Today we’d like to introduce you to Apollo Clone.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Apollo. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I’ve loved music for as long as I can remember. When I was ten years old, I would fall asleep with the stereo radio blaring all night. This was Q101 in Chicagoland. I could legit tell you the name and artist/band of every single song that came on. And I was ten.
As far as writing music, that began in 2011. I was really depressed and lonely, being so far away from home (I went to college in Montana, kind of the middle of nowhere.) That’s when I started really getting into Rap & Hip Hop. It inspired me. I would get high and journal my feelings into creative rhymes because I’ve always excelled at writing. Writing quickly turned into freestyling, and shortly after, I bought Pro Tools and taught myself to compose.
Making music gave me the freedom to express myself, Carte Blanche and the more I learned, the more attached I became and passionate about turning it into something bigger than a hobby. I don’t remember the first song I made, but I’m sure it wasn’t good. I probably had bars and conscious lyrics, but the composition was amateur as hell. The flow was probably all over the place, and I was still finding my voice.
Kid Cudi would have to be the prototypical artist who inspired me to create. His stoner, loner persona brought a somber yet earnest motivation to me. And I had never heard production quite like it. It was music that an alternative rock or electronic band would make. And then he would be rapping over it. But it worked. The sound was unprecedented in Rap but just so refreshing and captivating. When I was getting into Hip Hop, Kid Cudi was playing in every single dorm room on campus. He was on everyone’s iPod lol. Around the same time, I was really getting into B.O.B. too. Aside from that, you can say Wiz Khalifa, Lil Wayne, and Kanye. I’m sure there are more, but this was a while ago, I don’t remember.
Then a few years later, I was OBSESSED with Childish Gambino. And now for the past year or so it’s been the sad-rap, lo-fi, emo stuff- namely Lil Peep. In the artists that inspire me as well as the music I create, it’s never been limited to one genre. I dropped out of college entering my third year to move to Los Angeles in pursuit of a career in the music/film industry. When no one took me or my sound seriously, I continued to write over the instrumentals I created. I enjoyed the freedom of being able to write about whatever thoughts were trapped in my head and portraying them onto my own compositions. My music became a journal. When I wasn’t working, I spent my time auditioning for film and television during the day and doing open mics at night. Even after a couple of good acting gigs, I was assured that music was more of a passion to me. I then moved to Atlanta to network and market my album “Pills Kill Genius.”
I’ve been at this for years now. In the beginning, it could have been a fad. It could have been a hobby. It could have been just something to try and soon abandon once the improbable reality of becoming an influential icon in the rap scene set in. I never stopped believing. This journey has been tantalizing. But it has taken me all over and showed me new people, experiences, and emotions. There has been lots of sadness. There have been many times when I asked if this was worth fighting so hard for. An insurmountable sum of blood, sweat, tears, time and money has been poured into this mission. Alas, all these trials and tribulations have been converted to stories and messages in my music… things to write about. If somebody feels like the world doesn’t believe in them, I have a song for that. If someone has lived out of their car while trying to make it in a new city, I have a song for that. If someone has turned to drugs and alcohol to cope with the loneliness, only to watch those artificial companions release more demons over time, I have a song for that. If there’s someone out there that would give up the security of living near family, or the compassion from a partner that loves them but doesn’t support their journey, or even the safety of a corporate, salary paying position… if there’s someone that would give up on all of that before giving up on their dreams… come hear my message.
