Fresh off of their selection into the Salute Top 100 with ‘Toxicity’, we caught up with the lovely London duo, April and The Aprilites, to talk musical inspiration, soundsystems, and Gregory Issac synchronicities.
- SALUTE: How are you? Did you have a good time over the summer?
April: It’s been a great summer connecting with our audience. Last Summer we were working really hard on creating our music, this summer we are focusing on putting stuff out there.
- SALUTE: So how did you meet and get together as a writing group?
April: Two years seriously creating with each other – but we’d been friends for a few years before. It all starts with a good jamming session really that’s where it took off for us. We just found that we gelled really well musically and both wanted to be experimental with our sound. We live really close to each other too and that helped.
- SALUTE: Where did you grow up? What was it like musically?
Antonio: I grew up in North West London, my dad was a producer there was always music in my house which was usually reggae music, Van Morrison, Pop – my dad was really eclectic. I took classical piano lessons. I played for various artists from a very early age. It just took off from there.
April: I grew up in the outskirts of Stanmore, Middlesex, for me my dad used to be a DJ so he always had the vinyl out, he was an amazing singer too. I grew up listening to a lot of stuff from Gregory Isaacs, to Sade, Anita Baker, Oasis, Jamiroqaui.
- SALUTE: Were there local scenes that you could go to play your music or listen to other people’s music?
Antonio: My Dad used to take me to various studios so I had the chance to be around different musicians and I’ve performed at loads of gigs. Later on, I was playing with local bands and doing gigs around the area.
April: Yeah because we both grew up in musical environments there was always a platform to experiment with our ideas and learn from our elders in that sense.As part of our culture we grew up going to a lot of house parties with big sound systems too, I think that was a really juicy environment to be inspired.
- SALUTE: Do you collaborate a lot with other Music Makers these days?
April: Like a lot of artists, we get out to gigs fairly often and love live music and collabs. Fortunately, in this era there are platforms like Salute, Soundcloud, IG, they all provide great opportunities to meet artists or industry people that you might not have.
- SALUTE: How did you get started making music personally? When did you write your first song?
Antonio: There was a grand piano in my house, I wrote my first song when I was about eight years old.
April: I started writing when I was about 9, I heard a song called ‘undercover lover’ by Anita Howard and I realised that I might be able to tap into myself by rewriting my own words in a set melody.
- SALUTE: Who are the Aprilites and how did Antonio ‘B’ get that nickname?
April: I think Aprilites came from the idea that I wanted women and men alike to trust what we were saying in our lyrics. It had a very biblical feel to it and it just stuck.
Antonio: Antonio is my middle name, and then B is from my surname. A friend suggested it one day and that kind of stuck too.
- SALUTE: What gear do you use for recording and production?
April: Logic Pro X, KRK monitors, Metric Halo Soundcard, Oxygen 61 keyboard controller and some cool plugins and a Rhode mic.
- SALUTE: How’s it been since your latest music came out?
April: Overall we’ve had a great reception. It’s been an interesting journey finally showing our stuff to the public and tapping into the best ways to promote and market our material. This is why platforms like Salute are invaluable to independent artists like us.
- SALUTE: What do you think of the Salute initiative?
April: Independent music has been a growing movement in the global market for years now. It almost feels like commercialised music still tries to have the indie movement in a bit of a chokehold. For me, it’s been a long time coming. For example, just because I didn’t have the luxury of stage schools and parents to maintain my creativity financially doesn’t mean I can’t put stuff out there. If anything the struggle helps you sing the blues more or better! I’m really excited because Salute doing this with all of its reputable curators and partners only means one thing – the industry will follow Salute. And I’m really excited about what that will look like.