Peggy Gou Is Kicking Her Electronic Music Profession to the Next Level

The 29- year-old manufacturer and D.J. started a label and a fashion line, and launched a mix for an acclaimed series.


Credit Credit David Wolff-Patrick/Redferns, through Getty Images

Jonah Engel Bromwich

The South Korean producer and D.J. Peggy Gou was still carrying around 4 huge bags filled with CDs and vinyl records in 2017, long after other D.J.s had actually gone digital. She knew exactly what tracks were on each disc and didn’t wish to fumble around throughout sets, that make her worried enough as it is.

Her baggage was also a buffer against apprehension. In a genre filled with dudes all set to question an artist’s authentic, it was a concrete (and heavy) sign of her understanding. “I was terrified to change,” she said.

Gou, 29, who makes intense, danceable electronic music that is memorable and memorable, even to genre beginners, is less scared now. This year, she began a label, Gudu Records, and a fashion line called Kirin; released a seriously acclaimed EP; and booked prime slots at Glastonbury and Primavera Sound, to name a few huge European celebrations.

And last month, she became the 69 th producer to launch a mix for the DJ-Kicks series, a decades-old showcase that has hosted names like Carl Craig, Four Tet, Kode9 and Nina Kraviz. Electronic music, like the clubs in which it grows, is divided into those who belong and those who don’t. Being picked to captain a DJ-Kicks mix is a skilled sign of belonging that marks Gou’s arrival as a potential crossover artist in a world where couple of such figures exist.

” When I chose her she ‘d just released one EP however I was simply super into the music,” said Will Saul, who selects artists for the series. Her noise, he stated, “was extremely versatile. It dealt with the dance floor and there were also very strong musical hooks in it.”

Gou’s DJ-Kicks mix reaches into the history of home and techno, in addition to her personal history. It consists of the earliest track she started work on, the shuffling, sample-heavy “Hungboo,” called for the hero of a Korean fairy tale.

Because her adolescence, Gou has been a migratory creature, moving initially between London and South Korea, and after that all over the world. She first showed up in England when she was 14 to study English, and coped with a number of different guardians. She did not have a simple relationship with any of them.

” They just locked me up in the house and the school so I clearly ended up being a devil,” she said. “I ended up being a rebel.”

That sense of disobedience pressed her out dancing nearly every weekend. Back then, she stated, she didn’t even stress about whether the music was great. The club “is among those locations where everybody chooses the same reason,” she stated. “In a club, it does not matter who you are, what you do or where you’re from.”

She moved back to Korea when she was 18, however felt more comfy in London and, about six months later on, chose to study style there. In 2011, while out dancing, she found deep house, a subtler category of dance music than the EDM she had actually been accustomed to. Albums like Roman Flügel’s “Fatty Folders,” from 2011– a high-water mark for left-field techno– permanently changed her palate.

” I listened to it and my jaw simply dropped,” she stated. After that, “I ended up being a nerd.”

She was encouraged, initially to D.J. and then to make her own music, by people with whom she had personal relationships. Her first love, a Kiwi EDM fan whom she met in Korea, taught her to D.J. in2009 Four years later, a Facebook pal offered to teach her how to use Ableton, the music production software, and she started to develop her own tracks. The very first draft of “Hungboo” was finished in 2014.

2 years later, she launched a burst of music, consisting of the EP “ Seek for Maktoop,” on Ninja Tune. Word of her skill began to float through the underground, and she began protecting larger bookings.

” I was seeing her name appear places,” stated Tim Sweeney, who hosted Gou on his radio program Beats in Space in2017 “She became part of the Berlin scene, the names that were constantly at Panorama bar or Berghain She did a fantastic D.J. set for us. The something that I bear in mind that was different: She only brought CDs.”

Since the release of “It Makes You Forget (Itgehane),” a melodic club struck that was unavoidable throughout 2018, Gou’s increase has accelerated. She has actually benefited from an ability to create useful connections– the celeb designer Virgil Abloh is a buddy— and a nose for branding.

Her record covers and the logo for her label Gudu, drawn by the artist Jee-ook Choi, make pop art out of traditional Korean dancing masks. (Gudu suggests “shoe” in Korean, and Peggy Shoe is a popular label.) However Gou has another description: “It likewise suggests Peggy Gou does,” she said.

There’s a tiger lounging on a bed on the cover of her DJ-Kicks mix, which marks a shift in spirit animal for Gou, who has actually made her love for giraffes so popular that inflatable ones frequently crowd-surf at her programs.

” Tiger is wild and I’m wild,” she stated. “And do you understand why I like giraffe? I’m the opposite of a giraffe. I’m really active and full of energy.”

Gou’s energy is apparent in her music, and she is confident in its mass appeal. Asked how to get individuals who are not typically fans of electronic music into club categories like home and techno, she believed for a minute before alighting on a concept.

” Do you think it would be too arrogant to say perhaps try to let them hear what I do?” she asked. “I don’t desire to sound like a bighead! But perhaps you can state it in a good, humble way.”

More on the state of dance music

Jonah Bromwich is based in New york city. He writes for the Style area. @ jonesieman

A variation of this post appears in print on

, on Page



of the New York edition

with the heading:

D.J. Takes Profession To the Next Level Order Reprints| Today’s Paper| Subscribe

Check Out More Protection Status