INTERVIEW: TAKIS TALKS NEW SINGLE 'ALL TIME,' COLLABORATING W/ JAMIE FINE AND BRANDYN BURNETTE, REPRESENTING WINNIPEG + MORE


Winnipeg’s (Peter) Takis’ music exists in the form of unlikely collaborations – uniting to deliver extraordinary electronic tracks.

Working with Jamie Fine and Brandyn Burnette, Takis describes his newest single “All Time” as a balance between Fine’s powerful voice and Burnette’s laidback flow. Similar to his first single – “Wait For Me,” Takis blends the stylings of two distinct artists to create an unrivaled, unfamiliar sound.

“There was a big contrast with the featured artists. Jamie Fine specifically has this incredibly powerful voice and then Brandyn Burnette – on verse two, could almost clash or be a perfect contrast. He has this chill flow, he’s very relaxed, he isn’t trying hard at all and then Jamie comes in super powerful.”


Takis’ three new singles come as a directional shift from the lyrically darker content his fans may expect from him. “This is experimental – which sounds weird to say, that writing happy songs is experimental, but it is in my case.” He credits the shift to the painful year that was 2020 and was inspired to write more uplifting records even though it was not a natural or seemingly “on-brand” decision.

In all of his work, Takis credits much of his inspiration to a love-hate relationship with his hometown. He started his creative journey DJing and making music in high school and though he claims no one really cared for his songs, he kept going – now accumulating mass streams and being signed to one of the most renowned dance labels in the world, Armada Music.

Peter has found purpose in making Winnipeg proud by being the example he never had, for young artists back home:

“You’re kind of the boy who cried wolf until you’re not. Growing up without an example – we didn’t have a Drake, we didn’t have a Weeknd, we didn’t have a Justin Bieber. We had almost no pop representation. We had no one that was in culture from our city. So growing up, it was just kind of like a joke if you were making music.”


With no definite answers surrounding the state of the industry in the new year, Takis is passionately committed and optimistic on dropping his new album Welcome Home and focusing solely on his music, no matter the circumstances.

Can you introduce yourself and tell us about your journey as an artist?


I go by Takis – that’s my real last name. I started DJing in high school – started making music in high school, of course no one really cared. You put a song out and then ten of your friends share it. That was enough to kind of keep me going. This journey has all been about trying to make great records and eventually you realize it’s not easy to make really good songs and put together really cool creative packages, but I’ve just been on this journey since high school, chipping away at it and maybe I’m getting slightly closer but we’re not there yet.

What is it about electronic music specifically that interested you?


So, I started in hip hop – I was a kid on hip hop blogs, refreshing them every other day. I was so excited about this mixtape culture growing up and it was all hip hop. None of my friends could show me anything else. My mom would play pop music, I’d turn that off. I’d have some friends say “hey, listen to this electronic music.” No, it was just hip hop. Eventually, a friend invited me to an electronic festival in my hometown and I was like “what is all this music about?” and I went, and I was shocked by the energy that everybody was sharing. It was light. I’ve been to a million and one hip hop concerts, I DJed a hundred opening sets for hip hop events, DJed at hip hop clubs – that was my life. Once I saw the culture around electronic music and how cheerful everyone was and just the energy, also in the music – I just fell in love. Ever since it’s been a relentless pursuit. I still do incorporate some hip-hop elements and I’ve worked with hip hop artists a lot. It’s still one of my favourite genres but in terms of making music and playing it as a DJ, you can’t beat the energy.

How surreal is it to now be working with Armada?


It’s been great! The big thing about working with a dance label is that they really understand dance culture. I’ve worked with some major labels in the past and obviously I’ve been independent in the past but working with a dance label, they really, really get what a DJ is trying to do. They understand every aspect of it. They’ve been great. They give me a ton of freedom – I always joke that I feel like I don’t really have a label. I really create, I have a great team around me and so far, they trust everything I’ve been doing. I love Armada because it feels like they’re not there.

How does your love-hate relationship with your hometown drive your music?


I think a really complex part of growing up in a relatively small town without a music industry, it is very hard to convince people around you that it’s real. You’re kind of the boy who cried wolf until you’re not. Growing up without an example – we didn’t have a Drake, we didn’t have a Weeknd, we didn’t have a Justin Bieber, we had almost no pop representation. We had no one that was in culture from our city. So growing up, it was just kind of like a joke if you were making music. It was always just fringe. It was almost frowned upon. You were looked at a little off. It’s very tough to cultivate enough self belief to keep going when – I don’t blame anyone but, it was very hard to imagine an artist from our town would go on to play major festivals and go play in Vegas and have songs that have streamed like mine have and some others. So, I think that’s where the relationship starts but thankfully – because of some artists like Goody Grace who I’ve collaborated with – he’s from Manitoba and Faouzia – also from Manitoba, and hopefully this Takis project starts to change the perception back home and now I’m looking a little bit brighter about kind of representing for my city but at the start of this journey, it was a lot of tension, a lot of proving people wrong but eventually got to the point where I proved enough to myself. Now, I want to make people proud and want to make some 17-year-old from the city say “okay, well I have examples now. He didn’t have an example, but I have examples. I’m going to believe in myself because of that.” It is certainly a love-hate relationship still to this day.

