RBMA - Participant Announcement.

Get to know the two kiwi artists selected to attend Red Bull Music Academy

© Chester Holme

NZ continues it's strong presence in the prestigious music programme, with two kiwis amongst 61 up-and-coming artists from 37 countries joining the ranks of nearly 1,000 Red Bull Music Academy alumni.

In September, the world-traveling Red Bull Music Academy returns to the city where it all began in celebration of its 20th anniversary. A total of 61 music-makers selected from across the globe will converge on the German capital for five weeks of lectures, studio sessions and one-of-a-kind music events.

Every year, the Academy receives thousands of applications from artists hailing from around the world. A jury carefully reads – and listens – through each and every submission, resulting in a class that reflects the diverse styles, methodologies and cultural backgrounds of the applicant pool.

This year, two talented musicians from New Zealand; Christchurch's Indira Force (aka indi) and Dunedin's Millicent Lovelock (front-woman to duo group Astro Children) are among 37 different nationalities represented, including Kenya, South Korea, Mexico, Canada, the Philippines, Russia, Spain, Turkey and Brazil, have been invited to attend the Red Bull Music Academy in Berlin, which takes place from September 8 to October 12.

Every Academy is a world of its own, offering new insights and perspectives on sound. During their time in Berlin, the participants will attend lectures and workshops with some of music’s brightest lights and work on music together in a custom-built, state-of-the-art recording environment. Concurrently, Red Bull Music will present a month-long festival of public concerts and club nights across the city. It all makes for a place where influential musicians meet a new generation, in a setting where both sides can learn from each other and celebrate music’s past, present and future.

Check out the full bios of our two New Zealand artists below:


Between 2013 and 2016, Indira Force was half of Doprah, a neo-trip-hop duo who opened for Lorde and whose debut album, 2016’s Wasting, received international attention. When the band split, Force – who also composes film soundtracks, dance scores and even music for political campaigns – stepped out on her own to become indi. Despite her trepidation at embarking on a project by herself, her first solo album, 2017’s Precipice, was a triumph, performed with saxophonists, trombonists and a violin septet to bring Force’s lush, baroque vision to life. Inspired by the natural world and the dreaming state, there are echoes of Björk and Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith in Force’s music, whether stately and ornate – such as on “Airportal” – or tactile, like the gently drifting “Demeter.”

"To me, this is an opportunity to learn and develop and write in a creative environment unlike any other, so I feel extremely fortunate." - Indira Force on what it means to be selected.

Indira Force illustration.
Indira Force illustration.

Real Name: Indira Force

Country: New Zealand

Residence: Christchurch

Music Style: Electronica

Skills: Producer, Instrumentalist (piano, synth)

Term: 1

Bandcamp: indissounds

Facebook: indi

Twitter: @indiforce

Soundcloud: indycloud

Instagram: @indiforce

"I am most excited for the guest lectures - I don't know who they will be but i am really interested in what they have to impart! I am also looking forward to using the incredible recording facilities and resources as much as possible during my time there." - Indira Force

Astro Children

The front woman for Dunedin-based duo Astro Children, New Zealand’s Millicent Lovelock commands your attention, whether she’s playing aggressive chords on her Fender Telecaster or singing with a delivery that oscillates between angst-ridden and blasé. On songs like “Boys Encourage Female Rivalry” and “Play it As It Lays,” Astro Children carves out a space between alternative and shoegaze, their fuzzy, distorted melodies the perfect complement to Lovelock’s incisive feminist lyrics. A devoted reader who plans to pursue a Ph.D. in English Literature, Lovelock also records as Repulsive Woman (an affectionate nod to one of her literary idols, Djuna Barnes). For that project, in addition to earnest, poignantly rendered guitar-covers of One Direction songs, she composes original material on guitar and cello.

"I feel very lucky and overwhelmed to have been selected. It really feels like such an acknowledgement of all the work I’ve put into making music throughout my life, and it is such a thrill to be included in something that so many musicians I admire have been a part of." - Millicent Lovelock

Millicent Lovelock illustration.
Millicent Lovelock illustration.

Real Name: Millicent Lovelock

Country: New Zealand

Residence: Dunedin, Otago

Music Style: Indie Pop

Skills: Instrumentalist

Term: 2

Facebook: Astro Children

Twitter: @astromammoth

Soundcloud: Astro Children

Instagram: @repulsivewoman

"It seems like an obvious answer, but I am most excited about spending time with the other musicians selected. It’s such a special thing to be able to be around other people who love the same thing you do, and to learn from them. The most exciting part of all this is the opportunity to really learn and extend myself and my craft in such a collaborative environment." - Millicent Lovelock


Among the many sounds and styles championed by the incoming class of 2018 are evocative electronica from Japan; IDM from Iran’s underground club scene; new-school UK jazz; Afro-future dance music from South Africa; experimental hip-hop from Germany; Nigerian neo-soul; Georgian drone; industrial techno from Poland; post-punk from the US, and much, much more.

To learn more about each of the 61 participants selected for this year’s Red Bull Music Academy, head here.


Red Bull Music Academy Festival LA
Red Bull Music Academy Festival LA

The Red Bull Music Academy is a global music institution committed to fostering creativity in music. We celebrate music, its culture, and the transformative minds behind it. Begun in 1998, the Academy has taken the core principles that underlie its annual workshop for selected participants and applied this curatorial approach to events throughout the year. Red Bull Music Academy will host the next edition of its month-long music workshop in Berlin from September 8 to October 12, 2018.

More than 1,500 musical luminaries have participated in past incarnations of the Red Bull Music Academy. Former lecturers include Brian Eno, Philip Glass, Erykah Badu, Ryuichi Sakamoto, D’Angelo, George Clinton, Nile Rodgers, Frankie Knuckles, Giorgio Moroder, Questlove, Stephen O’Malley, Rakim, RZA, Steve Reich, M.I.A., and pioneering synth inventors Bob Moog, Tom Oberheim, Don Buchla, Roger Linn, and Dave Smith, among many others.

Plenty Academy alumni have gone on to become true figureheads of their scenes, like LA soul singer Aloe Blacc; experimental electronic music producer and beat music innovator Flying Lotus; Hudson Mohawke, the Scottish producer behind the beats of Drake and Kanye West; and UK singer Katy B, who championed the sound of London’s dubstep, funky and garage. Other notable alumni include Nina Kraviz, Sevdaliza, Jamie Woon, TOKiMONSTA, Jackmaster, Andreya Triana, Pan Daijing, Axel Boman, Evian Christ, Deradoorian, Objekt, Onra, and Krystal Klear.

The Red Bull Music Academy has been pairing music legends and emerging beatsmiths since 1998 in cities such as Berlin, Cape Town, Melbourne, Barcelona, Rome, São Paulo, London, Tokyo and New York City. This unique combination of old-school knowledge and new-school sounds is unrivalled for its creative exploration and achievement. Each Academy edition leaves behind structures to encourage musical collaboration and creative exchange for years to come.

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