The Class of 2015

Learn more about the 30 participants of the 2015 Red Bull Music Academy in Paris

We are proud to welcome 30 artists from around the world to the 2015 Red Bull Music Academy in Paris from October 25 to November 27. These artists from all corners of the globe will be invited to the Academy home at la Gaîté lyrique to take part in workshops, lectures and studio sessions with some of the best in their field, and also perform at a few of the French capital’s most esteemed venues.

To celebrate their announcement, we asked Soraya Brouwer to put together an illustration of each participant and wrote a bio that hopefully gives a bit of insight into each of these talented musicians. We think you’ll be hearing a lot more about each and everyone of them pretty soon.

You can click on each name (or scroll below) to be taken to their bio.

Jade Statues // Luisa Puterman // Malard // Borchi // Sevdaliza // Keight // Lemonick // Kasper Marott // Hiele // k2k // noahs heark // HomeSick // DESAMPA // Sobrenadar // Astrolith // Corey K // Furtherset // Cosmo // Dub I Prosto Derevo // DXHeaven // Gareth Anton Averill // Wheez-ie // Silkersoft // John Pope // Miso // Mulherin // Sebastiano Zanasi // Lil Jabba // Toxe // Sapphire Slows

Sapphire Slows Soraya Brouwer

Sapphire Slows

Sapphire Slows is what you might call an everything-ist: she produces, DJs, plays synth and keyboard, and her eerie, drone-like vocals float over her tracks, embellishing their shadowy textures. After the brutal awakening of the 2011 earthquakes in Japan, she became motivated to pursue a career in music. Now a notable name in Tokyo’s house scene, she has toured North America, Europe, China and her home country, and released on labels such as Japan’s Big Love and Los Angeles’ 100% Silk. While some of her songs are submerged in a blue-ish, slo-mo haze, like her name suggests, others are more abrasive and in tune with the whirring pace of krautrock, as on 2014’s Allegoria album. A keen interest in crate digging, a healthy disregard for music nostalgia and her own lucid dreams help root Sapphire Slows’ music in the future.
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Toxe Soraya Brouwer


Brought up in a creative milieu by artist parents, Toxe picked up most of her musical skills of her own accord, with a little help from her brother. Her tunes weld chattering drum beats with singed vocal loops and devouring treacle-thick sub-bass, never pausing for a second thought. Her debut EP is due to be released on Stockholm label STAYCORE in 2015, and she has spent much of this year playing parties across Sweden. In her spare time, she works on her own music videos, and is also a co-founder of Sister, a promotional online platform for female musicians in dance music.
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Lil Jabba Soraya Brouwer

Lil Jabba

Brooklyn-residing producer Lil Jabba was inspired to get into the studio by the late, great Teklife pioneer DJ Rashad. The influence is still clear today in his rapid-fire sampling, but it’s the weird viscerality of Lil Jabba that makes him stand out. After self-releasing tapes of his music in Baltimore and years spent honing his work as a visual artist, Lil Jabba has since released on underground labels Local Action, True Panther and Watercolor, and contributed to a radical new kind of club music that speaks to what it’s like to grow up on the internet. In his own words, his new album, due in 2015, sounds like “garage that’s fallen into a bubbling, percolating volcano.”
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Sebastiano Zanasi Soraya Brouwer

Sebastiano Zanasi

Currently an active member of three different groups – Christian Tiger School, Yes in French, and Hessein + – Cape Town resident Sebastiano Zanasi is seemingly always in the studio. Creating suites that sit at the intersection between avant-garde jazz and the electronic music emerging from LA’s perennially fecund beat scene, Zanasi is both polished and brimming with potential. As one half of Christian Tiger School, he’s released music on Tommy Boy Records, performed at SXSW, Sónar Cape Town and Boiler Room South Africa, and opened for touring acts like Little Dragon and Hudson Mohawke. The duo’s shimmering “Hey Arnold, Dad’s Here” is beautiful and banging, an ethereal escape that hints at the future of instrumental music.
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Mulherin Soraya Brouwer


