Peter & The Blue Borderline Interview
An Exclusive Interview by Peter and The Blue with Madonna Remixers United in association with Music is my Life.
Text by Mary H. Clarke
How long have you been remixing for and what lead you into being a Remixer?
Hi guys! Firstly, I need to say I’m thrilled that you came up with the idea of interviewing me. Thank you very much! I assume that most people here don’t know me yet. So, before answering the questions let me introduce myself. My name is Piotr. I’m a 23-years-old aspiring musician and remixer from Poland. Some of you may know me from Soundcloud as Piotrexx – that’s what I used to be called... like a hundred years ago. I’ve changed a lot since then and so has my music, and my name. Now I’m Peter and the Blue.
I shall get straight to the first question. Well, only yesterday I had literally no fucking clue when exactly my journey with remixing started. I don’t put too much stock to number. But then I thought I could do a little research on my old computer, and I did. It turns out I finished making my very first remix in June 2010. Over 8 years ago. It was Miles Away by Madonna. Haven’t heard it for ages. I forgot how crappy it was... I felt very nostalgic though.
How did I end up remixing songs? That’s an easier one. My life is dominated by passion for making music and obsession with many amazing artists like Madonna, Kylie Minogue or Mylene Farmer to name a few. I have always wanted to strike a balance between those two things. Remixing is the ultimate answer. It allows me to express myself through music AND to pay tribute to my idols at the same time.
Brilliant. And you actually stopped remixing for a while didn't you? Why was that?
Yes, I did. It was more or less a year ago. I gave up on remixing because somewhere along the line, I lost all my faith in myself and in my talent. I also seemed to lack the incentive. On top of that, I had to face some personal problems which I don’t want to elaborate on. I mean, that’s life. Sometimes it gets so hard you just want to walk away from the whole thing. And it’s totally fine. We all have our ups and downs. At the end of the day you realise that there cannot be light without darkness.
There was also a more prosaic reason – I got my first real job and didn’t want to screw it up at the very beginning. That’s why I could hardly find the time to remix. Or maybe it was just an excuse? Well... Does it matter now anyway? It belongs to the past.
So, would you say that you got back into remixing again after being asked to collaborate on mine and Roman's first project for Madonna Remixers United: Madonna "SAVE MY SOUL"?
Absolutely! Save My Soul was the incentive I needed so badly. I stopped dallying and got back on track, knowing that someone actually wanted me to remix. Let’s be honest – I want to be a famous music producer one day and I realised it would be a great opportunity to share my remixes to a wider audience and to promote myself a bit. Save My Soul was a really big deal after all.
How did you feel when I messaged you that day, out of the blue asking you to consider being on board for Save My Soul?
I was really, really flattered. And surprised. When you approached me on Facebook, I was in my hometown at my parent’s house, probably watching a Netflix show. I didn’t expect something like that to happen on that day. I’m so glad it did happen. I remember we had a very long conversation. After having settled all Save My Soul business, we began to chat like we always knew each other. We became friends straight away.
Besides, I finally felt that someone actually liked my remixes. Some of my works were quite popular on Soundcloud by then but the only way I could learn about their popularity was by means of numbers. You know what I mean. It was the total amount of streams that showed me that this or that song was well received. What I missed in all of that was a human touch. Mary, you were the very first person who made it more humane. Thank you for that from the bottom of my heart!
It was a hugely successful project and we loved Your Heart is Not Open and Roman thoroughly enjoyed making the remix video for it. So my next question is would you collaborate on another International Project for Madonna Remixers United in the future?
Whatever you’re planning, count me in! You don’t have to ask me first. Working with you and Roman was everything! I couldn’t miss the chance to do it again.
I am dying to ask you about your recent success with the official Polish Madonna Facebook Group - The Royal Madonna. You did a spectacular megamix for Madonna's Birthday didn't you? Can you tell us how that came about and how you put the megamix together?
Well, we have a very decent fan base here in Poland. Royal Madonna is one of the best polish fan pages devoted to our Queen and as a matter of fact, it is run by a friend of mine – Krystian. He was the one who asked me to do a megamix in celebration of Madonna’s 60th birthday. I agreed without hesitation, having absolutely no idea how difficult it would be.
It took me a month to finish Peter and the Blue’s Royal Megamix. I started all over again countless times. It wasn’t bad at all times tough. I had so much fun cutting songs into pieces and trying to make them fit in the megamix. My vision was to take listeners on a journey through Madonna’s carrier. In order to make it stand out a little bit I decided to entwine the songs with fragments of interviews.
The Bedtime Story era was the toughest part to make. These songs weren’t cooperating... I tried literally everything to have three songs from this album on the megamix but only “Secret” and “Bedtime Story” made the cut. “Human Nature” was supposed to be right after “Fever”/”Bedtime Story” part but ultimately I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t good enough and removed it.
We must not forget that Roman is responsible for making the video. He nailed it!
