- Apollo’s Sun – his debut full-length LP “Falling Becomes Great” drops on August 27th.
To say that Apollo’s Sun is ‘not your average hip hop artist’ doesn’t quite explain it. Yes, there are emcees that show their emotions. Yes, there are rappers that show vulnerability. But rarely do you see an artist willing to consistently bare his soul on every project he releases. After reading this excerpt from his Facebook fan page, I felt this might “bottom line” it for you: Apollo’s Sun is a breath of fresh air to the cluttered genre known as hip hop, offering an alternative perspective to the usual shoot ‘em up, booty shaking anthems currently tormenting radio listeners all over the world.
I sat down with A. Sun and talked to him about his style, his new release, and what it took for him to put out his first full-length album…
I think one of the biggest reasons your fan base appreciates you, aside from your originality, is that you take the listener on an emotional journey that many can relate to. Did you make a conscious effort to open yourself up on your records, or was it just a natural progression to that point?
I think it’s a combination of the two. Basically, I was tired. I was tired of being lied to by artists I respected and listening to words that I could not connect to, in any way, shape, or form. Hip hop was designed for oppressed people. Mainly impoverished, as a way to let that pain out. If you listen to old records, that’s what it’s about. Where it was lost, your guess is as good as mine. So, with that said, I made a promise to myself. I would never lie about how I feel about something on record, and I would never talk about things that only .001% of the population could relate to. A very small percentage of the people hold a vast majority of the world’s wealth. And for those people, I have nothing to say to. Eventually my promise took over, and regardless of how vulnerable or sensitive I came off across as, I knew I was being honest. I am sensitive. I am fragile. I am broken. I wear those flaws proudly and want whoever is listening to my music to feel like they can take that mask off when listening to me. I walk with people, and I will never change that.
In 2006, we saw your first EP “The Happy Masochist“. The following year, it was the “Rust” EP. At the end of this month (August), you release your first full-length album “Falling Becomes Great“. Before we get into the new album, there is a question that I doubt anyone has ever asked you in an interview – what took you so long to drop the full length? Why did you decide to go with 2 EP’s as your first commercial releases?
Nope, was never asked that. You are correct, my friend. Both projects prior to Falling, they were treated as a complete thought. Nothing more, nothing less. I wrote until I felt I was done and each one ended with a proper period, or exclamation point, depending on how you look at it. And quite honestly, I was also scared to put a full length album out. I didn’t feel I could hold my own without becoming redundant on an album. During both of those albums, I was an emotional wreck, and even I couldn’t handle me talking about it any longer than I had to. I had a single track for my train of thought, and I just had to stop. It’s like reading a journal filled with bad memories you place under your bed. It’s there, it’s documented, now it’s time to leave it where it belongs: the past. Also, my albums I view almost like a series. They are all connected, and Falling Becomes Great is like part 3 in my book of life.
Okay, let’s talk about the new album. What direction did you go with this project? Are there any similarities to The Happy Masochist and/or Rust? What is the idea behind the title “Falling Becomes Great”?
On Falling, I decided to make an album that was honest, but not so much from the insider riding the roller coaster. I wanted to be an observer this time around, or counselor. I went through it, now I’m standing up saying “wake up!! There is beauty to be found in the destruction!”. I know it makes me sound like a corny life coach, but it’s true. There are similarities in the sense of me wearing my heart on my sleeve, but that’s about it. I tried to be more uplifting this time around, and less about banging your head against a wall because your upset. You just need to let the energy flow through you, and exit when it’s time. I embraced the pain for what it was, and used it to strengthen my skin up a little bit. The idea behind the album is simple: to find happiness, you have to go through some hard times. You have to be destroyed, so you can appreciate the rise. I cut myself a lot (not literally) on The Happy Masochist, and died on Rust. Falling Becomes Great is the result of that death.
Tell us a little bit about the people you enlisted to contribute to this project. Are there any guest appearances? Who handled the production this time around?
As far as guest appearances, I really tried to keep it just me on the final album. I had contributions from artists who I really respect, and had some technical issues getting certain pieces to fit, and it ended up being a lot more of me than I initially thought. I have guest vocals from Ladii J, Davis Love, and Mellow Drum Addict. All in which are singing. As far as rhyming goes, it’s just good ‘ol me. Production was handled by people from all corners of the planet. David Hodges, The Boomjacks, PhiLogic, Weirdo, 8BZA, and myself handled all the production. I had additional help from Gard, The Visiting, and my brother-in-law, Kris Kostoff to add some live instrumentation.
What would you like the listener to take away from this album after listening? Or, more importantly, what you do you want the listener to learn about Apollo’s Sun after listening to this album?
I want people to understand that it’s okay to break down. It’s okay to be vulnerable and self-destructive at times, as long as you recognize that it can get better, and make the attempts to do so. We need to put more faith in the healing power of time…not so much in a clock on the wall, but the callous that separation from things that hurt you can bring. Eventually, it just becomes another memory, and the emotional attachment to the situation will fade, perhaps to the point of being numb. It’s also a wake up call, because we are truly facing bad times, and I’ll save the political rant, but there’s a reason why we are caught in routines. There’s a reason why we just don’t care, and I now know why and want to help pull others from their sleep.
When can we expect to hear Falling, and where can we get it?
Falling will be available to the public on August 27th. I’m starting pre-orders hopefully in the next few days, in which those people will receive the album prior to August 27th. After the 27th, I’m going to release the entire album for streaming directly on my website. Maybe earlier, if I’m feeling froggy. It will be available via my website, www.apollossun.com and all major download sites, i-tunes, amazon, so on and so forth. I am however looking for brick & mortar distribution currently with some good leads. They probably will all fall through just because I mentioned it.
Thank you for your time, Apollo, and best of luck with the new release…
Thank you SL, I appreciate everything you have done for me, and friendship we have built!
For more information on Apollo’s Sun, check out www.apollossun.com