Shangri-la (Rick Rubin)

Rick Rubin is to music what Anthony Bourdain is to food. Or Steve Jobs to tech.

In the documentary “Shangri-la”, Rubin opens the doors to his legendary studio in Malibu.

He shows us why the best musicians in the world come to him to bring out the best.

Trailers for “Shangri-La”

Trailer for Part 1

Trailer for Part 2

Trailer for Part 3

Trailer for Part 4

Watch “Shangri-la”

You can stream Shangri-la on these subscription channels (most of them have free trials):

…or buy Shangri-La for $$ on Amazon, Apple TV, Google Play and Vudu Fandango

Check here for the latest streaming/buying options:

Bonus Free Shangri-la Content on YouTube

FYI — If you want some bonus free content on the Shangri-la studio, check out these awesome interviews:


  • My Rating: 99/100
  • IMDB Rating: 7.5/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Ratings: 100/100 (Users); 100/100 (Critics)

My Review of “Shangri-La”

I love this doc (and Rick Rubin)!

In 2019, “Shangri-La” cracked open Rick Rubin’s studio doors.

There are 4 episodes (each about 43 minutes):

  1. “Magic” (Directed by Morgan Neville)
    • Featuring: The Avett Brothers, Daniel Caesar, David Blaine, David Lynch, DRAM, Ezra Koenig, Flea, James Gadson, Kent Nerburn, Lil Yachty, Makonnen, Mark Ronson, Rob Fraboni, Robbie Robertson, Tyler, the Creator, Yebba
  2. “Myth” (Directed by Morgan Neville)
    • Featuring: Adam Dubin, Chuck D, Dan Carey, Ezra Koenig, Francis and the Lights, Julian Casablancas, Kae Tempest, Lil Yachty, LL Cool J, Mike D, Money Mark, Seth Godin, Tyler, the Creator, Wes Lang
  3. “Wrestling” (Directed by Jeff Malmberg)
    • Featuring: Benjamin Clementine, Ed Stasium, Ezra Koenig, Flea, Francis and the Lights, Jerrod Carmichael, Jim Cornette, LL Cool J, Mac Miller, Makonnen, SZA, Seth Godin, Stephanie McMahon, Triple H
  4. “Belief” (Directed by Jeff Malmberg)
    • Featuring: Buika, Carlos Santana, Cory Henry, David Blaine, David Lynch, Hatis Noit, Kent Nerburn, Krishna Das, Laird Hamilton, Madison Ryann Ward, Mary Lattimore, Money Mark, Nils Frahm, Rival Consoles, Rivers Cuomo, Sadhguru, Ted Denney

The doc isn’t just soundboards and synths. It’s a meditation on creativity.

As soon as Rick says that there are no TVs and clocks at Shangr-la, I was hooked.

Rubin stars, philosophical and practical across four episodes.

His studio is a a hub, a meeting place for the musically curious, and legendary guests show up.

Tyler, The Creator pops up. He’s all innovation and insight.

LL Cool J talks hip-hop’s journey, its transformations. The series brings in unexpected voices, too.

David Lynch waxes on creativity’s overlap between sounds and scenes. He doubles down, linking filmmaking with sonic creation.

Perspectives from non-music creators like Lynch broadens “Shangri-La’s” appeal.

Lesser-known yet influential, Daniel Caesar and SZA add soul. Their music speaks of identity, expression. These episodes shine, showing music’s emotional core.

Each episode stitches together diverse musical narratives. Through Rubin’s lens, the series probes deep.

It asks us to listen, really listen. To the sounds, yes. But also to the silences. Here, creativity whispers. It’s a force, life-altering, bound by no genre.

“Shangri-La” does more than entertain. It educates. It inspires.

It’s Rick Rubin’s world, rich and raw. And we’re just lucky to peek inside.

Adding more depth, Ezra Koenig shares his musical ethos. Three episodes let him speak on creativity’s front lines.

Joel Bennett acts out, playing the whimsical Beachcomber. His take is fresh, imbued with the ocean’s calm. Tyler the Creator returns for more, grounding his unique vision.

Makonnen and Lil Yachty show up, exploring new rap realms. Flea dives into bass lines that throb with life’s pulse.

More stars grace the documentary’s canvas. Francis and the Lights illuminate the stage with electronic bursts.

David Blaine brings magic, literally, to musical forms.

Joseph Fatu portrays Wrestler Rick, blending personas seamlessly. Benjamin Clémentine and Mary Lattimore contribute haunting melodies.

Wes Lang, James E. Cornette, and Hatis Noit speak briefly.

They touch on art, wrestling, and vocal innovation. Seth Godin and Sadhguru inject spiritual and marketing wisdom.

Kate Tempest and Carlos Santana discuss poetry and guitar’s power. Dan Carey, Jerrod Carmichael, and Shelley FKA DRAM talk music’s inner workings.

Guests like Buika, Mike D, and Linda Ramone add flair. Adam Dubin, Ed Stasium, and James Gadson share technical tidbits.

Kent Nerburn and Chuck D discuss cultural storytelling. Madison Ryann Ward, SZA, and Daniel Caesar reflect on modern soul’s rhythms.

Corey Henry, Robbie Robertson, and Laird Hamilton explore artistic endurance.

Rivers Cuomo and Mark Ronson discuss crafting hits. Mac Miller, Julian Casablancas, and Ted Denney offer glimpses into their processes.

Nils Frahm and Yebba bring unique soundscapes. The Avett Brothers and Rival Consoles share their distinct musical philosophies.

Krishna Das, Valeria Chavez, and Day Mori round out the cast. Jimmy Vibert, Cristobal Hernandez, and Terrence Adams add unique touches.

Each guest, in just a single episode, leaves an indelible mark on this expansive, eclectic canvas.

It’s a tour through creativity’s boundless territory, hosted by Rick Rubin in his Shangri-La.

My Favorite Rick Rubin Quotes from Shangri-la

“If everyone likes it you’re doing something wrong… if everyone likes it it’s probably pretty mediocre…The best or divide the audience…You want your music to be someone’s favorite music to be the example of someone else of what they hate.”

– Rick Rubin

“My feeling is the audience comes last. If you’re lowering what you do to what you think they will like, You’re not working up to the level of greatness.”

-Rick Rubin

“I’m a believer. I believe in everything. Anything. Everything. I believe in everything until proven wrong and even then I’m still on the fence and know it’s possible.”

– Rick Ribin

Ric Rubin said the thing he cared the most about when his Malibu house burned down was the trees:

You can rebuild a house…but you can’t rebuild a 100 year old tree (this was a paraphrase)

– Rick Rubin

Thanks for reading!

Rob Kelly, Chief Maniac, Daily Doc