Do you have any words of advice for other artists looking to break out of their small towns?


Oh man, that’s so tough. That is a really good question. I say it’s a good question because I don’t even know if I’ve answered it for myself yet. You have to have a self-belief – it’s almost weird how patient you have to be. There’s going to be so many “no’s,” there are going to be so many doors that are slammed in your face, so many people are going to laugh at you for what you do, you’re going to have to make so many sacrifices. Almost beyond advice, you just have to be a certain type of person that is incredibly relentless and that is willing to be kind of ostracized for three to five years before you materialize anything. So, I don’t know if I could give good advice but I can certainly say, make sure you’re the type of person that is going to be prepared for a very, very painful journey at the start.

What can you tell us about your latest single?


All Time” is the third single off my upcoming project Welcome Home. The first song was called “Wait For Me” and it was literally about somebody that did not wait for me. The second record was called “From The Start” and it was talking about a relationship that actually was kind of doomed from day one. Those who are fans of the Takis project and those who really know me, know I am at my best as an artist and at my most honest when I talk about dark or sad subject matter. When I really lean into painful moments, that is who I’ve been as an artist for all the people who have followed this journey but – after 2020, after the year we’ve had, something in me changed in the last few months where I don’t really have to lean into these stories, I don’t have to exaggerate a painful breakup anymore – it’s just been a painful year. For whatever reason, I just had inspiration to write brighter music and I’ve never ever wrote a hopeful song and put it out. I’ve never made a record that says “hey, everything’s going to be okay” but for whatever reason, I was inspired to try and to be honest with you, that decision was not only not very natural, it didn’t feel on brand and I was kind of concerned about what some of our early fans would think. Also – tough conversation for your team but I ended up scrapping some records that were supposed to come out late last year and early this year because they were leaning a little too far left, so sonically, this isn’t the Takis project that people are going to expect but as a creative package, I have never wrote a song – even just like the idea of a lyric that says “It’s gonna be alright” and talk about a relationship lasting forever. That can only happen when you’re just fed up about everything that was going on. I had to shake myself out of it. So, this is experimental – which sounds weird to say, that writing happy songs is experimental but it is in my case.

How did your collaboration with Jamie Fine and Brandyn Burnette come about?


For fellow Canadians and fans of pop music and listen to the radio, Jamie is like a superstar. Like four or five years ago, you’d turn on the radio and you couldn’t avoid Jamie Fine. You couldn’t avoid some of her hit records, on TV, her performances. I’ve been a fan for like ever. I remember briefly meeting her at a nightclub four years ago and – I don’t know if she remembers this but, she was at the top of my list as an artist I really wanted to work with. It’s kind of strange because I’ve been working with mostly friends on this project – I’m obviously a fan of all the artists I’ve worked with, but there are personal relationships there that take the music biz away and we’re just friends in a room. With Jamie, I’ve just been a distant fan for five years – just a weird guy listening on Spotify to all her music and I love her voice. When we had the idea – the early demo, I was like “you know what? We’re going to have to try. We’re going to have to send it to her. We’re going to have to say, ‘just give it a listen, let’s see what you think.” Thankfully she loved it, she added so much to it, her voice is so big and incredible. Similar to my first single “Wait For Me” with Goody Grace and Tory Lanez, there was a big contrast with the featured artists. Jamie Fine specifically has this incredibly powerful voice and then Brandyn Burnette on verse two, could almost clash or be a perfect contrast. He has this chill flow, he’s very relaxed, he isn’t trying hard at all and then Jamie comes in super powerful. For me, big fan of Jamie Fine – I hope she [reads] this and sees how much I’m fanning out about her. My mission has always been trying to put together contrasting voices and Brandon and Jamie – in my eyes, contrast really, really well and I hope people enjoy it.

What do you have planned for the year ahead?


The album Welcome Home. That is my mission, that’s been my life’s mission for the past year and last year especially, everybody didn’t really know what was going on in the music business. Nobody knew if it was a good idea to drop a project, no one though “hey, we should drop a single here.” “Are we going to be able to do live shows? Are we able to do a radio tour?” There were so many questions and at the top of this year, I sat down with my team and said “we’re going to stop speculating. I don’t know if I’ll play a show this year, I don’t know if anything’s going to change this year but we’re just going to keep dropping songs we believe in and we’re going to drop this album. I don’t care what’s going on in the world, we’re dropping this album Welcome Home.” So, it’s a pure focus on the music and I’m trying my best not to look at the news or Twitter.



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