Peggy Gou is a figure in club music that has a strong passion for her craft. When she was 14 she moved from South Korea to Croydon, England to do her GCSE’s and A Levels in Fashion.
After finishing college and having the role of fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar, Peggy decided to move to Berlin to take up music as a full-time career after spending some time DJing and producing whilst learning at college.
Peggy took up lessons in Ableton from Esa Huntleys & Palmers sub-label, Highlife. After the move to Berlin she has been one of the most talked about artists of the past year, playing at the famous Berghain, Moodymann’s DJ Kicks launch album party and much more including Jackmaster, Black Madonna and DJ Koze. On a producing front, Peggy has had releases on Technicolour, Radio Slave’s Rekids label – Art of War & Phonica White.
We sat down with Peggy for a chat about these topics, how both fashion and music influence each other and her upcoming visit to Dublin this weekend playing at Forbidden Fruit Festival and an after-party in Tengu.
Q: What type of dance music influence did you have growing up in Incheon, Korea?
A: In Korea, I used to listen to a lot of everything, K-Pop, Hip-Hop, EDM, House everything. I didn’t really know what genre it was. If I’m being honest at the time I was in Korea, House and Techno music wasn’t the way it is now. I always loved music, regardless of genre. I always had my ears open to new sounds no matter what. In saying that, Korea didn’t have a major influence on what I play now.
Q: But the other genres definitely had an influence on you in some way?
A: I’m trying to do the opposite though, I’m trying to influence my country with the music I play now.
Q: What’s it like over there musically in general?
A: Korea is growing musically, I see hope. So far, a lot of people have been listening to not only House and Techno, but like soul, funk and disco. We are also starting to get some record stores around the country which is definitely a cool gesture.
Q: Is there any emerging talent you would like to mention from South Korea? I would love to hear some artists!
A: I’ve recently done a radio show called ‘Peggy Gou & Friends’. I invited DJ Soulscape, he’s like one of the legends of Korea. He plays anything from soul, funk, reggae, he can play anything. There’s also a new club called ‘vurt’ in Korea, it’s a Techno club. It has some incredible residents there including DJ Suna, Eugene or DJ Eye. There are many talented artists coming from Korea at the moment.
Q: You studied fashion in London, how do music and fashion influence each other?
A: Both of them are two different things, but in the end fashion is something I do on the side, it’s not my full-time job. Fashion is more about taste, it’s really different. But both of them are the same thing, things I put my taste into. I’m trying to create something that shows my personality, so in a way, they have an influence on each other.
But of course, I moved to Berlin to focus more on the music side, as music is something I had to learn more in-depth. Fashion is something that takes less time and is something that I won’t spend a whole day on. I like to dress up and feel good.
Q: I’ve listened to a lot of your sets and saw you play in Dublin. Your sets seem to be incredibly varied ranging from four to the floor house crossing over into breakbeat. Do you think it’s good to keep that variety in your set?
A: Recently I’ve been practicing mixing genres that I wouldn’t usually mix in clubs like reggae, funk, soul, just to improve my skills. But, at the same time, I don’t want to be just a ‘House’ or ‘Techno’ DJ. All the DJ’s I look up are the ones who don’t care about the ‘genre’.
Q: I know one of the things you hate the most about DJing is when somebody requests a song with their phone. What was the most ridiculous request you have gotten?
A: Britney Spears – Toxic. I was playing at some club in Berlin and this guy just handed me some piece of paper with this track request on it, it’s just not something that I would play in a club.
Q: What other things do you hate about club culture?
A: Sometimes when I see people Shazaming right in front of my face. I’ve got, to be honest, music is about sharing things. There was one time though there was this girl standing there for the whole night trying to get every song and it just got a bit much. But in saying that, it’s kind of a compliment as people are appreciating your music.
Q: Then what’s the best aspect of what you do?
A: It would be a gig you go to where you get the feeling of never wanting to stop. I’ve got this feeling a few times, for example, one time I played in SubClub. Two hours was nowhere near enough for me, I did not want to stop. Another time I had this feeling was when I was playing in Singapore, I was supposed to play for three hours and I ended up playing for six hours. The best situation in a club is where you get this connection with the crowd and you can play whatever you want to them and they will enjoy it, but you don’t take this for granted, you just want to keep playing.
Q: You’re returning to Dublin next weekend playing at Forbidden Fruit, and then Tengu for the afterparty, what’s it about Dublin that you enjoying playing here?
A: Ireland is a kind of country where the people so extremely passionate about everything they do. When I played previously with Jackmaster and company I really enjoyed the energy from the crowd, I didn’t really understand this “YER” chant they all kept screaming, but it seemed like they were all having a good time.
Q: I’ve noticed as well… Your social media is full of giraffes? What is it about them you like so much? Is it a personal thing or do you just like the look of them?
A: I’m usually very hyper and full of energy. Giraffes are the kind of animal that relaxes me and calms me down. They’re just so cute, I’ve never seen an animal with this kind of structure, pattern and ears, they’re are just so beautiful and peaceful.
Q: If you could name a giraffe what would you call it?
A: That’s a tough one… You must come ask me in Tengu on Sunday and I will tell you.