It’s been a fascinating journey for Ben Pearce so far; 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. As comfortable producing for bands as he is cooking up his own solo productions, Ben 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. After taking a few months off in late 2016, Ben has returned to the business with a fresh perspective, renewed energy and enthusiasm plus a batch of new jams centred around his ‘Ascension’ project.
When you started making music, was it intended for live performances or for general listening?
It was really just an experiment, I was DJ-ing at the time a lot and had a few ideas and started out with bootlegs to be honest. It was a long learning curve as a bedroom producer with no training. The first few times I played something in a club and it got a good reaction were amazing. That’s when I started to take it further.
What do you enjoy about remixing songs by other artists?
You’re getting to re-imagine something that you’d never have made on your own. It’s such an interesting process creatively. I used to remix friends if I was short on inspiration.
When you do remix tracks, what makes you decide to do it. Do you think you can improve them or do you just like implementing your own style into them?
I never go out to improve a record if I’m remixing. i’ve either been asked to do it or I’ve asked somebody but either way it’s about having that inspiration when you hear a track like ‘I could do something with this’. Of course I’m going to out my own style on it but I always hope to retain some of the original body and soul of the record whether that be structurally or musically.
I think everyone has fancied themselves as a DJ or producer. What would be your advice to people who want to do it?
It’s a hard industry to get in and then stay in of course. I’d always say just make sure you’re doing it because you love it and not because you want to be on the stage. The music has to come first.
How often are you in the studio and how often are you travelling? Do you make music when you’re travelling on the road to festivals or in the studio?
It’s hard to say, some weeks I’m away a lot and others I might be at home but I always try and produce something when I’m on the road to keep it going. I’d say typically maybe Tuesday-Friday in the studio and then shows at the weekend with a day off on Monday to chill out. That might be the ideal week (but we never live in ideals do we).
Your remix of Kaz James ‘Life In Purple’ is coming out on Circus Recordings, how did this collaboration come about? What was it about the song that made you want to remix it?
Every time I get a remix request, it’s always about the track. This one I immediately wanted to play out. There were so many elements I loved, the sort of meandering vocals and effects over a rhythmed synth element… I wanted to keep that when I remixed it.
When starting the remix, did you have a clear direction of where you wanted to take the track?
I did but it took a couple of false starts then the idea as you hear it came together super quickly. Usually, all my remixes do (when they’re on the right track)
You run the Sextape series, which sees you move away from house and techno and play more disco, funk and soul. What inspired you to start this series? What is the vision behind it?
I played a night in Leicester a long time ago called one fifteen, it was designed to be slower, sleazier music. When I was a resident and ran my own party in Manchester there was a lot of that and of course disco. It felt like a natural thing to start doing the mixes, they’re so much fun. It’s expanded to sort of include all levels of disco and house. Essentially just no pretension, love to hear the classics. Some really exciting stuff happening next year with that in the UK
When you’re not DJing, producing and running your label, what do you do to relax?
I play golf. Four hours on a golf course can be very relaxing, and great to clear your mind. Also I play football, and need to get back to the gym. I think the best time relaxing is just hanging out with friends, though. There’s nothing better than having a laugh, and my friends are mental.