Ben Pearce is probably best associated with your ears in the form of his smash hit ‘What I might do’ which spread like wildfire across XOYO club sets, festivals and airwaves to commerciality where it was even dropped by Annie Mac in Oceana’s across the country. I caught up with the Mancunian DJ, producer and creative director for a quick chat in between his car breaking down on the way to Love System festival in Croatia and ahead of his first ever ‘prim and proper’ gig west of East London.
I know your super busy on the festival circuit this summer, do you think it is important to play at smaller lesser known festivals than the big names your booked for like Glastonbury?
Yeah I think it’s really important, even though I’m doing some of the bigger festivals too I think the smaller ones give artists more of a chance and a platform to play and establish themselves, as I would never of been booked for the bigger ones had I not had the chance to play at smaller, more boutique festivals. They also sometimes have a quirkier more intimate atmosphere and you can find yourself playing in more interesting places, such as in the middle of a forest in between the trees, rather than a big stage or tent.
Obviously your single ‘What I Might Do’ was huge, I have come across 10 remixes so far but I am sure there is more, does it annoy you that so many people have reworked your material or do you take it as a compliment?
It doesn’t annoy me as such as I do it to so many people myself, although there was a lot of unofficial remixes, Daft Punk vs What I Might Do bootleg that was really terrible and didn’t work at all. If you are going to do it do it properly!
What do you think made this house track so commercially successful?
I think probably the vocals were really striking and that’s what made the song so recognisable, as people like Disclosure have had really big chart success from using tracks that have big vocals rather than just focusing on the production.
You are creative director at record label Purp and Soul, how easy do you think it is these days for young artists to set up their own record label?
I think it’s really easy, it’s really great way of having the creative control and platform of where your music wants to go as well and experiment with lots of different mixes and sounds and too, I think that it’s great it’s so easy for people too, we just set up a tumblr for the site which was really easy, and away we were really.
Do you get asked to do a lot of remixes yourself, which has been the most surprising one, turned any down?
A lot go through my management so I suppose the rubbish ones get filtered out! I can’t give too much away though.
Quite a few clothing labels like to be associated with a certain type of music as they think it benefits their brand, have you been approached by many designers to wear their stuff?
I have a friend who runs a store in Manchester called MenikMati, they do some really nice stuff and I often wear their T-shirts when I’m playing. But I would like to wear some more stuff from Glamour Kills and I love Ugly too if I could choose someone to sponsor me!
I heard that you really like cooking, would you ever consider doing a Mr Scruff and using your label as a platform to launch a restaurant, or culinary business?
I have actually thought about it, I do really enjoy cooking, I cooked last night actually, I made a brilliant Paella and have just made a pea mousse. But I would really like to do something with craft beers, but perhaps I’ll wait till the music sells out first, something to think about when I’m a little bit older!
London quickfire round:
Favourite place to party in London? Fabric
Favourite place to DJ? Brixton Club House
Best place to eat? Anywhere that sells Thai food! And the Shoreditch Butchery
Best place to pick up fresh trainers/clothes? Anywhere East London, the Brick Lane area
Best place to chill? The Horse and Groom pub
Best place for a date? I didn’t actually go here, but a friend told me once they went to a restraunt where you have to walk through an adult sex store in Soho to get to it, which seemed to be a pretty good idea to me as everything is already on the table so there can’t be any more akward moments for suggestion!