Confession of a Wandering Soul

AF Exclusive Interview with Black Eyed Peas’ Apl.de.ap

Posted by diopatra on June 26, 2009

Email Interview by tammiest @ http://asianfanatics.net
Pls take out with full credits

The Grammy-Award winning hip hop group Black Eyed Peas is back this summer with a brand new album: The E.N.D. (Energy Never Dies). Carrier single “Boom Boom Pow” has topped the charts in four countries and reached the top 10 in more than ten; it currently reigns the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 as the longest-running topper in 2009.

AsianFanatics.net has been privileged enough to get an exclusive e-mail interview with one of the band’s members, apl.de.ap. apl is half-Filipino and half-American. apl was raised in the Philippines and moved to the States in his teen years; he is proud of his cultural and ethnic heritage and has brought his unique blend of experiences to the Black Eyed Peas albums. In the interview, he speaks of his Filipino heritage, his music, and the new album.



1. Although you’ve kept busy with tours and various promo singles, four years have passed since you guys released a full-length studio album. Can you tell us a bit more about the break? Did you pursue any solo projects in the time? What was the most fun thing you did in that time “off”?

During my time off, I produced an entire solo album. Some of which, ended up on the Pea’s Album and the other will be released in the near future. I also produced 4 solo music videos. I have been producing music for other artists and working with the Department of Tourism in the Philippines and MTV-Asia. They have created a promotion tonencourage Filipino-Americans and Asian Communities to travel to the Philippines.

2. The new album has been described as containing a lot of electronica. What inspired you guys to take the album in this direction?

The influence came from our travels and the nightlife. We found in the clubs around the world, DJ’s spinning electronica and the crowd responding with mad-crazy energy.

3. Can you tell us a bit more about the Peas’ creative process? Do you have a specific role?

Our creative process is organic. We feed off each other. One of us might hear a sound or topic that inspires the seed concept for a song. From there, we start working with the music and the lyrics—we mold each song into a musical sculpture. I write all my own verses and also contribute by writing and producing music.

4. You guys wound up recording more than 60 songs for this album, then whittled the tracklist down to just 15. Was there any tune in particular you were sorry to see cut?

There are always songs you are sorry to cut but it is part of the creation process. You have to go with your instincts and choose the best set of tracks that will compliment each other.

5. Can you tell us about it, and will fans ever get to score a listen?

The lost tracks eventually get produced into new music. They might end up on another artist’s album or who knows we might release it.

6. Which song on the album is your favorite?

Meet Me Halfway

7. Will you be coming/going to Asia for any concerts in the near future?

Yes, in the fall.

8. We’ve heard that you will soon be releasing a solo album yourself and that you are incorporating a lot of your Filipino heritage into the tracks. Can you tell us how your ethnic heritage has influenced your musical style?

My solo work is autobiographical in nature and contains stories from my homeland. Additionally, it infuses my culture and my native language. My heritage inspires me to meld different sounds and styles into my compositions. I become fixated on certain sounds and rhythms and begin to build the music from there.

9. Has your Asian heritage affected (hurt or helped) you in your musical career in the States?

I am often asked this question and really it is just who I am. I think, one’s culture no matter where you are from, it enriches what they bring to the table. My Asian heritage is what I bring to my music as a solo artist and as Black Eyed Pea.

10. Are there any Asian artists you’d like to collaborate with (i.e., on your solo album, as a side project, etc.)?

Right now, I am looking to collaborate with new talent. We are getting ready to launch Jeepney Music where creating a platform for new emerging artists to promote themselves on our platform with a specific focus of artists and DJs from Asia and Africa. I will be looking for new talent to work with and produce with. Check it out, JeepneyMusic.com—end of July 2009.

11. What would you (either with the Black Eyed Peas or by yourself) like to accomplish this year?

I want our album tour to be successful and enjoy every minute of the journey. To continue to produce music and successfully create a community to promote a global community for musicians, DJs’ and my homeland, the Philippines.

12. And finally, just for fun– if you were an animal, what would you be and why? smile.gif

A horse…I am a Sagittarius. You know half man and half horse.

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