It takes a good artist to practice their craft with determination, it takes a great artist to understand that the root of art is creation itself, and it takes an even greater artist to internalize the root of art and put it into practice through different crafts. Then we have artists who not only understand the role of art within themselves, but also its pivotal importance in society as a whole, and who, as a consequence, use their talent not only to bring forth their message but to uplift that of others. Such is the case of Apolluss.
Apolluss is a multidisciplinary artist from Manchester whose purpose and mission is not only to authentically express himself through his art but also to ensure others have a platform to do so too. His brainchild ORIGIN has been active for a year, and in this short time the platform has managed to “create and cultivate a unique, diverse community that that shares in a mutual love for the Manchester music scene and investing in local talent.”
The photographer, event organiser, creative consultant, and poet – among other talents – has a beautiful perspective on art and how it can influence and enlighten society. Apolluss is well aware that the only way up is together. His philosophy is the sort that restores your faith in humanity, and we definitely need quite a bit of his medicine nowadays. More than one could learn a thing or two about the manner in which Apolluss carries himself, his message is loud and clear: Community, community, and community <3.
Naturally, we had to talk to Apolluss about his mission and his career. Not just out of our own curiosity, but because if there’s someone out TNC reader should know, it’s definitely him.
So ladies, gentlemen, and everyone in between or outside those boxes… Apolluss.
What do you think is so singular about the Manchester underground scene?
COMMUNITY. Nobody does community like a Manchester native. We come together when we need to.
Any place (or places) in Manchester that come to mind as THE places to go to if you want to be part of the Manchester underground scene?
Origin, Origin and erm, Origin haha, we have pioneered a unique space where community is at the forefront of the culture, nobody does live performances like we do. There is also a club night called Habitat run by Yung Omz (Mason Collective), AK Gramm and Tone Rarri, it is the best underground club night in Manchester. I also rate TRPHSE highly, it’s run by Sham Steele and a few others, they have a unique vision and run day parties etc, he is DJing at Wireless Festival this year. We are all interconnected.
What inspires you to make art?
Mainly my life, the people who I cross paths with, my loved ones of past and present, my experiences, my identity and my heritage, who I am and who I want to be. My art is an outlet for all of my emotions.
What does your journey towards becoming a multidisciplinary artist look like? How did you end up doing so many things rather than focusing on one?
My creative journey has grown as I have grown but I still retain and practice all of my creative skillset. I went from drawing to painting, to graphic design, to digital drawing, to photography, fashion photography and now events. As I was introduced to new mediums I realised the power within each one and how they slightly differ. You can use different mediums to send different messages.
Do you think that being a multidisciplinary artist affects your specific understanding and experience of the individual crafts you practice?
At 8 years old my form of expression was drawing, the act of creation is what I care about as an artist so naturally this has transformed into multiple disciplines. I see each discipline/medium as a different form of communication so the medium I choose depends on what I want to say and who I am speaking to. Each discipline bears a different voice and a different way of communicating. That’s what intrigues me the most about art and why I create in such a manner.
Tell us a little bit about your platform ‘Origin’. How did it come about? What is your goal with it?
I have always had a strong sense of community, Origin is just an extension of that. I used to present on the radio and have friends who are extremely talented musicians. During my 6 years of doing events, I realised that the issue with the talent around me wasn’t that they weren’t talented enough to break through, it was that they didn’t have enough spotlight on them for people to know their incredible capabilities as artists. Origin became the stage to spotlight the local talent we have in our own community. That is why our tagline is RAW TALENT, OUR COMMUNITY, It is about coming together to help shine a light on the people who are being slept on.
Out of everything you’ve done, what project are you particularly proud of and why?
I rarely look back at my achievements because I always look at the bigger picture of how I can help my community and I grow. My goals are so big that I am always looking forward to what I can change next. I think Origin becoming a current ‘Havana Club Party Maker’ winner was a special moment for me because we were competing Globally against 600 other applicants across all continents. My community’s response is what makes me feel pride, helping others is one of my highest priorities. Havana in Cuba is a special place, I learnt a lot when I was there.
You’re a poet and a photographer, among many other things. How do these arts relate and how do they differ? Is your creative process different when dealing with words than with dealing with visuals?
My approach to creating is usually similar no matter the medium I choose to create with. My poetry is personal and usually a vice for me to express what I am feeling, so this is usually more free-flowing. My images are then usually informed by a poem or a concept so they are usually more planned and structured as you need to be able to organise models, styling and other elements of the shoot. They usually inform each other and that is the beauty of working with different disciplines, most people don’t realise they go hand in hand.
What artists from the Manchester underground scene do you think we should keep an eye out for?
Definitely RenzNiro, I have supported him since the start of his career, his delivery and wordplay is very subversive and truthful. There are so many incredible artists within our scene, July 7, Musumba (she’s a superstar), PRINCETHEKID, Moseley, Benjiii, Mab Shcola, Robin Knightz, SVMI and [ K S R ]. There is also this new kid I have just been introduced to called IzzyOT, he’s got a melodic drill song called ‘Twirling’ that everybody loved when he performed with us, he’s got something special. Talent over streaming numbers any day.
How do you think art and activism relate and nourish each other? Why do you think art is such an important and used tool in activism?
I have always called my art subtle activism, art can be radical and bring about change, mainly through awareness. I think sometimes when you shout too loud or protest some people naturally become defensive and close off. When someone looks at art you can reach past the defensiveness and connect with their subconscious. Art will always be a tool you can use for many purposes, activism being one, they nourish each other so well.