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Slidin’ Thru: Minus Gravity

January 30, 2019

Read the full interview on YoungCalifornia.com!

Minus Gravity is exactly what their name entails: unstoppable, with absolutely no limits. Comprised of Mic Apollo, Rob Will, Sir Blaze, the trio that hails from San Antonio, Texas has been settling in their new home in Los Angeles quite comfortably, often times locked in the studio creating and recording on the fly. Read more…

While signing to Capitol Records is a dream in itself, they know the work doesn’t end there. Don’t let the painted fingernails, rainbow-colored dreads, and fashion-forward outfits distract you, these guys have been making music together for over a decade. With their latest single “Options,” they unleash a sound that’s unlike any other, just like everything else in their brand.

For those who don’t know, who is Minus Gravity?
Apollo: Minus Gravity is a group of three dedicated, young individuals that’s been doing this for 10 years plus. Working on our craft and just trying to get better everyday. We came out to LA with nothing. It stands for “nothing can hold you down.”

How long have you been in LA now?
Apollo: 5 years.

What’s your favorite part about the city?
Apollo: Weather, women, and weed. The 3 W’s.

What do ya’ll think of this rain though?
Rob: I’m sure some of these trees need some moisturization. We don’t need anymore fires, so we happy as hell. But then you get the mudslides.

Where do you fit in the realm of hip-hop and R&B?
Apollo: Right in the middle. Maybe a little to the left, a little to the right. We make everything. Rob Will is an R&B singer, Blaze is a rapper, and I do both. We love both. Also rock, we make rock music. Ya’ll will probably get that in a good two years.

Mic Apollo, Rob Will, Sir Blaze — what do each of you guys bring to the group?
Rob Will: I bring the R&B smooth vibe. I was raised on Stevie Wonder and soul. I bring that soulful element to the group.
Blaze: I just bring the energy baby. I’m just so energetic. I also rap, so you’ll hear a lot of hip-hop versatility coming from Blaze.
Apollo: Blaze is probably our favorite part on stage because that’s when we get to jump around and bring the energy. I bring the weirdness, the alien vibe. I be trying different things. Us together is a cool little mixture. A cool little gumbo.

Who gets the final say?
Apollo: We all get to have a say. It’s easier when you’re on the same mind-wave. If one of us has an idea, we trust it enough. If either of us are in the booth or we hear a song, we trust each other enough to ask each other questions, or take advice when it’s needed.

Being from Texas, how does that play into your life and career?
Blaze: It plays a lot. You can hear that all throughout my music. I was actually born in Gary, Indiana.

I know it’s rough out there.
Blaze: Oof, it is. Blessings. I moved to Texas, grew up in San Antonio. I love the culture there, just the whole chopped and screwed music. The whole Texas wave, with the slabs, the double cups, all of that. Texas people know what I’m talking about.

Apollo: Blaze definitely is the one who keeps us Texas the most, but through all our music, you’ll hear the Texas influence always. People from Texas especially will. Even by our production style, how we do different stuff, we put little things in different pockets to keep it Southern and Texas.

Who are some Texas artists that you all grew up listening to?
Apollo: Pimp C, Devin the Dude, UGK. It’s funny, when we first came down here, we stayed at the Mondrian in West Hollywood. That was the first place we stayed. We got a lot of record deal offerings that we didn’t take, just from staying in that hotel. We didn’t know that was the hotel that Pimp C died in, rest in peace.
Rob: We even had Lil’ Flip out of there, Flip had his time. Mike Jones had his time. Slim Thug had his time. Big O, the OGs.

How important is it to come to LA as an up and coming artist?
Apollo: It’s really important because you get to see what level your on. San Antonio is a big city but as far as the music market, there is none. You get to really test out who you are and how the city embraces you. That was a big thing for us, seeing where our brand was and really where we were as a group on a bigger scale. Then coming here and being embraced, it’s like a refreshment. It’s letting you know like “okay you do got it, and you can go anywhere.” We’ve been all over the world and it’s the same response.

How did y’all meet?
Blaze: Me and Apollo met in middle school. We were 13 years old, doing music.
Apollo: We the only ones in middle school with a CD at the time.
Blaze: That was selling a CD!
Apollo: He had a CD with a group of 5 or 10 people, and I had a solo project that I was selling for $5. We both had the middle school block hot. The CDs was going like hotcakes. That was our first mixtape.
Blaze: We met Rob a couple years later, and been rocking ever since.
Rob: I met them through a character development program. I was doing entertainment-related stuff outside of school, doing little performances. They basically had a studio outside of the same building, and we’ve been connected ever since.

