A Sunday evening spent with The APX was a Sunday evening well spent. This husband and wife duo give a new meaning to entertainment. They are not only singers but musicians, DJs, producers and a true pleasure to be around. I came to the realization as we sat around a table at Noni's off of Edgewood Avenue in Atlanta before their performance at The Music Room. I had the privilege of getting to know these two on a personal level. I found out that Dee, the husband, loves sweet potato fries and Erika is a rocker chick at heart. They serve in an industry that can build you up and tear you down in the same breath, but their outlook on life serves as a vivid reminder that there is so much more to music than just the sound.
So where are you guys originally from?
Erika: I am from Detroit.
Dee: I am originally from New York, Long Island.
Your name, The APX, where did the name come from?
Erika: Basically, we started off with a cover band, but the cover band wasn’t like a typical cover band. (The After Party Experience) It was more of an edgy cover band so we wanted to create a market that wasn’t there yet. So band/DJ, edgy, club, Vegas kind of vibe, party band and just do some songs that other cover bands won’t really dare to do. So from that, we just started vibing because we were coming up with a lot of retro '80s stuff for the cover band. I mean, we do over a hundred songs a night, non-stop so it’s like a DJ stand. So with that we just kind of fell back in love with the old school '80s, retro black '80s, and the white retro overseas. We just started vibing off of that because Dee was already using his keytar on gigs.
You guys call it a keytar? I saw it on some of your videos and was thinking, 'Woah what is this? This is some really cool equipment!'
Dee: Yeah, I think the technical term for that it is called a shoulder synthesizer but everybody calls it a keytar. But yeah The APX stands for The After Party Experience which is the name of our company. The APX is a separate entity, it’s a separate alter ego. It just happens to take its name from The After Party Experience, the initials, but The APX is a completely separate alter ego. The APX is us, just us two doing electronic funk. It’s basically just that we’re producers, musicians, and singers.
The Electric Funk/NuDisco vibe that I got from y’all’s music, there aren't many mainstream artists in that field producing music like that right now, so what made y’all inspired by that?
Dee: It’s actually the fact that there aren't many artists doing it because it’s actually more so underground especially here in the United States. Now overseas and in Canada, there are a bunch of artists that we’ve been listening to that we love that are kind of in the same field. Now, of course, we are kind of doing it a little differently because we are bringing a little bit more soul. I haven’t seen any husbands and wives doing it and there is a very, very high shortage of women in the modern funk/disco arena. A lot of the artists are actually DJs and we can double as DJs too. Actually, we dropped a DJ mix last month so we’re on the verge of doubling as DJs.
Erika: But we’re just musicians. And I would say that my part of it is is that my background was rock 'n roll and I’ve kind of always had two sides to me. Of course, my mom’s side was the flower child but my dad’s side was more rebellious and so I never like to see myself coming as far as somebody else doing what I’m doing. I was also attracted to this field because I get bored easily and also again us going through our repertoire and studying music and having obscure things in our other band, made me realize, 'Wow, I want to take everything that I love from back in the day all the way from my older sisters and brothers and my parents listening to Duran Duran, Billy Idol, then turn around and listen to Elvis and the Champagne King.' All of those things attracted us to the NuDisco type of music where there is like Chromeo and all these different obscure...well not necessarily obscure. Some of them have kind of broken the surface, you know, as far as worldwide
Are you guys ready for the Grammys?
Dee: We are just music people.
Erika: *laughs* Yeah, we literally do it for the love of music and it’s just like my mom will always say, “When you do what you love, the success will follow,” you know when you follow your passion. That’s basically what it’s about. We’re having fun and making a decent living.
When you guys got together was this something you knew you wanted to do?
Erika: Well, when we were dating I actually asked him because he had a pretty big name around town and he would promote a lot of events and stuff and I had gotten a lot more on the side of what we do for a living now and I saw how much money you could make in it especially if you have a niche. So when I first asked him, as the typical, original artists are, he said no I don’t want to do that.
What convinced you?
Dee: Well, the fact that there isn’t really any group. Just because you are a cover band doesn’t mean you have to be boring which most cover bands… well, I’m not going to say most cover bands, but a lot of cover bands out there that we’ve played with in the past. It’s just been really boring, so at the time I just didn’t really want to do that, but the fact that we just kind of made it our own incorporating the DJ and stuff like that.
What can your fans expect from The APX in the near future?
Dee: A lot of funk, a lot of funk. Hopefully our first promo tour, well not hopefully, it’s in the works. We are trying to do some spot dates worldwide and actually be able to go and meet some of the people that have been supporting us for quite a while. Also, perform and meet some and spread some more music. More remixes, even after we drop our EP’s, still put some more remixes out there.
Erika: More DJ sets, directing our music videos, we have a lot of cool ideas. There’s always more with us. Charity projects for sure for Flint, MI...Africa and Glaucoma...I have Glaucoma.
Dee: As our voice grows, as our voice reaches the masses, we definitely plan on partaking in activism trying to make sure we are using our voice in the right way.
Erika: And just really overall, just really trying to influence more people to be on a positive front. Just spread love because love is always stronger than hate. Love is always the answer. As cheesy and as much as it's been said before, it still reigns true.
Photos By Jibri Morton (@jibrish) and Jhari Ponder (@vonponder)
Event Held "By Oath Premium Concert Series"