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Hugh McIntyre

Meet Netsky, Belgium's 'Musical Ambassador' At The Rio Olympics


As the world is consumed by the spirit of the Olympic Games in Rio, Belgian debuts its first 'musical ambassador'. Get to know drum n bass favorite, Netsky.

This article originally appeared on Forbes

The Olympics kick off later today, and almost every country on the planet will be showing up to not only compete and potentially bring home some gold, silver, or bronze, but to show the world who they are as a people and what they have to offer. Every nation is bringing something different to the table, and this is a huge opportunity to show off, if not on television, then to the other countries participating, and to the people of Brazil in attendance at the games, the events, and the after parties. Everyone is trying different things to stand out, and one, in particular, is using music to differentiate itself from the pack.

This year, Belgium has brought on a “musical ambassador” as part of its Olympics campaign, which is a first for them. This person, a man who goes by the name Netsky in the drum and bass/electronic music world, is tasked with representing his country, DJing at the events for the athletes and their teams after they’ve competed, and creating original music that will hopefully enhance their performance during practices, which dance music has been shown to do for many.

This is a big opportunity for Netsky, who isn’t very well known outside of Belgium, as he can spread his music to new audiences, and create potential new fans. While he has charted several top ten hits in the European nation, he hasn’t been able to break through in many other countries, but this new endeavor could be something of a big break. Recently, Netsky released a new song, “Rio,”which features dance favorites Digital Farm Animals and Grammy-winning rapper Macklemore. Working with such popular acts is also an opportunity that came along with this ambassadorship, and it’s already benefitting Netsky.

Only a handful of nations have reached out to and partnered with the music world, and by being a part of the Games, Netsky joins ranks with specially-chosen musicians like Katy Perry (from the U.S.) and A.R. Rahman (from India), who are both lending their talents in an effort to help the athletes representing their homes perform better and find the inspiration they need to win.

I asked Netsky a few questions about his new role at the Olympics, how he came to fill such an interesting position, and what it means for him to stand for his entire country on a world stage.

Hugh McIntyre: Congrats on the Olympics gig! How did this come up?

Netsky: The Belgian Olympic campaign guys were looking for someone to work with them for the whole campaign. They were obviously looking for sponsors and people to work with the athletes and the whole team. They had a couple of meetings with me, and they said, “We’re looking for a young musical ambassador this year that could introduce the Olympics to a younger crowd.”

After a couple of meetings, we felt really good about it, and we felt that there were a couple of parallels that really worked between my career and my music and the athletes and sports in general. After that, they organized some Olympic training camps with all the athletes. I flew over for four or five days to meet everybody and try and give them more energy. I met them and played some sports with them. It’s all been really fun. It’s been a very organic collaboration.


Read the full story by Hugh McIntyre by Forbes

Tags : Forbes