Singer, songwriter, DJ and producer Perel, is the one-woman show that’s taking the industry by storm. The Berlin-based musician is quickly becoming one of the most recognizable acts in the industry, a creative visionary that fluidly weaves dance music with softer electro experimental sounds.
The contrast between her creative pursuits becomes obvious when comparing her 2016 track ‘Charles Manson’, a dark and brooding techno composition, with her newer productions, with 2018 track ‘Alles’, a dreamy 80s synth-pop anthem with her own soft vocals. Having just released her debut album on DFA record label titled ‘Hermetica’, Perel had a chat with us before her Australian tour which will see her play at Pitch Music & Arts.
How did growing up in Eastern Germany affect your taste in music? What kind of stuff were you listening to?
Well, I think it didn’t really affect my taste of music differently. I listened to the same stuff as kids from West Germany, because I was born in the 80s and started school in the 90s, so after the German reunion. My favorites groups were Backstreet Boys, Spice Girls, Dj Bobo or Eurythmics. Later, I deeply fell in love with (Cold) Wave and Indie Rock and all kinds of electronic music from the 70s and 80s.
Sure, my parents had records from AMIGA (the only record label in the GDR btw) that people in West Germany probably didn’t have. Especially when I was a little girl, I got stuck in fairytale vinyl from the GDR. The soundtrack of these records still influence my life and evoke strong emotions to my early childhood. Reinhard Lakomy e.g. was one of the most outstanding producers of the former GDR and deserves more credit when it comes to German music history, in my opinion.
How did your relationship with dance music first begin? Was it when you moved to Berlin?
No, much earlier. Or let’s put it that way – to me everything is dance music. What music makes danceable is its energy and rhythm. So I think my relationship with dance music started in elementary school already. You’re allowed to laugh now but I was super into EURO DANCE such as La Bouche, 2Unlimited or Dj Bobo. Chart music only of course, as I wasn’t really „cool“ at that time. I had no clue what Acid or Detroit Techno was or means for example…
In my college time everything became a little bit more cooler with illegal parties and first real raves. But I also sang and co-produced in bands. I think both elements influence my way of performance today.
You’ve discussed in the past your frustration with sometimes being underestimated as a female musician, particularly when collaborating with other male artists in which you didn’t get any credit. How do you tackle issues like that?
Differently than some years ago. Back then, I just got angry and frustrated. Today, I just try to stay calm; however I will always raise my voice when it comes to any kinds of sexism.
Recently, the new trend is to say: “But as a woman it’s much easier to succeed in the scene.” Well, thanks. I really appreciate making me believe my record label just signed me because I’m female and not because I’m really good at what I’m doing. So by claiming this repeatedly, that statement disproves itself automatically. You know?
Your 2018 album ‘Hermetica’ beautifully blends so many genres, and landed you the title of first German to release under DFA record label. Do you listen to your old works once they are released or do you leave them in the past?
It depends. To some of my tracks I really feel a deep connection and so I listen to them every now and then again, also because I include them in my Hybrid-Dj sets where I grab the mic to sing. Or I use parts of these tracks to use them in my full live sets.
But sure, there are also tracks I got over in the meantime and can’t listen to them at all anymore…
What advice would you give to female up and coming producers and DJs who are trying to crack into the industry?
The same advice I would give to male up and coming artists: Always follow your heart, listen to your inner voice, work hard and stay patient. And give a shit about what other people say or do – If this is really what you want to do and it feels right for you, everything will come automatically. A positive vibe is the most important!
You’re about to play your first show in Australia at Pitch Music and Arts! What can we expect from you debut Australian set?
I’m always full of surprises 🙂
Pitch Music & Arts
Friday 8th March. Victoria.