Pete Tha Zouk
a tourist destination for European holidaymakers. Its success is down to its idyllic beaches, villages, food and nightlife. But, for one rising Portuguese DJ, it’s always been home – and has served as a constant source of inspiration.
That DJ is António Pedro Mendonça, better known as Pete Tha Zouk. Through his club-ready house tunes, he’s quickly risen to great heights over the past couple of years. But his career started much earlier and he’s toiled hard to make his name. Working as the resident DJ of legendary Portuguese club Locomia in the late 90s and early 2000s, he was immersed in the local DJ culture. But, after seeing and playing alongside some of the biggest names in the biz like Erick Morillo, Frankie Knuckles, Green Velvet and Masters At Work, he went on to take the world by storm with his own electronic productions.
Nowadays, after nearly two decades in the making, Tha Zouk’s efforts have paid off. He entered DJ Mag’s Top 100 list in 2010 at number 81 and went up an impressive 44 spots last year, currently sitting at number 37.
Part of what fuelled his rapid rise to success was his 2010 single I’m Back Again featuring Abigail Bailey. Hot on its heels – and following up on his winning equation of matching dreamy female vocals with driving electronic beats – was the track Learn 2 Love featuring Rae. These tracks and more have helped the DJ grow his fan-base, which is faithfully represented in the social media world. With more than 200,000 Facebook fans flooding his page, the artist’s response is simple when we speak to him – “I’m blown away!”
A large proportion of those fans are based in Brazil, where a burgeoning electronic dance music scene and shared language with the artist’s home country have made it a perfect spot for Tha Zouk to drop his sonic beats. There’s also another reason he calls it a second home, he admits, with a cheeky laugh: “The Brazilian girls like my sound.”
So, what’s on the horizon as this star rises? Asia for now. But, in the future, Pete Tha Zouk has his eyes firmly set on the USA and Australia – and it seems his wheels are already in motion for an attempt at world DJ domination. And his advice for wannabe DJs out there? “Work hard and never forget that your most important commitment is to your audience,” he says. “You make them happy and they’ll make you a star!” We’ll see how happy his audience is at this Portuguese star’s upcoming gig at Hyde in that case…
Catch Pete spin at Hyde on Friday May 25. For tickets: rnrasia.com.