by Ray Roa
Founded in 1998, Red Bull Music Academy (RBMA) is a traveling series of music workshops and festivals designed by Red Bull to act as a platform for artists who want to make a difference in today's musical landscape. Past workshops have been held in cities like Sao Paulo, Berlin, Cape Town, London, Barcelona, and more. Last year's NYC-hosted event marked RBMA's 15th anniversary and spawned What Difference Does It Make?, which is just one of a myriad of projects celebrating the RBMA milestone.
The film features commentary from luminaries like Erykah Badu, Rakim, Brian Eno, Q-Tip, Lee 'Scratch' Perry, LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy, and Nile Rodgers along with many others, who wax poetic about the creative process, explore their motivations and shed light on how they adapt to the ever-changing and mostly unstable world of the music industry. In sum, it chronicles the inner-workings and motivations of those people immortalized in the now infamous quote from St. Petersburg's most famous 'Burg-er ever, Jack Kerouac.
"...the only people for me are the mad ones," he wrote in the 1950 Beatnik bible On The Road, "the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars."
What Difference Does It Make? saw its global premiere last night (Crowbar hosted a free screening event), and gets its official digital release today. Check out an embedded stream of the film below. Find out more about RBMA (and apply for this year's event in Toyko) here.