- Hey, what's up. It's Aimee from Baeble and we're hanging out with Panama Wedding here in the Baeble basement at our Bands and Brews session. You fly to Panama all by yourself. All by yourself. - You know what? I have to admit that I was so scared that I was going to announce you guys as Panama City. So, has any really messed up the name or announced you guys wrong? - I've heard Panama weekend. I've heard Panama City before. I don't know. Luckily, it hasn't been that bad, but I can, I could understand why people would get it wrong. - But do you correct them or do you just kinda run with it? - I kinda run with it. Well, the worst, the worst is when someone, like, gets your name wrong, like, as a person. - It's like, "Oh, so Michael from Panama, " And you're like, "Wait a minute. That's not my name. " Panama Wedding is like, I think, somewhat memorable. I don't know. People, people usually get it right. - Yeah, well, how many weddings have you guys played? - None so far. Maybe in 10 years if things don't go well. I'll be a wedding guy. - Every time I talk to bands and I say what's more intimidating, playing a huge room and, like, thousands of people or a small intimate venue? And everyone's like the small intimate venue. So, did you feel added pressure? Were you nervous tonight? - I don't think so, I think everyone seemed, like, pretty cool. And they were, they were definitely fans. I recently played a third grade classroom. - I came in as, like, the musical guest. And I was more nervous than when I played, like, in LA in front of, like, 1500 people or something. And I don't know why that is, but, yeah. I guess it's just when you're not used to But this was great tonight. This was totally great. - So if you're playing to a third grade class, are you doing covers of, like, Taylor Swift songs. Like, they'll kinda be like, "Ooh, cool top 40 stuff? Or do you just stick to Panama Wedding music? - I stick to Panama Wedding music. We're trying to expand our fan base. I'd sing one song, All the People, and one girl in the class was like, "Can you just play it again?" And I was like, "Well, it doesn't quite work that way. " I think it's it's always good to play, like, small rooms and, like, see people and see people singing along, we love it. I love it. All of the people. All of the people stand. Standing to wait. Waiting for the concrete to break. All of the people All of the people take. Take it away guys' favorite thing to eat on tour? - I mean, we usually try to pick something, like, in whatever city we're in. Like, so, if we're, if we're in San Francisco, we'll get burritos. If we're in Texas we'll get barbecue. I think, you know, when you're on tour it's really hard to, like, visit landmarks or go to museums or spend too much time, but you could always eat. And so we find, any city we go to, we'll just research whatever their number one food is and, and do that. - So, is there anything, like, maybe, like, a Cheeto or something that's ever, like, inspired a song? And is this, like, a fun song that's put out there a critic or a fan tries to find some super deep seated meaning and you're like, "No, dude, the song is really just about a Cheeto. " - Well, to date, we only have, like, four songs out. I've heard some people talk about, like, All the People. There's some lyrics about, like, "I hope heaven has another open door for us. " And I saw a bunch of people online, like, "This is a religious song about God and following Jesus. " I, like, saw these comments, I was, like, what? I don't know. It's not. I mean, I think it's, I think it's a good thing when people, you know, look at your lyrics and could draw some sort of meaning beyond your original intent. Woke up late and still half asleep. Airport line out in the street. Baby, I know you wanted to stay, but the weekend rush won't let us break. - So let's talk about your EP. - We put out an EP, recently called Parallel Play. And I think it's been really good for us because we released our single, All The People online, which got a lot of attention online, but it's, it's great to introduce some new songs and different kind of vibes to our fans. Uma's done very well. People seem to like that. And Trust and Feels Like Summer. And hopefully, it's enough to keep people kinda satisfied till we put out a full one. Thank you guys. Thanks a lot.
Panama Wedding has quickly established itself as one of the most promising rising indie artists with "All Of The People," a deliriously joyful pop single that has been hailed by music outlets around the globe and has earned over 1 million plays on Soundcloud. But Peter Kirk, the New York-based mastermind behind Panama Wedding, is not dwelling upon the buzz garnered from his musical outfit's breakthrough track; instead, Kirk is preparing a rich career full of expertly crafted songs that defy categorization, and a live show that grows more muscular as his audiences swell. "All Of The People" is an enduring anthem and envious first act, but Kirk -- newly signed to Glassnote Records and readying his debut LP -- has much more up his sleeve.
Kirk's success as Panama Wedding comes after a lifetime of tinkering with different sounds: as a classically trained pianist growing up in Long Island's Oyster Bay, Kirk made a habit of recording songs in his bedroom with his friends. When he moved to New York City as an adult a few years ago, Kirk rented a studio in midtown Manhattan to continue exploring writing and recording music, if only as a hobby at the time.
Holding down a full-time job, Kirk would plow through 11-hour workdays before heading to his studio and honing a concoction of pop, adult-contemporary and electronic music. "For about two years, I went there every night after work, and would just try to write and record and put together something," recalls Kirk. "At this point, I was just sending music to my friends under my name, rather sheepishly wondering whether or not they would like it. Over time, the responses went from, 'Hey, this isn't bad,' to 'Wow, this is really good!' Then, random friends of friends started reaching out to me independently, asking, 'Who are you? What is this?' They wanted to find out more."
Kirk decided to take his music on the road, and stayed patient while looking for local opportunities. His first gig, at a DIY east Brooklyn venue, was viewed by just one friend in the audience, but Kirk's crowds started growing as he became more comfortable under the bright stage lights. His live setup also evolved from a one-man show with a laptop and keyboard construction into a proper band setup, with a bassist and drummer supporting his expansive vision.
Eventually, Kirk got noticed by Seth Kallen, a Brooklyn-based manager, who suggested that Kirk produce a new version of "All Of The People" and release the polished track as Panama Wedding's debut single. Kallen gave the mixing duties to budding producer Andrew Maury, formerly of RAC, who has worked with bands such as Ra Ra Riot, Givers, and Tegan & Sara. Maury "knocked it out of the park," says Kirk. The new version of "All Of The People" was released online in July 2013 and exploded on impact: the single reached No. 1 on Hype Machine in a week's time, earned raves on tastemaker sites like Indie Shuffle, Neon Gold, and Crack In The Road while earning thousands of streams in a matter of hours.
After a string of acclaimed sold-out performances during the CMJ Music Marathon in fall of 2013, Kirk finalized a deal with Glassnote Records, aligning Panama Wedding with the company behind best-selling artists like Mumford & Sons, Phoenix and CHVRCHES, among many others. 2014 was a very busy year for Kirk taking Panama Wedding to a successful run at SXSW, sold-out performances opening for St. Lucia, a full U.S. tour with RAC & Dan Croll, and multiples festivals during the summer - all before releasing his highly successful debut EP, 'Parallel Play' which garnered Panama Wedding's second No. 1 Hype Machine song with "Uma" and has accumulated over 8 million streams on Spotify to date.
After a coveted late night television performance on the Jimmy Kimmel show over the summer, a full tour of the United Kingdom with Dan Croll and a second U.S. tour with Smallpools & Magic Man in the fall of 2014, Kirk is back home in Manhattan readying Panama Wedding for another busy year finishing the debut LP for release later this year.
"There's a generally hopeful tone to 'All Of The People' -- it was written in the wintertime, and I wanted to reflect that feeling of spring turning into summer," says Kirk of the song, which is built on a foundation of effervescent vocals and opulent synths. "But 'All Of The People' is just one song, and there's this whole other body of songs I've written that I want to focus on and share."