When I meet Peggy Gou at a café in Berlin's bustling Mitte district last week, she excitedly tells me about her best gig yet—a recent party at the club ://about blank with Moodymann. Gou played the smaller lobby while the Detroit legend took over the main room. "I feared that no one would come listen to my set, with Moody playing next door," the South Korean-born DJ and producer says with a laugh. "But this was not the case."
In the two years since she's relocated from London to the techno capital of the world, Gou's started to make a name for herself as an exciting new talent. Her debut EP The Art of War, which includes two original tracks and a Galcher Lustwerk remix, was released in January on Rekids. "I wanted to show that I am not stuck in one genre," Gou explains. "This is why 'Troop' sounds light and jazzy while 'In Sum' is a bit harder."
Born in South Korea, 26-year-old Gou is also a visual artist and classically-trained musician who moved to London as a teenager. She began DJing and producing electronic music while attending the London College of Fashion. At the time, Gou was also exploring a career in fashion and contributing to magazines like Harper's Bazaar as a writer. But she soon felt like she had to make a choice between fashion and music. "I was a fashion girl, and there are a lot of fashion girls who DJ to look cool," she says. "I wanted to prove that I am really serious in this music scene, [which is] why I moved to Berlin."
Gou credits her neighbor Daniel Wang, a Berlin-based disco DJ and producer with releases on Ghostly, for giving her invaluable advice when she was first starting out—and cites Italian duo Nu Guinea as an influence for her sound, which fuses the propulsive rhythms of Detroit and New York house with boogie and funk elements. Their guidance "pushed me to consider different genres of music such as African beats, which you can hear in 'Troop,'" Gou says.
According to Gou, her music video for "Troop," which is premiering above and was produced by her friend Boy Yoon, reflects her own path to becoming a DJ and producer. It begins with cartoon girl—Gou's avatar—holding a record as if she's discovered it for the first time. As the video continues, the little girl's image multiplies, creating other little girls excitedly clutching their own records. "I always visualize my songs and having a background in visual arts, " Gou explains. "The girl with the vinyl is symbolic of my first encounter with techno music. I love the image of the girl holding a vinyl record—and the sense of awe she conveys."
Check out the video above and look out for Gou's next EP on Phonica White on March 18, 2016.