Apollo LTD performs at Dinner with Livingstones

Alternative-pop duo Apollo LTD is set to perform at the Dinner with the Livingstones during homecoming week. Photo courtesy of Apollo LTD

By Erianne Lewis | Arts and Life Editor

The alternative-pop band Apollo LTD performed at Dinner with the Livingstones at the Allbritton House on Tuesday from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Jordan Phillips, one member of the duo, said he didn’t always know he was going to go into music. He said he didn’t consider it to be a career for himself until he met bandmate Adam Stark.

Phillips said before Apollo LTD, he and Stark were in another band called The Kicks. They started it in college, and it propelled them into the music industry, Phillips said. They went on tour and made three albums, which is what led them to do music as a full-time career.

Phillips said he grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta and didn’t come from a traditional music background. His parents bought him a cheap guitar from a Christmas catalog when he was younger and that night, he played it until it broke. That’s when his parents knew he was serious about music, Phillips said.

“I didn’t start singing until I was like 17 years old. I had never put it together that I could actually sing. Honestly, that’s what kind of changed the trajectory of my life,” Phillips said.

Phillips said after he moved to Nashville, Tenn., to attend college, he began to fully submerge himself in music. Phillips said he met Stark, the other half of the Apollo LTD, by chance during his freshman year of college.

“He was the first dude that I met when I went to school,” Phillips said. “I walked onto campus with my dad, walked up to the registration table and Adam was standing right there at the table. He also happened to be my roommate.”

Phillips said he and Stark just clicked, and they started making music together.

“Over time we just started playing gigs,” Phillips said. “We would do a coffee shop gig and one thing just led to another, and we started playing shows together.”

Phillips said he would describe Apollo LTD’s music as joyful, hopeful music that encompasses the human interaction.

“We write songs for other artists. We are also songwriters and producers in Nashville,” Phillips said. “We have done a lot of stuff for film and television, a lot of TV shows and advertisements. We are very fortunate in that in over the years we have had the opportunity to do a lot of different kinds of music.”

Phillips said some of the TV shows they have worked on are “The Vampire Diaries,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and some networks such as ABC and NBC.

Phillips and Stark live down the street from one another, so during the pandemic their families spent a lot of time together. When the lockdown initially happened, Phillips and Stark were five days into a long tour, Stark said. They were immediately sent home when they got word that the world was essentially shutting down.

That did not stop the drive Phillips and Stark had to make an album. They decided to dedicate the time spent in lockdown to making one. They began working on the album from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. every day.

“We called it our ‘quaranteam,’” Phillips said. “[Adam’s] family and my family, we were just like, ‘Look, if you guys are safe, we’ll be safe. We’ll just work on this record and when we need to bring outside people in, we’ll just FaceTime them in.’ That’s what we did, and we just worked every day, and the fruit of that labor was this record.”

Phillips said the biggest lesson he learned from the pandemic was that he is more flexible than he initially thought.

“Where there is a will, there is a way,” Phillips said. “I think that we kind of had a system, a method of creating, that we were pretty accustomed to and when the pandemic hit, it kind of forced us to change up how we did things … When we are writing and working on records, we still prefer to be in a room together, but we know that if we have to do a songwriting session remotely, via FaceTime, then we can. Since, we’ve done it a lot.”

Jason Cook, vice president of marketing and communications and chief marketing officer of Baylor, said popular music has been used in Baylor’s annual marketing campaign in three of the past five years due to Baylor’s desire to be distinct from other universities. That is why Baylor’s media team chose to reach out to Apollo LTD to be in their commercial as well as to perform at the Dinner with the Livingstones.

“Our goal is for Baylor to stand out in the ‘sea of sameness’ that is found within higher education marketing and communications,” Cook said. “When we were searching for this year’s music, we wanted a song that was positive and had a lot of upbeat energy as we move past the COVID-19 pandemic. ‘Sunday Morning Feeling’ definitely captures this energy, as well as Baylor’s momentum as a university. We then reached out to Apollo LTD through our marketing agency of record, Dallas-based Johnson & Sekin. When we first selected this song, we had no idea that it would become so popular so fast. We could not be more excited for Apollo LTD to share ‘Sunday Morning Feeling’ with Baylor students here on our campus.”

Phillips said they were thankful that Baylor reached out to them, and they truly enjoy performing at opportunities like this.

“We were obviously very grateful and very honored that [Baylor] wanted to use our music for the ad campaign. It’s a lot of fun to get to do stuff like this.”