Pascal and Pearce: A Chance Meeting

Pascal and Pearce just dropped their latest remix of Playmen x Vassy’s “I Should Have Said” – an absolute banger of a remix with dub and trap influences taking promience. We caught up with the iconic local DJ duo to uncover the true origin of the duo, their thoughts on the local dance scene and their shift from Just Music to Universal Music South Africa.

Alright, so you guys describe your initial meeting and formation as being a “chance meeting”. What are the actual details of that meeting and what is the story behind how you guys actually came to form Pascal and Pearce?

 Dave: We love to tell people we met on an online dating site, that’s the general go to. But realistically, we were introduced by mutual friends in 2007.

Pascal: Literally  my favourite question. I had met some of Dave’s school mates at registration day at the Unisa campus in CT, which as some of you know is a special place. After registering, my new friends said that I should I meet Dave Pearce, and by chance, he was at a club I was DJing at a few weeks later, where we were formally introduced. That following Monday we went into the studio and haven’t look back since then.

Everyone has their own particular style and method when it comes to producing. How do the two of you usually approach creating your music and what is your preferred gear when creating music?

 P: Dave has more of a musical background than me so I have learnt a lot from him in how songs are produced, but in saying that the one thing I have learnt is that that if you are feeling something then it’s normally a good sign to keep going with what you are doing. We always have fun when making music, and we make sure what we do has a fair amount of effort involved.

D: Gear wise, we both run Cubase. Pascal prefers Mac, but I’m PC all the way. We’ve got some awesome Emes monitors that are really great for mixdowns and a bunch of other toys and controllers that we should really use more often. I definitely prefer an in-the-box setup, though, for us it works.

 For some reason, this year has seen a lot of discussion surfacing regarding the state of dance music in South Africa. What do you think sparked this conversation? Is it possibly linked to the discussions surrounding the introduction of the 90% quota system?

 P: I think the only reason why there is a buzz around dance music in SA is because of all the heat that is coming out this country at the moment. Acts like Black Coffee & Gold Fish that have really put SA on the international dance music map in the last two years. It  gives us a lot of confidence in what we are doing, as we want to push the SA scene as far and wide as possible. To be fair the 90% only local quota system doesn’t really resonate with me as music is a form of expression, so only playing local (mostly already released) music takes away from what we as South Africans get to be exposed to.

D: I fully agree with Pascal – it’s the quality that is causing the buzz. SA dance music has really stepped up, we have artists that can and do compete with the rest of the world.

 Keeping that in mind, what are your thoughts on the current state of dance music in South Africa? How far has the genre come since you guys started out and where do you see it going in the future?

 D: You can’t even compare the scene today to where it was when P&P started 9 years ago, the influx of new talent has been crazy. With the digital age and the internet being so fast, information is much more accessible, and much easier too. It’s easier to educate yourself about music production, I think things are only going to get better and better.

P: South Africa is cooking at the moment, so many acts to rave about and it’s only getting better. I have seen a significant rise in the producers and that allows for more music and more quality local events.

 You guys just landed a pretty lucrative deal with Universal Music SA – how did this deal come about and what made you guys decide to change from Just Music to UMG?

 P: The deal came about when we were approached by Universal about two years ago. At the time Just Music had a major staff restructuring, where some of the main players left the label, and we felt it was time to move with change instead of resisting it. We found it very difficult to move away from our first label, as we pride ourselves on loyalty, but it was a mutual feeling that UMG would be able to take us further. So no love was lost.

D: Yeah pretty much what Pascal said – we will be eternally grateful to Just Music for everything they did for us, they are a great label. But you have to accept change in life, and we’re really excited about working with the UMG family and working together to take our career forward 🙂

Your new remix is pretty great. I understand that Universal presented you with the track, but what made you decide to go with the direction you took on the song?

 P: Thanks! The direction was inspired by the music we had been listening to, which was lots of half time Dub inspired music.

D: Yeah we were both listening to a lot of trap/dub sort of stuff at the time, really digging that half time groove. It was really fun to try to express ourselves in that way because that definitely isn’t our ‘signature’ sound… It was a rad track to work on!

 Finally, what advice do you have for all the young and aspiring producers out there?

 P: Make music that makes you happy, and don’t stop. Eventually, someone will book you, and when you get those opportunities take them and make the best out of them. Patience is key.

D: Hard work pays off – it took us ages to get to where we are today… Keep at it, and when that opportunity comes jump at it and run. Practice your craft, learn music theory if you don’t know it, and stay true to yourself!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *