Producer, writer and DJ Pierce Fulton has a lot on his plate these days, from releasing his own songs that have been known to top the charts (i.e: Kuaga), to performing electronic music with longtime bestie Ansel Elgort. That’s right…two beautiful faces, one stage and one epic dance party known by the name “Shirts & Skins.” Read our exclusive interview with the musical genius and find out why the streets of New York and beyond are buzzing about Pierce and why you’re going to need to add him to your party playlist stat.
Tell us a little bit about the process of making house music. What is the music production like and how is it different from more mainstream music?
It’s pretty interesting because you always have to be thinking about how the song will sound in the environment (club, festival, etc.) The main difference of house music as a specific style of electronic music is that is definitely geared towards the dance floor, and that’s something you have to keep in mind when making the music.
Tell us about your collaboration with Ansel. How did you two become friends, and what sparked your decision to collaborate?
We started talking maybe three or four years ago. We ended up becoming friends and living together. We started this group “Shirts & Skins” because we both wanted a fun way to be able to play different styles of dance music that weren’t just the styles that we were known for as our individual groups. What’s fun is that it’s not something we have to put a ton of effort into. We can just do it whenever we want, and we don’t have to go crazy by putting so much work into it.
Where did the name “Shirts & Skins” come from? I see that according to Twitter, you’re Shirts and Ansel is Skins? How did this come about?
We are actually still arguing over who came up with it. All I remember is we were in a cab and we were going by this basketball court. One of us brought it up and it all just spiraled from there. It just sort of worked because New York is known for pickup basketball and basketball courts all around town that everyone plays at, and there is something very New York style with the name.
What is the most rewarding part of your musical career? The hardest part?
The most rewarding part is when you can make new songs effortlessly. That’s definitely nice when you can naturally make it without a struggle. The unfortunate downside is the amount of travel. Flying around four times a week can be draining at times, but I’ve been trying to make it refreshing by reading a lot of new stuff. It’s not the worst thing in the world, but it is one of the more unfortunate parts.
Where can we find you when you’re not making music?
Either home in Brooklyn or sometimes home in Vermont. I lived in my own apartment in Brooklyn, but I’m originally from Vermont. When I have free time I love going home to unwind. I ski or snowboard in the winter or go swimming in rivers or lakes in the summer.
5 Little Known Facts:
1) Dream collaboration: I recently got back into a huge James Brown kick for some reason and I feel like it would have been fun to work on a dance song with him because he had such an energetic singing style. Blending a mix with his soul style and dance music would have been really cool.
2) Celeb crush: I don’t pay attention to celebrity stuff (laughs). I do remember that I fell in love with Natalie Portman after the new Star Wars movies came out.
3) App you can’t live without: I do love Snapchat. It turned into this really important part of social media when it used to be this small, cute thing.
4) One thing we would be surprised to hear about you: What’s interesting is that when you’re a DJ and your people think you’re crazy and party all the time, but I truly enjoy the quiet and being at home with my brother and his dog. I like to read and watch movies. When I’m not making music or touring, I like being relaxed and having a quiet life.
5) Most hilarious moment between you and Ansel that you still laugh about: When I played my birthday show in New York, it took a month to figure out because I wanted him to come as a special guest. I asked him to come at the last minute to play our first Shirts & Skins show publicly. Planning for that was the biggest nightmare in the entire world. The day of the show he finds out that he’s able to come, and he was the last person on the flight out of Atlanta to New York. He landed at 12:30, and we were supposed to play at 1:30. That was pretty ridiculous seeing him run into the club and instantly play a Shirts & Skins show. It was nuts, but looking back on it it was really funny.