Paces, aka Mikey Perry, has been a busy guy. Whether he’s being named as an artist “Set to own 2014” by inthemix; receiving national airplay love on triple j; producing tracks for Tkay Maidza’s upcoming EP; remixing the likes of Safia, Kilter, Danny T, Rattraps, Sietta, Parachute Youth, YesYou and Sampology; supporting beat-maker extraordinaires Lunice, Ryan Hemsworth, Kaytranada, Djemba Djemba and Mr Carmack; or having his bootlegs regularly receive over 20,000 plays on Soundcloud, he certainly shows no signs of slowing down.
Paces sound is truly unique. Mixing influences from Jersey Club, Future Beats, and Garage, he’s crafted a style which is undeniably his own but could sit at home amongst any of his musical idols. Think Cashmere Cat, Ta-Ku, Branchez etc.
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Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do. I’m an electronic music producer from the Gold Coast, Australia. I’d say my music falls under the extremely broad ‘future beat’ category, and also takes a bit of influence from Jersey Club, PC Music, Trap, and Garage. I usually incorporate tropical sounding instruments (like Kalimbas, Marimbas, Steel Drums, etc) into my tunes.
What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on? I’ve just finished touring this EP which I made with a London band called ‘Youth’. I produced it and they sung on it. I’m a huge fan of them so it’s been a really fun experience. Aside from that I’ve been producing tracks for a couple other vocalists, doing a million remixes, and finishing off my next single which should be out late Jan/early Feb.
What is one of the bigger challenges you and/or other musicians are struggling with these days and how do you see it developing? I think that when you’re starting out, just making a living from music is a huge challenge. I’m getting by fine at the moment, I’m not riding around on a diamond encrusted bicycle or anything, but I make a decent living now. But for a long time I was juggling full time work with gigs and making music. It’s really tough doing that because you can’t fully dedicate yourself to either. You’ve really gotta put the hard yards in and stay up all night pursuing your dream until you reach that tipping point. Even then it’s still a struggle but it gets easier once you’ve got a booking agent/manager/label on your team.
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How did your interest in music begin? I learnt guitar on and off all through school. I used to want to be in a punk band, haha! Things ended up way different! But that eventually led to hip hop, then to DJing, then to producing, and just recently I’ve been learning piano (which has made such a difference to my workflow — I wish I learnt that instead of the guitar!!).
How has living in Australia affected your music? There is really no scene for my type of music here on the Gold Coast. It’s a very tourist-driven market so most of the clubs play top 40 EDM bangers. There’re two clubs that book good music but that’s nowhere near enough to cultivate a scene. So I’d say that the Gold Coast has had no impact at all on my music. I travel a lot for shows and I spend a lot of time online so it’s never really been a problem. If anything it’s kept me from going out during the week. haha!
If you had to explain your music to a stranger, what would you say? That is always so tough to do! I usually just say, “the fun end of dance music”
What kinds of music/what musicians are influencing your work right now? My biggest influences right now are Lido, Ganz, Cashmere Cat, and Ta-Ku.
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What is your snack of choice when recording? I’d have to say burgers. I’m on a burger-quest at the moment. I’ve tried to eat a gourmet burger in every city that I’ve visited this year. It has been amazing!
What do you do when you’re not working on music? Every morning I take my dog (Chilli) across the road to the beach, make breakfast for my girlfriend before she goes to work, and then the rest of the day is just about music. I see my family each week and I also surf and go for a run a few times per week.
What are you really excited about right now? I’m going camping on Moreton Island in a couple of weeks. I’m really excited about that! It’s the most beautiful place and I haven’t been there since I was a kid. Gonna be nice to have a few days away from it all.
If you hadn’t become a musician, what do you think you’d be doing? Graphic Art, for sure. That’s what I was doing before I was able to make a living from music. I liked it, but nowhere near as much as I like being a music producer.
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Can you share one of the best or worst reactions you have gotten as a result of your music? A few weeks ago I had just finished playing a set in Adelaide; I said thanks to the crowd and this girl yelled out to me “SIT ON MY FACE!”. It was so hectic hahaha! I don’t know if that’s one of the best or the worst reactions but it was certainly memorable!