Taking his love for music and passion for helping others to new heights, Filipino-American Apl.de.ap of the Black Eyed Peas has launched his own music label and production company.
Called BMBX Entertainment, the venture aims to “amplify undiscovered and established talents” not just from the Philippines but from the rest of the Southeast Asian region.
Apl officially launched BMBX (pronounced boom box) in the country on February 20 at Vask Modern Tapas & Gastronomic Cuisine in Bonifacio Global City, together with his manager Audie Vergara who co-founded the company along with other partners.
In an interview with The Manila Times, Apl and Audie shared their new journey into the music industry together.
“Our mission is to amplify creativity. We wanted to set up a new domain through Southeast Asia wherein people will not feel excluded. It’ll be a label that everyone can relate to,” the Filpino-American Black Eyed Peas rapper began. “And when I was looking for one thing that connects us all, I thought of the boom box. It’s an old school equipment that amplified sound.”
Apl serves as BMBX’s curator, responsible for musical direction and artist discovery, while Audie is the label’s founder who leads marketing and corporate affairs.
Late 2013, BMBX officially signed its first-ever talent, metal rock band Slapshock from the Philippines, which is currently celebrating its 17 years in the business with a nationwide tour.
A surprising choice from a hip-hop musician, Apl explained, “People are wondering why the first artist that I signed up is Slapshock, a rock band. This is because I’m going for all different genres. There are no boundaries, from rock to RnB to hip-hop.”
Immediately working to take Slapshock’s music around the world, BMBX wasted no time in bringing the band to Los Angeles to record with international artists. The result is an EP with contributions from Apl, Shavo Odadjian of System of a Down, and the Grammy-awarded sound engineer and producer, Damien Page Lewis.
“We want our talents to undergo the same process that Apl experiences when recording music in the US. And we can do this because we already have a lot of connections in Hollywood,” Audie related.
Slapshock is also the band behind the song “Unshakable,” a tribute composition for the victims and survivors of Super Typhoon Yolanda in Tacloban.
After Slapshock, BMBX is currently on the move to discover new talents for the label.
“We plan to sign up one talent from every country in Southeast Asia. We are now talking with Jessica Reynoso who was part of my team in The Voice of the Philippines,” revealed Apl, who was a mentor/judge in the first season of the singing franchise on ABS-CBN.
“This year, we will be signing up a solo and group act from the Philippines,” added Audie.
“We are also doing our research in the region and currently eyeing amazing rappers from Malaysia, and electronic-dance musicians from Singapore.”
Despite the hard work BMBX demands, Apl is just grateful to be able to give fellow Asian artists a break. “As an Asian artist, it is important for me to collaborate with other Asian artists. I know it’s so hard for talented artists to get a break, and I want to provide that, that chance. Now is the time for me to give back,” he ended.