Alongside his twin brother, Marshall makes up one half of Mulherin: a downbeat pop and R&B-infused duo from Tennessee. Hailed as a prodigy snare drummer in his school days, Marshall’s gone on to learn piano and more percussive instrumentation, and self-release three EPs with his twin. Marshall’s strength lies in making electronic and acoustic instruments sing in the same, longing voice: pulling songwriting influences like D’Angelo, The Beatles and Dwele into his love for the after-party rap of Drake and Frank Ocean.
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Miso Soraya Brouwer


Miso’s brand of punchy and robust post-hip hop thrives with vocals on top as well as on its own, aided and abetted by her training in flute, cello and piano. Her rugged production style bears the bump and bounce of a futuristic Dilla, with other influences – like Flying Lotus, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Robert Glasper, and Gustav Holst – careening through.
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John Pope Soraya Brouwer

John Pope

John Pope likes to call his music “electronic textural maximalism,” and the Philippines-raised producer’s expansive soundscapes can be heard scoring two Cannes-certified shorts, Agos: The Manila Dream and Pasan. Originally inspired to pick up a guitar after hearing Green Day’s “American Idiot,” John Pope’s sound veered in an electronic direction after he became smitten with Justice’s “Genesis,” and decided to dabble with disco samples. Since then, his vibe has settled into an experimental zone where textures and atmospherics intermingle to addictive effect. He is also one of the founding members of Logiclub, a Metro Manila-based collective that started out as a group of friends trying to learn Logic, and has since evolved into a team of artists organizing workshops and live events all around the Philippines. Outside of John Pope, he also forms part of the indie pop band Never the Strangers, and spins deep house and techno (and produces lo-fi house) under the alias Arms Akimbo.
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Silkersoft Soraya Brouwer


The video game Chrono Trigger changed Silkersoft’s life, and you can hear it – and the influence of other video game composers like Yasunori Mitsuda – in his music. (His mom once said that listening to his music gave her flashbacks of seeing him in front of a N64.) The Gronau-based producer composes everything on his PC, and there’s a sheen to it that makes his tracks glide and twinkle. It sounds like something from another planet, but it has a crucial human touch as well. And while his self-professed “killer black metal growl” hasn’t made it into his tracks yet, we’re betting he’ll find a way to make it a part of his imaginary soundtracks soon.
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Wheez-ie Soraya Brouwer


Even those not afflicted by asthma attacks might need an inhaler after dancing to tracks by producer/DJ Wheez-ie. His brand of juke is thundering and propulsive, built to fry subwoofers and burn holes in the shoes of any dancers bold enough to keep pace. His music displays a deep knowledge of genre tropes as well as innumerable ways in which he expounds upon and subverts them. With releases on Fool’s Gold, Trouble & Bass, Well Rounded, Embassy, Freshmore, Frite Nite and Basshead Music, he’s been featured in magazines and on websites such as XLR8R, Resident Advisor, and FACT. Mauldin also runs his own label, Southern Belle Recordings, which released DJ Rashad’s We On 1 EP in 2014.
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Gareth Anton Averill Soraya Brouwer

Gareth Anton Averill

A full-time composer and sound designer for film and television, Irishman Gareth Anton Averill, AKA Great Lakes Mystery, makes music that has transportative qualities – even without accompanying images. After graduating with Honors from the Irish National Film School, Averill was first inspired to write music for films by John Carpenter’s score for Assault on Precinct 13. Now, his scores are experiments in tension and release, designed to evoke various emotions and moods. He’s equally at home composing the score for Dublin skate documentary Hill Street, as he is creating the Sub-Aquatic sound installation, hosted by the National Concert Hall in Dublin. Not limited to electronic instrumentation, either, Averill has also written for a Gamelan orchestra, drawing out the unique, resonant and propulsive qualities of the Javanese instrument.
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DXHeaven Soraya Brouwer


