The UK’s Ben Pearce positively blew up dancefloors in 2012 with ‘What I Might Do’ – the deep house track came to serve as his calling card, garnering support from some of dance music’s biggest names and establishing him as one of the year’s most intriguing newcomers.
The ensuing year has been big for Pearce, who suddenly finds himself very much in demand. He has played alongside the likes of Seth Troxler and Theo Parrish, and released some high-profile remixes of his own. I ask him how the increased amount of attention has altered his life. “It’s so hard to say because everything has changed so much. It’s been hectic, and this last year has definitely been the best of my life. It all seems like a blur to say the least!”
Pearce hasn’t always inhabited the world of house music. In fact, like many of his contemporaries, he got his start in rock bands before moving into the world of beatmaking. His first forays into electronic music, he says, came about slowly, until he eventually realised it was the right fit for him. “I guess meeting new people and getting invited to clubs with techno and house was probably the narcotic-fuelled moment where I just thought, ‘Yeah, this is really good,’” he says. “The dubstep scene was teetering into the rock clubs, there was a power hour of D&B and dubstep at one of our regular places, so I got into electronic music there, and I started out DJing that kind of stuff.”
Though Pearce insists that he only started making tracks for a laugh, his music quickly caught on – the success of ‘What I Might Do’ caught him totally by surprise. “I never thought it would happen, I couldn’t have even dreamed of any of this,” he says. His home studio set-up is still fairly minimal. “At the moment, I have a couple of hardware synths and run everything through a UAD. I’m starting to expand and it’s been fairly hard not to splash on a lot of stuff but I want to do it constructively, I want to do a lot of recording eventually, so getting a mic was a priority.”
Following up a hit like ‘What I Might Do’ is no easy thing, and Pearce is well aware of the pressure he is currently under. He has a series of new releases due out in the coming months and hopes they will strike a similar chord. “I have a new EP coming out in the middle of February, then a single after that,” he says. “Along with that, there are also a couple of remixes I’ve done, including one for Kwabs, which is online now. I’ve got some more stuff in the pipeline that I’m excited about. It will be nice, hopefully, to not just to be known for one record anymore.”
Pearce is all set to make his debut trip to Australia, and ask if any DJ friends have passed on advice about crowds in this part of the world. “I’ve always wanted to go, and I have a few friends who have been, both DJing and holidaying, and they’ve only sung praise – so I’m really excited about it,” he says. “As for my shows, I would hope I’ll just be playing good music that’ll make people dance. I usually go through a wide range of genres and maybe throw a couple of curveballs in. I suppose it’s quite hard to describe and I really can’t speak highly of myself without instantly regretting it.”