At what point did you realize this music thing was forreal?
Apollo: It never wasn’t. I remember being 10 and knowing this is what I was going to do. Even then, it was just timing. Trying to get better and really learn the field I wanted to go into.

“Options” is a vibe. Talk about your mindstate creating this one.
Blaze: “Options” was just fun. Even making the video… did you see it? Down to making it in the studio. To this day, all these songs bring us back to this vibe and energy in the studio. To me, it was just a fun, energetic track. Something fun for the people.
Rob: It was never forced.
Apollo: “Options” wasn’t really a sitting down, “we’re about to make the greatest song ever created.” Nah, it was more of “we’re finna take a few shots of Casamigos tequila, and we’re not even going to write this. We’re just going to have fun and freestyle it.” Just go in the studio and whatever comes to us at the time. Energy was high, we were already jumping on the tables and the chairs. Once the energy is right in the room, there’s nothing else you have to do.

What was it like working w/ Rich Skillz (who’s worked w/ Rihanna and Robin Thicke)?
Apollo: It was pretty cool. It was dope. How we work as a group, it’s always as long as we keep our energy right in the studio, then it usually turns out.

Talk about your upcoming collab w/ Robin Thicke.
Rob: It’s going to be pretty sizzling. We actually got a couple songs with Robin Thicke, but the one on the project is for the ladies.
Apollo: Ladies, mature sound. You can sip wine to it and chill. You can listen to it with your mom and ya’ll can both enjoy it together. It’s a dope song.

What was it like working w/ such a legend?
Apollo: Robin Thicke is a genius. Just being in the studio with him for hours, you learn years of stuff that you wouldn’t get anywhere else. You can’t read a book and get this type of knowledge on your craft. You can’t just watch something, you have to be there. Being around him and how he works — the little things he told us, it goes farther than you can ever imagine and ask for. It was wonderful. He’s a genius, period.

A lot of people don’t even understand. You think about Robin Thicke from the outside looking in like “Robin Thicke is dope,” but when you’re sitting back in the studio with him, you’re like “this dude is a fucking genius.” The rest of the world doesn’t even understand his music level. You’re hearing songs but they don’t understand what’s put into it and his thought process — how he moves, how he works — it’s really inspiring. It inspired us, for sure.

What is it you want fans to get from your story?
Rob Will: Just to never give up. Stay true to yourself. Even though sometimes life gives you obstacles and blockades, you just have to go through it and keep a level head. Trust the process. Shout out to Joel Embiid.

Congrats on Capitol Records! Talk about that journey.
Apollo: Congrats to Capitol Records, not Minus Gravity because they signed us. [laughs] I’m joking. It was a journey like anything else. It’s like joining the NBA. You work, we been working since we were kids. You go to school, we did all of that. We been doing music the whole time, just like you would play sports while you’re going to school. We just got to the phase where it was time to get drafted, and this is the team we chose to play with. That’s the GM. [points to manager]

I didn’t know ya’ll were grinding for 10 years. Were you doing everything independent?
Blaze: Yes, everything.
Apollo: Longer than 10 years. Saying 10 years just makes it easier. [chuckles] Independently, just working.

It’s interesting. You have the Migos who are under the same umbrella at Capitol. Do ya’ll ever get that comparison?
Apollo: It’s funny, we get that comparison a lot. It’s three of us, and we have dreads. They’re cool, we rock with the Migos.

What is your take on the music industry?
Rob: It’s interesting right now.
Apollo: The music industry is dope. You can have good situations, and you have situations you have to work through. For us, it’s really just a learning curve. That’s it. Because we know where we’re gon’ be, and we know where we were before we got here. Being in Capitol, it’s not really a big deal for us. I mean, it is in retrospect, but while we’re here, we’re just working. Basically, the biggest deal about being here is just learning the process of it, because this is something we want to do and something we want to take over. Something we are going to take over. It’s just sitting back, learning, and studying, until it gets to that time.

What did you do with your first advance?
Blaze: We bought a studio.
Manager: A newer studio, we had three.

