In a unique access all areas series, south London based photographer Joseph McDermott goes behind the scenes to learn more about the most exciting emerging acts in music today. After shutting down a show on Peckham’s Rye Lane, Joseph caught up with Lord Apex to discuss his inspirations, favourite artists right now, and what an average day looks like for the master sensei.
Who are you and where are you from?
The one with three eyes and four faces Lord Apex, a man of many names. Yardie Miyagi, the sensei and AP most recently. I hail from the Westside of London in the brick city of White City. Born ‘n raised.
How did you get into creating music?
I’ve been surrounded by music forever, whether it was the Ludacris or Gucci Mane tracks my cousins would be playing, or the D Double or Lord Of The Mics my older sister would be watching, or the reggae vibes my parents would be playing 24/7. Me, personally, when I was in high school I started freestyling with some friends really just messing around and then one day my friend got invited to a studio at a youth club in Latimer by a rapper called Lowkey, so from around 2009 I started recording with friends, then years later eventually making my own shit.
And how would you describe your sound?
I think my sound embodies counter culture, because with me having so many different songs out – with all these various feels – it’s hard to categorise the music. The music itself is an energy then eventually the people name it whatever they feel comfortable with, but if I would give it a genre it’s that “EMP” sound and if you don’t know, you won’t know.
If somebody hasn’t listened to Lord Apex, what’s the first song you would recommend?
First song I would tell them to listen to would probably be “Geisha” or “Bebop”, because I feel like that’s when the journey really started. Other than those two, I’d probably tell them to listen to a full project.
What does an average day for Lord Apex look like?
An average is quite cloudy. I always wake up and roll up with a different vibe just to start the inspiration for today’s mood. Sometimes I might play a vinyl just to feel that much more human still. Other than that I’m either in the post office shopping out merch or I’m in my homie’s studio, but I’m tryna build my own studio now so soon I won’t be leaving the crib at all haha.
Who’s your favourite artist right now?
Hoodrich Pablo Juan, Lil Dude, Young Nudy. Other than that, on the late night is when I listen to older albums or new ones that’s just dropped – as I’m typing this I’m about to listen to Maxo Kream’s new album Punken.
What song do you currently have on repeat?
Who would you say your biggest inspirations are, musically?
Madvillain just for a two for one, Max B, Lil B, Chief Keef, Prodigy, Busta Rhymes and Wu Tang Clan.
What’s the best show you’ve ever played and why?
Best show I played was opening up for Rat Boy. Simply because musically, I wasn’t ready – even though the crowd loved the music. It was my biggest crowd to date so it helped me feel like every other show is a breeze now and more than anything else, I just learned the most from it.
If you could organise a dream tour, who would be on it with you?
I would do a “All The Smoke tour” with Hoodrich Pablo Juan, Curren$y, Young Nudy, Snoop Dogg, Cypress Hill, Meth and Redman, and Lil Wayne. Pretty much all my favourite stoner rappers!
Who’s your favourite artist or producer to collaborate with?
Probably my homie P-Rallel, just because it’s the fact we’ll build the beat together so it feels like way more of an actual collaboration as oppose to just getting sent a beat, which I don’t mind either.
What can we expect from Lord Apex in the future?
Whole bunch of vibes this year and each project sounds different because the sound is constantly growing. More gas this year too!
And lastly, any final messages or shoutouts for the people?
Shout out my mother for creation of me and shout out Mother Nature for creation of the World.