It’s more than just a cake walk for Borgore, who has built his persona around dubstep and butts (cake). The setting was the Wynwood Arts District during Miami Music Week and Borgore had just walked off the stage at A Bass Odyssey. Also on the bill were co-headliners, Grammy Award-nominated Adventure Club, Snails, Kayzo, and of course – Borgore. The Nocturnal Times sat down with Borgore just minutes after he headed off the stage at RC Cola Plant.
The energy was still buzzing at the open-air venue as dubstep blared through the speakers. Thousands gathered in Downtown, Miami for the biggest week in music. Asaf Borger – better known to dance music fans as Borgore – is an Israeli-born DJ and producer who’s not all that different from you and me. He’s unsure of where the world’s headed, but he is sure of one thing: He wants to have a puppy farm once he’s no longer traveling the world as a DJ. But from the looks of it, that won’t be happening anytime soon.
Borgore is a passionate soul who finds inspiration all around him. Not fixated on one genre, he first began by producing trance, which is popular in his hometown. He later started producing drum & bass, reggae, hip-hop, and eventually, dubstep. Although his parents are fully supportive of his decision to pursue a career in music – even after headlining festivals like Ultra, Electric Daisy Carnival, and Coachella – they still suggest he try his hand at university. Label boss for his very own imprint, Buygore Records, Borgore revealed what he’s got in store for the future of the label and what they’re working on now.
Aside from music, we got to talk about puppy farms and one of his other favorite hobbies – gaming. While PUBG is his favorite to play, we also talked about getting number one in Fortnite. Find out what Borgore would be doing if he wasn’t traveling the world as a notorious DJ, which of his own tracks are his favorites, and his favorite dog breed, in his exclusive interview with The Nocturnal Times.
The Nocturnal Times Q&A with Borgore:
The Nocturnal Times: How did you first get your start in dance music?
Borgore: Well, Tel Aviv is a very inspiring city. Just growing up there, the music that I was around was very underground; it was very what was about to be, not what was. So, since I remember I always used to go to techno, underground, drum & bass shows. One day, I went to a party and they played dubstep. I was like, “wow, what is this? This is like drum & bass, but it’s like reggae, but it’s like hip-hop, but better.” I was very inspired – and that’s what started this whole thing.
The Nocturnal Times: So then did your upbringing influence your decision to pursue a career in music?
Borgore: No, not at all! My family is completely out of music. What happened was, we moved from the suburbs to the big city (Tel Aviv), and my mom thought that it would be really nice if her child could go to a private school. She signed me up for a private school where nobody even gets in. You have to go for a special test and 1,000 kids take the test, but only 80 get in. At this time, I was 5 years old. I somehow got into the school, thankfully. They wanted me to be a dancer. Right now, I think that being a dancer is a great move. I would be very physically attractive, I would be in way better shape than I am right now. When I was in the fourth grade, I thought that being a dancer was kind of whack, and I wanted to be an actor. They told me, “the acting department is kind of full and you are kind of garbage at acting; you are pretty bad. What we can discuss is if you are willing to pick up an instrument.” At the time, I was already playing the piano, but they had 10 pianists and needed somebody to play the saxophone. I was like, “hell yeah, I’ll play the saxophone, 100%!” I started playing the saxophone and my life changed completely. I got into jazz, growing up I listened to jazz. I went to a private high school for arts and studied contemporary music through and through. Once I was finished with high school I had developed the necessary tools to play whatever I wanted. I was playing drums for metal bands, I was playing punk, and doing many other things. During this time is when I began learning how to produce. When I first started to produce dance music, I started producing trance. I started with trance because trance is huge in Israel. I was doing trance, then into hip-hop and drum & bass, but then finally got into dubstep.
The Nocturnal Times: That’s very interesting! So, if you weren’t doing what you’re doing now, what path would you have chosen and why?
Borgore: I come from a very conservative, yet liberal family. It’s a very interesting because my mom is sort of the dominant person of the family who controls what everybody is doing. I assume that if I wasn’t a musician, I would probably have pursued an army career, which is something that a lot of my family did. Or, I would go very Jewish and become a lawyer, doctor, or accountant.
The Nocturnal Times: How do your parents feel about what you’ve decided to do?
Borgore: 4-5 years into my career I had already headlined Ultra Music Festival, Coachella, Electric Daisy Carnival. I was sitting with my dad during dinner, and he says, “so, DJing is fun and you’re doing okay, but what about university?” I just looked at him like, “you know what, maybe a little less of that?” They are totally supportive and they even come to a lot of my shows. They’re actually super helpful and involved – my family is really into it!
The Nocturnal Times: You just walked off the stage at Bass Odyssey in Miami. What can you tell us about the set you just played and your MMW experience this year?
Borgore: I just played an hour set. In one hour it’s really hard to tell a story, but at the same time an hour is a great opportunity to play the records that you want to play – no fillers. I feel like I honestly played only the records that I wanted to play without having to play fillers. I had a really good time and went through a lot of different genres. The crowd is incredible! It really is always a little harder when you’re playing after Ultra or coming on stage after Svdden Death (the hottest name in Dubstep right now). Coming on after Kayzo, wow! You know, Kayzo sets are just like makes impressed mixed with surprised face* There’s no relaxing in a Kayzo set because if you’re human, you’re going to fucking dance. After the whole weekend of Ultra and all of these acts, I thought that it might be tougher. The crowd was really, really supportive, they danced like crazy; I had a really good time.
