Minus Gravity Star Apollo Liberace Makes His Solo Debut

Going solo means distinguishing yourself from your group with both a new identity and new sound.

Initially getting recognition as part of trio Minus Gravity, hip-hop star Apollo Liberace set out on his own and has been growing his fanbase organically in support of a new album.

Born in Prince George’s County in Maryland, Liberace’s musical influences extend from performing in church choirs and youth camps growing up to an appreciation for rock, R&B, and hip-hop.

All aspects meld together in his recent string of offerings, including singles “Love for Rap” and “Love From You,” both of which segue into his self-titled debut album. 

Apollo Liberace

The release traces the trajectory of his career, including going independent, and critiques the mainstream music industry that he experienced firsthand as part of Minus Gravity.

Beyond this personal narrative and perspective, songs explore themes of drugs and violence in the Black community, as well as systemic racism and gun violence.

Previously signed to Capitol Records as part of Minus Gravity, Liberace has gone independent and taken a more underground approach – that is, using unique channels to introduce listeners to this new chapter.

To date, videos for both songs have received over 40,000 views on YouTube, and his debut album saw 560,000 Spotify streams during its first two weeks. An appearance at SXSW gave audiences more than a preview of what to expect.

What inspired you to make the leap from part of a group to solo artist?

To be completely honest … It wasn’t my choice. Sometimes people just grow apart and want to do their own thing, which is fine. It’s been the best thing that’s ever happened though … I like being 100% in control of my journey and destiny.

Your musical background started in church choirs, but today, you have a more eclectic sound. How would you describe your progression as an artist?

I would describe it as a journey … growing in age and experiences. Traveling to different countries or relationships you gain or lose … It’s all reflected in the sound of my music.

How is writing songs different as a solo artist from being in a group?

In a group, you have to be aware of the mood and energy of other artists … When it’s just me, I can just focus on the outcome of the song.

You’re doing your solo career independently. What challenges have you faced so far?

I wouldn’t call it a challenge, but if you’re going to be an independent artist and think you’ll make a lot of money right out the gate … This isn’t for you. You have to put your own money into this and believe in yourself. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Tell us about your debut album: What was your vision for your self-titled release?

It’s self-titled, and I wanted to kind of give every side of my sound as an artist. I just like making art and being creative – making different sounds and experimenting with things, and I think you can hear that in the project.

You’ve been doing minimal promotion so far. Do you have any plans to promote your music more in the future?

I wouldn’t really call it minimal promotions … I had billboards all over SXSW music festival … have things all around Coachella on the trike bikes… I just try to do things different than the average roll out of music.

What was your experience like performing at SXSW recently?

I’ve performed there before and SXSW is amazing every time. Austin is one of my favorite cities … It just has a different feel.

Whether for performing or new music, what plans do you have for the rest of the year?

A lot of shows … I’ll be releasing a new EP with hit-making producer BankRollGotIt in the next few months … just staying consistent and working. Always.

What are your long-term goals as a solo artist?

Just to reach as many people as possible doing what I love to do. It’s pretty simple.

Writer

Ivan Yaskey is a Philly-born EDM and synthpop enthusiast and interviewer who recently relocated to beautiful Boston, MA.

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