Photographer: Caption: Ben Pearce... Contemplative
5 Minutes with... Ben Pearce
After being named as one of Mixmag's Stars of 2013 last month, Ben Pearce has been the hot name on everyone's lips right now. So before he gets too popular to track down, we caught up with the young producer to ask what we can expect from him soon, what its like juggling a label and being a DJ, and what might have been if he never became a producer.
Hi Ben, how are you today?
I’m great thanks, got back to speed today after a long week
For those unfamiliar with your music, how would you best describe your sound?
Well my sound varies between House, Techno, Disco, Bass, Deeper Electronic stuff. With my DJ sets I like to take it all over, read the crowd and play music that fits the time I’m playing, I’m a great believer in warming up a room properly. With my productions I hope it would fit alongside that, I like experimenting with bits I haven’t tried before. Our label again is quite varied, I suppose it all ties in together but it’s very hard to define and genres just don’t quite cut it.
You have been part of Manchester’s music scene for a number of years. How has working in a city rich in musical history helped create your sound?
It goes without saying that it’s had an influence, there’s so many great artists that are from here. I’m not sure if I’d grown up anywhere else that my sound would be different, artists are seemingly coming from everywhere at the moment, especially with my generation the internet helped a great deal in that you can access music from anywhere.
And what are the benefits that city has for new and aspiring producers / DJs?
There’s a very young nightlife, quite a strong network of people, and there’s obviously great record shops and music schools/studios. We’re very lucky in that respect, there’s a lot of alternative music sources, jazz bars etc. Then again sometimes you speak to producers who just sit at home making their music and don’t really go out or take in influences, they just get their own sound.
You are the Creative Director at Purp & Soul, where you launched your own label. What has running an indie label taught you about making it in the music business?
That it’s a lot of hard work! (laughs) Well it’s definitely been a learning curve and it’s starting to take hold now and we feel like we’re moving faster now. I’ve learnt a lot from peers about what goes on and I’m trying to keep it as intimate as possible, we’ve got a lot of exciting projects coming up
And what advice would you give to those looking to start their own label?
Do your research and establish your own style, don’t try and put out records that everybody else is doing and be well organised. Treat your artists well and enjoy it.
Your last EP "What I Might Do" came out on Chase & Status’ MTA Records. Was there any reason why you chose to release that on a different label?
It just kind of came about like that, Under The Shade approached me and I love what they do, MTA were able to provide a different take on it and it worked out very well indeed. I’m planning a record on my own label, and I have a remix comnig up, I like to spread my music around, meet new people and work with different labels and artists, you reach more people that way.
And when can we expect a follow-up to this EP?
I suppose that’s the question on everybody’s lips, obviously it’s a bit of a hurdle to jump now I’m running. I have a lot of remixes coming up, and I’m starting to gather momentum towards my next record, I’m in touch with some brilliant vocalists, I want to do something worthy but at the same time that’ll show my diversity, it’s a tough one. I don’t quite know when it will be, shouldn’t be too long though.
As you are already playing at Mixmag’s Stars Of 2013 party later this month, are there any other dates in your diary you are looking forward to?
I pretty much look forward to every date, I guess that sounds cliche eh? I’m looking forward to playing in Belgium again at Culture Club. Sheffield, Brighton and Glasgow have all been highlights recently.
And finally, if you never made it as a DJ, what do you think you would be doing instead?
Well I was working as a manager in a complaints centre, and before that if I’d have gone to University I would’ve been studying physics, so quite different to my lifestyle now. I count myself very lucky for doing what I’m doing.
Ben Pearce's new compilation 'P.A. One' is available now through Beatport. Listen to his latest track 'Hurt' below.