Straight out of Singapore, Perk Pietrek, is here to put his mark on the trap game. After a year of dropping steady slappers, he landed some major co-signs with releases on UZ‘s Quality Goods Records and Far East Movement’s brednbutter. With his star rising last year, he was commissioned to produce an original for fashion giant Uniqlo’s in-store playlist in Singapore. While the original knocked, he had to create a special VIP for his DJ sets. Up until today it was a dubplate; a secret weapon used only in his sets, but we have the pleasure of debuting it along with the free download. Making things even sweeter, we had the the chance to connect with Perk for an exclusive interview to discuss his turntablism roots, how the song came together, and what he has in store for the remainder of the year. Stream ’88 Beats Per Minute VIP’ and check out the interview below.
Perk Pietrek – ’88 Beats Per Minute VIP’ – Free Download
How did you get into creating electronic music?
I feel like a huge part of me always wanted to be associated with the creative side of things in life since I was young. Always thinking out of the box, trying to ride on my own vibe and being different. I first got into DJing when I was 13 and producing music just seemed like a right step forward to me. This whole music thing feels like a huge science experiment to me and still is to this day.
In a huge way, turntablism shaped me into the person I am now. I’m all about perfecting the craft, cultivating insane work ethics and making every day count.
I understand you’re a turntablist first. What impact has this had on your production? Are people who don’t know this ever surprised at how nice you are on the decks?
In a huge way, turntablism shaped me into the person I am now. I’m all about perfecting the craft, cultivating insane work ethics and making every day count. So having started off as a turntablist definitely helped set me off in the right direction. I don’t consider myself to be a hardcore turntablist anymore but those tricks still get put into the limelight when I play a show. I like to keep things really fast paced and packed with energy, so there’s always a nice surprise planned for all of my sets.
What’s the music scene like in Singapore? How did it influence your sound and career?
It’s great over here, there’s tons of good stuff happening and a lot of Singaporean artists are getting opportunities offshore which is always an encouraging thing. There’s a lot of cool sounds being picked up here so it can get pretty inspiring. I’m still getting into it but I’d like to believe that my sound is partially being influenced by Singapore’s diverse culture.
They’re greats of their own so it’s a huge thing to have a positive nod from them.
You’re currently signed with brednbutter and Quality Goods Records. What’s it like working with both? What are the advantages of each?
It’s always nice to have a label supporting your releases so I’m grateful for both Far East Movement and UZ’s camps to be behind my music. They’re greats of their own so it’s a huge thing to have a positive nod from them. We’re definitely planning to do more cool stuff together so it’s exciting times!
The original version of ‘88 Beats Per Minute’ was commissioned by Uniqlo. Can you tell us a little bit about how that came together?
So, early this year, one of Singapore’s finest labels/collectives called Syndicate approached us to take part in this in-store music project that they were curating for Uniqlo. I was travelling during this period of time, so this record was actually mostly done on the road. It was on rotation for Singapore’s Uniqlo flagship store for the first part of the year.
What was your goal when creating the VIP?
This VIP mix was actually created for my DJ sets and it has been my dubplate for all my shows ever since. I thought it was about time I finally put it out for everyone!
How did you land on the title ‘88 Beats Per Minute’?
Hah, because this record is literally 88 beats per minute! Also because 88 is an auspicious number in Chinese culture. I just thought it was a rad thing to have.
I feel like I owe it to myself to be as genuine as I can in the music I’m writing because it’s a blessing to be able to do so.
Your recently tweeted: “We out here doing really sinister sounding songs because the world is in such a dark place right now.” How much does the outside world impact the music you create?
In some way it changes my vibe but then again, I get locked into my own zone from time to time too. So it really depends. I feel like I owe it to myself to be as genuine as I can in the music I’m writing because it’s a blessing to be able to do so.
What are you most looking forward to in 2017?
I’m working on a lot of music right now and will be putting them out soon. The new EP have been in the works for the past few months as well and we’re very close to being ready to putting it out and of course touring plans are in the works. I actually want to just see where this takes me and go from there.