Jorge Wieneke, better known by his stage name, similarobjects, has just announced his participation in the Red Bull Music Academy 2018. In a heartfelt post, the electronic music producer shared how he had been applying to the prestigious music workshop since 2011. This year, he finally earns his seat in the classroom, together with 60 other music makers from 37 different countries.
and now that my vow of silence has been lifted. I’m proud to announce that I have been selected as one of the 61 participants from all over the world to be part of this year’s @RBMA in Berlin!!!! massive hearts to everyone that believed in me since day 1 <3 <3 <3 https://t.co/ALN3v5Bpj3
— Bach Ranger (@similarobjects) March 20, 2018
Since 1998, The Red Bull Music Academy (RBMA) has established itself as a global music institution, providing a platform for artists and culture shakers. Through their events, lectures, and festivals held in various places around the world, they help foster creativity on an international scale. The RBMA’s list of notable alumni include Flying Lotus, Oddisee, TOKiMONSTA, and John Pope, the first Manila artist to make the cut last 2015. This year’s festivities will take place in cultural goldmine and prolific art hub Berlin—the birthplace of the RBMA and a special choice made in line with their 20th anniversary.
Jorge is best known for his stark contributions to the local electronic music scene. He has performed and produced under several names and projects such as %ercentius and Den Sy Ty, but most notably, similarobjects. Having co-founded the Buwan Buwan Collective, a group of beat-makers sharing their creative vision in and outside the community, at a time when electronic music was way underground, it’s safe to say that the new wave of local artists we enjoy today who are inspired by his movement wouldn’t be the same without him. He is also an educator at De La Salle College of Saint Benilde and has opened his own music school, Cosmic Sonic Arts in 2016.
We catch up with Jorge and discuss his pre and post-RBMA plans, what he is most looking forward to, and what kept him going all these years.
What made you want to apply to the RBMA, and kept you pursuing it all these years?
My reasons for constantly trying to apply kept evolving, to be honest. 2011 was the first time I heard about the RBMA and it piqued my interest real quick, I mean back then I didn’t know much about the music I made and more so about the nature of things surrounding what I do. I wanted to find a place where I could be accepted and a place where my music could be taken for what it was. I just wanted to know if what I was doing was worth anything and where I stood in this universal landscape of music and art. Later on after being rejected a few times I just ended up doing it for fun.
The act of filling up the forms every other year became my personal creative and musical assessment. I felt like even though I wasn’t getting in they were keeping tabs on me. Later on in the later years in the course of my own travels and projects I got to cross paths with some RBMA alumni and RBMA affiliates, hearing more of their stories just kept making me want to try and try. I think I’ve heard it so many times from so many people that I should try this year and next year. somehow behind everything maybe I never wanted to give up on the dream.
And what does it feel like finally being accepted into the program?
To be honest, I think I’ve been so accustomed to the tone of the rejection email already that when I got the acceptance email I refused to believe it. The real email landed in my spam box and I had to be emailed by another person just to tell me I got in. It felt nuts, I was shaking. But seriously it feels crazy to see all my effort and hard work manifest this way. It’s a true testament not just for me but for everyone that we shouldn’t give up on ourselves and to learn to trust in divine timing ’cause things definitely happen for a reason.
What was the application process like?
After going about the application many times in previous years I’ve already developed my own approach on how to go about the whole thing. I’d usually start by deciding whether to send in a mix or a just a playlist, then I’d move on to choosing the tunes I’d use that I feel would best represent me. I would spend a lot of sit-down sessions taking time to answer the 26-page application form. The application form in itself is very rewarding as it really sheds some insight on yourself existentially. If you’re expecting the usual cliché questions, you’re definitely not going to find it here. It’s a rollercoaster ride of questions spread across the spectrum of human emotion.
So I’d dedicate a few hours a day just to read and go over the questions then I’d pen them down by hand myself (I used to even practice on scratch paper before actually answering but this recent one I was more DGAF ’cause I felt that as long as I was honest it didn’t matter if my penmanship looked like a serial killer’s) anyways, after accomplishing the form I’d go over it once or twice (while listening to the CD that contained my entries) to see if I missed anything then If its good to go I’d just accomplish the other requirements then I’d have it mailed. (usually clutch) I think this application form of mine was turned in on the day of the deadline. So yeah guys there’s always hope.
What are you most looking forward to at RBMA?
The whole thing just feels like such a crazy musical pilgrimage, but yeah I’m definitely looking forward to the lectures and the studio sessions. I super love getting in the studio with hyper-charged individuals ’cause its quite different when you’re there solely to create. There is magic waiting to happen. And to be surrounded by people from different backgrounds and disciplines, I am pretty sure that there will be some interesting creative exchanges there.
What are your plans after RBMA?
Probably gonna go back to finishing this album called Infinite Regression that I’m working on, set to drop in 2020 (the year not the club). Also working on short EP releases in between that. And a video game collaboration with RBMA PARIS alumni JOHNPOPE. But if anyone wants to know what I’m going to be up to, they can subscribe to my mailing list and get updates directly from me.