Keeping busy with Busy P: French electro, managing Daft Punk and creating Ed Banger
Busy P‘s stage name says it all. Pedro Winter has had a pretty successful career in music for the better part of two decades.
He was Daft Punk‘s original manager during some of the biggest moments in electronic music history. He’s made a successful name for himself based on his eclectic production style that has been proven time and time again to always be ever changing, yet still embody the absolute essence of French electro. He founded his own entertainment company Headbanger Entertainment which would go on to become one of electronic music’s arguably most recognisable labels: Ed Banger Records.
Ed Banger is now home to some of electronic music’s greatest. Think Justice, Mr Oizo, Breakbot, Riton, Cassius, Sebastian and heaps more. It’s a roster of immense depth and incredible talent, which is reflective of Pedro’s epic passion for dance.
The label has just celebrated a huge milestone, with it’s 100th release being a 17-track compilation that features new music from all of the Ed Banger crew’s friends. In the press release for Ed Rec 100, he’s said, “It was too hard to choose which artist will do the 100th release of the label, so we’ve asked everybody to make a track for this record.”
And he pretty much got every essential figure in Ed Banger history to participate in this one. Justice, Sebastian, Mr Oizo, Breakbot, Cassius, Riton and more play an essential role in solidifying Ed Banger as one of dance music’s most important and cherished spaces to celebrate French electronic music.
Busy P is no doubt a busy man, but in amongst the hectic release schedule Ed Banger has held over this past year, he has somehow found the time to keep making music and keep a level head too. He headed to the studio recently with Mayer Hawthorne to record ‘Genie’, a track that embodies yet again, an entirely new sound we haven’t yet heard from Busy P before. It’s full, rich and teeming with all of that electro goodness we’ve loved from him in the past. But most importantly, it’s a damn good song.
This is a transcription of a longer format feature from our soon to be launched podcast presented by Purple Sneakers subeditor Caitlin Medcalf. If you like to hear about what inspires some of our favourite artists and producers and why they do what they do, stay in touch with Purple Sneakers over the coming months as we launch a podcast series where we will have in-depth conversations with producers like Busy P and many other important acts.
You were in your late 20’s when you first discovered electronic music. What were you listening to at that point in time?
I was into all kinds of music. I was into skateboarding so I was into heavy metal music, and it was a big time for hip hop. So I had a mix of heavy metal and hip hop. It was the early 90’s, it was a pretty good time in music to discover different sounds.
I think reflecting on [the French scene], it’s still so prominent in the world today.
Yeah, because the dynamic is still going on. What Daft Punk did was so huge and so big that everybody’s still enjoying this energy. And I hope that what we did with Ed Banger or Justice is in the same vibe, continuing this excitement for French music.
You were pretty heavily involved with Daft Punk in the 90’s. You began managing them around 96 was it? Was it hard finding time to DJ while managing them?
Yes I did. I was still DJing, but because of the work I was doing for them, I had to put it on the side because I didn’t have enough time. I couldn’t have my own career because I was at the office everyday. It was a busy time.
That was a bit of a crossroads for you. You were studying law at that point in time, right?
Yeah. I was studying only less than 6 months because I was starting university in Paris, and then I met the guys and I jumped on with them on the big Daft Punk boat. I didn’t have much time to practice law.
I think when you come across that kind of opportunity, you pretty much have to say yes.
Exactly. Well, now I’m glad I said yes. Who knows? Maybe my parents would have told me, “Oh no, don’t do it. Continue doing your schooling,” and I may have become a boring lawyer or something like that.
Did you always want to pursue a career in music?
I knew I wanted to be a part of a musical adventure. I’ve always liked what’s happening behind the scenes. I knew I wanted to be part of this, and then of course working with Daft Punk made me want to be even more in the music industry.
You were pretty heavily involved after that. You started Headbanger up in 2002. What prompted you to start that up?
When I was working for Daft Punk, a lot of people approached me asking to work with them too. At the beginning, I said no to everyone because I was too busy. Then, right after the release of Discovery – which was 2001 – I started to have more time for me because the band wasn’t touring. Between 2001 and 2005, Daft Punk didn’t tour and they produced one album, Human After All, but I had some spare time so I started to work with Cassius and some other French bands. I started my own management company, but I quickly realised I was a good manager for Daft Punk, but I wasn’t a good manager for everybody. It was such a special way to work with Daft Punk, but I couldn’t do it for any other artist. And then I started Ed Banger. And then I started to transform the management company into a record label in 2003.
Ed Rec 100 is out now on Ed Banger Records.
WORDS BY Caitlin Medcalf