Ben Pearce is a DJ who is all too familiar with hard work. His rise onto the circuit was not one that happened over night, instead meticulously honing his craft warming up for some of the biggest name in the game when rising up the ranks in the Manchester scene. With the release of What I Might Do in 2012, the transition to being a star in his own right was made. More recently the Manchester party starter has been back in the studio for an EP release on the Moda Black label which sees a return to dancefloor focused production. Ahead of his appearance at XOYO London April 2nd alongside Greg Wilson, we caught up with the man himself for a quick catch up.
Hi Ben, how’re you doing?
I’m good thanks! Just packing to move house for the third time in a year, had some bad luck.
We last spoke to you in November 2012, just after you’d sprung onto the international scene with the success of tunes like “What I Might Do?”. How’s life been since then?
It’s been busy, a struggle at times it was a huge change compared to what I was doing before and I think that took it’s toll both physically and mentally. I feel I’m starting to move into a better place with it now, feeling better about music coming up.
Your upcoming show at XOYO is alongside Greg Wilson, a lineup that will catch a lot of people by surprise. What are your thoughts on the prospect of teaming up with Greg?
I’m a huge fan of Greg, he’s a legend! I don’t think too many would be surprised, I did 2 disco tours of the UK last year, I really can’t wait to play on this lineup. Severino is a brilliant DJ too, in good company on Saturday for sure.
XOYO is just one of many prestigious clubs that you’ll have graced over the last year or so. Which venue do you consider your spiritual home?
I don’t think I have one really, not yet anyway. I always love playing Fabric and SubClub for example but maybe not at the stage with anywhere to call it a home... maybe sometime soon!
Having earned your stripes back in Manchester, how do you feel the city has changed since your days as a DJ breaking onto the scene?
I’m not as connected to it anymore, obviously I see what’s going on through social media but I haven’t been out there for years. Music is so powerful there across so many genres, just have to look at Levelz at the moment for example!
You dropped your Pomelo EP last month, featuring 4 thumping cuts which seem to be designed with the dancefloor in mind. What was your approach when writing the tracks for the EP?
I was just making music that I would play out, that I liked. I have been doing that for the first time in a while, I had a tough time with writers block for ages and this helped me get over that. I was testing the tracks out in demo stage and they went down really well, I was glad to sign it to some good friends in Moda.
You’ve played alongside some really exciting artists over the past few years, with the likes of Simian Mobile Disco, Seth Troxler & Shadow Child standing out on the list. Who would you say you are most proud to have lined up alongside?
Those three 100% I’m proud of, I mean as I said I’m quite new to this... I was lucky enough to warm up for some amazing DJ’s when I was starting out in Manchester, since then of course sharing a stage with Dixon, Jamie XX, Midland and pretty much everyone, I’m proud to be a part of this scene!
We’re a quarter of the way into the year now, so what are you most looking forward to in the remaining months?
Making music, playing some more amazing shows and sharing new music with everyone.
Thanks for talking to us Ben!
Interview by Andrew Kemp