Interview: Pete Philly

Interview: Pete Philly

Illmatic, 36 Chambers, Midnight Marauders. No, when someone asks me to name a few classics, one of the first releases that comes in mind is ‘Mindstate’ by Pete Philly & Perquisite. Jazzy Hip Hop at its best!


The word ´Mindstate´ should ring a bell for lots of fans of jazzy Hip Hop: it’s the title of the debut-album by Pete Philly & Perquisite. Since the worldwide release in 2005 the duo is coming up and they released two albums following on their debut, they’ve won several prices and they toured intensively. The Find Magazine had the possibility to talk to Pete Philly about the upcoming European tour, music and their music specifically.

Preview: Pete Philly & Perquisite – Grateful

Bad news for people from Holland, but good news for European fans: Pete Philly & Perquisite recently ended their Dutch tour on December 6th in Amsterdam and will continue with a big European tour after that. “We played a lot in other countries last year and we will finish that with a big European club- tour. We’re going to Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Scandinavia and we played our final show in Holland. The difference with our previous foreign shows is that this time we’ll do one big tour instead of just separate shows like we did before.” America has to wait a little bit longer: “It’s way too expensive. There are a lot of European artists who can’t play in America and also a lot of American artists who can’t play in Europe, just because it’s too expensive to travel. Next to that it’s important to be structural if you want things to work out. So we want to go to America if we can do it on a structural way.” On December 6th the duo released a live disc with consists of recordings from the shows they did at European festivals.

According to Pete there are no concrete plans for a brand new studio-album yet, so fans have to stick to Mystery Repeats; their most recent release. Unlike Mindstate, they didn’t work on Mystery Repeats with a concept in the back of their head, but why’s that? “We didn’t know what we wanted to do, the only thing we knew for sure was that we wanted to make music. Working on a concept is nice but it can also be very tiring. Personally I am pretty much a conceptual writer and I think that Mystery Repeats is way more conceptual than other albums that people consider as a concept. For me, Mystery Repeats is kind of a ‘coming-of-age-album’, kind of like you see in movies often: someone who grows from being an adolescent to being an adult. It’s the same with Mystery Repeats, like the realization of the circle of life.” Apart from their own music, what’s Pete’s mindstate on Hip Hop? “Hip-hop’s what rock ‘n roll was in the eighties: the gimmicks and image are more important than the music. The same happens with hip-hop nowadays; there’s more attention for a rapper’s image than for the music itself. Honesty is way more important in my opinion. It looks rappers have some sort of phobia of crying, emotions and other human things. You know, there’s some sort of ‘gayness-limit’ and I am very close to that concerning my music and lyrics. I am definitely someone who thinks confidence is important, ‘bragging and boasting’ is basically a part of Hip Hop, but everything is way too tough and cool nowadays. It’s way cooler to show your emotions and to show what you feel, instead of acting tough. I also think it’s really tiring for all those rappers to be in their role of being cool and tough. Nowadays people are so thirsty, they drink the sand: there’s a lack of great releases they get offered so they have to do it with what they get.”

Preview: Pete Philly & Perquisite – Clap, Kick, Flow

We all know the Internet has been a big development in the music industry; Pete says it’s a negative thing. “As a beginning artist you are basically fucked. The current situation almost forces me to start a new career and that’s a shame. Producing and mastering music costs money and as an artist you have to earn that money: if people download your music than that’s impossible. As an artist, you’re in the middle of a dilemma: making music as a hobby and don’t earn anything, and being forced to do that part-time, or making music as a job and earn money and doing that fulltime. Next to that music isn’t unique anymore because of downloading. Back in the days you bought a record or an album, nowadays you download it and it’s just a small file on your laptop. ”


Words by: Danny
More info: Pete Philly
Extended Dutch version:

Just an ordinary guy always on the hunt for extraordinary music. Not just as the founder of The Find Magazine & Rucksack Records, but also as a freelance music journalist (bylines at Tracklib, Bandcamp, Wax Poetics, DIG Mag, among others) and—above all—out of love for all kinds of good music.