An interview with Alex Pearce... by Fiona Walsh
For further information and track previews check out the following...
DJFI : What got you into electronic music initially?
Alex : I was going to college in upstate New York near Canada. I went to a rave in Toronto and at the time the dance music scene was equivalent to London – very big. I was really impressed with the sound, the vibe, the culture. I was already deejaying in college for frat and sorority parties (hip hop and pop) but after that I started playing the music I wanted to hear and that influenced me.
DJFI : How did you break into the New York scene?
Alex : I had been working in the music industry in Toronto after college – mainly the promotion side of things. I moved back to NYC and was a bedroom dj for a while, getting my set together. Then I landed my first big gig – a radio show on WNYU, playing a 2 hour set that went out to over 300,000 people.
DJFI : Not bad for a first gig! You’ve opened for a lot of big names Robbie Rivera, Sander Kleinenberg and for Tiesto on New Years Eve past at Roseland Ballroom. Tell us how that came about?
Alex : Well there’s a lot of politics and power shifting going on behind the scenes but essentially it comes down to being a good match music-wise. There is a particular art form to opening for another DJ. You need to build the night appropriately. It can be tough from a programming point of view. You can’t just play whatever you like because you’re pacing the night, you’ve got to be subtle and intelligent about your playlist so that by the time the main DJ comes on, you’re building to the apex of the evening. I play mainly electro and tech house but for the New Years Eve gig I played a lot more deep trance and progressive. It just fits better with Tiestos set.
DJFI : You started your own record label – are you moving into producing as well as deejaying?
Alex : Yes, I founded Quarterlife Records with my partner Eric. It’s another way to extend the sound of electro and tech house. A remix I did of Royal Sapiens “Everything I love is Underground” was one of the first releases on the label. I’m spending a lot more time in the studio producing now. Electronic music labels are very specific, specializing in one style or another and those styles go through cycles of popularity pretty quickly. Right now I think tech house, electro house and progressive is the hot sound in NYC.
DJFI : How do you find new artists/tracks?
Alex : A lot of A&R is done on myspace now. We also have a digital drop box.
DJFI : Who are the artists you admire/play a lot in your set?
Alex : Funkagenda, Mark Knight – all amazing. I really like the work of Dave Robertson and James Harcourt. I just played with British DJ and producer Chris Lake at the WMC in Miami.
DJFI : What’s your favorite club to play in here in the city?
Alex : Cielo is definitely my favorite. I have a monthly residency there – Dance. Here .Now. I played there on St. Patrick’s Day! Pacha and Webster Hall are also fun. I’m back at Cielo on April 14th.
DJFI : How do people find you Alex?
Alex : Myspace, Facebook and my website – http://djalexpearce.com/ and on www.di.fm