Gold Coast producer Paces (aka Mikey Perry) has had a massive 2017 so far.
His single Savage cracked seven million Spotify streams in just nine months and he’s about to embark on a huge Australian tour. Most importantly, he became a dad to what is possibly the world’s cutest baby boy. I spoke to him last week about the tour, his favourite meme and what it’s like to work with Guy Sebastian.
Your Creepin’ tour kicks off this week. What're you most looking forward to on this tour?
I’m most looking forward to testing out a bunch of new stuff actually. I’ve been working on a bunch of new tracks and I always play them at the shows as a way to test them out before they’re really finished, so I know which ones work and what might need a bit more attention.
it’s your first big tour after becoming a dad. How do you think this tour will be different because of that?
Honestly I feel like I’m pretty well prepared. I’ve been spewed on at shows and now I’m being spewed on at home so it’s the same thing really!
You’ve got a bit of a mixture of shows coming up on this tour, a bit of festivals and a bit of your own stuff. Which do you prefer?
Festivals are definitely my favourite thing to play. There’s just this energy at festivals that is hard to match anywhere, although sweaty club gigs have got their own special magic as well. Given the choice I’m a festival guy for sure.
You’ve also got a lot of festivals coming up like This That and Mountain Sounds. Which festival is your fave to play?
Favourite one I’ve ever played would be Splendour. I played Splendour last year and it was just total career highlight gig, everything was just so magic. I had the best time of my life.
You're pretty busy social media user, lots of memes and stuff. Is it all you or do you have a little team to come up with your posts?
No, it’s all me! I just enjoy it so I’m on there constantly. I’m one of those people that’s forever cycling through the same four apps, constantly refreshing them.
Do you see social media as a valuable tool for you? Or do you just post whatever you want because you can?
Yeah definitely! I think it’s pretty crucial these days, it’s one of the best ways you can connect with your fans. It’s a direct link to everyone so it’s super important to be contactable on there. I think without that, you’re just an isolated musician that puts music out and hopes for the best, whereas with this if people want to reach out to you and talk about stuff, you’re right there.
If you had to pick your favourite meme ever what would it be?
The big ol’ doinks guy! That’s definitely my favourite. It’s one of the most recent so it’s fresh in my mind but not many things have made me laugh out loud as much as that.
Savage has hit 7 million Spotify streams, which is obviously amazing. Can you ever tell what’s going to be popular?
No, it’s like some dark magic that no one can control. I’ve had tracks that I felt had a good chance of going well and they didn’t, and I’ve had other tracks that I’ve thought “This song is so weird, barely anyone is going to be into this,” and it turns out to be the most successful one. All you can do is do your absolute best job and hand it over to your team to put it out in the world. Once you’ve let go of it, you’ve just gotta accept whatever happens.
You mentioned testing songs live before they’re released. Have you ever had tracks that do really well live but haven’t got the traction otherwise?
Yeah for sure, I think they’re two different things really. Music that goes well at a festival isn’t always the same as what well go on the radio. I’m kinda always shooting for tracks that can work in either environment but there’s definitely a divide there. Some things just go so much better in your live sense but they might not really make sense on the radio. It’s definitely two different worlds.
You often feature a lot of relatively new artists on your tracks. How do you find them and how do you choose who is the right fit for your song?
In terms of finding them, I’m really just quite active in searching out new artists all the time. I’m forever just searching for music and as soon as I find something that I feel might have a good vibe I just reach out to them like “Hey, do you want to work together on a track?” I reach out to so many people, I don’t think people understand just how many people I just email out of the blue. Most of them don’t reply or whatever, but the ones that do, they’re the ones who end up featuring on tracks and coming on tour with me. You just have to be not scared to reach out to everyone.
You had Guy Sebastian feature on your last album, which was a bit of a curveball. How'd that come about?
That one came totally out of the blue for me as well. His team got in touch with me and were like ‘Hey, Guy’s a fan of your work, do you want to come to Sydney for a week and work on some album tracks with him?’ I went down there and we spent time in his studio working on some ideas and we got on really well. He’s a really mellow dude, such a normal down-to-earth type of person. We stayed in touch and I had that track for my album, so I just ran it by him and he was like ‘let’s do it!’ and jumped straight on there. After that we ended up doing the Like A Version, and we did Splendour together. It all just really snowballed out of him wanting me to come down to work on some ideas with him.
What are your plans for the next little while/after the tour wraps up?
I’m actually finishing off a tonne of new music right now, I’ve been working so hard on new music and I’ve got so much of it ready to go. I’d say early next year you can expect to hear a bunch of new Paces tracks.
This interview first appeared on Blitz UNSW. The full interview can be found here.