Over the past few years Peggy Gou has started to become a household name for club-goers and electronic fans. People scream her name (and take off there shoes and wave them) when she comes on stage, and her latest EP ‘Once’ is an absolute triumph.
Fresh from a huge show at Coachella last month (“the best thing I saw there was Beyoncé” she tells us definitively), and ahead of a slot at the DJ Harvey-curated ‘Harvey’s Discotheque’ at Printworks this weekend, we catch up with Peggy to talk the success of ‘Once’, the future and why DJ Harvey is such an inspiration.
How excited are you to play Harvey’s Discotheque at Printworks?
I’m very excited, because I’m playing with one of my heroes, DJ Harvey, and also at one of the most exciting, interesting, amazing venues in London right now. I’ve always wanted to play there since they opened it, and I saw some photos and it just looks amazing with the lighting and everything.
How much of an inspiration to you is Harvey?
Harvey’s an inspiration to every DJ. If anyone asks me “who do you want to be”, “what’s your aim”, “what kind of artist do you want to be”, and they were comparing me with different big artists, my goal would always be someone like Harvey. He’s a legend, you know if you go see him the music is going to be good. People respect him, as a DJ and as someone with good music, and most importantly, he has the reputation. He’s not one of those DJs that’s just famous because they’re famous – he has background to his story. I don’t think I know any DJ who doesn’t respect him.
How have you been preparing for your set at Printworks?
I’m playing before Skream, and he called me on the phone yesterday saying that because it’s called “Harvey’s Discotheque” he thought he had to play some disco music; but I think I’m just going to prepare all kinds, from disco to techno to house to everything. I think the crowd that comes to this club, they know that the music is going to be eclectic. So, I’m preparing pretty much everything, but I need to go with the flow, feel the vibe first.
When you’re getting ready for shows, how much do you decide and prepare beforehand?
I always make a separate folder [of music] for each different venue and city, but it always changes once you go inside and start playing. It depends on the crowd – maybe you wanted to play techno tonight, but the crowd doesn’t seem to be enjoying it, so you have to change right away!
Your ‘Once EP’ is brilliant – how has the response been?
Wow, it’s been unbelievable. I get goosebumps every single day almost. Yesterday I spoke to Ninja Tune, and found out something I didn’t know – the reaction’s been pretty good, so we’ve pressed almost 5,000 copies in total! And the place where I used to go when I started DJing, Phonica [Records, in London], they said it was the fastest-selling record of 2018. Whenever I hear news like this, I don’t know how to explain it. It’s too much! In a good way.
Are there any plans for new music in the future? Any plans for a full-length album?
An album is something that’s always on my mind, but it would take time and when I do an album I’m going to do a live set too; but this year I’m planning on just one more EP maybe. I think an album’s gonna take a little while, but it’s on my list.
Did you grow up in quite a musical household? Was there always music being played?
My brother plays piano really well, but he’s not a pianist, and my dad and mum love to sing, and they play guitar and drums, but they all do that as a hobby. So I guess I’ve been listening to music forever. The first music I heard may have been K-pop or it could have been classical…
How did your parents react when you said you were going to work in the music industry?
They were not happy, because they’d sent me to London to support my fashion background and I changed my mind! They were like: “What are you gonna do with music? What are you going to be?” They were not happy! But they never stopped me, and now they’re proud.
In the beginning they didn’t understand – “Why’d you have to go out at this time and play music, it’s so smoky, it’s so dark, it’s not safe” – but now they know that I love it and it’s the most important thing for me, so they’re really proud. They try to understand my work, and I’m lucky to have a family like that, that lets me do whatever I want to do.
Peggy Gou’s ‘Once’ EP is out now, and she’ll play Printworks this Saturday.