One man has singlehandedly held down the music scene for the last few years, Pedro Winter aka Busy P. Living up to his alias, Pedro has put his technicolour touch all over the charts heading up Ed Banger Records and giving Justice, Uffie and DJ Medhi among a roster of other cutting edge electro artists, the international shine they deserve. Having managed Daft Punk from 1996 – 2008, Busy P is set to release his own album sometime this year. Off the back of the hype surrounding his recent collaboration with Nike, it is evident that Pedro is one in demand cool cat! We were fortunate to steal a couple of minutes away from his hectic schedule to talk about his AF1, his dreams to be the new Factory records, and why Ed Banger is a brand not a label.
Hey Pedro, how did the launch pan out for the Pedro Winter x Nike AF1 shoe at Colette?
I've heard it went well. I was not in town unfortunately, but my boy SO ME was there to represent! Colette was the perfect spot. We were there back in 1997 when they opened the store, we're still following them and are proud of their success. Colette gave us one big window to present the shoes. SO ME rocked the window by designing two giant AF1's.
You have a great relationship with Colette as your wife is head of public relations there but how did you manage to hook up with Nike to get your own shoe?
NIKE contacted me a year ago. I was surprised and happy at the same time.
Did any of your artists on Ed Banger Records have input into the collaboration? It seems your art director So Me may have had a hand in the detailing on the upper, referencing the infamous Ed Banger art work with the all over writing and scrawling?
SO ME is handling all the art side of the label. From day one, SO ME and I knew what we wanted to do. The idea was to put our differences on the shoe. I wanted a glossy pair, colorful and too much. SO ME wanted a more adult pair, dark and classy. So we fought, and arrived with that pair. Best of both worlds! From the beginning I wanted the visuals to be as strong as the music. James Lavelle did it with Mo'Wax, Factory records did it with Peter Saville too. We're trying to do it our way now.
How did it compare being the head of a record company to working alongside such a massive company like Nike? What did you learn from the process?
I realized designing a sneaker is not a game; it's a real job. Jesse, who is the Nike designer gave us some advice, but was super-happy with our design. I even think he was impressed! It made us proud. Having the OK from Jesse and Nike was special.
What was the decision to set off the white on black upper with the rainbow fade colourway in the swoosh and midsole? It’s very French electro!!
My first single was called "Rainbow Man" so we stuck to that. I like the color thing. I like Cassette Playa and Co.
Why did you decide to limit the run of the Nike AF1 to only 200 pairs? Were all available only at the launch or will there still be some available for heads to cop?
We are discussing that with NIKE. It seems there is a strong demand on our model.
You travel the world over with your music, whether it is with your full roster of artists (Justice, Uffie, DJ Mehdi among others) or as your alias, Busy P. In your opinion, how does the sneaker scene compare from country to country?
Sneaker culture is a worldwide thing now. Tokyo used to be the number one city on the list but nowadays it has changed. Of course the Internet changed the game. Also, the brands are killing it by dropping tons of limited editions, I think.
Are you a massive sneaker head?
Not massive, but massive enough to buy on eBay or having 200 pairs under my bed...
How do you think music and street wear culture compliment each other these days? Do you see any clear parallels between the two?
Music business is dying. Street Wear culture is blowing. I see my label more as a brand than just another label. So yes there is a clear link between those two worlds.
How is Ed Banger Records going these days? You guys have been ruling the music scene for a long minute. What’s up next in the takeover?
We're working on lots of albums, Mr Oizo, Uffie, Seabstian and my first album as Busy P. 2009 is fully booked!
To find out more about Busy P's Nike AF1, peep here
Big ups to Karl Hab for the launch photos