Interview: Panama Wedding are Finding the People


When Peter Kirk, the driving force behind Panama Wedding, looks back at what brought him to this Panama Wedding Photo copypoint, he chooses not to file those memories in a folder titled ‘Struggles.’

Before penning the electro-pop tour de force known as “All of the People;” before connecting with Brooklyn-based manager Seth Kallen; and before Glassnote Records came calling with a deal; Kirk was that guy who had a dream that he meticulously worked on while others slept and dreamt.

After 11-hour workdays, Kirk dove into the studio at night to pursue his musical aspirations. Before meeting Kallen, Kirk recalls a lack of artistic focus, thanks in part to an appreciation for more types of music than can usually be squeezed into one project. He was creating sounds, but what became Panama Wedding wasn’t quite there yet.

“I didn’t look at it as a struggle,” reflects Kirk of that time during an interview with “I looked at it as something I did that I loved…[but] I didn’t really have a vision or understand what I really wanted to do. There was a long period of time where I sailed around in different directions. I was learning things along the way, but I didn’t have a destination in mind. It wasn’t until I started the Panama Wedding project that I had an actual point on the map I wanted to travel to.

“From the ground up, it wasn’t easy,” he adds. “Having a job and having goals, ambitions and wanting to do music isn’t easy and it was a challenge juggling the two things sometimes. But I look at [that experience] in a positive way, not like, ‘oh, those were the worst days of my life!’”

Once Kirk’s focus really began to take shape, so did the Internet’s focus on Panama Wedding. “All of the People” gained a ton of traction online, with north of a million streams on Soundcloud alone. Today, that track sits upon Parallel Play, a four-track EP that serves as a more than worthy precursor for a debut full-length.

“When you put out one song that’s so big – on a relative basis – like ‘All of the People,’ there’s a bit of a fear that it’ll become massive enough to overshadow everything else that you do,” offers Kirk. “To put out an EP and see the other songs gain momentum and have people respond to them positively is a great feeling.”

Kirk doesn’t provide a deep amount of detail regarding what the full-length will sound like, but does note that he’s found comfort in blending what works in the modern pop landscape, with elements of bands he listened to growing up: namely INXS and Genesis.

That said, Kirk states that he doesn’t have a specific “rule book” detailing what the Panama Wedding sound is. In many ways, there is a focus like there wasn’t in the early days, but he’s quick to point out that not everything is figured out on his end, nor is he attempting to put a certain message across. If anything, he’s just trying to find a place for the Panama Wedding sound in today’s culture.

“It’s definitely scarier,” muses Kirk when asked if the prospect of a full-length album is more scary than exciting for him. “Putting out an album is much more of a public statement than putting out an EP. You open yourself up to much more critical analysis than when you just put out three or four songs. It’s a bigger glass house to throw rocks at, I suppose.

“But, I am really excited,” he continues. “In a culture where artists are constantly racing to put out as much music as possible, I don’t really go about it that way. I’m really taking my time to create a record that I feel is amazing. In that respect, I feel very excited about what’s ahead.”

-Adam Grant

Panama Wedding is currently on tour and can be seen in the following cities.

Please be sure to follow us on Twitter @riffyou and at Home