Multi-instrumentalist Nic Lam was a collaborator in many musical projects including releasing albums with Whitesploitation, Brightly and Jaala, before taking strides as a solo artist with his DXHeaven project. 2014’s “All The Time” was his debut release, and the song showcased his ability to fuse tender lyrics with emotive and nuanced production. With a background that includes jazz guitar and classical piano, Lam’s musicianship always shines bright in his music: whether he’s harnessing the vintage synth sounds of his beloved ARP Odyssey and Polymoog, or adding catchy, retro-pop flourishes to his tracks.
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Dub I Prosto Derevo Soraya Brouwer

Dub I Prosto Derevo

When she’s not playing guitar for Naadya - Russia’s hotly-tipped answer to Florence Welch (of Florence and The Machine) - Maria Teryaeva fronts her own shoegaze pop outfit, Dub I Prosto Derevo (Oak and Just a Tree). Using a trio of guitars, a few synths and her favorite delay, echo, and chorus pedals, she composes wistful, multi-layered trips that remind listeners of California’s endless, rolling surf. Obsessed with guitars since the age of 13, this Siberian-born, Moscow-based woman loves the sounds of St. Vincent, Kaki King and Mumiy Troll, but - as her Mind Map EP makes clear - she’s always in search of more experimental horizons.
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Cosmo Soraya Brouwer


Esam Hammad is a studio enthusiast with an ear for guitar virtuosity and electronic texture alike, his indie-leaning dance music placing him in the recent tradition of artists like Caribou and Mount Kimbie. The Bahrain native’s gently propulsive, stirringly nostalgic tech house sound was developed from years of independent study and musical exploration. Live, he goes for what he refers to as an architectural approach, programmed beats and melodies shaped to flow with sci-fi visuals and the energy of the room. His early output includes two Cosmo EPs, 2012’s self-released Austin City Remixes and 2013’s A Virus from Outer Space.
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Furtherset Soraya Brouwer


Perhaps all you need to know about the experimental electronic productions of Tommaso Pandolfi is that he has released a limited run cassette of his own music and played in a cathedral. Why? Because both are perfect ways to hear his music, which chugs and limps along as if it’s broken. Rusty, grinding cranks and whistles turn into hypnotic rhythms, like you’re listening to a steam train reconstruct itself in real time.
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Corey K Soraya Brouwer

Corey K

When not playing drums as a session musician or gigging at venues around the UK, 19-year-old Corey K produces and writes songs with his artist collective, Verschieden. The group’s self-titled, genre-spanning 2015 EP displays a range and depth rarely seen in the work of elder peers. To classify the music solely as “alternative” would be a disservice. K exercises his seemingly innate pop sensibility on everything from house-inflected R&B to propulsive EDM to funk-heavy trap. He’s also a polished songwriter, as evidenced by the beautiful pop-folk ballad “Misunderstood.” Like the rest of his work, the song is innovative without sacrificing universal appeal.
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Astrolith Soraya Brouwer


Before moving to New York to cut his teeth as an audio engineer and producer, Evan Sutton studied electronic music and sound design at Berklee College of Music. He’s worked on various projects – like Erasure’s The Violet Flame, Cakes Da Killa’s Hunger Pangs, and the Imagine Dragons’ drummer Daniel Platzman’s jazz side project – but as Astrolith, he explores the space between hip hop, techno, and pop. His fiery productions rely on rugged beats as a backbone, weaving in swathes of European-style synth lines – a blend ably demonstrated by his original productions, and remix credits which include Spank Rock’s “Assassin” for the Boysnoize label and Imagine Dragons’ “Shots” for Interscope.
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Sobrenadar Soraya Brouwer


A studied music producer, Paula Soledad Garcia is doing whatever it takes to stay afloat as a musician in Buenos Aires. Besides making supremely dreamy, Cocteau Twins-inspired synth pop as Sobrenadar, she also composes music for short films and advertisements, teaches classes, and works as composer and assistant in recording studios. Lately her main project has been picking up steam, and Paula says that she feels fortunate to be playing a lot and traveling to other countries.
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DESAMPA Soraya Brouwer


