The Red Bull Music Academy is a world-travelling series of music workshops and festivals: a platform for those who make a difference in today’s musical landscape.

 

 

Two groups of 30 selected participants – producers, vocalists, DJs, instrumentalists and all-round musical mavericks from around the world – come together in a new city each year for two weeks worth of recording sessions, lectures by musical luminaries, collaborations and performances in the city’s best clubs and music halls. If you can imagine a place that’s equal parts science lab, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and Kraftwerk’s home studio, you’re halfway there.

The Academy began back in 1998, and has been traversing the globe since: from Berlin to Cape Town, São Paulo, Barcelona, London, Toronto, New York and beyond. In 2014, the Academy will be held in Tokyo, Japan.


Learn about previous Academy editions >
Read our FAQ >

 

 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q

Where can I get the application?

Sorry, applications for the Red Bull Music Academy 2014 in Tokyo are currently closed. We'll be announcing when the application phase for the next Academy begins early 2015.

Q

When and where is the 2014 Academy?

The Academy will be setting up shop in Tokyo, Japan for five weeks, from October 12 through November 14, 2014. There are two terms during the Academy, each with 30 selected participants. The first term runs from October 12th to the 24th, while the second term is from November 2nd to the 14th.

Q

Who can apply for the Academy?

The Academy is intended for anyone with a strong yen for music and a desire to be involved in its evolution. Whether you’re a producer, vocalist, instrumentalist, beat-maker, engineer, songwriter or DJ, you will be considered.

To join this journey, you don’t need to be able to compose a fugue for Juno-60, list the entire No Limit catalog backwards or know how to disassemble an SP-1200 using only a dime and a toothpick. What we’re looking for is a passion for learning and sharing, enthusiasm for music across genres and a truly global, open-minded outlook.

 

 

 

Q

What does a day at the Academy look like?

While there is really no such thing as a ‘typical’ day at the Academy, there are a few regular happenings. Each day, two iconic guests settle on our infamous lecture couch to spill the beans on production topics, music history and personal stories – and to answer all those questions you never found the right moment to ask. From Erykah Badu to Philip Glass, Q-Tip to James Murphy, Brian Eno to Mannie Fresh, this is where you get music wisdom straight from the horse’s mouth. You can watch hundreds of lecture sessions in our video archive.

In between lectures, you will have the chance to collaborate with other participants from all around the world in ten custom-built studios featuring an array of synths, drum machines, workstations and live instruments. You can listen to some of the music that has been created at previous editions of the Red Bull Music Academy here.

At night, the Academy opens up to the host city with special signature concerts and club events. This is your chance to dive deep into the local music scene – and hit the stage with some of those who have shaped today’s music. The result is an exchange of inspiration that is as unpredictable as it is hard to define. Ideas are bounced around 24/7, refreshing new sounds emerge and true bonds are forged beyond music.

 

Q

Will my application be returned?

Unfortunately, we cannot return any material we receive, so you may want to keep a copy of whatever you submit for yourself. We will not use any of your information for anything unrelated to the Red Bull Music Academy. Rest assured that no music is ever shared or passed on beyond the jury members.

Q

What happens once I've applied?

Once the application period has closed, an international group of producers, label heads, music journalists and Academy team members carefully consider your application. Every application is read and listened to by at least two people. They're not influenced by hearsay or local politics in their decision. It's simply about you, your music and your words.

For each Academy, two groups of 30 participants are chosen to represent a wide range of cultures, musical backgrounds, experience levels and set of skills. There are no quotas for any country or genre of music, nor are there any winners or losers – simply a group of like-minded people who we think will interact well over two weeks.

It might happen that you don't get in: the number of incredibly talented individuals who apply every year far outnumbers the amount we are able to invite. If you’re not selected, it does not mean that you're not the kind of person we're looking for, so you should definitely apply again. Next year, you might be just the person to create the right balance in the final selection of 60 people.

Q

What happens if I'm selected?

For all successful applicants, the workshops and sessions are free (and open only to selected participants). The Red Bull Music Academy also covers flights and accommodation costs.

The Academy doesn't give out certificates or sponsor artists. It's not about getting ‘discovered’ by a record label or learning how to ‘make it’ in the industry. We offer you a unique experience – one you're likely to never forget – filled to the brim with the inspiration you need to keep making the music that moves you.

Red Bull generally has no interest in using any of the music created at the Academy for anything other than Academy matters, and doesn't obtain copyrights for any of your work. Creativity is the only currency here. Music is what we live and stand for.

 

 

 

Q

What happens during the rest of the year?

In addition to our annual main event, the Academy traverses the globe all year long, popping up for club nights, concerts, radio broadcasts, workshops and curated stages at top-flight festivals such as Sónar, Mutek, Movement, Montreux Jazz and many others.

For further flavour, we hold local workshop sessions in disparate locales throughout the year, ranging from one-day lecture events to full-fledged mini-Academies over multiple days. Head here to keep an eye on what’s in store next.

For your daily dose of new music, you can also visit RBMA Radio and tune in to literally thousands of interviews, mixes, feature documentaries, artist-curated playlists and live recordings from some of the best festivals and clubs in the world. Head to our online magazine for coverage of the most interesting sounds and artists operating.

Also, subscribe to our newsletter for the latest and greatest from the Academy. We only send good stuff. We promise.

Q

Who is behind the Red Bull Music Academy?

The people who have been running the Academy for the last 15 years are committed music lovers just like you. They're journalists whose love for music led them to feature writing instead of navel gazing. Label heads who started putting out music to further their home town scenes. People who hail from different points on the globe, but all honour and respect the spectrum.

The Red Bull Music Academy is not a sponsored event, but a long-term music initiative, committed to fostering creative exchange amongst those who have made and continue to make a difference in the world of sound. Local Red Bull Music Academy representatives are available to answer any of your questions, and will also take care of your travel logistics if you're invited. Find a list of contacts here.
 

Q

Is it worth it?

Well, we very much think so. And so do a few other people.

“The Red Bull Music Academy is probably the most progressive entity of music education. I wanna be chosen for this!” - Questlove, The Roots

“The Academy had a million big studios with impressive synthesizer machines everywhere." - Julia Holter

“This was some life-changing shit.” - Flying Lotus

“Just apply. Really.” - Nick Hook