It must have been hard choosing from such a large catalogue of Madonna's music? Now I want to ask, and I am sure a lot of your fans wanted to know as well. Tell me how the name Peter and the Blue came about?
As I mentioned before, my old name was Piotrexx. Sounds awful, doesn’t it? I desperately needed a new one. During one of my photo shoots two years ago I wore a shiny blue coat, heavy as fuck. And that’s when it dawned on me that “blue” should be the key word in my new name. Blue is my favourite colour which, I believe, matches my personality. So, I started collating “blue” with “Peter” and after a while I got “Peter and the Blue”. It is too obvious that I was inspired by Florence and the Machine and Marina and the Diamonds.
That's really cool. I had no idea! Love it and loving the new pic too. So, I know you have remixed other artists too. Is there anyone you haven't remixed yet, but would like to?
There’s plenty of artists I’d like to remix. There’s no point in naming all of them. I’ll give only a few examples. I’d like to get my hands on Björk, Goldfrapp, Sia, La Roux, Kesha, P!nk or RuPaul. There are also many polish singers worth considering including Natalia Nykiel, Reni Jusis or Margaret.
Talking about other artists, can you tell us, who else, besides Madonna, influenced you? What kind of music do you like to listen to?
Besides Madonna, there are three artists I truly worship and love unconditionally: Kylie Minogue, Mylene Farmer and Tarja Turunen. They are the embodiment of strength, self-confidence and awesomeness. It may sound corny but they sort of shaped me into the person I am today. I grew up surrounded with their music. I’ll always be a loyal fan, for better and for worse.
What do I listen to? I love the 80’s music in general. I mean, who doesn’t... Some of the ‘80’s songs make me wish I was born in 1975, not 1995.
More modern pop is also what I listen to on a daily basis. I am a fan Britney Spears, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. Such a cliché! A couple of relatively new artists grab my attention too, including Tove Lo and Dua Lipa.
Apart from that, I love alternative music, especially alternative pop. I’m a massive fan of Björk, Goldfrapp, Florence and the Machine or Marina and the Diamonds. Each one of them is special and unique in their own way, with Björk being the Supreme.
In addition to all of that, I thoroughly enjoy listening to symphonic metal or gothic metal, if you like. The first metal band I came across was Within Temptation. You may know two of their songs: “Utopia” and a more recent one “Whole World Is Watching”. Then I discovered Nightwish and Tarja Turunen who became the fourth love of my life, right after Madonna, Mylene and Kylie. Tarja was the first lead vocalist in Nightwish and now she makes music solo. Her lyric soprano is divine. You should definitely check her out. Last year she released a spooky yet beautiful Christmas album “From Spirit and Ghosts” with my favourite German carol “O Tannenbaum”. There is also Epica with Simone Simons being the lead vocalist, but you have probably never heard of them. Unless you are a metalhead. Well, I know I don’t look like one, but I partly am. At heart.
So, Madonna is obviously your main idol. What does she mean to you?
Madonna has been there for me for more than a half of my life. She started everything and influenced my personality, and ignited my passion for music.
I first heard about her when I was 10 or 11 years old. I remember one time my mother was listening to the radio and “Hung Up” came. At that time, I didn’t know the name of the song but I really loved it anyway. Speaking frankly, I was obsessed with it. Later on, just by accident I found out that it was “Hung Up” by Madonna. I can’t remember how but that’s not the point. All that matters is that’s how it all begun. At the age of 12 I persuaded my parents to buy me my first Madonna CD. It was a bootleg version of “Confessions On A Dance Floor” bought at the market in my hometown. From that time on I started collecting Madonna CDs, vinyls, cassettes and DVDs. More importantly, I started worshiping the Queen and paying her due respect she deserves. And I’ve been doing it to this very day.
You are working on a new Madonna remix compilation called The Royal Blue Collection. I love the title and again I am so excited for it. When do you plan to release it and can you say a bit about it?
I am! The release of The Royal Blue Collection is planned for December (sadly due to some unforeseen circumstances, the collection wasn't released, yet). I’ll do what I can to meet the deadline. With your and Romans help it will be possible. The album will be a compilation of my old remixes revisited as well as some brand new ones, including “Borderline” and “Bedtime Story”.
What made you choose Borderline, can you say a little about it and what this song means to you?
One time when I was looking through my old stuff for inspiration, I noticed that one of the songs which I called “Love Rocks” – was the perfect fit for “Borderline”. For a few day I would keep it on repeat and sing “Borderline” to it. It sounded amazing so, I decided to tweak it a little bit and add “Borderline” vocals.
To be honest with you, I’m not a big fan of the original version of “Borderline”. I do love the version from the Sticky & Sweet Tour though. Even with Madonna’s not terribly good vocals, to say the least. Anyways, I haven’t done a “Borderline” remix yet... Why not now?
Thank you so much for answering our questions. We can safely say that Lukesavant, Roman and myself see you as officially part of the Madonna Remixers United family. We are both proud and appreciative of your talent.
Thank you very much! The pleasure is all mine.