EDM Pillow Talk: An Interview with Borgore
“I’m in bed, this is what I do during the day,” says Israel-born, LA-based Borgore on the phone last Saturday afternoon. “Awesome, me too,” I thought to myself as I adjusted my pillow and began our conversation. Asaf Borger, aka Borgore, rose to “mainstream” fame in the last year after releasing a heavy metal–influenced dubstep record featuring vocals from America’s favorite shit show Miley Cyrus, but was strongly involved in the industry for years prior. Much like his current tour-mate Steve Aoki, Borgore founded a record label on his own that has become successful worldwide and has helped boost careers for artists like Rusko and Kennedy Jones. Currently, Borgore is touring as a part of the Aokify America tour, which stops this week in Salt Lake at The Complex. From my duvet to his, I lounged in my pajamas as we discussed his new music, current tour, and what he thinks of Miss Miley herself.
SLUG: You’re in the middle of a tour with Steve Aoki—did you know him previously? How is the tour going?
Borgore: I’ve known Steve for a long time. He was always very open-minded about music. He became friends with a lot of dubstep DJs before dubstep was really popular. I couldn’t imagine [the tour] to be any better. Waka [Flocka] is really good and he and Steve are the nicest people. It’s a very eclectic lineup so kids are having fun.
SLUG: Aoki said in a previous interview with SLUG that the tour would attract a wide range of music fans—how has the crowd responded thus far?
Borgore: I think YouTube makes kids very educated when it comes to music. It’s not really a single-genre type of crowd anymore. I think people are happy that they can come to a show and get to see different genres. Waka, Steve and I are also very party-oriented acts, so it works.
SLUG: You’re becoming known for crossing hip hop with dubstep and the combination is becoming more and more popular as artists like Flux Pavilion and Datsik are doing so as well. Would you say that’s the future of the genre?
Borgore: I think what makes a good artist is not classifying yourself under one genre. I’ve made a lot of house records and I’m kind of trying to be able to do everything. I think that’s the future. Being a true musician is having no boundaries in art.
SLUG: You transitioned into producing electronic music after being in a death metal band—what was that experience like and how would you say it influences how you produce to this day?
Borgore: I think it gave me a musical background that I use a lot. Metal is a very technical style and isn’t very common in EDM. Other than that, I like really heavy dance music so no matter what type of genre I’m making it’s always on the heavier side.
SLUG: Your Wild Out EP is about to drop—what can you tell us about it?
Borgore: I think it’s a really good one. There’s the “Wild Out” song with Waka that I think will be really good on the charts. It’s more of a trap song that transitions into house and not many people are doing that. It’s done really well when we’ve dropped it in sets.
SLUG: Can we expect a full album soon?
Borgore: I do a lot of music by myself. I have no one to help and I do every step alone [production wise]. I’m also on the road all year, so it’s really difficult to sit down and make a whole album.
SLUG: A lot of artists produce on the road—is that something you’re interested in?
Borgore: The last year and a half was a long transition⎯I was a very studio-oriented artist, but since I’ve been touring a lot, I’ve learned how to produce on the road. All I need is a pair of headphones and I’m golden—I can write anywhere.
SLUG: Your single with Miley, “Decisions,” has become a worldwide hit—how was working with her?
Borgore: It was really amazing. There’s not a lot of singers that are as good as her, and besides that, she’s really easy to get along with. She’s really down to earth. I think her new album is a masterpiece.
SLUG: You played on the Ultra Music Festival and Electric Daisy Carnival main stages this year—what did it mean to you to be able to play for such a large audience?
Borgore: I was on the verge of tears. It’s like getting married; it’s the biggest day of your life. I can die happy, I guess!
The Aokify America tour will be hitting The Complex this Wednesday, November 13 and you can buy tickets at smithstix.com or at the door. The tour has received a lot of good feedback from websites like EDM Chicago and is Borgore’s first stop in Salt Lake since the release of his hit “Decisions” in January. In addition, his new EP, Wild Out, will be available on iTunes for purchase in the U.S. this Friday, November 15. Here’s the video for "Decisions" featuring Miley Cyrus: