experimental exotica. The compilation will have a physical release and will be distributed to music shops, clubs and cultural institutions the world over. In addition, a different song each day will be available for download on www.redbullmusicacademy.com/va from February 2 on.
A series of mixes and podcasts on RBMA Radio as well as the Academy’s Mixcloud channel will also highlight the diversity of music makers participating in the Red Bull Music Academy. Lectures from previous editions can be viewed via Vimeo or downloaded as audio podcasts from Soundcloud. Find all links below.
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Each year, the Red Bull Music Academy brings together a potpourri of some of the most innovative producers, vocalists, DJs and instrumentalists from all around the world—and one of them was Montreal's very own Poirier. LOOKOUT recently got the goods on the DJ/producer's experience during the RBMA in London, just before an exciting weekend for Poirier: Karnival v.9 at Le Belmont on Friday, JunoFest at Toronto's Wrongbar on Saturday, and the Juno Awards on Sunday. Cheer for him on March 27th, as he is up for his second Juno; this time around his album Running High is nominated for Electronic Album of the Year. Despite all that activity, this particular interview focused on one place and one moment in history: the 2010 Red Bull Music Academy in London. To apply for this year's Red Bull Music Academy in Tokyo, or for more information, click here.
London is a unique place as home to many immigrants from around the world, and more specifically, as having a strong Jamaican diaspora. How did the RBMA's two-week-long session, and especially that exposure to the London scene, affect your music?
It had already been an influence for a long time. Since 1991, London, the UK, has deeply influenced my love of the bass coming from the sound system culture that Jamaicans brought into the UK back in the '50s and '60s (I highly recommend watching the BBC documentary Reggae Britannia about that specific subject). The UK urban scene, from ragga jungle to UK Garage, from Hip-Hop to UK Funky, has deep roots in the Jamaican sound system culture. Being part of the RBMA in 2010 gave me the opportunity to see that scene and be part of it. It also gave me a spot to DJ with Face-T at the Notting Hill Carnival in August 2010 at the RBMA x Major Lazer stage. Playing soca in that context was SO nice.
What RBMA lecture did you find the most inspiring?
The gold medal goes to Gabriel Roth from Daptone Records who was super honest and direct. I’ve been following what he's been doing since day one and I really respect what he has achieved. I remember buying The Daktaris CD a long time ago. It was discounted at Archambault probably because at that time nobody knew what the hell that afrobeat CD with lions on the cover was. I love when stores don't know when they have gold.
Mark Ronson was quite interesting, sharing some stories from the inside.
As well, seeing Steve Reich in person was something I was looking forward to.
I read that out of the sixty artists chosen for 2010's RBMA, there were four Canadians and three of those four were from Montreal. This can’t be a coincidence, if you ask me. What is it about Montreal artists?!
What is it about Montreal, we might even say. I think Montreal gives people a nice context to think, elaborate, meet and create. The city size is perfect. Big enough to be a big city, but not too big so people have time to chill and have a quality of life. These ingredients all together give artists fresh air to expand their thoughts into reality.
I was looking through this year’s RBMA application and it was extensive, but also really thought-provoking (for instance, one question made me recall the records that bring me to tears). Do you remember the funniest or most interesting answer you gave when you applied?
I still have the scans, let me check. To the question: "Which technical set-up do you usually utilize for your musical activities?" I answered: "The best plug-ins are IDEAS.”
And later to the question: "What's the things you can live without and why?" I answered: "Food. Water. It's pretty obvious."
Do you have any advice for this year’s applicants?
Do it. Be honest. No need to brag. It's about music. It's about the love of music. Making it, discovering it, sharing it. You don't need to pretend you're somebody else and if you're trying to be somebody else for any reason, please save yourself some time and go play outside with the kids.Read Less ↑
Amenta, a Toronto-born vocalist with an electro-soul sound, was one of the sixty participants in 2010’s Red Bull Music Academy in London. She has collaborated with Portformat, fLako and more recently, Mau’lin on a funky project dubbed “Deeper Than The Sun.” LOOKOUT recently interviewed her by email and got a glimpse into her overflowing memories of her time in London and what her musical career is like post-RBMA. To apply for this year's Red Bull Music Academy in Tokyo, or for more information, click here. The application phase ends April 4, 2011.
LOOKOUT: How did you decide to apply to RBMA?
Amenta: I heard about RBMA in 2007 when it was being held in Toronto. I saw Muhsinah perform and a friend Jesse Ohtake encouraged me to apply. By the end of 2008, I was reminded by another friend, My Man Henri, and thought I really need to do it this year. I attended the info session where Flying Lotus was speaking at RBMA Toronto and was further inspired by his account of his experience.
Do you have a hunch as to why you were picked over all the other applicants?
