Air Born Acad­emy Soar­ing into 2017

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By Kayra Wil­liams

De­scribed by con­cep­tu­al­iz­ers as ‘the world’s first and only dig­i­tal au­dio and mu­sic busi­ness pro­gramme’, The Air Born Acad­emy is a state-of-theart record­ing fa­cil­ity lo­cated right here in Saint Lu­cia. The Acad­emy is recog­nised by The In­sti­tute of Au­dio Re­search in New York, and has been in ex­is­tence for just over one year. The Acad­emy is cur­rently open to stu­dents aged 13-16, but start­ing this year will in­tro­duce pro­grammes for youth and adults from age 13 and up. This week the STAR spoke with Cory Carson Rag­gie, CEO of the Air Born Acad­emy who gave us an in­sider per­spec­tive on the future of the Acad­emy and its con­tri­bu­tions to the mu­sic in­dus­try in Saint Lu­cia.

What does ‘Air Born’ mean in the con­text of what the acad­emy aims to do?

Cory: Be­ing “Air Born” is my con­cept and phi­los­o­phy on ap­proach­ing any­thing in life. “The sky is not the limit when you’re ‘Air Born’” is my quote. I be­lieve that we were born to fly. The Air Born Acad­emy was al­ways a con­cept I en­vi­sioned. At age 12 I had a home stu­dio where I pro­duced the theme mu­sic for Kiddi Crew Pro­duc­tions. At 15 I cre­ated and pro­duced jin­gles for Cable & Wire­less and other com­pa­nies. At age 18 to 20, recorded Vybz Kar­tel, Bunji Gar­lin, Kiprich, RoundHead, Tall­pree, and The Mighty Pe­lay to name a few. Com­bin­ing this work ex­pe­ri­ence and af­ter work­ing at Univer­sal Records in NYC with all of the best in­ter­na­tional artists, I felt I needed to cre­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties that did not ex­ist.

Why do you think there is a need for some­thing like this in Saint Lu­cia?

Cory: The im­pact of tech­nol­ogy in the mu­sic in­dus­try. The mu­sic in­dus­try is rapidly evolv­ing and we need to stay cur­rent if we are go­ing to se­ri­ously com­pete with many other tal­ented in­di­vid­u­als around the world.

What is the goal or mis­sion of this ini­tia­tive?

Cory: Our mis­sion is to firstly es­tab­lish and set a new stan­dard in mu­sic around the re­gion and im­prove the qual­ity which in­volves ev­ery as­pect of mu­sic cre­ation: the plan­ning, com­pos­ing, beat mak­ing, song writ­ing, record­ing, mix­ing, mas­ter­ing, and from the mu­sic busi­ness to mu­sic ar­chiv­ing. Our goal is to cre­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties for peo­ple to gain work ex­pe­ri­ence while they learn - The Air Born way of learn­ing. The Air Born Acad­emy stu­dio, called The Icon Room, is a fully func­tional state-ofthe-art record­ing fa­cil­ity so ev­ery project be­ing worked on, whether it’s a nick­elodeon project or a lo­cal ra­dio ad­vert, is worked on by ev­ery­one at the ABA. You were widely recog­nised in Saint Lu­cia in your ‘Wild Child’ mu­sic days; what are some of the ar­eas of in­flu­ence that made mu­sic such a great pas­sion for you? Cory: I’ve al­ways be­lieved in my­self and what I was ca­pa­ble of. I never al­lowed my­self to think oth­er­wise or to lis­ten to other peo­ple’s views that might have been lim­it­ing. From be­ing an artist to now, why did you de­cide to mod­ify your pur­suit, or po­si­tion­ing, in the mu­sic in­dus­try? Cory: It was some­thing that came eas­ily to me at a young age and af­ter work­ing ex­tremely hard at it for sev­eral years while be­ing an artist I be­gan re­ceiv­ing in­ter­na­tional cred­itabil­ity with key play­ers in the in­dus­try. When a well-known Grammy award en­gi­neer said, “You don’t need my help any­more, your mixes are good,” and started ask­ing me for ad­vice, in ad­di­tion to plat­inum record­ing artists start­ing to re­quest my work, I then felt like I was re­ally born to do this.

Give an idea of the sort of train­ing the Acad­emy pro­vides.

Cory: Train­ing is hands-on, col­lab­o­ra­tive and part-time. The fa­cil­ity is also a fully func­tional fa­cil­ity, so from voiceovers, jin­gles, ra­dio/TV, to even 7.1 sur­round for cin­ema post­pro­duc­tion, all of this can be done at the high­est qual­ity in the world. We also have a great team who pro­vide high qual­ity video pro­duc­tion, live sound con­certs and con­sult­ing in the cre­ative field from mu­sic to fash­ion.

What sort of cer­ti­fi­ca­tion do par­tic­i­pants gain?

Cory: Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion of par­tic­i­pa­tion, which al­lows them to get fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance to the best au­dio school in NYC.

What is the most re­ward­ing as­pect for you in terms of of­fer­ing this ser­vice to Saint Lu­cia?

Cory: The most re­ward­ing as­pect is know­ing that I am pro­vid­ing stu­dents with a on­cein-a-life­time op­por­tu­nity. This is some­thing that I never had grow­ing up. There are many recog­nised mu­si­cians around the Caribbean who’ve never got­ten the op­por­tu­nity to cre­ate mu­sic in a state-of-the-art fa­cil­ity un­til now.

Stu­dents ben­e­fit from learn­ing in a state-of-the-art fully func­tional stu­dio set­ting.

Air Born Acad­emy CEO Cory Carson Rag­giehopes to give back some of his ex­pe­ri­ence to the lo­cal mu­sic in­dus­try.

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