Montreal-based Belgian artist Apashe is a pure “antagonist” when it comes to music.
The dance/electronic artist born John De Buck will mix up standard EDM by bringing an eight-piece brass orchestra with him to The Rialto Theatre on Tuesday, Oct. 10.
The “Antagonist” tour kicks off the campaign for the album of the same name due in November. De Buck said his goal is to seamlessly blend classical, electronic and hip-hop music.
“For the classical parts, I’m going to have a brass orchestra with us who is going to play live,” he said.
“I’ll play all the more electronic and hip-hop parts. It’s been in process for a few months now. The energy is pretty bombastic, with classical songs on top of big beats. It’s really energetic and epic at the same time.”
Among his guest vocalists is Canadian rapper Wasiu, who is featured on Apashe’s single “Human.” The song found light in the trailer for “Fast X,” but was reworked with an orchestra, he said.
“I also brought Wasiu to rap on it,” he said. “It slowly became one of my favorite songs of the upcoming album.”
The video was shot in Mongolia in a week and a half with horses.
“We had like 40 riders in this whole epic scene,” he said. “We wanted to have something that could potentially look like ‘Lord of the Rings,’ but within our budget. It has a sci-fi aesthetic. It was a crazy adventure for me and one of the most mind-blowing experiences. We traveled through the land, and certain parts of Mongolia look like Mars. It was incredible.”
A Concordia University graduate with a major in music, De Buck created Apashe in 2013. 2018’s “Requiem” EP caught on, as “Majesty” (with Wasiu) tallied over 63 million Spotify streams, followed by “Dies Irae” (featuring Black Prez) with 25.8 million Spotify streams and “Lacrimosa” with 23 million Spotify streams.
Two years later, he released his debut album, the aptly titled “Renaissance,” highlighted by collaborations with independent rapper Tech N9ne, WIFISFUNERAL, Cherry Lena and Geoffroy. Along the way, he hit stages from Electric Forest and Tomorrowland to Igloofest and Nocturnal Wonderland.
Besides “Fast X,” his music has coursed through popular culture, soundtracking trailers for installments of the “John Wick” and “Kingsman” franchises, as well as campaigns for Adidas, HBO, MLB, MTV, NBA, Netflix and Samsung. He’s incredibly pleased with this iteration.
“We started thinking about this specific show in 2021, right after the pandemic, pretty much,” he said.
“At first, it was a test at a festival in Montreal. I figured I’d try it out at home, because putting that many musicians together was easier for us here. Then I started doing it a little bit everywhere.”
He’s currently working on adapting his festival set for venues like The Rialto Theatre. The task is like piecing together a puzzle.
“I have to make it all fit together, which is not always easy,” he said. “It’s very different styles of music that we all put together. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn’t. But it’s a lot of work.”
Apashe w/Wasiu and Ymir
WHEN: 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10
WHERE: The Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress Street, Tucson
COST: Tickets start at $20