[INTERVIEW] Apashe Takes Us Behind The Curtain Of His Cinematic Sophomore Album, 'Antagonist'

Apashe, Antagonist, Ultra Miami, Interview

| March 10, 2024

Prepare to be sonically and visually captivated as we journey into the visionary realm of Apashe, the Belgian-born maestro now making tidal waves in the global electronic music scene.

In this exclusive interview, Apashe invites us behind the scenes of his highly anticipated sophomore album, Antagonist, where classical elegance intertwines with explosive electronic soundscaoes, revealing the meticulous craftsmanship and boundless creativity that define his sound.

Explore his dynamic collaborations with an array of artists and immerse yourself in the cinematic landscapes woven throughout his music. Discover the electrifying fusion of live instrumentation and stunning visual effects that sets Apashe's performances alight on stages like his upcoming slot at Ultra Miami.

Check out our exclusive interview with Apashe below. 

 

iEDM: Your sophomore album, Antagonist, features a diverse range of collaborators like Busta Rhymes and Flux Pavilion. How did you approach the selection of artists for this project?

Apashe: I had a dream list of collaborators that I wanted to reach out to. After the success of Renaissance, I had the courage to do so. I wanted a wide variety to challenge myself to not only create within unique lanes for people like Busta Rhymes, or Raga or EARTHGANG, but also elevate my own creativity to match their star power and talent.

iEDM: Antagonist incorporates textured orchestral elements, similar to your previous album, Renaissance. What draws you to blend classical music with electronic genres? 

Apashe: Growing up, classical music, gaming soundtracks, and movie scores have always held a special place in my heart. For a while the influence was there in the background, but I really felt a call to merge them more explicitly because classical and electronic are what I feel really drawn to. Fans really loved it and it just felt right. And now we are here with Antagonist!

 

iEDM: Can you share the creative process behind "King" with Busta Rhymes? What were the highlights of working with such a legendary hip-hop artist?

Apashe: I still cannot believe I had the opportunity to work with such a legend. It was a dream to work with Tech N9ne on Renaissance and I knew I wanted to have another flagship name on Antagonist. Busta has been amazing to work with and even though it has been over the internet, it felt like we were right in the room together.

iEDM: How do you navigate between genres like hip-hop, techno, dubstep, house, and classical within your music? 

Apashe: For me, it is simply just taking it one track at the time. I do not usually set out to create a specific type of electronic song. However, through the process of making the compositions and working with collaborators, I get closer to a sense of what the final product is going to be.

 

iEDM: Do you have a favorite genre to experiment with, and if so, why? In regard to your project, what new genre or sounds do you want to experiment with this year?

Apashe: I have a lot of fun messing around with drum & bass. It is challenging but extremely rewarding when done well. I may explore that more in the future, but other styles I would like to experiment with are glitch and midtempo.

Apashe, Antagonist, Ultra Miami, InterviewiEDM: What advice would you give to rising producers that want to make music for video games, television, and film? How have you applied this advice to your own career?

Apashe: If people want to make movies for film, TV, or games, it comes down to the type of music. You do not have to go traditionally classical, but finding what makes you, you, and filtering that through the lens of what you hear from a movie or game is the best way to go. I have done that for myself and it has worked out!

 

iEDM: With such a diverse range of collaborators, genres, and levels of energy, how do you maintain cohesion and an overall narrative throughout Antagonist?

Apashe: I had sort of a loose storyline for the “Antagonist” character that I wanted to explore. Throughout the creative process the story was both expanded and refined. Having that sense of “center” helped with keeping the cohesion, as well as making the tracklist embody a flow that mimicked the development of a story in film.

iEDM: You have mentioned exploring themes of angels and devils in your music. How do these themes manifest in Antagonist, and what do they represent to you?

Apashe: The classic light versus dark, good versus evil concept is something that is fun to play around with because nothing is clear-cut in the real world. They are extremes on a spectrum, and exploring the villain or anti-hero has more nuance than taking the perspective of a protagonist.

iEDM: What trends have you observed in the electronic music scene recently, specifically the live-electronic space, and how do you see your music fitting into these trends? 

Apashe: I see a lot more people incorporating instruments or live elements like drum pads into their sets which is great. Even just having one “live” element goes a long way into creating a more dynamic show. With my own show, I debuted the Brass Orchestra and would love to grow that further with strings and eventually a full orchestra one day!

Apashe, Antagonist, Ultra Miami, Interview

iEDM: When performing live, how do you master multitasking DJing and conducting without getting off track with timing or running into other complications?

Apashe: The Brass Orchestra and I rehearsed a bunch prior to the first show. Because I have my own things I am programming live, unfortunately I cannot really conduct them. 

Luckily, they are incredibly talented professionals who have come to know and enjoy the music, which makes playing it much easier. Of course, logistically with many people we can run into obstacles, but it has been a pleasure working through them with this group!

 

iEDM: What are you most excited about for your upcoming performance at Ultra Miami?

Apashe: Experiencing the dichotomy of the dark, almost brooding, epic show against the backdrop of the lovely, bright, sunshine-laden beach is something that is going to be quite unique. I have done other festivals like Electric Forest, but Ultra has a unique vibe that will make for a dynamic experience.

Apashe, Antagonist, Ultra Miami, Interview

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iEDM: Can you hint at what your fans and attendees at Ultra Miami can anticipate for your set and the experience that the live bass orchestra will produce?

Apashe: With this show, I want people to experience what feeling “Majestic” is like. It is epic, it is grand, it is cinematic, dark, beautiful, and so many other things. I just want people to pull something personal from the show and the music that will inspire them after it is all over!

 

iEDM: Looking ahead, what are your future plans and aspirations as an artist for the remainder of 2024, both creatively and professionally?

Apashe: For 2024 I am trying to elevate even further from Antagonist. Experimenting with different styles, collaborating more with other diverse creatives. This is something I have done, but the further I get into my career, the more I see myself playing around with styles from across the world and infusing them with my own signature sound.

Apashe, Antagonist, Ultra Miami, Interview

FOLLOW APASHE: INSTAGRAM | SPOTIFY | WEBSITE | SOUNDCLOUD | FACEBOOK | YOUTUBE | X

 

Photos courtesy of Matus Safranka (@matussafranka), Adrian Villagomex (@adrian.villagomez), and Apashe.

 

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CONNOR PHILLIPS

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Fueled by his passion for EDM, Connor’s life revolves around dance music and its ability to bring people together. Raised in upstate New York, Connor was deprived of festivals and raves until he attended Florida State University, where he was instantly hooked. Fast-forward to today and Connor has become a house and melodic techno DJ, an avid EDM-based interviewer and writer, and has worked PR for the likes of Matroda, Bleu Clair, and other new-wave house icons.

Outside of music, Connor loves pretty much any sport (huge Knicks, Yankees, and NY Giants fan), going on hikes, traveling, and food. Based in Florida, there’s a good chance you will eventually run into Connor at one of the popular festivals and clubs throughout the state.

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