Since he dropped his debut full length EP back in October 2012, it’s been non stop for House music’s man of the moment, Ben Pearce. Most will recognise his name from his deep-house debut, ‘What I Might Do’, which has dominated club floors and radio airwaves and there seems to be plenty more where the oddly anthemic track came from.
Hailing from Manchester, Ben had a variety of influences growing up which may explain his impressive ability to play a wide range of genres. Although relatively new to the scene, high profile support from the likes of Heidi, Jamie Jones and Pete Tong is cementing Ben Pearce’s name as one to watch over the next few years.
Not just content with all this, Ben has also found the time to co-found the record label and agency, Purp & Soul, with Chris Farnworth which is already home to ten young, UK based talents.
OPEN caught up with him to chat musical influences, soul destroying sales jobs and pre-set rituals ahead of the Bugged Out Weekender in March at Pontins, Southport.
Your song, ‘What I Might Do’ has been everywhere these past few months – How is it hearing your music getting played in places?
Quite surreal. I’m getting used to it now but the first few times were definitely surreal. I don’t really listen to the radio myself that much but hearing it in shops is kind of weird.
I’m so overwhelmed with how much people love it and the reaction to when I play it is still a surprise. It’s great.
How did you get into DJing? Is it always something you’ve wanted to do?
I was a promoter first, growing up I was into bands before I got more into electronic music. I started promoting electro nights then a friend gave me a mixer and a pair of turn tables and I just started to learn and it went from there. I was about 18 when I started and I’ve not really looked back.
Any crappy jobs before starting all this?
Yes, plenty. I kind of worked in various shops and offices and did sales and lots of soul destroying office work and I was eventually a manager in a bank call centre before I did this.
Not tempted to go back at all?
Hahaha. Not really if I can avoid it.
You’re playing in Liverpool on Saturday (the interview took place just before Ben played Chibuku along side Dusky Klangkarussell and Cyril Hahn) – You looking forward to playing here and how do you prepare for a set?
I’m definitely looking forward to coming over. Last time I played in Liverpool was for Abandon Silence and that was such good fun. I don’t really prepare at all to be honest. I buy new music all the time and I have my favourite songs; I organise the new music on what show I bought the music for but I don’t usually end up playing any of it, I just improvise maybe an hour before and go from there.
No rituals at all then?
No, there’s no planning at all. I only ever plan podcasts and that and they’re a different listening experience. They have to flow very well and if you’re in a club and it’s not a very serious techno party, which sometimes they are, people just want to hear what they want to hear at the time and have fun.
You’re from Manchester. Home of Sankeys and WHP etc. What was your music scene like when growing up as a teenager?
When I was a teenager I was into heavy metal and bands so a bit different to what I play now! Bands like The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Bowling for Soup, Taking Back Sunday – I certainly didn’t have a pair of decks as a young teenager like some DJ’s.
You’ve been involved with Purp & Soul since last Autumn – how is that for you?
It’s great. It’s a lot more work for me but it’s very rewarding. I’m in a position now where I can help give others a chance. We’re a tight crew of artists and we all seek each other’s opinion on new projects and we get along great. It’s cool.
Any long term ambitions – any dream places you want to play or any artist you want to work with?
Who knows? I’ve only been doing this a year so it’s just about seeing what happens. I let my manager do the planning about the future.
Originally published in OPEN Magazine