The Nocturnal Times: Speaking of hour-long sets, what are one or two tracks that you’re definitely going to play if you’re only given one hour?
Borgore: My records. I have 10 years of making music. I have enough music to play three hours of just my own music. When I play a 1-hour set, I try to play as much music of my own as I can.
The Nocturnal Times: We know it’s hard to choose just one, but do you have a favorite record of your own?
Borgore: I hate every single one of my records, and I love every single one of my records. It’s a love/hate relationship. Just think about the process of making a record. You sit there with a song for anywhere between two weeks to 6-12 months and you grow to hate them. The first session you think “yo, this record is incredible!” 12 months later you’re thinking, “I don’t want to hear about this record. Don’t fucking talk to me about this record!” But, I do, I love and hate every single one of them.
The Nocturnal Times: What have you been up to lately in terms of new music?
Borgore: I actually just released five new records on a compilation that we just did. The Buygore compilation we just released includes a bunch of new collabs I just did. I’ve done this in the past with some of the names that you might have heard of like Jauz and Ookay. This time, the collaboration album was with Svdden Death and Axel Boy. I really like to work with new musicians because they bring something to the table that is completely fresh. It’s very inspiring to work with new musicians because listening to the same shit is boring. Hearing an 18-year-old come through with some fresh new sound is the shit that’s inspiring. In the near future, I plan to release a jazz album, and I’m constantly working on new music. Dude, that’s all I do; all I do is write new music, dream of puppies, and play PUBG.
The Nocturnal Times: The label has been very successful for you as well. What do you have planned for the future of Buygore?
Borgore: Yeah, the label has been going now for 8 years and it’s still kicking. There are some new people working for the label who are bringing a fresh new wave of artists. It’s very inspiring to see what’s to come. Even in 10 years from now, if I was able to have my puppy farm, I would still love to have my label, so that I can support new sounds and new talent.
The Nocturnal Times: Where would the puppy farm be?
Borgore: That’s a really good question… where should I put the puppy farm? I think somewhere chill; somewhere where there’s not a lot of headaches. Israel is in the middle of a very complex political situation right now. I feel like America right now is also too complex. Maybe, if you ask someone wiser than me where the world is going to be in 10 years. I don’t think anyone can predict it; I think in 10 years we’re gonna see.
The Nocturnal Times: Aside from this show tonight, which of your recent shows stand out to you most?
Borgore: I enjoy every show; I hate every show. Just like everything else, it’s an experiment and you never know who you’re gonna play to. You can play the same fucking set in 30 fucking venues and every single time it will go down differently. It’s not science; it’s music, it’s humans; you cannot predict it.
The Nocturnal Times: Well, that’s very interesting. If that’s the case, then playing in a different city every night must really seem different to you.
Borgore: Dude! I can play the same set in the same city and it will be a completely different experience! It’s a different experience and different experiment every single time – and I love it! I love it because fans appreciate it. I hate it because it’s super stressful every time because I can play to five people or play to 5 million people, but every single time you have to cater to the crowd. It’s hard; this really is a mentally draining job.
The Nocturnal Times: If we were to look at your Spotify or Apple Music history right now, who are some artists or albums we would find you listening to right now?
Borgore: Dude, I listen to contemporary music to stay updated; I don’t listen to contemporary music to get inspired. I feel like in general, our generation is sort of getting dumber and dumber. I’m into listening to shit from almost 100 years ago. I love to listen to jazz, classical music. I just want to go deeper.
The Nocturnal Times: A little birdie told us that when you aren’t DJing, you’re very much into gaming and puppies, is that right?
Borgore: I am really, really into gaming.
The Nocturnal Times: What games do you like to play?
Borgore: PUBG. Fortnite. Fortnite is bullshit. Also, Counter Strike for when you really want to sweat. Pub G for when you really want to sweat, but don’t want the consequences. When you play competitive Counterstrike, it becomes very personal. Pub G is a little less personal, but it still very stressful. I feel like Fortnite is…
The Nocturnal Times: Have you gotten #1 in Fortnite?
Borgore: Yeah, of course! I’ve gotten #1 in Fortnite plenty of times now. With PUBG though, I sit there and I’m looking at the map and there’s a lot of strategic planning. With Fortnite, it’s a lot of going to the circle and building forts. Go to the next circle and build another fort; there’s no real strategy to it.
The Nocturnal Times: Fast forward 20 years from now. Where do you see yourself?
Borgore: I’m going to have a farm full of puppies. There’s going to just be tons of puppies!
The Nocturnal Times: What’s your favorite dog breed?
Borgore: I love all of them! I think I love them all except for Doberman Pinchers; they are of annoying. Of course, if I see one, though, I would love the shit out of it. My dream is to have a Caucasian Ovcharka. They are a tough breed to raise because they are very, very dominant, and very aggressive, but at the same time they love you. People sometimes don’t understand that dogs are babies; they are part of your family. If I cannot give my family 100% of my time, I am not going to have that baby. That’s why, because I’m always on the road right now, I cannot have a dog yet. But, it’s definitely at the top of my list.
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