For the benefit of anyone who’s been living in an underground bunker for the past several years…who on earth are you?
Big Ape. I’m a beat maker from Helsingborg, Sweden now living in Amsterdam. I’m the founder of Elite Fleet – a crew of producers and deejays from Sweden (DJ Create, DJ Connect, and DJ Devastate). I released an album titled, Crossing The Globe, together with L.I.F.E. Long, and a Mixtape album titled, Xplosive Xclusives, with my man DJ Connect some years ago. Now I’m back with a new EP with Shabaam Sahdeeq titled, Modern Artillery.
How did you get started in music, and what drives you to continue?
I’ve always been a big Hip-Hop head, and in the late ’90s I got some equipment together with Elite Fleet’s DJ Create and started making beats. Since then, I haven’t been able to stop.
Do you remember the first beat you ever made?
Not really but I still got my first beats saved that I made on the MPC.
If a movie about your life in music was to be made, what interesting/strange moments and stories would you share to make the movie cool?
Oh got a lot of good stuff. Crazy diggin’ missions in Berlin with Devastate, to going to Philly with Deep. Intoxicated artists in Sweet, Amsterdam going wild lol. And of course the “having too much fun in the studio” that you miss your flight back home from New York!
Are there any other interesting facts about you that hardly anyone else knows?
I’m actually a nice guy.
What is the greatest thing about working in the music industry? And what would you change if you had the opportunity?
I get to do what I love. I would’ve started much sooner.
Looking back, what have been the most important moments in your life so far?
Buying an MPC, moving to Amsterdam, and being able to be release good music.
What have been your biggest highlights?
Most of the artists that I get to meet, or work with, I’ve had their music in my vinyl collection since my teenage years.
What has been your biggest challenge…and how did you overcome it?
Adapting to the digital age has been challening, but I let wifey handle everything on social media.
Who are your heroes? Why do they rock your world?
My parents, for always supporting.
Who have been the coolest, most memorable people you’ve met along the way?
Basically all the people that I get to work with that still have love for their craft, after being in the game for some time. And of course the Elite Fleet; DJ Create, DJ Devastate and DJ Connect.
When you’re sitting on the porch age 97 what would you like to look back on and smile having achieved?
To have been able to make Elite Fleet a household name.
What has been your most memorable or inspirational gig and why?
We had quite a bit of good shows over here organized by my wife. The Smif-n-Wessun show was crazy. The Shabaam and R.A. The Rugged Man show was awesome, as was Rockness Monstah’s solo shows over here. Lord Digga, Kool Keith, Cella Dwellas, Ruste Juxx…all incredible shows!
What has been your strangest celebrity encounter?
I met Coolio at my day job, and then went out and partied with ‘em [laughs].
Who would be your ideal dinner guest, living or dead, and what would you serve them?
Deep and Ben Boogz from 2 Hungry Bros, and I would love to treat them to a classic Swedish Christmas Buffet, Julbord.
What are the greatest songs, albums, books, movies, TV shows, websites you’ve ever come across?
Too many great songs and album to be able to pick one. It’s been years since I read a book. I don’t really watch much TV, but I like South Park and Eastbound & Down.
Name 5 songs (yours excluded) that we would expect to find on your iPod or Music Player
• Organized Konfusion – “Stray Bullet”
• O.G.C. – “Hurricane Starang”
• Ras Kass – “Golden Chyld”
• Jeru – “Ain’t the Devil Happy”
…and you will always have some type of unreleased and exclusive track on there.
What special-hero type skills are you blessed with?
I can see the matrix clearly.
Where can everyone reading this interview keep up with your adventures?
• Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/elitefleetrecords
• Instagram: @elitefleethiphop
…and our website is in the works and will be up soon!
Any final thoughts?
Yeah check out Shabaam Sahdeeq’s new EP Modern Artillery, which I produced in its entirety. It’s a 7 track project that includes guest features from Reef The Lost Cauze, OuterSpace, Torea, Ruste Juxx, 8thW1 and the late PumpkinHead (R.I.P.). All cuts by Elite Fleet’s DJDevastate, and both mixed and mastered by my man Spent D’nero at Goblin Studio. We got one video that just dropped for “Get It,” and another for “D.I.L.L.I.G.A.F.” that should be out soon. The project just dropped on cassette, which you can cop over a Fat Beats, and it should be out on vinyl real soon. Be sure to be on the look out for our upcoming projects with Freeway, The Rockness Monsta and many more.
You could embed the video for “Get It” here if you’d like: https://youtu.be/ues5JUGXTBY
Buy-Links – Modern Artillery:
• Cassette (Fat Beats): http://bit.ly/1PjhUYx
• iTunes: http://apple.co/1iYQsDw
• Amazon: http://amzn.to/1LLyvVv
• Spotify: http://spoti.fi/1GblFgM
• Google Play: http://bit.ly/1G385wh
• Tidal: http://bit.ly/1GblIcp