The Aokify America Tour arrives in San Francisco on Saturday with a massive lineup at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, featuring Steve Aoki, Waka Flocka Flame and Borgore.
Borgore shares details about the tour his new Wild Out EP and his work with pop stars.
The Aokify America Tour is a very interesting lineup Steve Aoki, Waka Flocka Flame, and Borgore. What has been the reaction from the crowd in terms of your performances? How do they react different to you, Steve, and Waka?
There are a lot of house DJs and a lot of rappers. But what is unique with Steve, Waka, and myself is that our lineup is very party-oriented. It’s just a crazy party from beginning to end. It’s like the gnarliest party I have ever been to. There are always people on the stage, always things going into the crowd. The whole environment is like a crazy party you see in the movies. It’s like a college party.
How has the tour been going so far? Are you guys all getting along? Are you guys partying together?
Steve and Waka are just genuinely really nice people and I love hanging out with them. I party hard with Waka and I work out with Steve. Honestly, I think it is one of the best tours I have ever been on. I am really getting along with everyone. I genuinely think that if I were still an 18-year-old kid, thinking about going to party like this would be mind blowing.
How’s the bus/tour life treating you?
Our bus is pretty turnt up. I’ll just leave it like that. There were a couple of times where my tour manager went to the bus and just shook his head like, “What are we doing? How are we going to fix this?”
What song has had the biggest crowd reactions form your sets and the other artists on the tour?
I drum with Waka on one of his songs, “Hard in Da Paint.” For me, it’s one of the most exciting parts of his set. For my set, I think that “Wild Out” is one of the songs that everyone goes absolutely mental over. In Steve’s set, it’s pretty turnt up the whole time. I go on during Steve’s set during a song we have been testing on this tour. When I go on for this song, it is really insane, too. I think the whole crowd from the beginning to end of these shows loves it. We had good openers as well and the crowd goes crazy for them.
Can you talk about the song with Steve?
We kind of have some structure for it and it works very well on the crowd, but we are still trying to figure out what to do with it. We are probably going to look for someone to sing on top of it. It doesn’t have a name yet.
I want to talk about the “Wild Out” live performance. Paige did a few performances with you and Waka on the tour in New York City. Is she going to do anymore?
No, she is actually from London. She flew in especially for the New York show. There are not a lot of people I can say this about. In Paige’s case, she sounds one by one how she will sound on the record as she will sound in real life. No processing on compressors or EQs or reverbs. She just sounds like an angel. She has a really good voice, and Waka obviously performs really well.
How did that performance go off? That must have been a very special moment.
I mean we had Waka and Paige singing their verses and wilding out, of course. Confetti everywhere and bottles of champagne. It was pretty incredible.
Tell me about the Wild Out EP What influences contributed to the project?
I think it is a very eclectic EP because we have a bunch of different genres and a bunch of different sounds. Waka Flocka is one of my favorite rappers and we started working on this tune a long time ago and made the track sound like house.
How did the collaborate begin? Did you meet somewhere?
I remixed Waka two years ago and I told him I would love to work with vocals from him. He sent me something and I made the song a year and a half ago. I was really scared to put the song out because I was scared it wasn’t up to par as far as the hip-hop beats from trap producers out there go. I played it to him in Spain a year and a half ago and he loved it. He gave me a boost to finish off the track.
How does the Wild Out EP differ from Legend EP and your previous projects?
The “Wild Out” song is like trap into house. There are not many other songs like this; no one has done it. Then there is “Wayak” with Dudu Tassa. We are both Israeli people and we are singing one of the most legendary Arab songs from the 40s. It is dubstep, so it is completely different from “Wild Out.” Honestly, I think it is my favorite dubstep song that I have written. And then there is the song with Victor Niglio, “Booty Monsta.” It’s super heavy, and nothing sounds like it, electro-house trap. I think it is a very eclectic EP. I am very proud of it.
Right now, there are a lot of songs in the electro house world that kind of sound the same, but nothing sounds like “Booty Monsta.” I think the whole concept of the song is very Borgore-ish in its nature, and I don’t think no one is going very far with the vocals in the house world. Everyone is trying to stay safe and generic and talk about love and stuff like that. Having some Borgore personality in the house world is funny.
When did Victor Niglio contribute to the track and when did you guys begin collaboration?
Victor sent me the track in its earliest stage three to four months ago. I just sat down and I added a lot of stuff to it and changed a lot of stuff and changed the name and edited the new sample. It used to be a song called “Andromeda” and the drop was just “Andromeda.” I changed it into “Booty Monsta.” It is good times because Victor is a really nice guy. We have a good connection and he is super talented. There will be more to come from his side of things I think.
Do you see more electronic artist doing collaborations with hip-hop artist like Waka?
I think so. It has kind of taken over. I think a lot of people would like to be part of it. What I tried to do with Waka is not change his nature. The part of him in the song is very 808 sounding. I would love to see more rappers over electronic music as long as no one is going to try and sound like an EDM singer all of a sudden. It is a beautiful mix, but everyone needs to keep their sound.
You don’t want electronic music to change other people’s sound, but do you think working with some of these hip-hop artists hs influenced your sound at all?
I think the whole genre called trap is based on a real genre called trap in hip-hop. Producers like 808 Mafia (Lex Luger and Southside) and even Mike Will, all these guys used to do trap and them EDM adopted the 808 thing with house stuff on top of it. Now we call it trap. Yes 100%. You hear it in my early work, songs like “Nympo.” I did all these trap sections in the intro.
How do you stay current on other genres outside of electronic music, particularly hip-hop?
I never really listen to electronic music. I need to expand my horizons and bring more to the electronic scene. Otherwise I’m going to do what other people are doing. I am always listening to the hip-hop stations on Sirius. I am always on blogs and stuff looking outside of EDM.
You also collaborated with Miley Cyrus on “Decisions.” Do you see yourself collaborating with any other pop artists in the future?
100 percent I would love to. I honestly want to collaborate with everyone from all types of genres. I had metal bands, I had pop artists, I had hip-hop artists, I had Middle Eastern Israeli type of singing. I’m ADD in nature and it keeps me on my toes to keep doing different stuff, not always the same shit.
You are one of the few electronic producers that does his own vocals. Do you consider yourself a singer? Can we expect more vocals from you? Do you write all of your own lyrics?
I write all my lyrics. A lot of the time I write the lyrics for the people that work with me as well like Miley Cyrus. That is an example. When my sister was singing on a couple of songs I wrote some lyrics there. I love writing lyrics. I love singing. I don’t think I am a good singer but I have my own texture I guess.
Can we expect to hear more singing with you?
100 percent. I am currently working on a couple songs where I am rapping. I also thought it would be cool to do big hip-hop tracks.
What inspires your rapping in your rap lyrics?
Everything, mainly my personal life. I rap about that.