How are you? :-) For start, introduce yourself please.
startred to listen italo disco music, high energy and European disco/dance
music in general?
Did you know at
those time that you gonna sing your favorite music?
Um, not exactly at that point. I knew I loved it so much, and was like almost nothing we heard in the charts in Australia, except for the odd exception. It was a little later on that I realised I wanted to do more than just listen to it.
Can you share with us your impressions on those days, 80's, in Melbourne's clubs? Was italo disco popular?
The 80s was the best time ever. The excitement of each Friday night's radio show coming, hearing new music. I used to tape record the shows and I still have alot of those tapes!! Growing up with Italo/Eurodisco at it's peak was just the best. Going to Central Station Records with all my saved up cash and some from my Dad and being let losse in a store full of amazing music. The 80s is also where I discovered my favourite musicians. Of course Stock Aitken Waterman, which I discovered when I had both Divine and Dead Or Alive's records. I recognised the songs sounding similar, so I don't know how I knew to look for this, but I flipped over the records and saw Stock Aitken Waterman's name. From that point I was a fan, and bought everything that had their name on it. Also Fancy, who's first record I heard was "Bolero". To this day that's my favourite Fancy song. Then I heard "Slice Me Nice", "Lady Of Ice" and "Chinese Eyes". From then I became a big Fancy fan! The Flirts, and Bobby O, and we can't forget Modern Talking. These were all people I got hooked on!!
I wasn't old enough to go to the clubs in the 80s so I am not sure what was played. Italo disco wasn't THAT popular here, it was more live band music and stuff I just didn't like at all. But there were a few great songs that managed to be big hits here like Paul Lekakis's "Boom Boom", Man 2 Man's "Male Stripper", Stacey Q's "We Connect" and "Two Of Hearts". But this is when alot of Stock Aitken Waterman records became successful. Dead Or Alive was already big here, but then Mel and Kim, Samantha Fox, Rick Astley were having big hits. And then they worked with our own Kylie.
You were going in the same school with Kylie Minogue and her sister, am I right? Who would tell than Kylie will become so popular?!
I did go to Camberwell High School, the same school as the beautiful Minogues. It was when I met Danielle (before she called herself Dannii!), that I knew I wanted to sing and make music. There was such a magic about her, it was obvious she would be a star. At the time Kylie was in her final year at school and was an actress in a popular TV show, so at the time nobody knew she would become so popular. She was very nice though!
Except Italo disco one of your favorite music is also Bobby O production?
Bobby O is someone I went crazy for. Knowing that he alone produced his own music made me think that I could do it. Him and SAW were my inspiration. Bobby's Banana Republic album was the first CD I ever owned actually. I know alot more today about his character, which has sadly ruined alot of the joy I feel about his music. But I still think he is amazing.
All these things above about
your favorite kinds of music is kind of intro to tell me about how you started
to sing your songs? Spontenauos or...?
Well, it was I think the end of 1986. We had a great music department at school. They had a 4 track recorder, and Roland synthesisers and a drum machine. When I first started to use them I loved them so much and and decided to spend alot of lunch times playing around with them. I never played sport at school so the music teacher was so cool and let me play with all this stuff during lunch. One school break he even let me take home a synth, drum machine and 4 track!! So I started writing then. I had played piano as a kid and always frustrated my teacher by playing by ear and not "properly" by reading the music.
But this by ear thing was a good thing, because I used it to my advantage to write my first songs. I do it even now actually. So yeah I expereimented back then with sounds, with writing and before I knew it had written 3 songs, I think I even remember the names!! Yeah... "Hi Nrg Machine", "Love And Affection" and "Never In A Million Years".
Who was the first person you met and statred to work? Tell me about your beginning please?
By 1988 I was heavily into singing, playing the synths but was doing it alone. My aunt actually told me I should start singing lessons, as I would sing at her house with my cousin alot. She told me how good I was bless her, and that's what made me take it seriously. So in 1989 I went on TV and sang a Lionel Richie song in a competition. I LOST!!! And what's funny is that Dannii Minogue was a judge. But she couldn't let me win, the other person was better. I was SOOO nervous! Anyway, after a year of lessons I contacted a DJ from 3RRR called Paul Marinelli. He was one of the guys who hosted those radio shows I listened to every week.
He said on air that he had produced a song, and I thought very quickly that he just had to hear my voice. So I called him every week until he took my call. I sent over a tape of me singing in my loungeroom haha! I think it was Jason Donovan's "Nothing Can Divide Us" and Steve Walsh's "Let's Get Together Tonight". 2 SAW songs of course!! Then he called me. My heart stopped. To me he was SO famous, he brought for so many years the music that I love so much. Then he said that he had a song for me to record! I jumped at it, and then went in on cold night in April to record it with him. It was a cover of an Ace Frehley song "New York Groove". I LOVED how they made my voice sound, and it was so easy. That was it, I knew this was what I wanted to do. Sadly Paul and I lost touch, and I don't think any record company liked the track. But it was a great experience. I hadn't actually heard from Paul for 17 years until last week. Will be seeing him soon which will be so great!! I owe him a big hug and thanks!
Are you writing lyrics and music of you own songs or you only sing? Tell me more about your part in creating songs?
Primarily I am a writer. I love to do this, music lyrics melody, everything. I even play the keyboards and produce now with Chris Richards my co-producer. I'm even doing this now for other artists now, I have written 2 new songs for Ernest Kohl for example. But for my solo stuff I have worked with other writers and producers too. I love doing that, and if a great song comes my way I would be crazy not to do it. And then I have a variety of sounds and styles.
What was you first singl? Tell me more about your first song and about the people invoved in it?
My first single was released in 1994. It's called "I Wanna Dance" and was a Top 40 hit in Australia.
