Stomping across the globe with a flavor all his own, the Gorestep king known as Borgore continues to impress with his ability to not only continually smash each and every venue he and the crew touch down on, but to do so with an ever-evolving sound that harkens back to his early years as a jazz musician. Having spent his formative years in a highly exclusive music school in Israel, the Tel Aviv–born and -bred musician-turned-producer-turned-DJ has never been shy about his love of everything from metal to hardcore to jazz and hip-hop. Having worked with everyone from Miley Cyrus to G-Eazy—and launching the careers of names ranging from Getter to Jauz to soon-to-be future legends like SVDDEN DEATH, AFK, Ray Volpe, and GG Magree—Borgore’s rise to the top is a story often overshadowed by his bad-boy persona and in-your-face style.
As we count down the hours until Borgore and the Buygore/Fresh Blood team drop in on Insomniac HQ for a full-on takeover of our Friday night livestream, The Weekend Starts Here, we thought we’d dive deep for a wide-ranging glimpse into those hidden corners of his life where an unchained desire to be the best continues to drive him to this day. With an impressive dedication to passing on his work ethic and relentless pursuit of studio perfection to the next generation of artists, Borgore outlines a guaranteed path to success for those willing to listen.
Be sure to tune in to Insomniac’s livestream tomorrow, and hold tight as we dig into the mind of Borgore below.
Your label has become a breeding ground for a new generation of artists.
Yeah, the label started in 2009… I had to do it because all my songs did really good on MySpace and YouTube, but no labels were brave enough to release it. Back then, you’d go into a meeting with a record label and tell them, there are this many views on YouTube and so on, and they just didn’t care—“What’s YouTube?” Honestly, that was the model for Buygore from the beginning. We used to go on YouTube and SoundCloud and look for these artists that fought really hard on the internet, that no one was releasing. We’d reach out to them and release their music. It seems like a logical model now, but back then, no one wanted to hear about it.
When you’re looking at artists, is it just the music, or is it a vibe and good work ethic?
It’s always about the music—but if you vibe with the person, it’s a huge plus. A lot of the people I feel like we helped was where the music was great, but their personality was great, too. You can talk to the person, chill with them, and shit like that. On the other hand, there are a lot of people [whose] music was incredible, but the human was pretty shitty, and my guess is that some people never made it as far because of that.
There are a lot of people [whose] music was incredible, but the human was pretty shitty, and my guess is that some people never made it as far because of that.
Looking back, it’s amazing how many of your artists have gone on to be successful. It’s like a festival lineup—everyone from Jauz to Getter, Ookay, Kayzo, Dotcom, Ghastly, SAYMYNAME, Sikdope, Axel Boy—the list goes on and on. Do you ever just sit back and congratulate yourself on having that magic touch?
We’re working very close with SVDDN DEATH—probably one of my favorite artists right now. I just had a show with him and Getter and AFK over the weekend. After the show, I went up the elevator to my room to go to bed, and then I realized: You know, maybe I’m a pretty good at A&R. (laughs)
Everyone I picked seems to be doing well, but I’m not taking credit for anyone. To be a successful artist is more than just something I can single-handedly break. I can help, but all these people are very, very talented, and I’ve also done some mistakes in the past. There are a lot of people I didn’t think were going to do well that are killing.
It seems like a lot of that A&R energy has gone into the Fresh Blood series and label.
It wasn’t in the same form as it is today. Back in 2014, it was just a bunch of new producers we wanted to push into Buygore. Last year, we started Fresh Blood as a sublabel. I don’t even like to think of it like a sublabel; it’s a different imprint, basically. They think they’re making old-school dubstep, but they’re making the future.
How does Buygore differentiate itself moving forward?
So far, Fresh Blood has been super hardcore and more of the newcomers. And while a lot of these people will end up releasing on Buygore, we still try to keep Buygore eclectic, even though it might not seem like it right now. I’m getting into darker house vibes, and I’m not against releasing that on Buygore if we find the right project or a great new rapper. We’re very open-minded to everything.
Speaking of hip-hop, you’re well known for your early collabs with Waka Flocka Flame, Juicy J, Carnage, and G-Eazy. We’ve heard rumors you’ve got some more heavyweight collabs going down in the coming year, as well as a grip of collabs with new-school dubstep producers. It seems like you’re in the middle of something really unique and exciting.
I grew up looking to Diplo. In no way am I comparing myself to him, but the one thing I loved about him from day one was the fact there were no guidelines; every record was with someone else or a different vibe. As long as it’s cool, I want to be part of it. From the beginning, I’ve been doing metal, pop, jazz, dubstep, big room, house… and I don’t want put myself in one spot.
This is usually the point in an interview where we’d ask you to give advice to all the young-bloods out there looking to follow in your footsteps. But I’d rather you look back at your own career and tell us: What was the best advice you ever received?
I was in a very competitive private high school; everyone was a genius, and it was very mentally draining. But the one thing I learned from that place is, if you want to keep up with everyone, you have to practice 10–12 hours a day. It just stayed with me. I realized if I want to be the best producer in the world, I have to produce all day.
I remember in ninth grade, there was a drummer I would play with, and this was how we would talk: He was like, “Yo, how long did you practice today?” And I’d answer, “nine hours.” And he’d be like, “I practiced 12 hours; you don’t practice enough.”
I look at all these other DJs that don’t necessarily write their own music, and their whole life is spent taking pictures. It’s false advertising; that’s not real life. The real life is: I’m in my PJs, in the studio, sitting with five other people in their PJs, and we’re all trying to work as hard as we can.
I think that’s an important message. People look at your Instagram, and it’s all fun and games, but they don’t see the amount of hard work that you put in.
Dude, my social media in general is a constant fight between me and my management, because they want me to go on Instagram all day. I don’t have the time and energy. I just want to be in the studio and work on music, you know? To get me to do anything besides music is a daily struggle. I look at all these other DJs that don’t necessarily write their own music, and their whole life is spent taking pictures. It’s false advertising; that’s not real life. The real life is: I’m in my PJs, in the studio, sitting with five other people in their PJs, and we’re all trying to work as hard as we can. I have the next generation in my studio every day. I try to force my work ethic on them. I tell them: You guys have to wake up early, come here, work on your music. And at the end of the day, I want to hear something. You’ve got to finish fucking records. It doesn’t come from anywhere else.
You’ve got the next Fresh Blood compilation dropping soon.
Man, we are so excited about this one. There are 17 tracks on the compilation—so many good names. They’re all amazing producers.
When are you taking Fresh Blood on the road as a tour?
We did a couple shows in L.A. that were very successful. Right now, I’m doing a Buygore tour with lots of special guests. But to me, just looking at this album, it’s a festival lineup. It’s a more hardcore festival, so it’s something we should look into. A two-day Buygore/Fresh Blood festival—that would be lit!
Last but not least, we hear you’re bringing the Buygore team to Insomniac’s livestream this week. Who and what should we be looking out for?
Yes! GG Magree, SVDDEN DEATH, and Spock are joining me. GG is less aggressive than us, but between the rest of us, expect a lot of wobbles!
Anything else we should be keeping an eye out for?
We’ve got an EP coming up where we’re releasing one track over the next five weeks. The first one is Svddengore, a collaboration between myself and SVDDEN DEATH. All the collabs will be with up-and-coming dubstep/bass music acts, like AFK, Axel Boy, Benda, Gentlemen’s Club, Half Empty and more, so look out for that!
The Weekend Starts Here broadcasts every Friday at 6pm PT on the Insomniac Events FB page via Facebook Live.