We recently spoke to fast rising UK producer duo Punctual who have recently released a revived modern dance take on the mid-2000s Mario classic - 'I Don't Wanna Know'.
In only a couple of years, the pair have boasted their upward trajectory, releasing their first single ‘Eva’ released through Becky Tong’s Juicebox label and gained over 5 million streams with support from Zane Lowe, Pete Tong and Phil Taggart.
The guys have since amassed millions of streams across their diverse releases, and looking to grow one of the most sought-after commercial dance groups, signing with massive label Polydor Records this summer.
Read our chat with the guys here...
How did you two meet and at what point did you decide to start making music together as a career?
"We grew up together actually, in the same town, so we’ve been making music together
since we were teenagers. I think you always dream of making music as a career, but for us I
think it actually became something we thought might be possible when we first got record
Dance music is incredible because it’s definitely a genre that’s big internationally, but
dance producers/DJs are definitely influenced by where they’ve grown or lived. How has London influenced or inspired Punctual’s sound?
"Both London and Bristol have had a huge influence on our sound. Living in Bristol definitely
gave us our roots in house/club music, and then London’s massive songwriting scene has
definitely shaped the way we approach music to try and make things that are accessible for
At the beginning of your career, Zane Lowe defined you as ‘the future of dance music.’
What did that type of acknowledgement mean to you guys?
"I mean it’s crazy right?! That was one of the most surreal moments in our career. He’s such
a legend, an icon in our world, so to have him say that was super inspiring, gave us huge
motivation to try and prove him right."
Dance music is very much a genre that’s enjoyed in any environment, but especially live at a gig. Did you find it jarring to go from gigging at festivals to being stuck in London? How has this downtime during quarantine been for you both creatively?
"Overall we just feel lucky through this pandemic, and our hearts go out to the millions who
have lost their lives and have been adversely affected this year. For sure we miss gigging, it’s
always amazing to play your music out live and see that reaction from the crowd, but for
now we’re just super grateful that we are able to do our jobs from home if needs be. It has
definitely meant we have focused on the more song based dance records, as opposed to
making club bangers!"
Over the summer you signed to Polydor Records, a label that represents some of the best and most iconic artists. What does it mean to you both to be joining such a great label?
"In short, it’s a dream come true. It’s really inspiring to be in the same family as so many
legendary artists, both past and present. But it also means that you naturally put pressure
on yourself to make records which stand up to the others being released on the label, you
can’t be the one letting the side down!"
You’ve written for other artists before, like Steve Aoki and AJ Mitchell. What would you say the major difference is when you’re writing for yourself vs. collaborators?
"Almost always, we don’t worry about who we’re writing for when we’re in the studio. We
just want to write a track/song that we love first and foremost, and then worry about where
its home should be afterwards."
‘I Don’t Wanna Know’ has reached 1.2 million total streams and counting — what do you think it is about this track in particular that has made everyone fall in love with it?
"Ah thank you! Well the vocals are so amazing, what an incredible song and we can’t take
any credit for them, of course. But we just wanted to revisit the song and bring it into the
2020s, to keep that nostalgic and emotional feel, but also make a fun record that feels
The track is your own spin on the mid-2000s R&B Mario classic. Are there any other classic tracks you’re dying to play around with?
"We think for now, we’re going to focus on writing our own songs for a while. Doing covers
are super, super fun, and we’ve done a bunch, but it’s something that should be done
Who are some other artists you guys are dying to collaborate with?
"We’re really loving certain producers and DJs at the moment, some up and coming people
like us, such as TSHA and Mick Mazoo. Think it’s always exciting to collaborate with the new
fresh talent out there, it would be awesome to get some collabs on the go, and make
something no-one has heard before."
What else is next for Punctual?
"We’re continuing to do our monthly radio mix show, Right On Time Radio, and we’ve got so
much new music that we’re itching to show the world, but for now we’re going to hold back
and let 'I Don’t Wanna Know' breathe for a bit!"
INTERVIEW BY KELSEY BARNES