Asaf Borger, better known as producer/DJ Borgore, has given the impression to his fans and the world that he is about one thing: scantily clad women. Walking into the room and finding Borgore without one on either arm, was well, a bit of a surprise. Seeing him cool, calm and collected is not what was expected, but was exactly what was found. With the lifestyle of a rock star and a specific image portrayed in the media, it was refreshing to learn Borgore in fact has a lot to say about a lot of things (while of course still retaining a passion for the aforementioned scantily clad women).
I have problems dealing with life. I’ll deal with it through music.
Borgore openly stating that he has “problems dealing with life” is something every individual realizes at one point or another. Luckily, Borgore was able to take that as motivation and put those problems into his music. He used those thoughts as inspiration and a way to express those feelings through a musical outlet, specifically for one of his newer tracks, Legend.
I wrote the song [Legend] about my life, then I thought: how do I portray it in a different way that will shock people?
While being able to express his feelings and some of his inner thoughts, Borgore also created a track that had a sense of depth. Some fans suggested he stick to producing and not rapping (him rapping on the song was definitely a shock to some), but the fact he put himself out there and was vulnerable with his own personal experiences and voice, paints him as a true artist. Whether all of his fans agreed on the quality of the track well, that’s another story.
It’d be easy to categorize Borgore as a producer focused mostly on dirty bass and over-the-top visuals. In reality though, Asaf possesses a strong songwriting background along with a formal jazz education from Tel Aviv’s storied Thelma Yellin music academy. With that under his belt, he approaches each track “with a concept. I don’t like to just have a song for the fuck of it. Every song is a start. You need to put effort into it.” Whether Borgore is trying to make his listeners get ready to party, or think about some of the more serious things in life, it’s clear he gives his music a very specific, thought-out direction.
I’m a musician, I’m not a DJ. DJing is a way to make money off my passion. It’s almost something I have to do. DJing is a job and writing music, that’s my life.
This insistence on musicality flies directly in the face of the controversial producer’s public image. For any one of his shows, you can expect “ratchet” to be the most apt description of the night, with champagne, stage-diving, and scantily clad “Borwhores” hanging off of every drop. But for Borgore, performing means far more than this.
Being in front of a crowd is great. It’s great to see how people react. You put a song on YouTube, you see comments and whatever. You play your song in front of a crowd and you see an instant response, how people like or don’t like my music. That’s the greatest thing about being a DJ.
Despite vastly preferring spending time in the studio to performing, it’s clear that Asaf is still able to enjoy himself up on stage. That need to perform comes from deep roots; before making money as a DJ, Borgore played in a live band, something he is dying to do again but needs to find the right people for. In order to accomplish this now though, it brings up the age-old debate of live instruments vs. perfectly mastered tracks.
(It’s) difficult because at the end of the day, you cannot sound better than a DJ. A DJ is playing mastered tunes that were adjusted to be played in a club. So a DJ plays a set that all the songs are mixed and everything sounds perfect. And a band needs to play and stop, play and stop and the sound varies according to the sound engineer and whatever.
Whether he’s playing in a band, writing, producing or DJing, Borgore has spent his whole life surrounded by music. Growing up in Israel and attending one of the best musical schools available clearly contributed to it now being his cure-all outlet. Borgore’s public image may paint a picture of a champagne-spraying partier, but based on our conversation there’s a depth there he doesn’t get nearly enough credit for. In a lot of ways, the talented Israel-born producer is a lot like any of us when we encounter life’s obstacles: We “deal with it through music.”
Get all the latest Pacific Northwest nightlife news, directly to your inbox.