Exclusive Interview: Jordan Peak
Jordan Peak has become a taste making house and tech DJ and producer in recent years. His tough, old school referencing but forward looking sound comes on labels like One Records and Bass Culture and picked up fans like Pete Tong in the early days. Now regularly headlining events around London and all across Europe and the States, he plays for Magna Carta on NYD at Fire and Lightbox with the likes of Phil Weeks. Magna Carta held down a fine residency in Ibiza this summer at Sankeys and just turned 3 in style, so this will be a big event. We speak to Jordan here about life since breaking through, vinyl culture and more besides.
How has life been since breaking through? Does it get easier or harder?
Life has been life, theres always ups and downs. I’m happy that I get to play and make music for a living which is great but it doesn’t stop the other problems that life throws at you. We all have problems.
How long did it take you to really find your own sound, do you think? Maybe you are still searching?
My tastes change quite a bit depending on the mood or headspace I’m in and I like a lot of different music. If you listen to the releases and remixes I’ve put out there isn’t one particular sound as I’ve made all shades of house music and more recently techno . . . It all depends really. At the moment I’m listening to a lot of early and mid 2000s tech house by people like Nathan Coles, Pure Science, DJ Ali so I guess I’m a bit more influenced by that sound right now.
You release on plenty of labels – are you happy doing that or would you like to become a core member of one family?
Yeah totally. Like I said I make quite a lot of different stuff and every label has their own ethos and style that they want to put out so I think this works for me as I like to be versatile. Their are a few core labels that I will continue to work with though and I have my own label now (Rogue Society) which I will release through regularly.
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Do you write on the road or need you be settled in a studio/bedroom to focus?
When I first started getting booked a lot I would make stuff while traveling to kill time but then I found I was focusing more on that than the actual gig I was traveling for so I stopped doing it for a long time and would watch a film on my laptop or read books to pass the time but as this summer was so busy for me the only time I really had to work on music was while I was on airplanes or trains.
How long does it take you to get into the right headspace to write? What inspires you? Does it come easy to you?
That comes and goes. It depends on life and mood in general I think. The last few months to be honest I’ve had a few personal issues to deal with and haven’t really worked on music as much as I normally do. Inspiration can come from a whole range of factors from hearing a great DJ set to hearing an incredible piece of music in any genre. The more inspiration you have, the better.
Are you hardware or software man? Why? Have you got any ideal bits of kit you would like to buy?
All software. I grew up with a Gameboy in my hand so I’m more than happy to sit in front of a computer for hours and hours.
Do you think house music should be social and political conscious in anyway, like it used to when it first emerged, or has it changed into something else now?
Everything changes, nothing ever stays the same. That’s inevitable. I think in terms of being politically active that’s down to the artists themselves. Some people are out there to change the world and that’s great and the more power to them if it makes it a better place.
Is vinyl culture important to you? Do you buy and play them? What do you love about them?
It is important to me but again so is the digital side of things. It’s 2014 and the world we live in has changed a hell of a lot since house and techno first came along. I play both formats and get joy from using both for various reasons. Vinyl for its physical and sentimental nature and digital for its practicality.
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What should people expect at Magna Carta in London from you? Have you played the party before?
I can’t say 100% to be honest as you never really know what the crowd will be up for on the day and how the flow of the party will go but there will be a nice mix of old tracks, current house music and some upcoming promos that I will be playing. Yes I’ve played for Magna Carta a few times now and they have always been great gigs.
What are your aims when it comes to DJing – to amaze, educate, edify, entertain?
All of the above! Haha. My definition of a good DJ is someone who both entertains and educates. Anyone could just turn up and play really big popular tracks or obvious music and get great reactions from the crowd. I like artists that put their own personality into their music and sets and play music that most people might not know but still keep a dancefloor moving.
What else you got coming up/are you looking forward to?
I’m off to South America soon for a few gigs for the first time which will be a ton-o-fun.
If you could own one track no other DJ could ever play, what would it be and why?
In this day and age thats pretty impossible what with the internet, music blogs, MP3s and illegal downloads unless you make your own music. I’ve got to be honest, there’s not many better feelings than seeing a track you have spent hours and hours on in the studio get played and send a crowd into a frenzy, so it would have to be one of my own productions that I would make sure no one else in the world would have.
Jordan performs at Magna Carta 3rd birthday this weekend with Phil Weeks, Livio & Roby and more – www.facebook.com/magnacartalondon
Words: Louis Johnson