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Why Peggy Gou Is One of the Biggest DJs Right Now

Why Peggy Gou Is One of the Biggest DJs Right Now
Photo: Jongha Park

WHO IS PEGGY GOU?

It isn’t easy to make house music tailored for lounges AND parties in Ibiza – ESPECIALLY while mostly singing in Korean — but Peggy Gou seems to have that formula down to a science. Born Kim Min-ji, the South Korean-bred, Berlin-based house producer extraordinaire has built a career off her trademark vibrant, intricately-sculpted take on house music, all while proudly flying the flag for the electronic genre in her home country. 

With her sound criss-crossing between various house subgenres like deep house, tech house and trance, Peggy Gou has certainly come a long way from a fashion student who learned to DJ through her friends. So how did she get there, and how much further is there still for her to go?

Photo: Mok Jongwook

HOW PEGGY GOU GOT ON THE MAP

For Peggy Gou, an interest in music came to her early. First having piano lessons at the age of eight, a friend of hers in South Korea taught her how to beatmatch. While studying at the London College of Fashion, she first learned to DJ at the age of 18  after a local promoter stumbled a picture of her behind a DJ setup on Facebook, and asked her if she wanted to learn how to spin herself. Even though it meant she’d start failing courses at fashion school, this proved to be the beginning of her DJing career, as she’d start getting booked to play various clubs around London.

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Four years after learning to DJ, she first started learning how to produce using Ableton Live, before officially beginning to release music in 2016. She’d release four EPs during that calendar year before her 2018 EP Once came out, featuring her breakthrough single “It Makes You Forget (Itgehane)”. Other singles like “Starry Night” and “I Go” would follow in the next few years, followed by her biggest hit to date in “(It Goes Like) Nanana”, the fully-English track which topped the charts in Belgium and the Netherlands while going top 10 in the U.K., Ireland, Spain, Switzerland, and New Zealand. Currently signed to XL Recordings, Peggy Gou has also release music on esteemed electronic labels like Ninja Tune. Gou is also the head of her own imprint, Gudu Records.

Photo: Joseph Okpako/WireImage

PEGGY GOU’S KEYS FOR SUCCESS

To a certain degree, Peggy Gou has social media to thank for her rise to mainstream prominence. A partial reason why “(It Goes Like) Nanana” became a huge success was thanks to TikTok. While performing at Morocco’s Lost Nomads festival, Gou played the then-unreleased track to a rapturous response from the crowd, with TikTok videos of that moment gaining traction on the platform. This helped buoy the song toward chart success in many European countries, as well as helping it gain in excess of 240 million streams on Spotify — more than three times than her second-most streamed song, “Starry Night”. Thanks in part to its success, Gou now has more than 18 million monthly Spotify listeners.

Gou also keeps her ear close to the underground, and it’s helped her get to where she is today. For example, her first-ever appearance on a Billboard album chart was with a DJ mix compilation album of various artists she did for the DJ-Kicks series, DJ-Kicks: Peggy Gou, released in 2019. That compilation peaked at #9 on Billboard’s Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart. Social media is another key vessel for Gou to grow her audience, as she currently has close to 4 million Instagram followers thanks to her humorous presence on that platform.

Photo: Jongha Park

WHAT’S NEXT FOR PEGGY GOU

Peggy Gou has spent the majority of 2023 playing shows around the world, particularly on the summer festival circuit. After playing various European festival throughout the summer months, Gou played North American gigs in Montreal and New York during September. Though she has no proper tour announced, Gou does have a few shows booked in Manchester, Miami, Australia and New Zealand between November and January. Recently, Gou became the first woman to headline Ibiza nightclub Ushuaïa’s closing party. 

A few weeks ago, Peggy Gou finally released an official video for “(It Goes Like) Nanana”, and has also recently been making appearances at fashion shows like Milan’s Bottega Veneta. But most importantly, Gou says she will be releasing her debut album at an unknown time via XL Recordings. Keep up with all things Peggy Gou by following her socials on Instagram and Facebook, as well as her official website.

FAQS ABOUT PEGGY GOU

Where is Peggy Gou from?

Peggy Gou was born and raised in Incheon, South Korea, but would move back and forth between there and London during her teenage years. She’s currently based in Berlin, Germany.

How old is Peggy Gou?

Peggy Gou is 32 years old, and was born on July 3, 1991.

What is Peggy Gou’s real name?

Peggy Gou's real name is Kim Min-ji.

Who is Peggy Gou signed to?

Peggy Gou is signed to XL Recordings.

What was Peggy Gou’s breakout song?

Peggy Gou’s breakout song in dance music circles was 2018’s “It Makes You Forget (Itgehane)”, but her first track to achieve mainstream success was “(It Goes Like) Nanana”, released in June.

Who influenced Peggy Gou’s music?

Peggy Gou’s musical influences extend well beyond the reaches of house music, though she does take inspiration from DJ Nature, Ron Trent and Joe Claussell. Among the artists she’s credited for this include the late legendary hip hop producer J Dilla, seminal Japanese electronic band Yellow Magic Orchestra, soul singer Peven Everett, and experimental electronic producer DJ Sotofett.

What’s next for Peggy Gou?

Peggy Gou has been spending 2023 playing shows in North America and Europe, including a recent history-making stop at Ushuaïa in Ibiza. She intends on releasing her debut album via XL Recordings, though no further details are available at this time.

How can I stay updated with Peggy Gou's music?

You can stay up to date with Peggy Gou’s music by following her on Instagram and Facebook, visiting her official website, and checking out her SoundCloud, her YouTube channel, and any streaming platform.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dave MacIntyre
As a student in the journalism program at Concordia University in Montreal, I specialized in both print and broadcast journalism. At the moment, my key strokes are busy writing content for Cult MTL, Exclaim!, RANGE and many others.

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