His prowess as a producer has led to an exhaustive list of accolades, plaudits from his peers and idols alike, and taken him around the globe on tour and made him a household name. Lying at the core of his success is a high work ethic, natural talent and a deep knowledge and appreciation of music in all its forms. Ben’s tracks resonate with a broad cross-section of dance music lovers, transmitting emotion while also keeping the dance floor bouncing. He is a versatile musician with eclectic tastes and a sophisticated approach to music making. Parallel to his musical artistry, the first-hand experience Ben has gained through countless appearances on the big stage – from Ibiza to Miami, to Amsterdam, Sydney and beyond – has made him a formidable selector.
Can you introduce yourself to anyone who doesn’t know who you are?
I’m Ben Pearce, I’m 27 years old and I’m a music producer and DJ, mostly focusing around House and Techno. I’ve been doing this properly for around 4 years and although I’m originally from Manchester, I’m now in London.
How long had you been producing before ‘What I Might Do?’ hit the charts in 2012 and how did you approach writing the music?
I’d not been producing long. Maybe a couple of years, but not taking it seriously, I was working from my bedroom in my flat, coming home from work in the evenings and just working on stuff. It was quite a surprise.
It was just one of the many tracks I had an idea for and was working on, I put the vocal over it after finding a sample and it just worked. It was mixed down by MTA before the release but I was there during all of that, I just wasn’t at that level I could mix a track to those standards.
When did the label Purp & Soul come to exist?
It was a blog first, I came onboard with it and it moved into being a label, an agency, a family. Everyone went their different ways eventually but I’m still close to a lot of the guys from there. As a label, it’s on ice for the moment, while I focus on my own music, it felt like the right thing to do.
What went into producing it? What were some of the influences?
I guess the influences were all the touring in 2015, I knew what kind of music I wanted to make and it just came together like that. I don’t think a lot when I’m writing my best music, it’s very ‘in the moment’ and just enjoying it…When I say touring it was just playing all over the world really, i think I covered 5 continents.
You’ve also got a new EP “Ascension” out. What was the very first element of what would become ‘Ascension’ that occurred to you? Was it a specific theme, idea, bassline, sound…?
It was the feeling of thousands of voices competing for attention. On social media, in the press, in the charts. Everybody is shouting and that noise sometimes becomes silence, I felt very lost and isolated. Hence this metaphor of an astronaut getting lost on his journey in space, he’s discovering amazing new things he’s never experienced before but it can be quite lonely.
Speaking of themes, what would you say the themes behind this EP are? How do they relate to thematic material of yours before this?
The whole concept which is the 4 EP’s is really the first thematic thing I’ve done. It’s liberating to be able to walk into the studio and think ‘I know what I’m writing about today’, before then I was just going in to make ‘club music’ which is good sometimes but a huge part of me wanted more. I’ve found my release through this series and really looking forward to developing it.
What would you say is the primary piece of equipment used in creating the “Ascension” EP? If I asked you that question for your first ever release, what would you say?
I start most of my drums on a Roland Tr-8 I guess. The Dave Smith Prophet 12 has been huge on this EP and it will continue to be on the next I think. I love that synth so much. I hopefully will be adding more to the setup so it becomes more of a fluid almost live setup, which could open up some possibilities I guess.
What are you looking forward to for the rest of 2017? Any places you will visit that you haven’t before?
I’m headed back to Australia which I’m super excited for, also on that run going to Bali & New Zealand which are both new for me. Some more UK and Europe shows that are always good to look forward to, hopefully be back to Holland soon, that’s a huge aim for me! I miss it 😄
Every so often, I see you engaging with people on social media regarding political topics. What do you feel the artists “role” is during this time of heightened political tension? Also, have you EVER come across someone in nightlife that held overtly conservative views (aside from “money guys,” of course…)?
I think the ‘role’ as it were is the same for anyone, to try and get engaged in your country’s politics because we’re entering a dangerous time where the disengagement and ‘fake news’ is enveloping us in this false world, you see what you want to see thanks for online analytics etc. Music crosses borders, faiths, race & sexuality… it has no political home in itself and whilst it has been used many times to front political ideals it should be neutral in it’s basic form. The hatred and ignorance in this world truly scares me and I hope it will get better in my lifetime. And no, not really, I’d probably have a conversation with them if I did, I’d try and Louis Theroux it and not get too agitated.