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Couch Wisdom

Music • Society-and-culture

Couch Wisdom is a weekly podcast presenting the best of Red Bull Music Academy’s lecture archive. Questlove has called these in-depth interviews ‘Inside the Actors Studio’ for music, and who are we to disagree with Questlove? With personal stories and creative insights from Björk to The BlackRead more

Popular episodes

Hip-hop original Madlib

Jun 24 • 39:01
Whether he’s working with artists like Freddie Gibbs, MF Doom or Erykah Badu, collaborating with the late J Dilla, or working under one of his own aliases, like the drugged out party creature Quasimoto, Madlib has carved out his own idiosyncratic corner in the massive hip-hop universe. Luckily, we were able to coax him out of his studio for this episode of Couch Wisdom, in...

Can's Damo Suzuki

Jun 17 • 01:04:13
Damo Suzuki left Japan in his late teens and busked around Europe, attracting the attention of Holger Czukay and Jaki Liebezeit of the band Can. Suzuki became their lead vocalist from 1970 to 1973, writing and singing on the band’s most enduring albums. In 1983, he returned to music-making to front Damo Suzuki’s Network, traveling the world to improvise and record with loc...

Transcendent pop star Robyn

Jun 10 • 01:12:07
Robyn’s career reads like a film script: Swedish star tops of the charts, sidesteps pop for a more personal sound, ends up self-sufficient and even bigger than before. This second chapter has included five Grammy nominations, appearances on Saturday Night Live, iconic music videos and mentorship of young women. Here, Robyn discusses key moments from the past 20 years, why ...

Essential French DJ Laurent Garnier

Jun 3 • 01:03:16
One of the forefathers of French electronic music, Laurent Garnier had an older brother who would sneak him into nightclubs. He caught the disco bug and moved to Manchester, falling under the spell of house music at the famed Haçienda nightclub. It was there that Garnier began to DJ in earnest, eventually leading to a well-earned reputation for eclectic, marathon sets. Her...

Pan Daijing: Sound, Performance, Emotion

May 27 • 01:01:55
The Chinese experimental artist Pan Daijing's attention to granular detail makes for a deeply absorbing listening experience. Since being an RBMA participant in Montréal in 2016, she's released her acclaimed debut album, Lack, on Berlin label PAN. Other releases include an EP on Dubai’s Bedouin Records and a collaborative 7" with Austrian musician-composer Werner Dafeldeck...

Detroit techno originator Kevin Saunderson

May 20 • 58:07
While Juan Atkins and Derrick May are known as the originator and innovator of Detroit techno, respectively, Kevin Saunderson is known as the elevator for bringing it to the mainstream. In the late ’80s, his group Inner City topped UK charts with singles like “Big Fun” and “Good Life.” In addition to his 30+ years as a solo artist, he also runs the venerable KMS label. Her...

Sound engineer Susan Rogers

May 13 • 01:52:55
Susan Rogers dropped out of high school to teach herself sound engineering. By 25, she worked for Crosby, Stills and Nash at their Rudy Records studio. Rogers spent five years working for Prince, a relationship that would change her life. She now holds a doctorate in psychology from McGill and is Associate Professor and Director of the Berklee Music Perception and Cognitio...

Funktion-One's Tony Andrews

May 6 • 45:22
Tony Andrews has been building PAs for decades. Today, the soundsystems made by his company Funktion-One are preferred by the world’s best clubs. Their speakers are more iconic than you might expect something so technical to be – a testament to Andrews’ uncompromising vision for how to achieve great sound. Here, Andrews discussed the curse of line arrays, how to prevent wh...

Cellist Larry Gold: From MFSB to "The Boy Is Mine"

Apr 29 • 54:17
Philadelphia native Larry Gold has worked on countless hits over the past four decades. He was a member of MFSB, helping shape “The Sound of Philadelphia" via classic recordings on Philadelphia International. By the late ’90s, Gold was the go-to string arranger of the modern R&B and hip-hop era, working with the likes Brandy & Monica, the Roots, Erykah Badu and Kanye West....

Rap mainstay No I.D.

Apr 22 • 01:28:00
A pivotal figure in the ’90s Chicago rap scene, producer No I.D. is responsible for the bulk of Common’s early output. He went on to manage a young Kanye West and work with Jermaine Dupri and Jay-Z. He's been one of the top A&R men at Def Jam and worked as the executive vice president at Capitol Music Group. And he remains a great producer, shaping the sound of albums by V...

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