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Culture, Music

One Week to LIVE

by Andy Davis / 21.07.2009

So the Red Bull Music Academy is kicking off in London in 2010, and if you’ve got any creative talent and are interested in making music your career, then this is one gig you wouldn’t want to miss.

An average day in the Red Bull Music Academy kicks off at about 11am. You and other talented musicians from around the world will make your way to the Academy building, a purpose built space to accelerate your growth as a professional musician. You’ll get shepherded, bleary eyed from the last night’s gigs, into a large, comfortable auditorium. As you make yourself comfortable, a lecturer will enter on the other side and take a seat on the couch. If the lecturer wants to use some turntables and a mixing desk, a musical instrument or a computer to make their points, then that equipment is provided. More often than not, the lecturer is someone you’ve heard of. But sometimes, they’re unknown. But during the course of the lecture you will be sure to discover the pedigree of the lecturer. I mean the list of musical luminaries is remarkable. Everyone from Hugh Masekela to Prince Paul and Gilbert Gil has lectured at the Academy. The interesting thing is that these luminaries of the global music industry share their most intimate knowledge of the workings of the industry, mainly in the form of amusing anecdotes and first person accounts.

Fletcher aka DJ Dope

Once the lecture is over, you, the participant get to ask questions, exchange email addresses, invite the guest lecturer to collaborate on your next album, whatever it takes really. Then you break for lunch and after a shot of espresso or a tin of Red Bull, you head into one of the customised music studios to channel your fresh inspiration into creative productivity. The studios are decked out with the very latest and greatest musical production equipment. So you get to learn and create on the latest technology, and if your shit is piping hot, you’ll be invited to lay it down in the Red Bull Music Academy Studio staffed by some of the most serious and professional sound engineers and producers in the business. Hell, maybe you’ll even get King Brit to jump behind the desk and the dude from Fat Freddy’s Drop to play bass on your track… You never know at the Academy.

All this for free, gratis and, yes you guessed it, MAHALA. Why? Because that’s how it works. Red Bull basically throw gazillions at creating a free university masterclass of music for talented, up and coming musicians. To stand a chance of attending next year’s academy, all you have to do is go here to download the entry form and submit it in the next week. Now it’s very important how you fill this form out. And trust me, the Academy is worth jumping through the hoops. Apart from your demo CD, the application form is the only way the cats at the Music Academy can judge if you’re the right person for the programme.

Now, Red Bull only chooses 2 candidates from each territory to attend the Academy. But all of the knowledge from all of the Academies is available on the Music Academy website. So even if you don’t get to go you can get the learnings online.

Sipho Hotstix Mabuse

Then they also have a satellite studio set up in Cape Town – to spread similar opportunities as the Academy on a local level. It’s basically a creative space where young talented South African musicians get invited to record and collaborate without having to spend major moolah to get into a recording studio. It’s basically a leg up to the broader South African music industry. And to give that broader audience a taste of what the Music Academy is all about, Red Bull held a “taster”, to a series of Academy style interviews with guys like Mzanzi House producer Black Coffee, Fletcher from African Dope, Theo Crous from the Springbok Nude Girls and SA rock producer extraordinaire, Sibot and afro-pop legend Sipho Hotstix Mabuse.

As the Academy concept becomes entrenched you can expect more of this stuff to be happening around the Red Bull Music Studio in Cape Town. Just this last week, unsigned, underground Durban hip hop experimentalists THOTS were recording their debut EP in the studio. Before that Tumi and The Volume were collaborating with The Dirty Skirts. This shit is real, and it’s going down regularly, here.

Now be sure to get your applications in for the Red Bull Music Academy in London next year. You can drop off your application and demo CD at the outlets below.
The cut off is next week Monday the 27th. Good luck…

House Afrika Records
Ritual Store
Hip Hop Joint (Southgate)/Maponya mall)

House 22
Multi Racial Records

Cape Town:
Hi – five (Kloof street CPT)

Funk Box
Durban Mass Market

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