I’m Okay: Red Bull x Jamaica

December 6, 2010

Words by Eddie STATS Houghton, via Seen

Just read Seen quoting the Jamaica Observer quoting Red Bull spokesmon William Mahfood about the new $25 million (JA, I’m assuming) studio-and-loft complex that the Austrian energy-gods are bankrolling in Kingston, the latest in a network of studios that includes Los Angeles, UK, South Africa, New Zealand. The plan is not to run it as a commercial studio but to open it free to local artists on an invitation-only basis. The international brand intends to enter the Jamaican music industry by early 2011, presumably to encourage the production of music along the lines of Delly Ranks’ Red Bull & Guinness riddim or Beenie Man and Future Fambo’s “Rum & Red Bull” anthem (watch both after the jump).

Clearly a good look for Red Bull, who as a brand have made big and generally very smart moves in the arena of promoting music and DJ culture. And clearly a shot of energy to the local artists overflowing with talent, who could certainly use a savvy patron with deep pockets and a good engineer. But we can assume that the loft and studio will also be used to host international artists who might otherwise end up in GeeJam or another local studio. Can’t help but wonder if the sound-aid will do to Kingston’s studios what shipments of goodwill t-shirts have done to traditional textiles in Africa–killed them softly.