The Red Bull Music Academy is making a stop in Indianapolis this week to entice young musicians to join its ranks. Young music makers can register to participate in two 14-day intensive programs in New York City this summer.
Nick Saligoe, known professionally as DJ MetroGnome, is a key organizer for the Academy in Indianapolis.
"It's a really, really amazing opportunity. The program is based out of Europe and has been going on for around fifteen years," said Saligoe. "They take two groups of 30 musicians of all backgrounds. Traditionally, it was just producers and DJs, but they've branched out."
The two groups of musicians represent all different kinds of music styles and methodologies. During their term at the Academy, they attend lectures with professional musicians, record new music together in custom studios and perform in venues across their host city. Previous Academies have taken place in Madrid, London, Toronto, Cape Town and other cities across the world.
Saligoe has handpicked approximately 25 Indy-area musicians to participate in two workshops this week. The first is with electronic producer, performer and label owner Starkey, who is influential in the street bass world. He'll present a lecture and workshop to the selected group at Deluxe at Old National Centre on Friday, March 16. Questions about the Academy, the application process and more will be answered at the event, which will conclude with a performance by Starkey, Cool Hand Lex, El Carnicero and the Grime Time Collective.
The lecture is closed to the public, but doors will be opened at 9 p.m. for a public performance by these artists.
Next Wednesday, the Academy will present a lecture by California-based experimental drum and bass producer Exile and legendary Indianapolis funk musician Lester Johnson of The Ebony Rhythm Band for the same small group. Again, doors will open later that evening for a public performance by Johnson and Exile.
"I choose the producers/musicians for the events, but obviously anyone is welcome to apply to the Academy. The artists invited range from various production backgrounds (hip-hop, house, dubstep, downtempo, etc.) to singers, drummers, multi-instrumentalists. All would be strong (hopeful) candidates for the Academy," said Saligoe.
Saligoe is designated as Indianapolis' "Mr. X."
"We're basically the direct connectors between the artists and scenes in our respective cities and the Red Bull Music Academy," said Saligoe.
The Academy features workshops like the two held this week in over 50 countries annually during the application process. Many attendees of the Academy benefit from the "Mr. X" influence from those involved like Saligoe.
"Most people make music isolated in their own rooms; they don't share the creative experience with anybody. It's pretty amazing to watch what happens when you take a drum and bass producer from Scotland with a girl that plays guitar from Mexico, and see what happens," said Saligoe.
Those interested should begin preparing. Saligoe's got a word of warning for those procrastinating about completing their applications.
"The application is no joke. It's 40-45 very intense questions that make you dig into your creative side," he said.