Peggy Gou (or "Peggy Shoe", as her fans affectionately call her, shoe in hand, at her sets) is one of the hottest names on the club scene right now. With her seamless mix of house, acid and techno tunes, the Berlin-based producer and DJ has steadily been conquering dancefloors around the world since 2016. We’re talking major gigs like Glastonbury, Amsterdam’s cutting-edge electronic music showcase Dekmental and Berghain, the iconic Berlin nightclub that Gou famously foretold that she would be the first female Korean DJ to play at.
The 28-year-old isn’t only leaving her mark in the music world. Besides her uncanny love for giraffes, a scroll through her Instagram (@peggygou_) will reveal that Gou has lately been a fixture on the Fashion Week circuit, sitting front row at Riccardo Tisci’s Burberry debut and supporting her friend Virgil Abloh at his first Louis Vuitton show. She already has her very own fashion label in the works, too — a fact that is less surprising given that Gou has been admired (and even memefied) for her eclectic, street-luxe style that favours bold colours and prints.
To put Peggy Gou in a box (artist-slash-fashion-designer-slash-style-maven-slash-giraffe-enthusiast?) is to miss the point. Much like how she’s constantly on the move from one city to the next, Gou herself is always in flux, surprising anyone who dares to pin her down. It’s that very go-getting spirit that landed her a worthy spot in TAG Heuer’s stable of ambassadors, among the many other successes that she has seen in the past year. And with only 2 EPs under her belt, Peggy Gou's message is clear: she's just getting started.
You recently won the AIM Award for Independent Track of the Year for your track “It Makes You Forget (Itgehane)”. How did that feel?
To be honest, my agent and I were screaming in the taxi on the way back to our hotel. I was like, “Excuse me, sir, can we scream?” The driver was like, “No.” “What about two minutes?” “Two minutes is too long.” “Two seconds?” And we just screamed. I came back to the hotel and I was crying because I was very emotional about that night. I worked hard for it. There were a lot of things that I had to prove so I felt like that award was basically telling me, “Well done.”
That track and “Han Jan” from your Once EP both feature your vocals. Is that a new direction that you’re heading towards?
Yes! Itgehane is the song that that brought my career to another level. As a producer, you want to find your signature sound, and I think that EP kind of told me that this is what I have to do.
What else do you want to explore in your music?
Before, I wanted to be a house DJ. Now, all my favourite DJs are playing everything, not just house music. So I thought, why not, when you can do everything? With music, I want to try to make something that’s not for the dancefloor. I want to be able to show people something different all the time.
With all the success that you’ve earned lately, how do you keep from cracking under pressure?
A lot of people ask me how it feels to be successful, and I’m like, “What are you talking about? I just started.” There’s more to come, more that I want to show. I get a lot of pressure, like from being in a crowd or when making new music, but this pressure means that you care. It’s the thing that makes me keep pushing. Without it, it’s too easy, so I think I need this pressure to keep on going.
You used to study and work in fashion when you lived in London. Was it something that you’ve always been interested in?
In Korea, I was always the one who dressed up differently. I guess I wanted to be different. I like expressing myself through what I wear.
You’ve said that you don’t have a specific style and what you wear can vary quite a bit.
I don’t even define my style. I want to be able to show people that I can wear this but I can also wear that.
It’s kind of like your approach to music.
Everything is about that! You think I’ll only do this music, I go right. You want me to go right, I go left. When you think, “Okay, I don’t think she can do any better than this”, I like to break that [expectation]. This is one of the reasons why I live. It’s the moment that I feel most satisfied.
So, what is something you would actually never wear?
Something that a Kardashian would wear (laughs).
Speaking of style, what’s your favourite TAG Heuer timepiece?
The AquaRacer. The colours are totally Peggy Gou. I’m a big fan of blue and green. Every year, I go to Bali because I’m a tropical person and I need to be in the sun and at the beach, and this watch reminds me of it.
What is one thing that you don’t ever want to forget?