With his utterly arresting voice – equal parts Antony Hegarty (of The Johnsons) and Usher – Brazil's DESAMPA was destined to make inroads in the music world, but he hasn't stopped there. He studies classical piano under master musician Zélia Deri and takes classes in production as well as singing for opera and musicals; plus, his creative visual vision for his heart-wrenching piano ballad “Love?” earned him a nomination for Best Video at the Music Video Festival 2014 in São Paulo. DESAMPA is a big D’Angelo fan, but his music is perhaps most reminiscent of Perfume Genius’ delicate yet fierce chamber pop.
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HomeSick Soraya Brouwer


If all you knew about HomeSick was the name of his blog, you’d have a pretty good idea of the music he makes. That name? Footwork-Jungle. The Calgary-based producer loves energetic music, wherever it comes from. In most cases, that means the internet: the place that he counts as the most inspirational in his creative life. As well as running his Footwork-Jungle blog, Homesick is a net artist who, IRL, runs a footwork night in Calgary called Percolate, is an adept jazz keyboardist, and harbors a deep love of fusion - there’s that love of speed, again - but when he’s producing his own music, it’s all about up-to-the-minute bass mutations from Chicago and the UK.
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noahs heark Soraya Brouwer

noahs heark

Ziyad Habib’s interest in music originated from watching his neighbors elatedly playing guitar, before a fruitful spell at audio technology college set him off down his own path. As a fan he quickly found his favorites, a diverse array spanning from Four Tet and Burial to Lloyd Miller and Mulatu Astatke. Under the guise of noahs heark he crafts techno-slanted ambient soundscapes – which veer from the loose and glitchy to the probing and layered – while retaining a keen sense of fun and experimentation. Part of the Hear Now collective, he’s recently been investing his time into mixing and mastering HN releases, mentoring artists, and fine-tuning his live set.
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k2k Soraya Brouwer


k2k specializes in alternate realities, from luminous downtempo collages inspired by the West Coast beat scene to spectral pop-house with fried edges. A web developer and novice hacker, she mines digital culture for source material, transfiguring samples from hip hop and new-school R&B. When she’s not cut off from the world on a coding binge or designing for new underground art and culture magazine Midwaste, catch her mixing a selection of dance classics and dusty house from burgeoning Vancouver independents like 1080p or Mood Hut.
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Hiele Soraya Brouwer


Korg Mono/Poly, Yamaha DX21, Buchla, Micromoog, Akai S612, TR-808: to some people, these are exotic but meaningless whispers. To others, they’re the very essence of making your dream a reality. Machines are the message for Antwerp’s Roman Hiele, who uses all manner of analog and digital synthesis to create acid boogie, glistening IDM, and experimental 170 BPM beats that sound like footwork by way of the Star Wars cantina. Chicago and Rephlex may be influences here, but so too are Oval, Planet Mu, and Morricone, and then some early synth-nauts like François de Roubaix and Mort Garson, too. Tracks like “Fake Fiestagirl,” “F33l,” and “Elephant Seals” (as Essential Oils) are perhaps not what his parents expected of him, after more than 15 years of study in a musical conservatory, but there’s no doubt Hiele’s been studying his synths hard.
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Kasper Marott Soraya Brouwer

Kasper Marott

Kasper Marott spends his days crafting both sprawling, improvised ambient soundscapes and propulsive techno thumps. He finds a similarly sprawling space in both styles, bouncing rhythms and textures alike through his weapon of choice, a Korg Stage Echo. This stylistic breadth is informed by a musical curiosity – the Danish producer scans the radio airwaves and deep mines the Discogs archives for new tunes. His debut EP was released on Horse On Horse in 2014.
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Lemonick Soraya Brouwer


