Interview: Per Qx

Per Qx is a Swedish DJ, producer and label owner, who spends the majority of his time in Bali, Indonesia, at least before the current pandemic brought him home to Stockholm.

Following releases with labels like Simma Black, Hot Stuff and Zulu Records, Per returns to his recently launched Walk Of Shame Records for the imprint’s third outing.

Chatting to the Swede, we go to ask him about the new single, the future of Walk Of Shame Records, how he compared Stockholm to Bali and more. Check out the full discussion below.

You’re about to return to your own Walk Of Shame Records imprint for your new single Change Of Mind, tell us about the track, and how it came together in the studio?

Yes, I’m really excited about this release. I was watching a documentary on BBC about how soul music turned into disco in the early ‘70s, and this track I’ve sampled was played on the programme. I thought it had such a strong hook, so I cheekily sampled the chorus and stretched it to 120 BPM as the original is 96 BPM.

And why release it as a single and not an EP with other originals or remixes?

Remixes are great for sure, but I felt the original mix was very strong and I didn’t want to take attention away from it. Some remixes would be great on a re-release later this year.

On the topic of Walk Of Shame, it’s relatively new but you’ve released music from Soul Bomb, as well as yourself, who else might we expect to hear on the label in 2021?

Yes, it’s early days for the label, but I have a few artists that I really want to sign this year. Soul Bombs’ tracks are great, and I’ve been a fan for a long time.

For me, it’s very important that the music I put out on Walk Of Shame has a form of statement. I want people to remember the songs. It’s easier today to make music than when I started out in 1999. The problem now though I feel is that it’s hard to find songs that stand out.

Your 2020 release for ‘It Ain’t Over’ hit #1 on Traxsource overall chart, that must have been quite the boost of confidence going into the new year?

Yes, I was so pleased to see the song doing so well. I have worked extremely hard on my own music again, after a break from both DJ-ing and making dance music for quite a few years. I think that gave me a much clearer picture of what I wanted to make, and it also gave me a lot more excitement making dance music again.

And among your other releases you’ve seen tracks on Simma Black, Zulu Records and Hot Stuff, what other labels are getting the Per Qx treatment in the near future?

Well, as we speak there’s one big house label in the UK that is about to sign a track that I made with DJ RAE, unfortunately I can’t tell you more just yet.

There’s a re-release on Phoenix Music with remixes of ‘Say Yes’; a new collaboration with Care Candy called ‘Don’t Look Back’ also on Phoenix Music; a track called ‘My Love Is What You Want’ that’s coming out on Trois Garcon; as well as a single on Midnight Riot. Two great labels that I’m a big fan of.

You live between Bali, Indonesia, and your home country of Sweden, what are the biggest differences between the two music scenes?

Bali has a great scene and it’s a fanatic place to live. People say it’s Asia’s Ibiza, but the club climate in Bali is not as heaving as on the Balearic Islands, even if it’s great because you can hear all the big DJ’s coming from the rest of the world, as Bali is usually the last stop on their Asia tours. Every week there’s always a few big names coming over to play.

I don’t DJ that much in Stockholm these days. I was living in East London when I was in my early twenties to mid-thirties and then I moved to Berlin before moving to Bali.

Stockholm has a cool underground scene and techno is big over here. We have very strict drug laws in the country, so it’s been hard for promoters to continue promoting parties. I think since last year, before COVID happened, it seemed like police had more important things to deal with than tryying to stop a party where people are having fun.

And outside of music?

I like to hang out with my partner and friends. I guess I’ve been lucky staying in Stockholm during the pandemic, as we haven’t had a proper lockdown here. We can still go to the gym, and life is a bit more normal than in other places.

Both my parents who are 80 and 90 years’ old both had COVID, and my dad has been hospitalised but he’s better now, so to be back in my home country for them gives me a lot of joy.

With 2020 being a devastating year for our industry, everyone is hopeful as we head further into 2021, what are some of your main goals for this year?

I think it’s important to stay focused in times like these. I’m reading a book called ‘Live More, Think Less’ by Pia Callesen as I’m a big fan of self-development. The book is great as it helps you get out of those distractive thought loops that takes up space during the day when you really should focus and be living in the moment.

I haven’t really set up any goals as such, but I’m going to try not to say yes to too many projects and instead focus on what is important in life and in my career. I’m also going to try to be there a bit more for my friends and family who need me.

Per Qx’ Change Of Mind arrives January 29th on Walk Of Shame Records.