I describe the vibes I emanate as a compelling, addicting mainstream pop sound infused with a spacey alternative sad rap twist, atop some live instrumentation. There is compassion behind every word said, and the listener will feel that. Last year I patented the philosophy I preach through art- to Embrace the Outcast. I’ll always credits this sound as having been cultivated from lean years of falling victim to the belief that being different and not following the norm was a bad thing. Harvesting those insecurities and strange idiosyncrasies, I exploited them through music, overcoming feelings of persecution from friends, family, and the standard patterns of society.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
One of the biggest mental struggles was getting over the notion that the world didn’t believe in me. If I could take back all of the time, I spent feeling sorry for myself, who knows how much further along the road I would be. Of course, living out of my car while trying to make it in Los Angeles has to be near the top of the list. I was just so unprepared. Turning to drugs and alcohol to cope with the loneliness, then watching those artificial companions release more demons over time, that was hell. But I know I wouldn’t be where I’m at, and have that substance to chronicle in my music if I didn’t go through all of that and emerge in one piece. I also gave up the security of living near family, and relationships with people who loved me but didn’t support my journey. I even neglected the safety net of a salary, corporate position in the pursuit of making it as a musician. I think when you go through all of that, there’s not much more that scares you. Now I have the knowledge that I won’t give up this crazy dream, despite the elements and harsh odds.
Can you give our readers some background on your music?
I describe the vibes I emanate as a compelling, addicting mainstream pop sound infused with a spacey alternative sad rap twist, atop some live instrumentation. There is compassion behind every word said, and the listener will feel that. One of my deepest desires is to relay my philosophy, to ’embrace the outcast’ to my audience. I want for them to cherish their differences and not try to fit in with everyone else. Keep an open mind. What if you’re right and they’re all wrong?
My fans will generally be people who like good flow, profound lyrics and a captivating voice-over production I categorize as mainstream alternative hip hop with a spacey, ambient twist. My choruses are catchy, verses are thought-provoking, and my beats will put the listener in a pleasant trance. Any fan of rap will, therefore, become a fan of Apollo Clone.
As far as what sets me apart from others, at the risk of sounding arrogant, would be my versatility. I can do a slow, lofi or spacey song with more of a singing grace to it, and then maybe suddenly go into a conscious flow with sporadic cadence. I guess I pride myself on the dynamics of presence on the track. Sometimes someone will hear a track of mine and ask me who the feature was when there wasn’t one. It was still me. Just mixing it up. There’s just so much style to master with words and mood that I can’t limit myself to one. That goes for genre too. You might hear me do an alternative pop song, followed by a lofi emo track, and then spit fire over a conscious rap beat, finishing up with a melodic trap joint. Hell, I’ve probably done something with two or three of those in one. Why not? I don’t subscribe to a set of rules or parameters when it comes to making music. I’ve certainly blended some genres along the way.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Luck is when preparation meets opportunity. I’m finding myself given more opportunities as of late because I’ve been continuing to work hard. And day, after day, when you keep at it, the chances that didn’t seem to be given previously, on the contrary, may have been there. You just weren’t prepared, so you didn’t know what to look for. You couldn’t see it. Now that I’ve gotten so far with the industrious time I’ve devoted to my craft, I’ve hit a threshold on what I can do on my own, and there are little opportunities that could evade me because I am prepared for anything and everything.
- I have Apollo Clone “Embrace the Outcast” shirts on my website for $21. That includes S&H and I ship globally. All sizes. Co-ed. www.apolloclone.com/merch
- Website: www.apolloclone.com
- Phone: 6308770152
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @apolloclone
- Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/follow/1?uri=spotify:artist:6iD1omJ46ssXjwFeeyAgah&size=detail&theme=dark
Jake Moore @redbellcentral
Meet Buckhead Series Sponsor:
Ase Omavuaye Otite: I am a Nigerian-born author who is passionate about children and driven to protect their innocence. I have an extremely creative mind and identify myself as an artist. I love to express myself through art, especially photography, words, and music. I have discovered how great and freeing it is to be myself and it helps me unlock new ideas. I am an aunt and godmother to 27 nieces and nephews and play an active role in their lives. Engaging with the children in my life helps keep my inner child at the forefront when I am writing and creating art. My goal is to take readers’ imagination on a magical adventure, allowing children to connect to their creative side. I believe with my artistic ideas, I can accomplish that. My love and passion for children and technology in my personal life was the driving force that helped me write my children’s book, Happystarville. My book, Happystarville teaches great morals to young children; allowing them to see how the consequences of their actions don’t just affect them—but also everyone around them. Happystarville is available online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Walmart.