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Page last updated at 11:38 GMT, Wednesday, 23 September 2009 12:38 UK
Introducing…Gold Panda

By Greg Cochrane
Newsbeat music reporter

Transfixed by Japanese culture and laying psychedelic dance rhythms. Meet Gold Panda - a one-man Animal Collective.

Gold Panda
Gold Panda aka Derwin is looking to release his debut album next year

Ok, if you want to start by introducing yourself…

"I'm Gold Panda, I'm 28 and I'm based in east London but originally south London Peckham. I spent a couple of years in Chelmsford in Essex and Japan and basically make music to stop myself being depressed…."

Derwin, the softly spoken gent who is Gold Panda, is a straight-talking, direct kind of guy.

We believe him when he says: "I've had loads of jobs - and never liked any of them."

First job

He added: "The best one was a paper round, that was my first job - I have a really bad attitude towards authority and people telling me what to do."

With an outlook like that you'd expect GP to be a dislikeable character but he's quite the opposite. His brand of pessimistic wit is refreshing.

Gold Panda, the facts

WHAT:One man bedroom beat maker

FOR FANS OF:Animal Collective, Flying Lotus, Deadmau5

DOWNLOAD:Quitters Raga

LIVE: Playing UK shows throughout the autumn

"I never really got on with anyone anywhere. I ended up being fired a few times," he admits.

Personal journey

Whilst he's never been at his happiest working, making music has been his solace. His personal journey began over ten years ago.

"When I was about fifteen or sixteen, my uncle leant me a sampler and I just started sampling my dad's old records and making up my own songs and trying to rap over them as well," he laughs.

"It was terrible. I've still got the tracks that's no-one is allowed to hear."

Fast forward through early adulthood disgruntled and living with his parents, Derwin sold his possessions and moved to Japan to teach English as a foreign language. And, you guessed it, hated it.

"I did some teaching English to support my travels which I hated so ended up making more tracks. I've always been interested in it since I saw Akira since I was 15 or whatever just got more and more interested in Japanese things.

I'd like to enjoy it but I find going on stage in front of people really awkward being the centre of attention

Gold Panda

"The culture, the scenery, the colours of the cities…"

It's those experiences of lonely travelling and disillusionment that on his return he channelled into his music which he makes in his cluttered bedroom.

"I always tidy up before I make a song, then it gets more and more messy and then by the end of it's a mess again."

With a single Quitters Raga and Believe EP behind him he's looking to complete a full length album in time for next year.

Before then, he'll chisel his psychedelic dance by playing more live shows.

"I'd like to enjoy it but I find going on stage in front of people really awkward being the centre of attention," he stops, aware of his own amusing negativity. "I enjoy the first free beer."


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