You mean they didn't pick me for my amazing hula-hoop skills?? Well then I don't know.
What's your most profound memory from your time at the Academy?
There are sooo many to choose from. But the show I did with Hasan at the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts) comes to mind. I remember telling myself: "do not **** up." I recall seeing my classmates at the very front screaming and cheering and I got all choked up. The audience was sooo amazing and I received a lot of love and support afterwards. It was a memorable night.
How has your experience with RBMA affected your musical career? Has it affected your sound or musical style?
It has helped me meet wonderful fellow artists. Who you know and who you vibe with is VERY important. The power of partnerships and friendships is not to be underestimated as a strong force that can drive and influence your career. I'm so thankful to know the people I have met through RBMA. There were a lot of instrumentalists in my term – this has influenced me greatly and allowed me to really dig deeper vocally and find new approaches with melodies and much more. One man in particular who helped me discover my potential is Hasan Hujairi - Oud Master. As I touched on before, our performance at the Institute of Contemporary Arts really taught me a lot about myself. As well, being a participant of RBMA looks damn good on your resume. Upon hearing that you were a participant, people who know you give you major points and people who don't are inclined to learn more – and that's worldwide. It's pretty amazing.
You recently collaborated with another class of 2010 participant, Mau’lin. What’s life like post-Academy in terms of sustaining relationships?
Life is good! Most of us are pretty tight. A week will not pass without me talking to at least 5 or 6 of my 2010 classmates or term 2 homies. We roll deep ;). We hit each other up for vocals or drums or relationship advice. Not to give away our class secrets, but we still use our group email to connect. It's a beautiful thing. We continue to collaborate and share ideas and/or goals for the future or simply make faces at each other on Skype. We really support each other. They are definitely family.
Do you have any advice for this year’s RBMA applicants?
Be yourself. Put as much of yourself into your application as possible. Leave an imprint. By the time you’re finished your application, RBMA people should be able to tell what you smell like. I'm not joking ;). Let your funk shine.Read Less ↑
The Red Bull Music Academy is a series of music workshops, a platform for those who shape our musical future. Every year, two groups of 30 selected participants - producers, vocalists, DJs, instrumentalists, and allround musical mavericks from all around the globe - come together for two fortnight-long 'terms'.
The application period has begun! You can find the application package and instructions, deadline, contact info, and background information all right here. Also be sure to check out the special application guide here. Lookout will be posting a weekly series of features on past attendees and their experiences to help craft a better picture of this incredible opportunity. Coming soon! To hear about the Academy straight from the participants themselves, check out the video below:
In the back rooms of Mad Decent, Jillionaire is the super soca. After Osheaga, Jills drops a set at Blue Dog Motel, after the show with Major Lazor on Sunday, July 31. South Rakkas Live with MC Sereosee. Peep the mix below, get riddim.
Sarah Linhares is a songwriter and vocalist from Montreal whose influences range from electronic music to gospel choirs and Afro-Brazilian samba. Sarah Linhares’ time at the Red Bull Music Academy in 2007 seemed to have really changed her—musically at least. At the time, she was struggling to decide whether or not she wanted to keep pushing her musical career, so in a way, RBMA saved her music. Since then, she’s been collaborating with a swarm of RBMA grads and keeping herself mad busy. Expect her debut solo full-length album, Messages from the Future, to drop sometime later this year, an album branded as “future soul” by her label, Public Transit Recordings.
To apply for this year's Red Bull Music Academy, which will now be held in Madrid, Spain (!!!), or for more information, click here. The application deadline has been extended until April 26, 2011.
LOOKOUT: It’s been four years since you attended the Academy. Do you ever still think about it?
SL: Each year around this time, RBMA contacts me to speak at the info session or to do an interview, etc. So this season ends up being a time when I reminisce about my experience. Usually when people find out that I attended RBMA they ask me to tell them about it. I also think about the academy every time RB [Red Bull] throws an event in town 'cause I end up seeing all the Canadian RB guys, which is always great!
Why did you decide to apply?
It's funny, I wasn't going to apply 'cause I thought I wouldn't get in. I was actually contemplating letting go of my musical aspirations at the time. However one of my close friends, Scott C aka The Incubator, who was a RB Mr. X at the time, pushed me to apply. It's really thanks to him for being so encouraging!
What was the most challenging part of RBMA?
The challenging parts for me were allowing myself to enjoy the experience without doubting my talent and feeling scattered by wanting to do everything all at once. At that time, I was still unsure of myself and wasn't fully able to assert myself in the way I would now. I knew that I had something interesting to offer musically, but I wasn't able to fully embrace the depth of my ability and uniqueness. I was still discovering my own voice. I also felt this strange pressure to do too many things at once. I wanted to write and sing on so many collaborations that I think my efforts were slightly scattered. In retrospect, I would have chosen only a couple songs to work on and would have enjoyed just being there more.
