To ask Borgore, nothing is too surprising anymore. Having spent a lifetime working in an aroudn music, the early prodigy (he earned a scholarship to Cal-Berkeley for music at 17) is having the time of his life making music that gets people moving. The Israel native joined Steve Aoki, Pharrell and Waka Flocka Flame for the Fall “Aokify America” tour, which started last Friday with a show at the University of Illinois-Chicago Pavilion. Playing a set that skipped from one EDM subgenre to the next, Borgore had the young Chicago crowd fully hooked only a song into a set so full of energy one had to wonder if the packed see of neon and sparkle-clad fans would have anything left for the next three acts. At this point in his career, the 25-year-old artist is enjoying a steady climb up the music landscape and being on the road for what he calls “a field trip with friends”. I had a chance to catch him backstage right after his set, read our interview below.
Jake: Alright, so at one point during your set, you chanted “girl is a nympho” and every girl in front of me went crazy and chanted it back, what’s it like to have the power to dictate other’s actions so easily?
Borgore: Check my Twitter. Twitter is where things get out of hand. Today I gave away six tickets to people who would go into a public place, do a headtand twerk and sing Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Close My Eyes” while twerking. We got like three or four submissions. This dude did it in McDonald’s inside of a table. I have chicks doing it in Target or something but that dude took the cake.
Jake: In electronic dance music, more than any other genre, the focus is purely on one person to create a show, what is that like for you?
Borgore: It’s fucking thousands of people watching you, they fucking paid a lot of money for me to give them the best time of their lives and you cannot fuck up. So half of me wants to say it is the greatest thing, the greatest pleasure and the other half of me wants to say it is the biggest stress ever. It’s not easy.
Jake: I could imagine. So, first stop on the tour with one hell of a lineup, what’s it been like so far.
Borgore: If this tour is going to look like this I’m so happy, dude. I came to Steve before he played his set tonight and I told him big ups on assembling such an eclectic and amazing tour. I think that if I was an 18 year old, I think it’s only $30 in some markets, to come see this show, it’s out of this world dude.
Jake: How excited are you to be spending time on the road with these guys?
Borgore: I worked with Steve and I worked with Waka so I know them well. You know what though man, it’s a fucking field trip. I’m touring with my friends to begin with. It’s a semi vacation, the whole year I’m busting my ass flying city to city by myself seeing people I don’t know. I don’t have a stable life at all, I haven’t been in my house for longer than three days. For a month and a half, being on the bus, it’s like a traveling house, dude I’m on fucking vacation right now.
Jake: So how did the collaboration with Waka come about?
Borgore: I remixed one of his songs about a year and a half ago and I did a deal with him. He offered me a bunch of money but I said keep your money and throw me like a verse or something that I can fuck with, you know? I have a lot of songs that are really big singles that I never put out because I;m too strict with myself about what I’m releasing. I didn’t know whether I wanted to release this song or not and I met Waka in Spain and he came to me and said “man, this is amazing, I love it” and I was more scared than anything that Waka wouldn’t like it, you know? So he loved it, so I went back to the project changed it because it was in moombahton which is not really relevant anymore, and made it house and that’s where it is now.
Jake: That kind of leads me to my next question, how do you manage to stay aheado f the curve in such a fast-moving genre like dance music?
Borgore: I have been doing music all my life. All my life I was playing Jazz, Classical music, Punk, Metal, everything. I got a scholarship to Berkeley University when I was 17, I’ve been in music my whole life. Bring it on, bring on any genre. I’ll take time but I’ll learn it perfect, you know?
Jake: The last time I saw you was at Electric Daisy Carnival Chicago, how does a set like that compare to something like tonight?
Borgore: EDC Chicago was amazing for me, the crowd was great for me. The scene in Chicago is really nice to me. About a year ago my first big show here was at the Congress with Calvin Harris and the crowd wasn’t really feeling me but it’s never been the case since. Since then I’ve been here about three or four times and every time it’s just amazing. There was a lot of reasons for the show with Calvin to not work. It was no one’s fault but it just didn’t work but I’m happy the sets since have gone good.
Jake: So what can we expect from you moving forward, what’s on the horizon?
Borgore: Like I’ve said I’ve done music my whole life and I’ve always done it for me. I’m slowly rising, very slowly rising but it’s happening the way it should. I have no secret cards about what is coming in the future, I’m just going to keep doing what I’ve been doing so far.