I’ll start off by saying it would be a blogger’s dream if all short-notice interviews go as well as my interview with Italian-duo Pelussje went. Not only were they willing to take over an hour to sit and talk with me, they were also very honest and open discussing a range of topics – from the hurdles facing up and coming producers, DJs, and musicians, evolving trends within EDM, to some of the behind-the-scenes hurdles acts may have to deal with. .
When I received the email offering a chance to sit with Pelussje I didn’t hesitate in accepting, even if I was already planning on making it a long night. The next morning, after dragging myself off the couch I opened up SoundCloud and began to explore as much as I could. Hopping into the shower I through on the latest release from Pelussje Salsoul & West End Remixed Vol. 5 – available now on Ultra Music. I didn’t know what to expect, but as soon as the first track came on I knew it was just what I needed to make my way back into the mayhem that is Miami Music Week. Pelussje’s Salsoul & West End Remixed Vol. 5 gives listeners a perfect view of Pelussje’s depth of musical knowledge as the three track EP sees the duo put their twist on a number of retro songs from Carol Williams, Girl Next Door, and Loleatta Holloway.
Now, if you’re unfamiliar with Pelussje I can understand, but you should focus on the duo as they’re about to do some big things in 2014. Pelussje’s first video off Salsoul & West End Vol. 5, “Love Is You” has already seen air time on MTV Clubland; when you check it out below you’ll agree that it is one of the cleverest videos of the year. Their second video “Salsoul Nugget Do U Wanna” premiered on the channel Monday, which I’ll say depicts the exact feeling you get when the music you’re listening to has you feeling like a champion. You can view both videos below.
After speaking for over an hour with the Pelussje, it became evident that their not a duo looking to make music that’s cool just now. It’s not who they are. Chiara and James have been making music for over ten years, so what’s cool has changed plenty for them. If you listen to their entire SoundCloud catalogue you’ll get a look at their development over the years, which should give you an idea why their sound doesn’t lack any elements. Pelussje has found a way to take music from their childhood and adolescence and create music that not only gets you to dance, but tells a story at the same time – take for instance the duo’s The Rise and Fall and Blue Demon vs El Santo EPs.
One thing I had to ask the duo was the purpose of their lucha libre masks. It was the one thing I couldn’t fully understand as I spoke with them. Chiara and James are quite personable and don’t seem the type to shy away from people. But as they explained to me it isn’t the need to hide their face. They wear the masks as a representation of who they are through their music and live performances – which is something Pelussje brings to each venue. During our conversation they explained some of the hesitation venues and promoters had when they found out that they were wearing masks and need some performance space. It was clear to Chiara and James, with some of the success seen by Krewella and The Bloody Beetroots, that interaction with party-goers was going to be crucial in standing out. So, out came the mask and since they’ve been rocking out clubs across Europe. As you could imagine Pelussje have their sights set on bringing their and spread it across all of North America. Already having released a number of track through Ultra Music, Pelussje decided to kick off their North America tour during Miami Music Week and they’ll be playing select dates through June 30th.
Before wrapping up our interview I asked the duo for some of the hurdles that aspiring producers, DJs, and musicians need to look out for. The first thing they said was the need to develop thick skin. They agreed that the amount of negative comments was surprising, especially in a genre said to embrace “Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect.” One of the best lines of our conversation came from James when he said that, “It is fashionable to be a hater these days.” Both Chiara and I agreed with James – it’s as if the ease of creating a fake identity to create negativity was easier than offering positive feedback. That lead me to ask how it was for them when they asked other producers for their opinions on particular tracks. The duo was in agreement when they said it was a tough decision which inevitably fell on how much trust was between the producers. They explained how the EDM scene operated and how a number of big acts tend to use ghost production to further their sound, but forget to prop up those who elevated their sound. Pelussje however said that others in the genre, such as good friend Skrillex, are more than willing to give an honest opinion and help others create and develop their sound. They say that the ability for a big name act to help prop up other producers and DJs around them is one of the true signs of a great producer, DJ, musician, etc.
As I’m sure you’ll understand after listening to some of Pelussje’s music, they’re a duo that is clearly on the path to breaking onto the scene with one hell of an image and sound. They’ve surrounded them with positive influences and people who want to see them succeed and are creating music that will get them there. I highly suggest you give their SoundCloud a listen (click here) and check out their two latest videos, below. Make sure to follow Pelussje on Twitter and like their Facebook page to keep up with the latest news. I was told some exciting things are going down this year. Once again, my thanks go out to FIXT Publicity for coordinating another fantastic interview and, of course, thank you to Pelussje for taking the time to sit and talk.
Images courtesy of FIXT Publicity.