Signing Story: Peking Duk

Peking DukSMALL

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Aussie DJ duo Peking Duk (Adam Hyde and Reuben Styles) have been crushing it Down Under since forming in 2011. The outfit’s single, “High” was the No. 1 most played song on Australia’s Radio J last year, it has earned more than two million YouTube views and bagged a number of Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Awards. This drew interest from a number of labels before the pair came Stateside to perform at South by Southwest in 2014. Focused foresight meant that the seeds sown before pouncing the Pacific were harvest- ready when SXSW rolled around.

“We sat down with at least three big labels,” recalls Hyde. “We got offers from several of them, which was very exciting. Because we were playing South by [Southwest], it was a perfect time to have meetings with American-based labels. They were very glamorous; several of them were trying to woo us. But when we met the whole team at RCA it felt entirely natural to go with them. They showed us what they were about, workwise.”

“South by [Southwest]...was a perfect time to have meetings with American-based labels.”

When a band travels such a great distance, the only strategy is for label meetings to be arranged far in advance, which is exactly what Peking Duk did. “Many of the [American] labels reached out to us while we were still in Australia,” Hyde explains. “They showed a lot of interest after we released ‘High.’ The attention we were getting from some labels was incredible. The majority of the meetings took place in New York or L.A. We also met face-to-face while at South by.”

The duo recently completed their “United States of Sweat” tour, which hit a number of U.S. and Canadian cities including New York, Miami and Montreal. They also appeared at The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Southern California and will play the Squamish Valley and Electric Forest fests this summer. The group’s full-length record is now being crafted and the they aim to complete it by year’s end. It will feature a range of musical styles including rock, hip-hop, jazz and, indeed, ballads.

– Rob Putnam