Peggy Gou is a DJ that should be on your radar. Born and raised in Korea, the Berlin resident (by way of London, and yes, her indeterminable accent is great) has checked a few major things off her bucket list in just over a year since the release of her debut EP, The Art of War Part I. Following a summer of touring and the announcement of her fourth project, this time with Ninja Tune’s Technicolor imprint, the former fashion editor's just getting going.
On the fourth day of New York Fashion Week, between the endless shows and late parties, she was able to squeeze us in for three drinks and some off-the-cuff questions at Le Bain.
RAE WITTE [THE STANDARD]: It’s your second time in New York. Was the first time for Fashion Week? PEGGY GOU: I was dating an American guy. Bless you. [Laughs.] He booked a flight and I came here for five days and it didn’t work out. [Laughs.] That was like five years ago.
This is your first time in five years? Yes!
I need to know the highlight of your week. Doing the Boiler Room Fendi party was a big deal for me.
New York has the ability to slap you in the face. What was one thing that made you ask yourself how people live here? People told me to not go on the subway, because I'd see massive rats. I was like, “What the fuck?!” I get scared of even a little mouse. Every time I see a subway, I think of a rat. But New Yorkers are so friendly! Yesterday a guy on the elevator said, “Excuse me miss, is that you? The scent of vanilla?” It was my perfume. Everyone speaks to you. You would never imagine that in London or Berlin. They don’t talk to you. When we were in a taxi, the driver was almost too much. He did not know what silence means.
What’s in this week’s most used emojis? The laugh-crying one, the arm flex one, and the dancing girl emoji.
If you weren’t a DJ, what would you be doing? I am definitely a person who cannot work in the back. I can’t be in an office or wake up at 6 AM. I would still be doing fashion or I'd be an illustrator.
Best party you ever spun? Sub Club. Wow. It’s in Glasgow and it’s one of the best clubs in U.K. They are very strict with the music. I remember somebody told me a big DJ was playing and they weren't very good, so they asked them to come out of the booth after one hour. That’s how strict they are. I was obviously nervous. One of the guys said if they bang on the ceiling, it means you are doing well. It’s a very low ceiling and they were hitting everywhere.
Best party you ever attended? I used to go to Berghain every weekend. There is a “Peggy Zone.” I’m always in there staring at DJs and dancing. Most people probably think I’m a weirdo. If I’m drunk and I don’t remember much, that means it was a good time.
Actually, you know what? When I was in Bali, I was playing and then after I finished, my friend Dani and I went to this party in a tuk tuk. Oh my god. I think I came home around 9 AM or something. Three Balinese guys were going back-to-back. One was OK. One was shit. One was REALLY good. Every 10 minutes, it was like, “Oh my god, he’s playing this track.” We kept waiting to see what he was gonna play next.
Guiltiest pleasure? Porn! [Laughs.] Actually, not guilty at all, just a pleasure!
Worst pickup line someone has ever used? Oh god. Pickup lines. “Why does a girl like you not have a boyfriend?” That’s the worst.
Does it go down in the DMs? In the direct messages? I get DMs all the time! It’s so funny, I get all different kinds. One, replies to my story. Two, they write an essay! Three, they want to send me a product. Four, even today I got a message from this girl, “I see you love Acai bowls. I just opened a place in Korea. Come!” Or, five, “Hey. Are you there?” If it’s “Hey, are you there?”, I decline! [Laughs.] That’s my favorite.
If you Tindered, tell me if you'd swipe right or left on the following people. Ohhh, I like this question. Rihanna. Date? With me? I mean, yes. I would say yes. Tyga. Left. Cookie Monster. RIGHT! He would give me cookies all the time! Drake. Yea. Right. Right. He’s cute. Terry Richardson. HA. Left.
What did you do for your 21st birthday? I think that was the time I was in Korea for two years. I was not a good student in London. I kind of got kicked out. They told my parents, “We can’t take this kid, she is a rebel.” My parents brought me back to Seoul and I had to go to my dad’s university. During this time I met my first love, and he had a friend who owned this big bar. I invited all of my friends to either wear black or white and I was the only one that could wear red. I was all made up. At that time I was trying to learn beatmatching. So my ex-boyfriend played, and I played back-and-forth.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? I had two! I wanted to be a singer or a cartoonist.
What was your first kiss like? When I was 13, I didn’t even know what a kiss was, then there was suddenly some guy putting his tongue in my mouth and I was like, “What the fuck?” I thought a kiss was not what this was. I was quite innocent. I am not anymore. It was a different experience I did not know about. When it happened, I really enjoyed it.
Best story behind one of your tattoos? For my first tattoo, I got my parents names. My mother’s last name is first and then my father’s. I got that because I wanted to get a tattoo, and I knew that they weren’t going to go with me. So I just told them,"I got a tattoo.” When my dad saw it, he asked why his name wasn’t first. I lurked your Instagram. What is the importance of giraffes to you? I’m very hyper and I have a short temper—I’m always like that—and the giraffe is very peaceful. They remind me to calm down. You notice the little horns on their head, like an alien thing? I love that. And they have purple tongues. They are so weird.
Favorite Leonardo DiCaprio character? Oh my God. This very, very, very difficult.
You want to give your top three? I can’t do three, man. If it’s Leo, it doesn’t matter. I just watch it.
What are three words to describe a night at Berghain? “Hell.” “Heaven.” Maybe a phrase like “There’s no tomorrow.” Maybe “eargasm”? And a tip: don’t wear a white T-shirt.
Tell me about these tees with embroidered sex scenes on them on Instagram. It’s a brand from America. They make all their clothes with like threesomes—gay, lesbian, everything. I love them.
Loved it or hated it: Supreme x LV's collab. Nice, but I wouldn’t buy. 50 Shades of Grey. Although the actor’s pretty cute, he’s not my type. Hated it. The book is always better than the movies. I thought that movie would be more sexual. I expected something more. The Life of Pablo. I actually didn’t hear it. I used to be a big fan of Kanye, but I stopped listening to his new music. He’s a great rapper and very creative. He’s just doing too many things. Old Kanye is the best.
Tips for a poppin’ Instagram? I think people feel closer to you when you share your life a little bit more.
Do you have any secret talents? I can sing! But I won’t.
Do you have favorite meme? What is this word? Like a viral Internet joke. What the hell is a meme? Like the Mannequin Challenge. OH! The one with Trump! [She raises her hand like Donald Trump during the debates.] And there’s a dick drawn in his hand!