Pete Dafeet of Lost My Dog Records Talks About The "Wife"
Since first catching the house music bug as a teenager in the late 90s, Pete Dafeet has performed around the world while releasing and remixing music on Shaboom, Robsoul, Detour, Toolroom and his own label Lost My Dog Records. His music has been supported by household names like Audiojack, Phonique, Miguel Migs, Fish Go Deep, Nacho Marco, Tommy Largo and Laurent Garnier.
Pete’s latest project is out now on now Traxsource. So we decided to catch a few moments with Lost My Dog head honcho to chat about the release, the forthcoming album and much more in this Exclusive Interview.
Hey Pete, Firstly, thanks for taking the time out to chat with us. Tell us where you are and how you are feeling right now.
I’m in my office in central London with a strong coffee. It’s the first day back after a holiday weekend here in the UK, so I’m feeling a bit downbeat like 10 million other people in the city right now!
Obviously, the topic for today is new the “Wife” single – tell us in your words a little bit about how it came to be and what you were trying to convey to your listeners…
‘Wife’ is the first single from my forthcoming album ‘The Root, The Soul’. I’ve been making music for 12 years now, and an album was something I had always wanted to do but never had the confidence to give it a proper go. I finally got my act together in 2013 and had four or five tracks done by the end of that summer. It took another year to get the final few tracks done, but I’m really happy with the end results. It’s been fantastic to see guys like Chez Damier, Ian Pooley, and Terry Farley supporting it. In terms of inspiration, I got married in 2013, so the record is a reflection of how I was feeling that year, particularly the lead single – no points for guessing who inspired me on that!
What keeps you motivated, after all this time? Tell us about the highs and the lows…
As a musician, I’ve just got that itch to create. It’s what I love to do, it’s what I’ve been doing for all of my adult life, and it’s how I tend to deal with life events, good and bad. – I get upstairs and start mucking about! I’m sure it’s the same for most producers, but making music isn’t always an enjoyable process for me. It’s often dominated by frustration, but it’s usually pretty cathartic. It focuses my mind totally and leaves my subconscious free to deal with whatever it needs to deal with. It helps smooth out my moods, and it’s an incredible feeling when everything clicks, and you make a record that you’re happy with.
Share a few artists that have influenced your sound?
For me, the most influential house producers were the ones doing it at the start: the guys like Frankie Knuckles and Marshall Jefferson and Larry Heard, who were breaking new ground with their music. They didn’t seem to worry about the fidelity of the sound itself; they just focused on making really great music. That’s always been my inspiration: I’m not an engineer, and I’ve never really been able to trust my ears. I just want to make songs that work, even if they sound rough at the end of it. My best releases have always come from that viewpoint. Whenever I’ve focused the other way round – on the audio fidelity first – the end results have been boring.
What would be your short list of dream collaborations, past or present – dead or alive?
I’d have to bring back one of my favourites, Otis Redding. His voice worked so well over that gritty Memphis soul they made at Stax, and I reckon he would have sounded incredible over the rawer end of house music too. More recently, I really love the Menahan Street Band’s sound. The music they’ve laid down on Charles Bradley’s records is incredible. I’d love to compose a house record and have them play it live with Otis over the top!
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Ignore the scene. Just keep doing your thing and don’t pay attention to or pander to trends or fashions. Who wants to strike glum poses while wearing deep V-neck t-shirts anyway?
What’s next for you?
The album’s out at the start of June, so the next few months are going to be pretty busy with promoting that. After that, who knows! We’ve decided – after ten fantastic years – to call it a day with Lost My Dog later this year. The upside of that will be more time free to spend making music, rather than spent on the admin of a record label. But life outside of music is great at the moment – I love being married, and I want to spend as much time as possible with my family. It’s getting harder and harder to peel myself away from them for gigs, and naturally house music has taken a bit of a back seat in my life. A natural product of being in your 30s I guess!