The Brussels native and bass music mastermind John De Buck, better known as Apashe, has quickly climbed the ranks and solidified his name as a force to be reckoned with. After studying the field of sound engineering, Apashe perfected his craft as a full-time sound engineer. With a unique approach to production and to the genre as a whole, his trademark gritty, adrenaline-fueled basslines are packed with influences ranging from hip-hop to electro.
With his highly anticipated Copter Boy album hitting the streets on September 29 via Kannibalen (you can lock in your pre-order here), Team Bassrush sits down for an in-depth chat with the man behind the music as continues to mesmerize and set him apart from the rest.
My 9 to 5 job was making sound design—and I couldn’t be more happy back then—but it’s at that point that I realized how shit I was. I had to step up my producing skills.
We were so stoked to have you play for us at Nocturnal Wonderland this year! How was that for you?
I was even more excited as it was my first experience with Bassrush, and my first time playing such a cool Californian festival. I had an amazing time! The crowd was epic and really responsive. I played during the sunset, too, which added a little magical touch to it. Also, my friends Btsm and Dabin were playing the day after, so I had the chance to experience the rest of the festival. In my opinion, it’s important for an artist to be able to see and live the festival on both sides. After all, we are all there because we love music.
Copter Boy reveals such a diverse range of influences that come through each of the tracks. Where are you pulling inspiration from?
If you don’t want to end up with an album where all the songs are the same or have the same formulas, then you need diversity. You could make the same songs over and over again, especially if it works, but you will never evolve as an artist. I think it’s very important to explore new things and challenge yourself. The only thing is to try to maintain your identity throughout the process, and that’s what I tried to do on this project. Following your instincts is like traveling musically to a place where it pleases your ears. It’s from that place that your influences naturally come out. I love classical music, jazz, funk, etc. So sometimes when I search for the right melody it naturally feels right to use a jazz chord or to compose it using baroque modes.
There’s a lot of really talented vocalists on your tracks as well. What’s the process like when you work with a vocalist?
It’s usually pretty simple. I leave some space in the track for potential vocals, try to hear what could sound cool on it, and contact someone I know who would fit for it. Then I just send over the song and we brainstorm for a concept and lyrics. After that, all you have to do is jump in the studio and record the magic!
There seems to be a good swing influence on this album. What inspired that?
The song “Puttin’ On The Ritz” is definitely swing. I loved the original and thought it would be cool to cover it. Not all of the other tracks can be directly related to swing but, they definitely have a jazzy feel. Swing music is basically jazz dance music from 1930s. I love the vibe and love to turn it into something new and different that is not sounding too “electro swing.”
Does your background with Apollo Studios influence your production style?
I was a student in electroacoustics and already putting my music out there with Kannibalen Records and it was just such a big step in my career. For the first time ever, I was living my passion. My 9 to 5 job was making sound design and music and I couldn’t be more happy back then, but it’s at that point that I realized how shit I was. I had to step up my producing skills to be able to compose anything at any time and super fast. That made me much more comfortable using influences from other genres and mixing it with my own style.
What do you think you can credit your production success to?
Fun? Fun is the success—I had way too much fun doing it since I’m a teenager. I never stopped and today I’m here still having fun doing it. If you love it and working for it is fun, working super hard is not hard anymore.