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Poll 2023: Peggy Gou
Peggy Gou

From: South Korea

DJ style: House

Best known for: Tracks like ‘(It Goes Like) Nanana’, ‘Starry Night’, ‘I Go’ and ‘It Makes You Forget (Itgehane)’

Peggy Gou wears many hats: she’s a DJ, producer, Gudu Records label head and, of late, a cultural phenomenon. She’s never been one for a heavy release schedule, but when Gou is ready to drop a track, it’s a moment in the electronic music calendar. This year, however, she took things further, releasing the lead single for her up-coming debut album bang in the middle of festival season. Because of ‘(It Goes Like) Nanana’, Gou is now known to a wider audience. Taking inspiration from ATB’s 1998 hit ‘9PM (Till I Come)’, it caught the current wave of nostalgia at its peak, tapping into ‘90s and early ‘00s anthems that defined a whole dance era. To celebrate the single release, Gou organised a flashmob in London’s Soho, giving fans just two hours to head to central London — they packed out the square in no time.

“There’s a feeling we all know but is hard to describe, that feeling of love, warmth and excitement when you’re surrounded by friends and loved ones and the energy speaks for itself,” Gou said around the time of the single’s release. “It’s difficult to put into words but to me it goes ‘nanana!’ I want this song to evoke that nanana feeling!” ‘Nanana’ was the hit of the summer, clocking up over 200 millions streams on Spotify, climbing the UK single charts to No.5 and making it to No.1 in the Netherlands and Belgium. In short, Gou had hit the mainstream. 

But she also had a busy touring schedule, too. Aside from the odd fashion show appearance and record store pop-ups, she played Sonar, Lollapalooza, Creamfields, Lost Village and even made time for round four of her Pleasure Gardens day festival. Label life also proved healthy. Her Gudu imprint began as an outpost for Gou’s own productions — ‘Starry Night’, the first release, was an instant monster hit — but Gou has now made it a home for South Korean artists like Mogwaa, South African producers like Riff, and Brain de Palma, who hails from Ukraine. 

Coming out of festival season, Gou played Ushuaïa’s closing party and has plans to go b2b with Four Tet at Skrillex’s Warehouse Project in November. Peggy has been big in dance music circles for years, but post-‘Nanana’ she’s in a different league. The artist now clocks in over 20 million streams a month on Spotify alone — not many DJs can claim that.