Lemonick is the project of half-Scottish, half-Swiss producer and DJ, Nicolas Baillie. Part of local Swiss crew Kartel Klub – a collective of nine DJs, producers and label owners that has held residencies at clubs throughout the country – he presents their monthly podcast Kartel Kast, as well as presenting a show on Swiss alternative radio station Couleur 3. Meanwhile, his productions – with their choked basslines, clobbering drums, and peppering of gunshot samples – reference up-to-the-minute UK dance music.
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Keight Soraya Brouwer


Keight’s floaty yet heavy bass music evokes trap, trip-hop, and dub with a vast sense of space. The French producer’s enthusiasm for the surreal and emotional capabilities of beats is rooted in a fascination with the creative process of hip hop auteurs like Kanye West, Flying Lotus and Childish Gambino. But the music he’s filtered through those inspirations is a bit more elusive to categorize, with multiple evolutions in his sound since he emerged in late 2013.
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Sevdaliza Soraya Brouwer


Hot on the heels of avant-soul sisters like FKA twigs, Kelela, and Jessy Lanza comes Rotterdam’s Sevdaliza: with a voice that could melt butter, bass that will blow your speakers, and more trippy effects than the latest Mad Max movie. Born in Tehran and raised in Rotterdam, this former basketball star and rapper has transformed into a straight-up siren: churning out catchy, sexy electro one second, then melting it all down into a dark and twisted experimental fantasy the next. A perfectionist when it comes to sound design, Sevdaliza nonetheless writes very intuitively. “I never force a song,” she’s said. The Fader and Noisey have already been seduced by Sevdaliza’s talent. Don’t be surprised if you’re next.
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Borchi Soraya Brouwer


Borchi is an inescapable presence in Mexico City’s burgeoning tropical bass scene. As one half of the Beat Buffet duo, Pablo Borchi started out DJing at weddings before progressing to promoting the tri-monthly “Day Off” party, committed to showcasing modern electronic music influenced by Latin American folklore. His first EP as Borchi came out in 2014 and, although his music rarely exceeds 105 BPM, his slow grooves hold onto the propulsive danceability associated with the more raucous styles played at “Day Off”: connecting the dots between cumbia, dancehall, and American hip hop. Pulling inspiration from artists as disparate as Chancha Vía Circuito and the Prodigy, this member of the crew aspires to expand the musical horizons of the tropical bass scene.
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Malard Soraya Brouwer


Though he’s largely working within a freeform ambient structure, Sebastian De los Ríos pulls plenty of texture and emotion from layered drone. You might hear what sounds like a field recording of cars driving through puddles, or crunchy static that starts to sound like a heavy rainstorm, before a warm wash of keys overpowers everything. It makes sense then, that this Barcelona resident studies sound art and programs music for sound installations – his music seems to exist side-by-side with the real world, while creating a whole new environment to explore.
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Luisa Puterman Soraya Brouwer

Luisa Puterman

Luisa Puterman’s music exists on a hazy plane somewhere between tense unease and absurd playfulness, the kind of music well suited to soundtracks for short films or solitary meditation. She’s spent a lifetime tuned in to different sorts of feedback loops. (She credits an early visit to an anechoic chamber as a notable turning point in her musical evolution.) Think Eno, John Cage, and Steve Reich filtered through a fascination with Brazilian folk and contemporary jazz and you're halfway there.
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Jade Statues Soraya Brouwer

Jade Statues

Jacob Sexsmith is a Vancouverite with a highly attuned sense of where classic drum machine beats can go when you let go of inhibitions. As Jade Statues, his ambient hip hop aesthetic – self-defined somewhere between vaporwave and Memphis rap – is a work in constant progress, but it’s been developed enough to make him a simpatico opener for artists like Lil B and Yung Lean. A teenage Boards of Canada epiphany set him on a path towards creating an upcoming videogame/album for vaporwave label Dream Catalogue, and a high-spirited adventurousness has led to him throwing parties with weirdo local art/music collective Mountainous (including one event at an abandoned veterinary hospital).
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By Red Bull Music Academy on June 22, 2015

On a different note