Some have already spent years in the shadows, waiting for the right moment - others have barely left their bedroom studios. Some aim for headlining festival stages, others aim for nothing in particular – but all of them have developed a sound with the potential to turn a lot of heads. With this feature we shine a light on some of the most interesting emerging new talents our tiny country has to offer.
Although he is a genuine young gun, Sam Huybrechts, aka Pegassi, has done a lot to show up on your musical radar. Since the start of his career, he’s been brewing a ton of bootleg remixes of a.o. Drake and Migos, giving them a melodic house treatment. His productions got some serious exposure, as he can present some mind-boggling numbers of plays, likes and shares. His work pace led him to his latest achievement: his first original track ‘Truth & Lies’ ft. Billie, which was signed by N.E.W.S. Records. A foretaste of more to come in 2017 so it seems. Although he’s no stranger to Red Bull Elektropedia, as he turned up in our DJ Top 100 at #89, we gladly present Pegassi in our feature Fresh on the Scene.
Hey Sam, try to describe your music in three words.
"Accessible, fresh, but surely also uplifting dancefloor material."
So, tell us something about yourself! What’s your story? Where did you grew up? How did you end up at Pegassi?
"I grew up in rural St-Amands, near the Scheldt. It’s a wonderful - but also traditional - Flemish environment, where there was little inspiration for making electronic music. As a child, I was quickly triggered by all kinds of music, especially rock. I tried playing some classic rock-instruments like guitar and drums, but it didn’t quite work out. Shortly after, I started clubbing a lot, which made me really get into electronic music. I was really impressed by the sounds that artists like Netsky and Skrillex were producing. Since I was so obsessed by those sounds, I started doing research and I was scanning all kinds of tutorials and blogs. Afterwards I purchased my first digital audio workstation and before I knew it, I was developing my own signature sound. My first bootleg releases as Pegassi were much appreciated and I quickly was contacted by a Dutch producer who went by the name Giocatori. Apparently, they were a collective consisting of 2 DJs and an MC. Little did I know that MC was Lil Kleine. They asked me if I wanted to collaborate on an official remix for ‘1,2 3’ by Lil Kleine & Ronnie Flex. It gave me a lot of exposure in the producing scene and I was really making a name for myself on Soundcloud.
Which artists do you look up to?
"Producers like Tchami, The Magician & Carnage: The deep sound of Tchami, The Magician his accessible productions and the hip hop / trap influences by Carnage. Their style is diverse, but they all contributed to my own sound."
What’s your favorite production or remix you’ve made so far?
"Without a doubt: ‘Truth and Lies. I’ve gotten a serious amount of energy out of the progress I’ve made as a producer. To work on something abstract which evolves to my very first single is unreal. To record in a real studio with an incredibly talented singer like Billie, that’s just magical. My favorite remix (so far) is the one for ‘WDYW’ by Lil Uzi & Carnage. As a producer, sometimes you go crazy working on sounds for a long time. Imagine playing the same track over and over again, that’s not advisable. And yet that’s not the case with the ‘WDYW’ remix. I’m so addicted to this record. The more I hear it, the better it gets."
After delivering a batch of bootleg remixes, you started working on your ‘own’ material in 2016. How did that switch affect you?
"I’ve always been a fan of combining vocals and electronic music. That’s why those remixes were rather easy to work on, because I already had the vocals. As I began to work on originals, I quickly encountered vocalists. The switch has been good for me, because I can concentrate on finding my own thing, something each producer should pursue."
With your new single ‘Truth & Lies’ featuring Billie, you seem to choose a new musical path. We can even hear a pinch of Flume in there. Why the new direction?
"That’s quite a funny story. At first, ‘Truth and Lies’ started out as a house track. When I was working out the chords on my synth, I accidentally turned my cutoff knob all the way and so I discovered that characteristic sound. Before I knew, the track had a totally different vibe and so ‘Truth & Lies’ was born. I still needed some good vocals though. I really wanted a strong voice for the track and through Kurious & N.E.W.S. I met Billie. She was so excited and hardly two days later her vocals were in my mailbox. She’s really one of a kind, it’s crazy how good and effective she works. Shortly after we had a studio session, where we also met each other for the first time. She really is a cool cat, props to her!"
What other output can we expect from you in 2017? And what are the things you want to achieve in your career before you can die peacefully?
"There’s a lot music lined up for 2017, but I’m still on the lookout for some good vocalists. So if anyone is interested, feel free to contact me! In the long run, I would like to work with rappers like Lil Uzi & Ronnie Flex to really make a banger. On the other hand, artists like Woodie Smalls inspire me to make some more laidback productions. So if you guys are reading this, hit me up!"
A last mandatory question: how did you choose that artist name?
"It comes from the video game Grand Theft Auto. The Ferrari and Lamborghini cars in the game all bear the name ‘Pegassi’ and I thought it sounded good. I’m Pegassi, not Pegasus, so don’t expect me to make great word art. Only music!"