It was written and produced by a guy called David Wilks, who actually had produced a theme song for the radio shows I used to listen to. I loved his Euro/Italo sound so I hunted him down soon after I recorded with Paul Marinelli. So when we finally met in 1991 we started recording lots of songs. We eventually came up with "I Wanna Dance" and a local radio station heard and played as an unsigned demo. It became really popular and was No 1 on the Top 30 request show. So a dance label called Colossal Records contacted me, signed the song and it was a hit!
Peter, as far as I know, your songs are published mostly on various dance compilations, in particular I mean on Mad About Boys, released for UK's label Klone Records. How you got into bussiness with them and was it hard?
Well I had singed a deal in Germany and was going to do an album. Half of it was going to be produced in Australia and half by Systems In Blue in Germany. Eventually, my manager at the time didn't like the sound I liked. So we couldn't agree and the project was cancelled. But I still had 5 songs recorded that I didn't want to waste. So I contacted Klone in the UK as I loved their releases. Anne from Klone was so nice to me, and gave me a chance and decided to test the market with 2 songs on "Mad About The Boy 14". The reaction was amazing, so I started to finish a full album. I chose producers in the UK, I got David Wilks involved again, and used some tracks I had recorded for the German album with Australian producer Sam Panetta.
So Klone decided to take 3 more songs for "Mad About The Boy 15", and now we are talking about possible album release. I love working with Klone, I get along so well with them and I love the acts they have. They've given me alot of opportunities.
You sing cover of Follow Me by Fancy. Is Fancy one of your favorite artists? He is one of mine favorite artists definitely J What was the reason you made Follow Me?
Fancy is definitely a favourite of mine. "Bolero" will always be my favourite. But I heard "Follow Me" as the B side of one of his singles, I think "No Tears" yes? Anyway, I thought to myself, this song is TOO good to be on a B side. So I decided to record it. Actually, Klone weren't going to release it. They were wanting "Best Love You Never Had" for MATB14, but I convenced them that 80s fans would love it and they decided to use "Follow Me" instead. Thank god they did. Anyway they ended up using "Best Love You Never Had" for MATB15.
You also made song based on Daddy Cool by Boney M., it's song I'm Doing Fine! Can you tell me more about this song please?
Yes! I love this song. It was sent to me as a demo from the UK. My UK producers PMG Productions offered this to me thinking I would laugh at it and say no way! But I heard in my ears an instant hit record. So I said yes right away. When we got the demo Chris and I thought it had something missing. In fact a whole bridge /pre chorus. So we wrote the bridges and got PMG to add them into the song. It worked so well, it fit perfectly. Then we had the perfect song! So then PMG then contacted Frank Farian to get permission to used the "Daddy Cool" sample. Mr Farian loved it, and agreed immediately for us to release it. What an honour!
What about songs who are not remakes or covers? Can you tell me about them please? Do you have plan to releae an album?
Well I have finished an album, we recorded 4 covers and 13 originals. I chose 4 great HI NRG songs, Lisa's "Rocket To Your Heart", Bobby O's "Whisper To A Scream", of course Fancy's "Follow Me". AND another great Fancy song called "Wait By The Radio". The original songs are Italo/Eurodance/Hi NRG but with a flavour of 2007. There is also a House song, an Electro song (think Kylie's "Can't Get You Out Of My Head", 1 ballad and a 80s Freestyle type song. I can't wait for people to hear it.
On what song are you working these days?
I have written a song called "Brand New Love Affair" for Amanda Lear. We are contacting her record company every day because we want them to hear it. Maybe they won't contact us back but we hope they do. It's Italo/Euro and a tribute to her old sound. I love it and I know she will too if we can make her hear it!
What is your next step?
Next step, is to get my solo album released, and to get our productions for other singers released.
17. I think you are quite lucky you made a success in music bussiness because it's not easy. Producers are very hard to be satisfied, don't you think so?
It IS very hard, but I am very persistant. I don't give up, anyone I work with will tell you this haha!!
And I learned you can't please everyone, I am just lucky I am pleasing those I am working with.
Tell me about the music situation in Australia? Particulary I mean on Dance music.
Dance music in Australia is almost non existant. It's all rock and rap here. I hate it. There is the occasional dance hit here though. "Doin' Fine" is on the radio alot for example. But it's only a UK import so far.
I haven't asked you about concerts. Did you have any concert or perfomance in clubs?
I did sing live and do shows in the 90s. Not now, been a long time. Maybe when I release the album in the UK.
What do you think, what profile of people does listen your music? Teenagers or a bit older people... do you have any clue about that?
I think Eurodance lovers and Italo lovers like my music. I also have alot of gay fans. I think a mixture of everyone. I would say not alot of teenagers though. Their ears have been spoiled by rap and rock!
Tell me what is your favorite italo disco song(s)? I know it's hard question because out there there are lots of fantastic songs but perhaps you can tell one or few? :-)
Ooh. Patty Ryan's "Stay With Me Tonight", New Baccara's "Fantasy Boy", Fancy's "Bolero" and Modern Talking's "You're My Heart You're My Soul. EASY!!
Peter, if you could have chance to work with someone who would that be? Fancy perhaps? :-) Or....?
If Fancy ever heard me and offered me a song I would be honoured. Yes I would record with him any time. But Stock Aitken Waterman are back together. Maybe one day I will work with them?
Peter, perhaps I didn't ask you something what is important so maybe you would like to say now?
I want to say thank you to everyone that has offered me support, and who love my music. I wish our favourite music was popular again!!
Thank you Peter for this interview and I wish you great success.
Thanks so much, I really appreciate your time and questions.
Peter's official website http://www.peterwilsonmusic.com
© Zeljko Vujkovic - June 2007