When the Coronavirus shut us down, clubs and festivals ceased, and everyone was essentially forced inside with no definitive end in sight, DJ Times wondered: How is our tribe coping? How are DJs getting by? So, we sent out our “Coronavirus Questionnaire” to DJ/producers from all musical genres to find out.
During this period, DJ Times will continue presenting the questionnaire responses from talented music-makers from all over the world. Here’s our latest entry, this time from Sweden, the Stockholm-based house-music talent Per QX (aka Per Ljungqvist).
What’s it like where you’re living? How did you spend most of your pandemic time? When COVID happened, I was sharing a house with my partner in Bali. It’s been our home for over four years now. But in July, I came back to Stockholm where I’m originally from to take care of my elderly parents. To be fair, neither Bali nor Stockholm had proper lockdowns, so we were very lucky to continue living our lives pretty normal-ish.
Did you lose important gigs, or income-producing work? I lost all my gigs, as all the clubs on the island had to close, partly because of COVID and partly because the number of visitors to the island was pretty much reduced to zero. When I’m not DJing or doing my own productions, I compose production music for film and TV, so I focused full-time on studio work instead.
Are you doing anything now that can or will produce music-related income? Have you learned anything in the downtime? From Day 1 of the pandemic, I told myself not to watch the news too often, as it made me depressed. I tried to stay positive and focused my energy on making music instead. I’ve been busy working on my own tracks, and I also set up my label, Walk Of Shame Records. I’m also happy to finally have had some time to work on new collaborations with other artists. Film and TV music takes up about 75-percent of my time, so it was great to make collaborations a bit more of a priority.
What are you doing now that’s ultimately constructive to your music life/career? For example, any releases during this period? “Hit Da Spot” is my latest release.
I’ve released more music this year than any other since I started at the end of the ’90s, so it’s been really great in that sense. The songs “Supafly,” “Feed Me,” “Say Yes” with Rare Candy, “Got This Feeling” with Kid Massive and Siki Daha, “Take It Higher” with Elias Bravo, “It Ain’t Over” featuring Jocelyn Brown and Elias Bravo and “Hit Da Spot” were all made and released over the pandemic. I’m releasing a track on Simma Black in December called “Jam Hot,” as well as a new collaboration with DJ RAE for next year on one of my all-time favorite U.K. house labels.
What’s your typical DJ set-up & why do you choose that route? I use CDJs and a Pioneer mixer. I’m a simple soul, really. I used to play vinyl back in the late ’90s and in the early 2000s, and I still love that format. I’ve also used Traktor, but for me it’s really important to have a connection with the crowd. I feel I lose that connection when I play with a computer software.
In the studio, what’s your set-up? DAW? I’ve been a Logic Pro fan for over 20 years now. I’ve also used Ableton Live. Very recently, I’ve started to sketch down ideas with Serato Studio, which I love. I stem down the parts from Serato and then move them over to Logic for arranging the track.
Any vintage gear? I’m not a vintage hardware kinda guy, even though I love the sound of it. I’m fortunate to work with people like Elias Bravo, George Nakas, Michael Miltersen, Hugo Martinez, Neil McLellan and Zoo Brazil. They all love their geeky stuff – SSL compressors, the Moogs, etc., you name it. I also just bought the Softube Console 1 that I really like. Travelling regularly between London, Berlin, Stockholm and Bali, I work inside the box most of the time and it would be tricky to transport loads of heavy gear.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve realized during this period of social distancing? I feel that people have come together more remotely online. I get a sense people have a bit more compassion for each other now. I also speak with my friends more regularly now than I did before COVID. A lot of people in the creative industries are struggling and I feel it’s more important than ever to make sure people are OK.
Have you done anything online recently? Have you seen any DJ video streams that impressed you? I’ve made short videos for my all my releases this year. I cut up crazy vintage movie clips to make people laugh. I did a live stream in the beginning of the year for La Favela in Bali. Partiboi69 is my favorite DJ since the lockdown. His videos and DJ sets are amazing, and I love his sense of humour.
Any theme tunes recommended for the moment? Nine Inch Nails’ “We’re in This Together.”
Any advice on staying sane & relatively positive through this situation? It’s important to stay informed about the current situation, but it’s really unnecessary to constantly watch the news. I usually kickstart my creativity with walks in the woods, exercise, meditation, and staying in touch with my friends.
To check out more Life in Lockdown interviews, click here.