Capetonian Emile Hoogenhout (aka Behr), a 29-year-old composer, musician and music teacher, is heading to Madrid later this year to learn from some of the musical masters of today and yesteryear. Among thousands of applications submitted by producers, instrumentalists and vocalists from 96 countries – including those for the first time from Zimbabwe, the Cook Islands and Fiji – he is one of only 60 invited to participate in the Red Bull Music Academy 2011.
Each participant in this year’s Academy has been chosen for their unique vision, as well as the guts to see that vision through. When Emile joins one of two terms at the Academy (running October 23 to November 4, or November 13 to November 25), he will have the chance to collaborate in custom-built recording studios with peers from 33 countries, representing cities from Lagos to Vienna.
With a thorough schooling in drums, guitar and music theory, Behr has been a sought-after session player since he was a teenager. Having studied music composition at the University of Cape Town, he can effortlessly switch between spinning deep house, electronica and techno under the Behrellips moniker; or live looping intricate beats and visuals with an electronic drum kit. Behr has played on albums with local artists such as Lira, Skwatta Camp, Tasha Baxter, and Insek, as well as toured the local festival circuit. Most notably, his tribute to the Twa tribe, ‘The Forgotten People’, has caught the hips and imaginations of dancefloors across South Africa.
A very musical producer and an adept DJ with a keen ear for the both the emotional and the rhythmic, Behr plays drums, bass guitar and piano. A believer in broadening his musical horizons as much as possible, he does not like to be pigeonholed into one style of music.
“I like to draw inspiration from outside the sonic realm,” says Behr. “Taking an open-minded approach to music, I embrace many musical forms and catalysts for creation. I like to build tracks organically – particularly through field recording – to create music that is freeing rather than confining; or at least ‘categorizable’. I believe one is always a student of music. The fundamentals and origins of sound appeal to me most.”