Gou Talk

Beach-loving Peggy Gou pauses at MoVida to talk music, fashion and Bali over a tropical smoothie bowl.

Korean-born, Berlin-based DJ Peggy Gou stands out behind the booth. In spite of eye-catching looks and rapidly rising esteem, the 27-year old DJ and producer has a surprising warmth and humbleness of character.

 

A rapt curiosity with cutting-edge clothing and urban culture stems from teenage years in South London. This was where Peggy first learned English, and she returned to study at London College of Fashion. Lured in by the vibey club scene, Peggy’s fashion lust was gradually superseded by a desire to make music full time, and a her next move was to the techno-loving German capital.

 

Fast forward to 2017 and Peggy’s released four EPs – the first having come out only at the start of last year. A distinctive style blending old-skool Chicago house, Detroit techno and African influences makes Peggy a fit for Potato Head Bali’s late-evening Night Moves sessions.

‘For me, Bali is a pink side of the world – by that, I mean it’s full of positive energy. After a week here, I go home with a better outlook on things.’

Welcome home to Bali. What keeps you coming back?

When you live in London for so long, you miss the sun. The world I see in Europe is quite dark; everything is about work and pressure. For me, Bali is a pink side of the world – by that, I mean that I come here to let go of stress, forget about all the pressure, the work. Bali is full of positive energy. After a week here, I go back home with a better outlook on things.

You stay at lots of hotels. How does Katamama measure up?

I’m so glad you asked that because it’s my favourite! Everything at Katamama is so beautiful – all the handmade furniture. The interiors of the rooms are gorgeous. I love your boutique Escalier too – it carries so many cool brands. Every DJ that I meet, I tell them to come to Bali and stay here.

What’s memorable about DJing at Potato Head Beach Club?

This is my third appearance at Potato Head. I’ve played at open-air venues before, but this is the only beach club I’ve DJed at. It’s cool to see the ocean and have the cocktails flowing as you perform. I’m really excited for tonight [Night Moves]. All my friends in Bali are saying, “Your posters are everywhere!” so I’m expecting more people and more fun.

How did you get into electronic music?

When I was at fashion school I met a crew who used to do regular parties in London. I found myself waiting for these Thursday club nights and that’s when I got into DJing proper. Then I met this guy called Esa [Esa Williams from Highlife] and he showed me how to use Ableton. Soon I was taking lessons in music making and skipping fashion school all the time to be in the studio.

Most extraordinary club experience?

Sub Club in Glasgow was one of the best clubs I’ve played. The people, the low ceilings, the soundsystem – it was amazing.

You recently collaborated with some local musicians?

(Laughs) Last time I was here, I asked a Balinese guy to teach me how to play Indonesian drums. We drove out past Canggu to record out in the open air. I made a beat and told him to play whatever he wanted but no matter how I changed the beat up, he kept playing exactly the same thing! I guess that’s the Balinese style. In the end, there were so many chickens around making noise in the background that I couldn’t use any of it, but it was interesting to learn.

As a former editor of Harper’s BAZAAR Korea, you must still pine for fashion…

Before music, I wanted to be a stylist but I realised pretty fast that styling myself and styling other people is totally different – I’m not good at it. Fashion will always be part of my life. I love clothes. Right now, I’m picking and choosing projects and playing at launch parties for labels that I like.

What next?

I’ve done a few remixes this year, but because of the travelling, I haven’t had a chance to focus on my music. I might do a collaboration with another artist but my biggest aim is one more release, maybe an album, but that’s a long process.

 

Thanks Peggy! Bali is keeping all ears open to hear when you’re playing at Potato Head Beach Club next.