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.
No shortage of new talent in Belgium nowadays. A statement that - yet again - is proven to be true with the appearance of Pelace. Formerly known as Kijumba (an act that took home the gold medal on the Limbomania DJ contest in 2015, ed.), Tongeren natives Jannick Warnier and Jordy Cosemans have teamed up again to present us their new project that emphasizes live house music with that ‘typical Belgian sound’. There’s an excellent debut EP lurking at the horizon, which will come out on Gratts' fairly new Ca$hminus Music – and the first track of the bunch is exclusively available to check out right here (see below). Have a listen, have a read, and get familiar with a duo you’ll be hearing much more from in the near future.
Tell us a little something about yourselves: what kind of music do you make - and who are you in the real world?
"We are Jordy Cosemans and Jannick Warnier aka Pelace. In our productions, we mainly focus on house music, but not necessarily in the strict '4x4 beat' sense. We always try to create something a little different in order to turn a few surprised heads. We don’t mind to get down and dirty with some breaks, acid, synths and crazy arpeggiators!"
Where did you guys meet? And when did you decide to make music together?
"Long story short: we met because Jordy invited me to play at a little party in some local bar. From thereon, we kept talking about music and we discovered that we had a very similar taste in music. This is how our first project 'Kijumba' started. A few years - and a lot of productions - later, we decided to split up. Jannick happily continued with Kijumba on his own, but we remained really, really good friends inside and outside the studio. At one point we really missed the energy we had together behind the decks, so we started Pelace. As good friends we have a solid connection, so it’s very easy for us to know what the other one thinks without saying a word - and not just in music (laughs). As we started this new chapter, we realized that - in terms of production - this project had to be a little more creative and more open minded. After having produced our first new tracks, we understood they would fit very well in a decent live show! So that’s how we got the whole project in motion: a project without limitations."
So is the Kijumba project still a thing?
Jannick: "Well, I think its's about time to close that previous chapter and focus on the next one. I feel that this new moniker allows us to be more free, both in the studio and on stage – especially with the live set in mind."
You guys have forthcoming EPs on Gratts and Eluize’s new imprint Ca$hminus - both very respectable names in the house music scene. How did you end up with them?
"Once upon a time, we emailed San Soda for feedback and he really liked the tracks. He told us we had that “typical Belgian sound” and he redirected us towards Kong & Gratts. They too liked our music, so we had a chat with Tristan (Gratts) online. Not much later, he invited us on their Ensemble label night in Leuven, as well as Kong's birthday party in Brussels. From then on, Tristan kept on giving us useful feedback on our productions. Eventually, he proposed to release a little EP on his brand new Ca$hminus imprint, which he runs with his partner Eluize. Additionally, there’s a second (vinyl only) EP on the way on the record label of a very respected household name in the Belgian scene – and a third one is currently in the works too! More news later, of course."
Which local artists do you draw inspiration from when you make music?
"We really like the sound Antwerp-based producer Supreems creates. We like his synth work and the way he uses his drum sounds to take his music next level. Another one of our mutual idols in the Belgian house scene is, without a doubt, Kiani & His Legion, whose music really is on another level. As far as our own productions go, we are not really listening to how other producers create their tracks - we really focus on building a vibe of our own. A random thing we often to to stimulate our creativity is listening to some good old break beats (the kind with the nasty drum sounds). Trying to recreate those drums usually leads to very interesting results."
Who of you is ‘the DJ’ and who is ‘the producer’? Or do you both divide those tasks evenly?
"Jannick is definitely the producer, but when it comes to DJ-ing, we're a perfect duo team. We really know each other well in terms of music selection, so compiling our crates for a set is a fairly easy process. We select the key tunes together – the stuff we can’t omit from the set - and during the performance we try to build a story around those moments, taking the crowd reaction in account."
We see you had bookings at Snaak and Labyrinth Club, not bad for a brand new project…
"We know, right? It's crazy how fast things are going already. Snaak was amazing. We were happy to be part of an event which gives something back to the people, as its profits are given to charities. And, yeah, Labyrinth… We were in ecstasy when we saw the confirmation of that booking. To be part of their lineup on a night alongside DJ Tennis and Gewelt was extraordinary, because Jordy’s brother is one half of the latter DJ duo. You can’t imagine how happy we are with the support already!"
Any other gigs we need to know about? What about the summer?
"There are a couple of nice festival bookings, but we have to keep some of these silent, for now. One of these will be very special for us, as we will present our live set – something we both have on the top of our wishlist since a very long time!"
About your track ‘You Should Not Be Sorry’, which we premiered on our channels and will be coming out on Ca$hminus soon. What’s the story here?
"This whole EP is just the perfect fresh start for our new project - we're finally back in action together. This track is about how we shouldn’t have any hard feelings for each other after falling apart with Kijumba. We're just extremely happy that we rediscovered our connection now, ready to do things exactly right from the start this time!"