Cape Town band, Apollo, releases powerful track ‘Soldiers’

I had a chat with up and coming Cape Town based new-alt band, Apollo. They have just released their 3rd single called ‘Soldiers’. It might be their best and most powerful track yet. Formed in early 2018, this exciting 4 Piece features front-man and pianist Samuel Hyde, drummer Daniel Nambassi, guitarist Joshua Buchalter and, bassist and synth afionado Denise Onen.

Thank you for taking the time to chat to me about your latest single, ‘Soldiers’, your new sound and the local music business. ‘Soldiers’ is your 3rd release, what was the thinking behind the track and what does it mean to all of you in the band?
‘Soldiers’ represents the first time Apollo are commenting on the socio political climate around us. Previously, our songs have been a personal discovery into our lives. This time we are commenting on external forces. ‘Soldiers’ was written a year ago and has sat with us for a while now. It just felt like the right time to release it as a single. This track is very close to all of our hearts and it’s the one song we all gravitate towards naturally.

Apollo’s sound has certainly evolved, what creative processes took place to get here?
We are still currently in an exciting space, we’ve been around for a year as a band and have been working hard on developing our own sound. We’ve focused ourselves on The new-alt genre, this seemed to come naturally to us. It’s a box we’re comfortable being in — it gives us a lot of creative freedom to play around with genre and sound. Everything from alt-rock to electronic to funk. We are all connected to a playlist on Spotify that we add music to for each other to listen to. This way, we are able to gain inspiration on new sounds together and the way forward musically. We are constantly discovering new music and trying to push ourselves in the writing process daily.

Which local artists and bands most excite you at the moment and who would you like to possibly collaborate with or perform on the same stage with?
Luckily we have had the opportunity to collaborate with a few of them already such as EMERGER– they’re a very exciting outfit. We also had the opportunity to perform with The World of Birds recently who were great. All of us in the band also enjoy the music of Beatenberg, Khuli Chana, Diamond Thug, Manu Grace and Opposite The Other.

What do you think the South African music scene needs most at the moment to fully flourish?
Working together, from fellow musicians, booking agents, managers, small venue owners, festival organizers to label reps and owners. We all need to see the bigger picture here in SA. We are in a budding industry full of potential and we all need to uplift each other to put a stamp on the global stage. It’s happening in many ways but we can do better.

image of Soldiers by Apollo artwork

How did Apollo form, did you meet through friends or through student days?
We met at different times but the common thread is we all met through music buddies and industry connections.

What does the future hold for Apollo and what is your ultimate goal?
The ultimate goal for any serious band would be to continue releasing as much music as we can and have it heard and received by as many people as possible globally. Right now to achieve our ultimate goal we have a set of smaller goals put in place, which seems to help us climb the ladder step by step.

What is one city or festival in South Africa or globally that you would love to perform at?
In South Africa, I think we would like to do a Kirstenbosch show, it’s really beautiful out there and a perfect setting for live music — something us Cape Townians take for granted. Globally, there are some incredible festivals in Amsterdam and Texas that just seem to pull on our heart strings.

You certainly go all out when playing live. If you close your eyes right now and visualize performing in front of an audience, what does it feel like when you are on stage?
An epic rush!

Apollo are a band on the rise and headed for great things so if you are in Cape Town, catch them live on the 15th March at Mercury Presents: The Ides of March with Julia Robert and Androgenius.

Stream Soldiers below.

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Llewelyn Screen Llewelyn Screen is a Cape Town based freelance music writer who is passionate about the underdogs, the up and comers and new age innovators pushing South African acoustic music to new heights.

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