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Apollo Brown

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Biography

Grand Rapids MI, United States (1996 – present)

Apollo Brown is different than most producers. He grew up on the Seals & Crofts—not The Isley Brothers—version of Summer Breeze. Born into a bi-racial family in Grand Rapids, Michigan, his early influences skewed more toward the music of Journey and the Carpenters than the urban genres his peers often cite as inspiration. This is not to say that once came into play, Apollo wasn’t all in. Just as easily as he can praise the virtues of yacht rock, the 29-year-old beatsmith can name personal heroes—Gang Starr, Wu-Tang Clan, Mobb Deep, M.O.P., Nas, and Black Moon—from the early 90s period in which, for him, beats and rhymes became life.

Apollo began making his own music in 1996 using now-archaic Voyetra audio software, then upgraded to Cool Edit 2000 in becoming a self-described bedroom beat-maker for roughly the next eight years. After graduating from Michigan State University with a degree in business administration, he moved to the west side of Detroit and immersed himself in the local hip-hop community, forming the Black Day in July production crew with high school classmate and Wu-Tang affiliate Bronze Nazareth. When the pair branched off into individual work, Apollo relocated to the east side of the Motor City and continued to build before becoming disenchanted with music and stepping away from production for two years.

It was the mid-2000s, and the upstart producer saw no future for his work—work he had dedicated his life to—in an industry where radio was setting a formulaic pattern for mainstream music.

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