In Pictures: Red Bull Music Academy at Harlem Cafe in Belfast
The Harlem Café in Belfast was pretty packed at the weekend with local interested producers, musicians, DJs, instrumentalists, and vocalists, at an introductory workshop for this year's Red Bull Music Academy, which will be in New York later this year.
The aptly named Harlem Café in Belfast was pretty packed at the weekend with local interested producers, musicians, DJs, instrumentalists, and vocalists, at an introductory workshop for this year's Red Bull Music Academy, which will be in New York later this year.
But before potential applicants start to think about heading to the Big Apple, they were given an insight into what the Academy is all about by innovative musical figures Kerri Chandler and Just Blaze on their own prospective of life in the musical fast lane.
Kerri Chandler is a vortex where tradition and innovation meet. Tradition as in the soulful roots of Jersey house, innovation as in the streamlined, sparse arrangements and shrewd use of technology. Kerri masters rhythm and space.
Joining Kerri was legendary hip hop producer Just Blaze aka Justin Smith from Paterson, NJ. The CEO of Fort Knocks Entertainment is best known for producing hits from Jay-Z's Blueprint, Blueprint 2 and The Black Album. He also produced a number of songs on Eminem's most recent album, Recovery. He's worked with Busta Rhymes, DMX, Fabolous, Snoop Dogg, Talib Kweli to name but a few.
Young 22 year old Jack Hamill aka Space Dimension Controller, a producer based in Belfast also attended the info session. He was among the 60 selected participants - who attended the Red Bull Music Academy, held in London 2 years ago. Jack said, "The Red Bull Music Academy is like being in dance music's version of The Apprentice - but you can't get fired. It's a gruelling process to even apply for a place, and of the many thousands who show an interest, only a handful gets picked.
"The great thing for me is that at the Academy you might find yourself at a lecture by Parliament's sound engineer or get to meet the guy who invented the 808 synth, and then you get to do your own shows at night time. I genuinely have never experienced anything like it and would definitely encourage any producers, vocalists, DJs, instrumentalists, and all-round musical mavericks out there to get their application forms in pronto," said Jack.
Anyone interested in applying can download an application form from the Academy website www.redbullmusicacademy.com. They just fill it out and send it off with a selection of their tunes by April 2, 2012.
The Red Bull Music Academy has travelled around the world, with previous stops including Berlin, Toronto, London, Madrid, Melbourne, and Cape Town. The Academy's 2012 edition will be held in New York City in October and November. One of the most iconic cities on the planet, N.Y.C has been immortalised in countless songs, and is the birthplace of many of the world's most beloved musical movements. With its heady blend of D.I.Y enclaves in the boroughs, disco throwdowns in art galleries, and high stakes hip hop boardrooms, New York City still holds an intoxicating sense of possibility, drawing music makers from across the States and beyond.