You've since collaborated with other RBMA grads, like David Ryshpan, Aklimatize, Camplaix, and Sikh Knowledge, on Messages from the Future. What is it like doing collaborations with other Academy participants?
Honestly, I love working with RBMA participants 'cause they are mad talented producers, musicians, and DJs with really unique musical worldviews. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to have met and collaborated with all of them. I’m still look forward to working with more of them!
David Ryshpan and I became friends because we both live in Montreal and did radio together before the academy. Now, he's my go-to pianist in town. We continue to enjoy working together as he's part of the band that is currently reinterpreting my upcoming album in a live setting. I had the pleasure of meeting Aklimatize in Montreal when he was on tour and we hit it off right away. We spent a very fun day in the studio recording together. Camplaix is my Portuguese brother that I connected with at the Academy. He's amazing to work with. He sends me these incredible beats that instantly inspire me and then we go back and forth sharing ideas and building the tracks. We have two songs together on my upcoming release and I think they are very strong songs. Sikh Knowledge is another talented Montreal friend that I love working with. We get along like a house on fire. We have a couple tracks together on the album and we are working on building a live show together using our laptops, drum machines, percussion, and a loop pedal. We are going to work on an EP together in the summer.
Aside from collaborations, how did the experience help your musical career?
The experience marked a major turning point in my musical career. I think if I hadn't gotten accepted I might have given up on my musical dreams. It was a big confidence boost at a time when I really needed one. Being there inspired me to keep on dreaming and allowed me to begin envisioning my future album project. It also allowed me to meet and be inspired by all kinds of people in the business. It encouraged me to tap into an extensive group of amazing music people that are forever to be a part of my network. It continues to allow me to connect instantly with these folks whenever I meet them. Being a part of the RBMA family allows me to share my projects with a massive international audience that I wouldn't have had contact with otherwise.
Do you have any advice for this year’s RBMA applicants?
All I can say is make sure you apply! The application is long, challenging, and can be daunting 'cause it asks you to really examine yourself and express things that aren't often asked of you. However, it is one of the most incredible musical experiences you can have. When applying, just be honest about who you are musically and personally. Don't waste your time trying to prove something or trying to be something that you think will please them. The application is an opportunity to get to know yourself better—so enjoy it!Read Less ↑
Poirer returns from the Red Bull Music Academy with a huge new track, titled "90's Backyard." The time spent at the academy must have had a had a big effect on Poirier; this sounds of this track are totally new for him. Sure, the energy and the bass are as manic as ever and the track hits as hard as any of his songs, but this one isn't particularly tied into any Carribean sub-genre. This isn't soca, cumbia, or dancehall, it's just unleashed!
This single was released in advance of his new album Running High. Poirier and his buddy/frequent collaborater Face-T are touring Canada at the moment to support the album, which is currently in stores. Their Montreal homecoming show is scheduled for April 29 at Passeport. You can stream and download the single below:
BONUS: Check out this mixtape Poirier compiled in celebration of his new album!
David Ryshpan is a Montreal-based pianist, composer and arranger. His band, Indigone Trio, was formed in 2003 at McGill University, where he graduated from the Jazz Performance program. LOOKOUT interviewed Ryshpan, a former RBMA participant, on his experience in 2007 in Toronto, illuminating how Ryshpan himself bucks the misconception that RBMA is exclusively for electronic music. To apply for this year's Red Bull Music Academy (the new location will be announced April 11), or for more information, click here. The application deadline has been extended until April 26, 2011.
LOOKOUT: How did you decide to apply to 2007's RBMA in Toronto? Did your decision have anything to do with Toronto as the place where you began to study music?
DR: I'm friends with Scott C (The Incubator), who served as one of Montreal's "Mr. X"s that year. He urged me to apply. It was the first year I had ever heard of RBMA, so I applied without really knowing that much about it. The decision didn't have anything to do with Toronto being my hometown; it was, however, a really different experience of the city for me. I moved to Montreal when I was 16 so I never went clubbing in Toronto, and I wasn't really ever immersed in Toronto's electronic or hip-hop scenes. It was like being a tourist at home, considering the majority of my musical experiences in Toronto happened at The Rex and the Top o' the Senator (which doesn't exist anymore).
Did all of the members of Indigone Trio apply for RBMA? How did you take your personal experience and translate it into something that the entire band could benefit from?
I was the only member of Indigone that applied to RBMA. Being able to work closely alongside engineers and producers, I got enough of the technical language of recording and mixing to make the recording of our album, Cycles, a much more fluid process. The awareness of music as sound, and how to deal with different kinds of sound, has definitely influenced my composition since RBMA.
How was RBMA different from other workshops you’ve participated in like the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop and the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music?
