Red Bull has gradually positioned itself at the forefront of sports, creativity and lifestyle, embedding itself in everything from extreme sports and dance to music, football and Formula One. In 1998, they started the Red Bull Music Academy in Berlin as “a world-travelling series of music workshops and festivals” with the main segment attended by “two groups of 30 selected participants – producers, vocalists, DJs, instrumentalists and all-round musical mavericks from across the planet”.
It has been held in as diverse places as Cape Town, Sao Paulo, Dublin, Melbourne, London, Seattle and Barcelona. As part of this the main event, attendees get the opportunity to listen to and interact with musical icons, in addition to working on music together and performing. To celebrate 15 years of Red Bull Music Academy, the book For The Record was put together, featuring key musicians, such as Just Blaze, Nike Rodgers, Erykah Badu, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry in dialogue with other musicians on the intricacies of what they do as well as essays from accomplished music journalists.
In addition, at last year’s Red Bull Music Academy in New York, director Ralf Schmerberg was commissioned to make a film – What Difference Does It Make? A Film About Making Music – that engaged with artists around the question “What does it mean to live a life for, and through, music?” Nile Rodgers, Giorgio Moroder, Q-Tip, Egyptian Lover and Rakim, amongst others, shared their thoughts as did some of the attendees. The film is available to watch, for free. If music is a part of your life, it is a must watch.
As someone who has dabbled in poetry and music, it did make me want to start creating and exploring those spaces again.
And if you are interested in actually attending the Red Bull Music Academy, which will be held in Tokyo, Japan in October this year, you have about a week (till March 18th) left to apply. See HERE for application forms and other details.