Meet Ben Dabson, aka Radical Academy. A music graduate from Cardiff University, he’s since started pursuing production as a career path using artists from all over the world on Indaba Music.
As a long time member, we’re happy to congratulate Radical Academy on taking the Grand Prize title in our Freelance and the Whales Opportunity.
Check out what he had to say about the contest and his favorite Indaba memories!
Congratulations! How do you feel?
Ecstatic!! I’ve entered quite a few of these contests and it feels great to win one! There are really interesting producers working out there so it’s really gratifying to be chosen. What’s the word… Buzzin? Haha
How did you hear about Indaba Music and long have you been on the site?
I think it was just a search one day when looking for remix contests on Google. About a year and a half I think. I’ve learnt so much from indaba in this time though, just being active and talking to other producers/musicians is amazing! I can’t remember a day in a long time where I haven’t learnt something new about production here. If you check out my first remixes and compare them to what I do today it’s amazing how far I’ve come. Ignore a bit of a hazy patch in the middle though where I decided treble was the new bass, I must have been drunk or something…. I’m back to using my ears again now.
You’ve been with us for a while now! Can you talk about one of your favourite Indaba memories since you’ve joined?
Well this has got to be one of them! Releasing Wake the Dead recently with Vuk Lazar – and a few other members remixing it – is awesome.
The first collaboration I did here I think is my favourite though. No Good?! now Bit-Twisted, Meytar D. and Polymath and I collaborated on what turned out to be an epic drum and bass tune. It was an amazing experience, I learnt a lot from that collaboration.
Tell us a bit about your freelance whales remix: what did you do? what was the inspiration? etc.
I always find it hard talking about my music, but I’ll give it a go.
It started off as a goal that I wanted to make the longest remix possible but also keep it musically interesting (sort of trying to remind people a track doesn’t have to be 3 minutes long to keep an audience’s interest). I tried doing it with the Marianas Trench remix – I got the kind of sound/atmosphere I wanted but didn’t really pull it off musically. I took the feedback some members gave me on that remix into account to make the Freelance Whales one, this really helped me succeed in pulling it off this time.
It was written as a performance in a way. It only took a few hours once I got going, and I sort of wrote it from start to finish as I went along. There was no specific plan, just that I wanted it to be long and build up gradually to a climax sort of like some Sigur Rós tracks. I was looking at it more as a classical composition. I had the elements already created, I just needed to arrange them and manipulate the sound to create the right atmosphere and movement. The main thing I wanted in the remix was plenty of dynamics, which is why there is no compression on the master here.
Any closing comments?
Yeah, I’d just like to thank all the members at indaba who I have collaborated with and anyone that I talk to, they have helped me get this far. You guys are a massive influence in my productions!