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RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW AMERICAN ARTIST APAOLO

What made you decide that music is a thing for you?

During the summer leading into my Junior year of college, a friend asked if I wanted to make beats and jam. At this point, music was just a casual hobby. Then another friend showed up with an SG-style guitar. He asked if I wanted to take a tab of acid, and I’m always down for that. I ended up not letting go of his guitar for 12 hours. I told myself that night this is what I want in my life. 

Introduce us to you and your musical history.

I started playing guitar at 10, but only casually until my junior year of college. I was initially self-taught through YouTube videos, but sought out and worked with great teachers as I continued to grow and plateau. I’ve spent many hours playing bars and busking. 

The music industry is the hardest industry in the world to progress in, How do you feel you are doing?

I don’t believe that the music industry is necessarily harder than any other profession. I think it is one of the most ambiguous. It’s not easy to progress in any profession, some just have better failsafes, wages, and career paths. The difficulty is that no one is guiding you through it. That being said, I have a long way to go, but from where I stood 2 years ago to now, I know I’ve made leaps in progress.

We set up RGM USA and many other countries in the world to share music with America and the UK, good idea?

Of course, everything is globalized now, if you can serve a certain market, why not?

Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories?

Not that I can think of, I’m sure there’s one out there though. 

Let’s share the love, what bands are doing really well in your Town / City?

I’m from Cincinnati, OH. YUNG MOSH. They have one of the most electric live shows I’ve ever seen and the drummer is one of my producers. They’re already fairly big, but I can’t wait to see them get the recognition they really deserve. 

What advice would you give other artists starting out?

Just go for it, it’s gonna take a while and there’s no guarantee of success, but it’s fun and there’s no time limit. Practice until you become undeniably good. 

Did you buy anything you don’t need in the pandemic?

If you count bag-holding meme stocks then yes. 

What was the worst experience on stage?

Actually, my worst experience on stage wasn’t even about music. I reached the state finals for Toastmasters (professional development/public speaking club) in Massachusetts and I was absolutely killing it. Then I got the crowd laughing so hard I started laughing too and forgot my speech. I was objectively the best, but you don’t win a public speaking competition after pausing for 30 seconds. 

Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about.

I was born in the Philippines. 

If you had to describe your band/music to an alien how would you describe it?

Do you know that feeling you get when you travel from one planet to another? There’s a sense of adventure and excitement because you’re doing something new and going somewhere different. It feels like you’re moving forward with life, and it feels like freedom. That’s what “Chase the Sun” captures. 



What makes you stand out as an artist?

My ability to combine my influences and communicate my vision with my producers. My music is very much a combination of old-school recording techniques and newer school pop production techniques. As a producer myself, it’s nice being able to perfectly communicate my vision to my engineers. The people I work with are amazing musicians who really bring the life out of my music. Also, my lyricism and songwriting are a cut above. 

Talk me through the thought process of the new tunes.

I moved back to New Jersey during the Pandemic because I got laid off and needed to rethink my life. After about 2 years of doing absolutely nothing, I knew I had to change something in life. I’ve had the chorus to this song for about 2 and a half years, but once I moved to Cincinnati, the excitement and inspiration of life came back to me and I was able to finish writing the other song sections. So yeah, the song captures my excitement for life.

What was the recording process like?

It all starts with an acoustic guitar. I believe, at least for my music, it must be reducible to acoustic and vocals and still be great. However, I have a very structured recording process. First, I write the song on acoustic. Then I record all the instruments and vocals. I create a rough mix then I send it to my drummer. After I get the drum files, I send it to my bassist. Then I record acoustic guitar at one of the studios in Cincinnati (The Monastery, grammy-nominated studio, I worked there too, little flex for ya). After that, I go to my one producer to record electric guitar and edit the instruments. Once it’s all ready, I take it to the final studio (Blacklite Productions, I also work here, another little flex) to record vocals and mixdown the song. I send it to a couple friends, ask for advice, make some changes, and voila, a song.

What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?

I’ve always been good at songwriting and lyricism, or at least I never had trouble pushing myself to improve at it. The hardest part was actually learning production and how to record myself. I went to Asheville, NC for a couple months and told everyone I was gonna do what Bon Iver did and create an album by myself in a cabin. Turns out, it’s not easy. I remember breaking down in tears cause I realized I wasn’t good enough and I had no idea what to do. But I just kept forcing myself to finish songs, and eventually, I got good. 

Would you change anything now it’s finished?

Haha, yes, I’m not gonna mention what I want to be changed because maybe it’s just me, but there’s no point dwelling on it now.

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