As the 5-day long Red Bull Music Academy Bass Camp concluded in Braamfontein, participants, lecturers and public alike celebrated the end of the symposium with great music at Soweto’s Chaf Pozi. Acts included international Francois K and Red Bull Music Academy alumni Black Coffee (Cape Town 2003), Jullian Gomes (London 2010) and TranceMicSoul (New York 2013) who kept the crowd grooving with their deep house sounds well into Sunday night.
The culmination of days of learning, insight and collaboration for the thirty participants who, from Wednesday, have had the opportunity to not only have an audience with some of the most established and talented musicians, DJ’s and producers in the country but have also had the chance to work with their fellow participants and create new sounds in the music studios specially built for the project at the Alex Theatre.
Earlier on in the week, the legendary Mr. Hugh Masekela told the participants: “For me, life is collaboration. Your life has got to be a collaboration otherwise you’re a lone island. Fellow lecturer, mentor and RBMA alumnus Jullian Gomes told them: “It’s a real good thing to open your mind to a lot of music – you got to go to a country or club and try and absorb the energy within that space and bring it home and in to what you want to do.”
Talking to participant Nonkhu Phiri about what she will be taking out of her time at Bass Camp, she remarked: “It was a life-changing experience on both a personal and artistic level. Being immersed in such a creative environment with such talented artists made me push myself beyond what I thought I was ever capable of. It took everyone out of their comfort zone, out of their genre and the music we created was absolutely beautiful. I hope this is just the start of wonderful things for all of us.”
The Red Bull Music Academy, established in 1998, is a world-travelling series of music workshops and festivals. A unique forum for the artists who created the foundation of today’s musical landscape, as well as those who are busy formulating tomorrow’s most compelling movements. Celebrating its 15th anniversary, the Academy traversed the metropolises of the globe making stops in Berlin, Cape Town, São Paulo, London, Toronto and most recently New York. Every year two groups of 30 selected participants ranching from producers, vocalists, DJs, instrumentalists and all-round musical mavericks from around the world come together in a new city for two weeks’ worth of recording sessions, lectures by musical luminaries and elating synergetic performances in popular local venues. The Red Bull Music Academy Bass Camp is a local spin- off of this international workshop series; a mini-Academy featuring all elements that make this experience all so special – lectures, studio sessions, live performances, and real-life bonding over mutual inspiration.