What are some goals yourself as an artist at this point of your career?
Apollo: It’s only ever been one goal: to be the best. Biggest ever. Not even trying to say it with an ego, but back to the NBA, we playing basketball. Niggas aint looking up to Luke Walton. No offense to Luke Walton, he’s a head coach now, but I didn’t want to be Luke Walton growing up. I wanted to be Allen Iverson, because he was the best player at the time. I wanted to be Michael Jordan. We’re here to be the best.

Where do you get your fashion inspo from?
Blaze: Ourselves really. Just wake up and throw something on, it ain’t really that serious. We each individually have different tastes. When we all come together, we have this tremendous splash, but we like to express ourselves through our music, life, clothes, everything.
Rob: But we definitely have a few fashion inspirations, like Alexander McQueen. Just different fashion designer stories that were real. It all comes back to the same thing: never give up and stay on your path, even when people count you out.

How important is social media for your career?
Rob: If you would ask anybody else, they will say it’s really important. But to us, it’s more about knowing who we are as real people and in real life. Trying to be the best people, genuine people. Humble, be nice, and just be a good person. To us, our social media isn’t that important. If you ask Capitol, they’ll probably say it is the most important thing, but we know this shit all comes and goes. Instagram will be wibbly wobbly in 5 years.

Isn’t that crazy?
Apollo: Technology is different from social media. We always make sure to stay ahead of technology, we have a tech team actually. We just competed in a competition at Capitol and got second place. I think it was an inside job, but it’s cool. [all 3 laugh] I’m joking, but we have a tech team with some smart people. We always creating new tech and apps, that’s under our same management umbrella.

What’s a normal day in the life? Walk us through.
Apollo: Wake up, depending on how we feeling, we roll a Backwood. If we have show, we probably won’t smoke that much. Be focused on different tasks we have for the day. Usual day, we make some music. We got portable studios always with us at all times. And plot. Every day: plot, plot, plot, plot, plot. Takeover coming soon.
Blaze: Promote and market ourselves.

3 things you need in the studio?
Apollo: I don’t like the word ‘need’, but tequila. We like to have some type of liquor. Women bring inspiration. Not all of them though. Shout out to the cool females that can be cool in the studio. Don’t be asking us questions while we’re in the creative process. “How long are we going to be here?” “Darnell, Uber! Get the ride ready.” Just good vibes. The main thing is energy and the vibe for that day. We’ll be going through a day and it will be too much energy in the air: “somebody, get a studio now.” Those are always the best songs every time, you feel it.

What’s the best encounter you had with a fan?
Rob: One time, we was on the road going through Texas. We had stopped at a truck spot and there was a Wendy’s connected to the gas station. We went over there and ordered some food. We had got a little extra something something in the bag, we were like “what’s up with that?” We figured out they recognized us.
Apollo: They was all going crazy. We ended up getting out of the car, the whole staff came out and took a picture in the parking lot. It was a small city in Texas, that’s what made it so crazy. Shout out Van Horn. We was just randomly stopping on the road. You ever stop at Van Horn, stop at that Wendy’s. Tell them we sent you.

What would you do if you weren’t doing music?
Apollo: Producing music. It was never anything else. It never was. I remember my mom used to say, “well you need a back-up plan.” I’d be like “for what?” If you have a back up plan, that’s basically crutching yourself to fail. You shouldn’t have a backup plan. Whoever made that up — I’m not failing. What I need a back-up plan for? It’s only one option. How can you fail? Really, people don’t think about it. The only way we’re failing is stopping.

Who’s the most played artist on your phone?
Apollo: Man, we listen to everything. My favorite artist right now is James Blake. In this generation, we listen to a lot of different things.
Blaze: Soulja Boy.
Everyone: Shout out to Soulja Boy.

What can we expect from your upcoming project?
Blaze: A whole lot of greatness. You can expect quality music that you’re going to appreciate It‘s all different sounds on there that you want to listen to. All different vibes, all different waves, it’s a full project.
Apollo: It’s just mood music. That’s our genre because we don’t call ourselves rappers, we just call ourselves artists. It’s only 7 songs on the EP, but it’s literally every mood you go through in life. You got the sad songs, if you just went through a breakup. We got slow, crazy music. We got the joint with Robin Thicke. We got the uptempo music when you’re going to the club, or when you’re trying to get pumped before a big game — when you’re at the championship game!
Rob: Relationships, breakups, deaths, whatever.
Apollo: It’s that Minus Gravity, nothing can hold you down.

Anything else you want to let us know?
Apollo: This is all we love doing and all we ever loved doing. We working hard every day because we coming 2019. Purple emoji.

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