Consisting of Apex Martin, Reed Bennett, and Clayborne Bujorian, APEX is art’s modern Three Musketeers. Throughout the last few months, they have consistently been making names for themselves. Surely they are young but their artistic abilities and directions have show a high level of potential, talent and creativity. Recently they had the pleasure of working with Gilbere Forte‘s camp, Anigma, which resulted in many collaborations but most importantly the creation of the cover artwork for Gilbere‘s project, Pray. Click the jump to see the full interview.
1. Who would have thought that APEX would be apart of Gilbere Forte’s Pray project. How was assisting in creating the cover artwork for his project?
RB: We worked with Gilbere Forte, and his manager DeNiro Forte, on various projects and artwork leading up to the final release. Initially we were going to fly out to LA to sit down and get everything done at once but having all 3 of us, we couldn’t find a time where we could all be out there simultaneously. But going back and forth via Email, iMessage, and Skype actually worked out very well, as we had a lot more time to sit on ideas and let them grow. Overall, working with Anigma (Gilbere’s camp) was super fresh – we were all on similar creative wavelengths and spoke our mind.
CB: The process was rather nerve-racking since contacting one another through iMessage, Email, and Skype was our only method of communicating. Discombobulating the cover artwork for PRAY was a great experience. Not only did it strengthen the relationship between the members of APEX, it also gave us a great opportunity to build and connect with both Gilbere and DeNiro Forté.
AM: I actually don’t remember how this came about but I’m glad it did. This may have been one, if not the best, creative direction projects we’ve done to date. Nothing in the process felt “forced” or “unnatural”. They stood behind most of our creative input.
RB: Coverart is just one aspect of doing creative direction for an album, we worked/are working with ‘Bere on many other visuals which hopefully you will get to see later this year. Coverart is always a fun challenge because you take a body of work and try to squeeze all of the emotion and sound into one image. Which I feel we definitely accomplished here.
CB: Cover artwork is “cool.” But, I believe there’s more to it than people think. Who knows what we’ll move on to next. Matter of fact, I don’t even think we know what’s next for us. Whatever it may be, I can only hope it will entertain those dying for entertainment.
AM: Of course, that was always the plan. The cover artwork of an EP/Album is the most difficult part in my opinion. Just having to visually capture a vibe within a square (most of the time) is a tedious task. It’s always worth it in the end. But trust and believe, we can do everything from movie scores to stage designs.
RB: After talking with Gilbere and DeNiro and how important this project was to them, I felt obliged to help them create something as omnipotent as the music itself.
CB: Months ago, I came home from school and began scrolling through the archives of Complex Magazine. Shortly after entering the Music column, I noticed Gilbere released an intriguing music video for a record entitled PRAY. I listened carefully as I watched the visual over and over again. At this time, I never would have guessed APEX would be credited for discombobulating the cover artwork of his upcoming project.
AM: We were definitely flattered, considering how “low key” we try to stay, as far as inquiries go. But ANIGMA is nothing short of creative, so we knew it would be fun to be apart of.
4. Were you guys given any sneak peaks of the project? What were your initial reactions to the music?
RB: Gilbere had sent some beats because at the time, the songs had not been mixed so that’s where we pulled the direction for the visuals from. I had heard the lead single, PRAY, and I was beyond impressed in all aspects of the record. Then I heard the beats and was intrigued in how Gilbere and Raak (crazy dope producer, produced the majority of PRAY) were going to execute on them.
CB: In order to design a suitable cover, we needed a taste of Gilbere’s feelings and emotions regarding the project. Yes, we received a snippet or two. These particular snippets were of sounds I had never heard. Both Gilbere and his super-producer Raak worked day in and day out to finish what they started. At the end of the day, I am utterly satisfied with the result of their hard work. It truly prevailed.
AM: I think Reed and Clay heard some things and had the track list, but I personally only heard the public singles and saw the premiere visuals. Sadly I was busy working on potential album placements NON-STOP.
5. What can you say is to come from Gilbere’s camp and your camp? Any other collaborations? projects?
RB: We still have some work to do to bring PRAY to the closing credits but for future projects, only time can tell. Just keep sure you’re paying attention.
AM: I guess we’ll just have to see. Won’t we?
And there you have it.