Musician, DJ, and producer Borgore (born Asaf Borger, 24) is a driven young man. A few years ago, he switched from playing in a death metal band to a solo career in electronic music. And the move wasn't because his musical tastes suddenly changed; he simply couldn't find anyone who could keep up with his relentless drive to record, perform, and experiment.
"When you play with a band, you have to deal with other people," Borgore says. "On your own, when you want to sit down and make music for 12 hours straight, you can do that, but in a band your bandmates are too busy with work or girlfriends or whatever. You get nowhere."
Borgore grew up in Tel Aviv, Israel, attending a school for the arts and playing a variety of instruments, from saxophone and piano to drums. After school, he joined his first serious band, Shabira. The rock group had a loyal following, but eventually fizzled out.
"You have big dreams, but your friends are not dreaming the same dream. It fucks you up," he says of his leap from band work to solo work. "My friends were busy doing what young people do, but I had bigger ideas."
That's when Borgore dove into the U.K. electronic scene, founding his own label (Buygore Records) and amassing an impressive collection of self-produced tracks.
Borgore's first releases — Ice Cream Mixtape, Gorestep's Most Hated, Borgore Ruined Dubstep, and other mini albums and remixes — hit the dubstep scene in 2009. Along the way, he formed a side project with producer Tomba called Alphamale Primates.
His latest release is a four-song romp titled FLEX, featuring a collaboration with Dev (of Far East Movement and David Guetta) titled "Kiss My Lips" and several mixes of the raunchy, hip-hop flavored title track. His current U.S. tour behind FLEX includes performances at last week's South by Southwest in Texas, the electronic-based Ultra Music Festival in Miami, and the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, Calif.
"I have the best thing in the world coming to the stages this year," Borgore says of his multimedia, audience-interactive stage show. "I'm bringing two of the best pole dancers with me. It's somewhere between crazy strip club and Cirque du Soleil. A lot of times, they'll steal the show."
Sexy dancers with provocative moves might enhance the live performances, but Borgore's wild antics on stage — from behind the table and from his crowd-surfing fits across the room — propel much of the energy, too. Musically, things are all over the place as well, as he veers away from dubstep renditions to metal, hip-hop, and an unpredictable mix of electronic styles.
Borgore delights in the fact that he can't easily be pegged. "I'm not afraid of categorization, but I stay out of categories," he says. "One tune is metal, one tune is hip-hop ... I make it if I like it, you know? You know how going to work every day and doing the same thing can be tiring? That's how I feel about going to work on my music."
Luckily, his DIY situation allows plenty of room and opportunity for exploration. "I just can't go in and only make dubstep," he adds. "I have independence and control right now because I'm on my own label. I don't prefer anything over anything. I just want to keep stuff fun."