It's pretty remarkable how similar they all are, actually. I often refer to RBMA to my jazz-inclined friends as the "Banff Centre for electronic production." They're quite similar in the sense that they foster immense amounts of creativity in a short timespan. In all of the workshops, there's an expectation that you're in a creative, artistic headspace the whole time. That phenomenon of having the artistic impulse always turned "on" is really refreshing, something I still find hard to replicate in my daily life. The only major difference I can think of was that for BMI, there were concrete deadlines - we had a reading session with a real live big band every two months, and we were expected to bring in significant amounts of new material to the reading. At Banff, too, there were concerts and shows to prepare for. RBMA wasn't structured around deadlines but there was definitely an awareness of the fact that we only had two weeks to make the most amount of music possible.
Having studied jazz performance at McGill, did you learn anything unexpected from artists who had never gone to school for music?
I was blown away by the inherent musicality of people that had little or no formal training. Our ears are our guide, anyway. One thing I took away was this sense of being able to break the rules – if it sounds like it works, then it does, regardless if it's theoretically totally correct.
What kind of relationships – friendly or work-related – did you make during RBMA? Have you kept any of them?
Sarah Linhares and I have been working together since RBMA. We knew each other through radio and didn't actually know that the other had applied, or that the other played music, before RBMA! I'm still in touch with some of the RBMA alumni from our term. Heliponto, a house producer from Belo Horizonte, Brasil, produced a track with me during RBMA that came out on her record, Eletronia, and we have another project together on a back burner. I'm still in touch with Mara TK, Kez YM, and Camplaix, among others, and I hope to work with them all again soon.
Do you have any advice for this year’s RBMA applicants?
Take your time with the application and be honest. I know the 17-page questionnaire can be daunting, but the reality is that the answers given throughout the 17 pages is how RBMA creates an instant 30-person family.
I want to re-iterate something I said at the info session. It may appear that RBMA is geared strictly towards "electronic music." It's not. It's a balance of electronic music production, and music creation of all kinds. I encourage anyone who's remotely interested in learning any element of electronic music production – from improvising with Live or Max/MSP to recording their own albums to producing hip-hop, electro, or whatever – to apply.Read Less ↑
The RBMA graduate class of 2010
Check out these two new tracks from Lunice. It looks like these two new tracks from Lunice will be used in a compilation put together by upstart record label Jus Like Music, alongside tracks from many other RBMA students. Best of all, the whole thing will be available for free download soon! Check the RBMA site for details.
Stay posted in the upcoming days for new music from the other recent RBMA graduates, including Poirier, Ango, and Amenta
LOOKOUT got a chance to shoot the shit with Montreal’s Turbo Crunk golden boy Lunice Fermin Pierre II before he heads out to the Red Bull Music Academy in London. Check out Lunice with Keys n’ Krates at Le Belmont on Friday, February 5!
LOOKOUT: First of all, big-up for earning a seat at the Red Bull Music Academy in London. What are you going to miss most about MTL and what are you looking forward to most in London?
LUNICE: What I'm going to miss: My girl & Poutine
What I'm looking forward to:
1. Energy Drinks + Studio Time
2. Collaborations / Meeting new people
3. Lectures / Workshops
5. Checking out the whole city!
LOOKOUT: Knowing that artists Hudson Mohawke and Flying Lotus came up out of the program you’re about to attend, how do you feel going in?
LUNICE: Beyond honored and continuously getting stoked! An over dosage of excitement knowing that a lot of dudes that I really look up to has gone through the RBMA.
LOOKOUT: Music in Montreal is in a strange juncture at the moment, coinciding with the end of the beloved Turbo Crunk nights and the rise of many of the artists behind it. Where do you see the Montreal scene headed over the next year?
LUNICE: Good question... I believe in the next year there will be many more shows catching on what Turbo Crunk has done in the past years plus more! Which is cool because it would help more people to become open minded to various genres of music.
LOOKOUT: Living in London puts you closer to your label Lucky Me’s headquarters. What’s going on with the LuckyMe collective in 2010? Any plans to head to the headquarters in Glasgow?
LUNICE: Yes actually. After the RBMA bidness, I'm going to head up to Glasgow for a few days to meet up with the fam and work on a video for my upcoming solo (still untitled) EP release on LuckyMe! Expect some cool moves and music ;) !
LOOKOUT: You’ve accrued some measure of internet fame with your dance videos on youtube, and B-boy culture has been a part of your development as an artist. As your career as a musician is starting to really take off, is the break-dance influence and passion still present for you?
LUNICE: For sure!!! I'll never ever ever ever ever stop Break-dancing no matter what! Breaking, to me, is like the foundation to most urban dance crazes you see out now! Every new young high school kid dance craze that pops out on Youtube always seemed to have some kind of Break-dance influence in it.