We caught up rising Spanish producer Piek, who after catching AFFKT’s ear – found a home on his excellent label Sincopat.
1. How old are you, where are you living and how long have you been producing and/or Djing?
I’m 31 years old, I live in the countryside, in a small town called Elizondo located in the north of Spain, close to the French borderline. I started making music when I was 12 years old and djing at the age of 15.
2. Where do your musical roots lie, what are your first memories of electronic music and when did you know you wanted to pursue it seriously? Are there any particular productions or artists from the past that really made you think to yourself ‘this is what I want to do.
I started listening to electronic music when I was a kid, at the age of 4. I used to listen to Technotronic, Snap and all kind of eurodance compilations. Then I went deeper into both Trance and House music in the late 90s by listening Ministry Of Sound compilations. I never had a ‘this is what I want to do’ moment, it was a completely natural thing for me.
3. How difficult was learning to produce for you in the beginning? Did you take any Audio Engineering programs or production courses to help you out or are you pretty much self-taught? And did anyone give any advice early on that really helped?
I never felt it was something difficult to do because I started making music with a PlayStation game. Some years later I took a course where I discovered Cubase and learnt how to use it but at that time I already knew how to produce music, so yeah, I’m pretty much self-taught.
4. What parts of the production process do you find the most difficult and what comes easiest for you? When you do hit a creative block what helps you through it?
The easiest part and also the most exciting is starting new ideas from scratch. I could make new ideas every single day but it always takes me a lot of time and effort to make an interesting arrangement and to work on details.
I know it sounds like a joke but the best way for me to deal with a creative block is just to make stupid nonsense music, just for fun.
5. What’s a normal day like for you? Do you have a job outside of electronic music? And what do you like to do when you’re not working on music?
I need to sleep at night, so I always work during the day. I usually do the dj work in the morning, I love to wake up and see what’s new every day. Look at the record shops, webs like RA and Pitchfork, the charts, videos on youtube etc. This is the way I have to get inspiration to make music. Then I do the producer work during the rest of the day.
I also make music for advertising and sound design for video projects, so I’m always surrounded by music. When I don’t have to work I try to spend all the time I can with my girlfriend or my friends and I love going to restaurants with them for a good dinner and a better talk.
6. Apart from electronic music what other genres do you listen to and who are your favourite artists outside of electronic? and do these genres or artists have a direct effect on your own productions?
I usually listen to a lot of Pop music (The Weeknd, Beyoncé, Bruno Mars) and also Hip Hop (Drake, Kendrick Lamar, C. Tangana) Black music (Solange, Michael Kiwanuka, Esperanza Spalding), Alternative Rock (Tame Impala, The National, Nick Cave) and urban latin music also (J. Balvin, Daddy Yankee, Calle 13). Obviously all these artists and genres are a huge inspiration for my music.
7. What was the first and last physical (CD, Vinyl, Cassette etc) piece of music you bought?
My first record (cassette) was the album Pump Up The Jam by Technotronic and the last one (vinyl) is Sampha’s debult album on Young Turks called ‘Process’.
8. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?
I’m very dangerous when I’m in the kitchen, I literally burnt it twice.
9. Which producers in your opinion get consistently overlooked?
I would say some Spanish producers like Fábel, Carlo, Baldo, Sau Poler, Reykjavik606, Riverette guys, Garcynoise, Skygaze, Lost Twin, beGun, Clip!, Kresy, Jose Rico, Rumore, JMII… there are tons of them!
10. Which producers consistently inspire you? And where else does your inspiration come from?
I would say Arca, Boots, Diplo, Jamie XX, DJ Koze, Guy Gerber, Traumprinz, Mall Grab, Mark Ronson, Danger Mouse and many, many more.
11. There are countless producers out there trying to find their way and create their own unique sound, what advice do you have for them?
Be yourself, think about what makes you different from the others, focus on that and let things come naturally.
12. If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last track be?
I would go for one of the tracks from my album: ‘Despertar’ with Fábel.