Creative collaborations, production info sessions, techniques of rhythm production, jam sessions. This is the formula for the first-ever Red Bull Music Academy Bass Camp to be held for musicians from the English-speaking Caribbean.
This weekend twenty of the regions emerging music prodigies — mostly from Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago — will meet for a stimulating encounter ‘exploring music beyond the beat’ at Geejam studios, Port Antonio, Portland.
The workshops are to be anchored by some of the industry’s stalwarts including Mikey Bennett, head of Grafton Studios and famed songwriter; Jeremy Harding, a leading exponent of dance floor riddims — also known for his chart-topping successes with international reggae/dancehall sensation Sean Paul — and Sawandi Simon, a Red Bull Music Academy past student who has a strong passion for music. Expected to unfold over two days, the budding deejays, producers, musicians, songwriters, sound engineers, and bedroom MCs will gather for an experience on musical knowledge and sharing.
Bennett — who is fresh off his judging stint with the local leg of the Global Battle of the Bands contest which saw Dubtonics Kru, Jamaica’s representative at the International competition, claiming top honours will walk the Red Bull Bass Camp participants through the musical escapades of the region, looking particularly at Caribbean beats and other sounds and the constitution of a ‘good song’.
He outlines his expectations for the emerging superstars saying that Red Bull, through Red Bull Music Academy, is endorsing each participant’s unique talent by giving them the tools and creative space in which to further hone their skills. He encourages the participants to learn all they can and to take their new knowledge beyond the two days. This, so they will huddle together to redefine the scope of Caribbean music.
Harding, on the other hand, will focus on the techniques of rhythm and production and will also oversee a creative collaborative session where the participants will put their fresh knowledge to the test. Asked what his expectations are for the group considering Sean Paul’s success on the international stage, Harding says he is not looking to create another Sean Paul. He believes that each Red Bull Music Academy Bass Camp participant has his/her own unique talent, which has the potential to further catapult the region into the history book of musical greats.
Sawandi Simon, himself an alumnus of the International Academy having been selected for the Australian edition in 2006, will allow the participants to experience the Academy through his schooled eyes. His encouraging words to the participants are to simply “be yourself and come expecting to explore and experience music like you have never done before”.
With just about seven months to go before the larger sitting and with the application period still ongoing, Red Bull Music Academy Bass Camp is allowing new, upcoming mavericks to collaborate with seasoned professionals. Although not open to the public, the event culminates on Saturday, March 26, with featured acts The Jolly Boys alongside the Bass Camp participants.
Red Bull Bass Camps are held across the globe as a lead up to the International Music Academy series which usually gets a huge gathering of music pioneers from virtually every country. What is also unique about this creative hub is that the Academy touches down in a different host country each year.
The 2011 Academy will be held in Tokyo, Japan, in November.