RESPECT. Interview: Apollo Brown on ‘Anchovies’

Photo Credit: Publicist

Apollo Brown is back and better than ever with his most recent production, Anchovies. Anchovies is a 15-track album that is distinctively gritty. Apollo combined his talent with Planet Asia, whom he knew would compliment the simplistic and minimal sound of his production. With Apollo’s dingy production, and Planet Asia’s nasty lyricism… the two definitely created a guttural album. The main thing that Apollo continuously broadcasts about Anchovies is that listeners will either love it or hate it… hence, the title being anchovies.

RESPECT.: Where exactly are you from?– We’ve seen both Grand Rapids, MI and Detroit, MI.

AB: Grand Rapids. I moved to Detroit in 2003, right after I graduated college. So, I graduated from Michigan State University. Then I moved across state for a bigger city and better opportunities. I’ve been in Detroit for as long as I’ve lived in Grand Rapids; so, I’ve spent half of my life in Grand Rapids and half of my life in Detroit– the latter half in Detroit, obviously. But, I represent Detroit hip-hop: I live here, been here for a long time, and this is where it’s at for me. There are great things about Grand Rapids. The Debarge Family is from Grand Rapids– Floyd Mayweather: we went to the same high school! There’s a lot of great people from Grand Rapids, but Detroit is home.

RESPECT.: At what age did you find your passion for Hip-Hop?

AB: Well, I’m 37– I was born in 1980. So throughout the whole 90’s, I was fortunate enough to be at an age where I understood music very well through the 90’s. And the 90’s to me, was the best era of hip hop so i would say probably 1989. My first album was he’s the dj I’m the rapper by dj jazzy jeff and the fresh prince– that’s when i started getting into hip hop. When I absolutely felt like i loved it and needed it in my life was the first time i listened to breaking atoms by main source back in 1991.Then in 1996, I told myself that it was time to stop being a listener and start being a participant; so, I started making beats.

RESPECT.: If you could meet any hip hop legend either dead or alive, who would it be?

AB: Well I’ve met most of them… but, I’ve never met Rakim… that would be a great conversation. Most of the legends I want to meet aren’t in Hip-Hop though. I would love to meet James Brown, that’s kind of where I got my producer name from just to pay homage to James, the legend– the Godfather of Soul. James Brown, and also Rick James… Rick James would be the number one concert I would like to go to; but, it would have to be in the 80’s. Too bad both of those guys have passed, but they were amazing entertainers, musicians, and huge influences to the music we have today.

RESPECT.: How did you get inspired for your new album, Anchovies?

AB: I wanted to go back to the minimalistic ways that I did music when I first started. When you first start making beats, you don’t have any formats or certain ways that you make them. You just make them, you’re having fun and enjoying it. You’re making music the way you want to make music, not because there’s a certain standard or certain way that other people want you to make music. You’re just making music for yourself; because that’s what you want to do. I just wanted to go back to that approach– I just wanted to make the most minimal, most gritty, most dirty sound. It’s not for everybody. You’re either going to love it or hate it; that’s why we call it anchovies. There’s no in between with anchovies– When you ask a person if they like anchovies you never hear someone say “They’re alright”. The person either says they hate them, or they love them. And that’s kind of what this album is. This album isn’t just “ehh, alright”; this album is amazing, obviously, in my opinion. But, my fans and other people alike are either going to love it or hate it. If you get it, you get it. If not… it’s just not for you. It’s an album I’ve wanted to make my whole career– real dingy, real dirty. I kind of got caught up in the whole hip-hop vibe where the drums are a certain way, the samples are cut a certain way, everything was chopped a certain way. I was still being myself and making the music I wanted to make, but I was getting a lot cleaner then I used to be. The dynamics, the way it sounded, the quality of everything was a lot better– And naturally, because when you’re in the industry you want to make sure that it lives up to a certain standard to put out in stores. But with this album I wanted to go back to the dingy and dirty.

RESPECT.: Did you produce every track on Anchovies?

AB: Absolutely! I don’t make albums that I don’t produce; I don’t co-produce. I don’t share production credits, that’s the one thing we have as producers. Whether we get paid or whatever– that’s the one thing we have, our credit. I don’t share my credit, I’m very stingy with that. Other producers might say, “oh well let’s collaborate on a beat” or “let’s make an album” but no. If I’m going to do an album, I’m going to do it by myself. Now on someone else’s album I might contribute a beat or two, but if it’s my album I do everything from front to back.

RESPECT.: Which track is the most meaningful to you?

AB: None of them stand out. I tell people all the time… they’re all like my kids. I love them all with the same amount of love, I just love them all differently. That’s a hard question… and it also depends on the mood, the time of day, how I’m feeling, what I just went through. I could listen to one given track at any time and that’s one thing I like about my music. When I look at comments and talk to people, everybody’s favorite song is different. No one gravitates to just one song. One song means more one day than the next, it all just kind of depends.

RESPECT.: Did you hand select the featured artists that were apart of your project?

AB: Absolutely. I always choose the artists that I work with. That’s the good thing about being a producer. I don’t have to work with people I don’t want to work with. I don’t do it for money, I don’t do it for fame. If I don’t feel like they can add any value to what we’re doing then I don’t have to work with them and I’m not.

Download Anchovies via Apple Music!

Photo Credit: Publicist

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