A firm favourite within the seaside city’s underground club scene, Piem’s present output is one which pays homage to the house music on the 90s and early 2000s.
Built around natural grooves and powerful basslines, his crowd-pleasing sound and virtually effortless performances have been rewarded in kind with residency slots at the W Hotel in Barcelona and London as well as CDLC Barcelona.
Fearless in his stride to attain success, Piem has gone on to land big gigs as such respected institutions as Club Space in Miami, Heart Nightcliub in New York, Space in Ibiza and Fire & Lightbox in London.
Equally as skilled in the studio as he is behind the decks, the Spanish selector has seen his sound gradually develop since his first release back in 2012 securing big time releases with such imprints as Knee Deep In Sound, VIVa Limited and Toolroom.
We recently caught up with the Barcelona native and discussed his earliest influences from his local scene, his forthcoming ‘Sideral’ release on Dirtybird and how his role as a Music Curator for W Hotel events has helped develop him as an artist further.
First of all Piem, when did you first discover electronic music? What was your first experience?
My first contact with electronic music was the summer of 97. I remember I was listening to a mixtape from Pacha Ibiza mixed by DJ Pippi, aged just 13. Most of the music I’ve heard till that point had come out of my parents taste. Artists such as Barry White, Dennis Edwards, MFSB or Bonney M… not long after that, I started buying my first vinyl and CD’s, and getting more focused on house music, up until today.
Talk us through your earliest influences and how they have helped shape your present sound…
I’m lucky, I was born and live in Barcelona – such a vibrant city in terms of nightlife. Since my early days, I have always been influenced by local DJ´s Sideral and Sergio Patricio. They just didn’t mix, they took you on a musical journey! Later on, I found myself seeing almost every big DJ in Barcelona, trying to learn from different musical styles and getting influences directly from the dance floor.
You signed your first release way back in 2012. Since then, your production has come on leaps and bounds with releases on Knee Deep In Sound, VIVa MUSiC and Toolroom. How do you feel your sound has evolved over the years?
It is no secret I’ve always had a love for house music. This translates to both my productions and my sets where I always try to include something that takes you back to the 90s.
It is always hard to build your own identity, but I am happy with the path I am taking and how my music is now being played by some of the artists I looked up to when I started producing. That is always an amazing feeling.
August sees you team up with Dirtybird for a brand new track. Can you tell us a little more about the inspiration behind this release and the production that went into it?
Yes! I am really excited about this release. The track is called ‘Sideral’, and it was produced last year while I was in Ibiza for the summer season. The track originally came out last month under Leftwing and Kody´s imprint, Lost Audio, and it seemed to catch Claude´s attention, and asked to license it for Dirtybird. I can’t wait to see it perform well under such a big and respected label!
What other releases do you have in the works for us this summer? What can we expect?
At the end of August, I will be making my debut with Berlin-based label Superfett Records, from Nhan Solo. This will be a two-track EP. On the other hand, I also have two collaborations coming out in September, one with Kevin McKay on Glasgow Underground and another one with my good mate, Daniel Orpi, on New York’s legendary Nervous Records.
Away from the studio, you are busy acting as Music Curator for W Hotel Barcelona Music events. What is it that you specifically look for when curating music at the W Hotel in Barcelona?
My job at the W Hotel consists of finding hot talent and organising the events calendar alongside the marketing department. Usually, I look for artists that you can’t find at other clubs in town, bringing them to the amazing poolside venue, called Wet Deck.
This year we are doing 11 events from June to August, with artists from the likes of Erick Morillo, Claptone, Cassius, Todd Terry, Alain & Gallo, Roger Sanchez and many more. After this summer craziness, we are hosting our own festival called `Wake Up Call´ with Pete Tong and Gorgon City headlining, exciting times ahead!
Parties aside; we have recently launched a new space inside the hotel called “Sound Suite”. This is a full recording studio where we host different masterclasses and press events where different artists come to share their way of doing things. This is also very interesting as you get to see the inside of how some big names make their music, and the techniques that they use. To be honest with you, its very hard to be bored!
How do you feel the role as Music Curator has contributed towards developing you as an artist personally?
The role has helped me to understand much better how the industry works. Once you are working from the inside you then meet the different players. From booking agencies to PR companies to managers, my job is to deal with those external agents and coordinate everything with them, so you also acquired many important contacts, which are crucial nowadays.
More than my own personal growth, this has given me more credibility as an artist, and I have seen how my opinion has gained power over the years.
Finally, what can we expect from your exclusive Next Evolution mix for us?
Lots of fresh music! I don’t like sticking to one style, so this mix goes from house to techno, taking you on a journey. Press play. Sit back and enjoy!!
Piem is playing Ocean Drive Hotel on the 8th August