Exclusive: Five Minutes with Per QX
Per QX is a Stockholm based DJ and producer who’s been in the game longer than some of our younger readers have been alive. We recently sat down with the talented artist to chat about best and worst gigs, songwriting style, and his favorite artists of today. Catch up with our good friend Per QX below!
Hi there, how are you and what are you up to today?
I’m very good thanks, I just got back from djjng and producing new tracks in Stockholm and London. It feels nice to be back in sunny Berlin, I’m based there at the moment but are soon taking off to Asia for a few months.
To those not familiar with you, how would you describe your sound?
Energetic cheeky disco, house and techno!
What are the 5 most influential albums that have influenced you the most?
I have never been really into albums but theses are probably the ones that influenced me most.
The Prodigy : Experience
Daft punk: Homework
Chaka Khan: I feel for you
The S-Man: secret weapons vol 2
Which other artists are you into at the moment and why?
I think it’s hard at the moment because every artist just sounds the same, this makes me sound like my dad lol! I like Flume, Karma kid, Moderat and Gesaffelstein.
Are there any key pieces of equipment that you are using to define your sound?
I started to use a trick that make everything sounds analog, even if I make everything in my computer. It takes a bit of time as I have to re-record or bounce down all tracks in the song, but it’s worth the extra time. I use a lot of melodies usually from my fake analog vst plugins. My signature sound is probably best described as melodic vocal tech house and techno.
What would you say some of the challenges artists face today in the music industry?
I think today you either have to be on the commercial top or underground top, or you need to get a “real” job that pays the bills. I make music for film, tv, adverts and some jingles, things that I love to do, but without that income I would have to look elsewhere for work. It’s sad that the music business has crashed, you just need to find ways that still bring in the money in music and luckily I have. I also used to run club nights and I think that’s a good way of bringing in the money if you don’t make any on single sales anymore.
Where do you gather song writing inspiration?
Being away from the studio gets me very inspired, also when I go away djjng. I get really excited when I play new music I bought, and I see that the crowd likes what I play. I also get inspired when I visit friends in their studios and hear new tracks they work on.
Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when put music together?
I usually start with a melody in some form either from the keyboard or a vocal sample, then I build the beat and the baseline. It can also start the other way around with a beat and then build everything around it.
What’s the best gig you have ever done and why?
I had a lot of very good gigs over the years, so it’s hard to think what’s been the best one so far. I stared DJing in 1997 and been very lucky traveling around the world playing records.
Butter factory in Singapore, The Factory in San Francisco, and Limelight in New York, were all really cool places, but I think the GutterSlut parties I did with Ralf Obergfell, Nic Fisher, Elliott J Brown and MS Crystal MC in London, Berlin and Stockholm are probably the most fun and hedonistic parties I played at so far.”
And the worst?
It must have been when I went to Tel Aviv in Israel in 2003. I was booked to play at a big gay circuit party. As I’m gay myself, and I had already then played in many gay clubs allover Europe, I thought the gig would go down well. When I landed in Tel Aviv, I was taken aside at customs and locked into this immigration camp room. Then 8 hours later I got released once the Swedish embassy got involved. Don’t ask why this all happened, it’s a long story. The lovely promoter drove me from the airport straight to the club, and I was told by him that the warm up dj played American house music. [House] for me would sound like something pianoish by Frankie Knuckles, but that was not the case. The dj before me was banging out the hardest vocal tribal house I ever heard, so when I came on dropping my uk sounding house with rolling baselines the crowd didn’t even know how to dance, as they never heard that kind of music. 30 min later the floor was empty. I think that this is probably the only time I cleared the dance floor.
If you weren’t a musician what would you be?
I would love to paint or draw or be a personal trainer.
Do you have any particular gigs or festivals that you dream about playing?
I’m not a big fan of festivals. I have done quite a few, Glastonbury, Lovebox and Bestival… it’s fun when you’re 25 but I’m a bit older now, so I would rather stay in the studio and make music and do club gigs. I also don’t like the fact that you can’t just leave whenever you like.
I still haven’t done burning man and I heard it’s very different to other festivals, so I might go next year.
If you could perform alongside any other band or artist, who would it be?
I would like to play alongside Armand van Helden, he’s a big inspiration and legend for me.
Do you have any information regarding upcoming releases, projects or gigs in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?
My new single “Let It Go” is out on Glasgow Underground now. The premiere was played on Pete Tongs Essential mix. Check out the mixes from Illyus and Barrientos and Jaceo. The video is just released, filmed and edited by Ceven Knowles, Alexander Shaw, Matthew Miles and Konrad Wyrbek.