Lord Apex has had a varied career up to this point. From releasing low-key rap music in the mid 2010s, to collaborating with fashion giants such as Supreme and Carhartt, it’s fair to say his career has changed a lot since he broke onto the scene. His most recent project, The Good Fight, celebrates this change, treating it as an evolution.
Musically, the album is more complex and experimental than his earlier work, demonstrating how much he has grown since as a musician. Speaking to Lord Apex, he tells us he feels loved and more mature in this new chapter. We also discuss his career, life, and identity. The Good Fight is out now on streaming platforms.
Nice to be speaking with you. Congrats on your new album! Your most recent releases such as Blessings seem to act as celebrations of sorts. Are you celebrating a new chapter, an evolution?
I’m celebrating a new chapter in my life right now that revolves around feeling loved, taking care of my business affairs, evolving and maturing into the man I was always supposed to be. And taking time to appreciate the smaller moments alone and with people that should be cherished.
Your 2016 album, Bamboo Forest, acted as a soundtrack to my final year at school, and it’s still really great in its own right. But I can’t help but notice how much your musical style has developed since then. What has been the driving force of this evolution?
Man, that means so much to me, thank you. Honestly in comparison to where I’m currently musically at, Bamboo Forest is that first crack in the iceberg before they found the avatar lol. I’ve grown so much since then vocally and just emotionally, so there’s a lot more depth but still a lot of playful experimental music also.
You have released an impressive volume of music since 2016. Your discography is seemingly endless and varied. What is it about creating and releasing music consistently that is important to you?
Creating albums for me is the best way to put different chapters in my life into one solid piece of art that helps me kinda round them off and turn them into something I can look back at have to a clearer understanding of where my head is at in that giving time when making them. That aside, I’ve always been more of a full album listener, so making one is like a walk in the park for me at this point.
I often see you likened to musicians such as J Dilla or MF Doom. What do you think it is about your music that leads people to draw such parallels?
I think it makes sense because I’d say they sit at the foundation of my inspiring pyramid, including Madlib. That trifecta is the one that opened my eyes to so much more than just being underground. They introduced me to making music with no rules and limitations on creation and how abstract you can become with rap, and I’ve never looked back. There will always be a sound in my music that takes inspiration from all of them.
Outside of music, you have also collaborated with fashion giants such as Supreme and Carhartt. What draws you to fashion, and how did you get started with it?
I was always into fashion. As a kid I used to create folders on my Windows laptop and just put all of the New Era fits I wanted to buy in there, so I could visualise having them and seeing the collection all in one place. For me, clothes are just as important as the music.
I think my sense of style is in direct correlation with my music sound and lifestyle. Whether outfits are super out there or a bit more laid back, I've always dressed to match my mood for that as apposed to just getting an outfit off, so it really depends what vibe you catch me on. But even in that affect, even a negative emotion may bring out the wildest outfits, so I try to go with the flow and make sure the clothes match the flow of the day. Working with the brands kind of just came naturally and has been blossoming ever since.
You also have been a part of some pretty insane musical collaborations over the past few years and more recently in The Good Fight with features from the likes of Freddie Gibbs, Mavi and Greentea Peng. Do you find collaborating with other artists important?
I don’t find it as important for me as much as it is for the fans. Even though I’m always making music primarily for myself, I had to remind myself, especially during an occasion such as a first album, that I wouldn’t be here without the fans, so I wanted to create a few songs and collabs that, one, they wouldn’t expect, and two, I knew they would love to see happen at the same time. I feel like we achieved that all over this album.
Despite your varied collaborators, and eclectic mix of musical styles, you are a London boy at heart. Is being from London still a significant part of your identity and life, despite your global success?
I’ve always been British Caribbean first and foremost, two identities that, especially according to history, it’s hard for me to see apart. I’m very aware of my sound and accent sounding a bit different but it’s honestly always been like that if you ask anyone that really knows me, so I just felt blessed to have a unique vocal tone. I think it allows me to break down doors where the voice is a bit more universally accepted, which allows me to be in a lot more avenues essentially. I love the UK to death and put it on my back everywhere I go, but in my heart my Jamaican flag comes before the Union Jack.
The UK rap scene has really diversified and grown since you began making music. Are you proud to be a part of it? Who are some artists you find particularly inspiring?
I’m proud to be apart of the scene right now, I think regardless of whatever the scene looks like it’s always important to have an artist like myself that offers a different perspective on the city sound-wise. I felt like I’ve always represented alternative Black kids not just in the city but around the world because we remember a time growing up where a lot of the things we were into weren’t so socially acceptable like they are now.
What can we expect from The Good Fight? Are you looking forward to releasing new music, and touring too?
new music
new love
new EMP merch
new tours
new countries
new mental & physical
new braid styles
Always looking forward to touring. Once you get to a space like I’m in you live in your own world a lot, so touring is always that step out of the hyperbolic time chamber back into reality where the appreciation firsthand brings me back to reality and just grounds me every time. It’s true a blessing, thank you for such cool questions!