Perto is undoubtedly Australia’s biggest (and youngest) new export. His eclectic brand of electronic production has seen him release singles and remixes streamed millions of times, perform high-energy live sets around the world to thousands of devoted fans, and hit the studio with some of the world’s biggest acts — and he’s just turned 18.
The Sydney-born producer is a certified musical prodigy, whose output is mature beyond his years but as innovative and fortuitous as one would expect from an internet-fuelled savant with the world’s musical history at his fingertips.
Since hearing Skrillex’s ‘Bangarang’ on the radio at the age of 10, Perto’s life has been filled with bizarre twists and turns. “Skrillex is the reason I got into music, and then fast forward to last year and we’re singing Evanescence in a club in Myanmar together.”
He started making music with some of his musical heroes at 14, was signed to Warner at 16, dropped out of school at 17, and has since been seen in the studio with titans of the industry like Timbaland, Billie Eilish, and more, while counting fellow producers Diplo and Flosstradamus as mentors and friends.
“I wake up and I make music,” he explains. “I don’t really do much else. From day one there was nothing else. I don’t know if I was naïve or just too dumb to realise how hard it can be to be an artist full time, but I never looked back or considered that it might not work out. There was never a backup plan.”
It’s clear he doesn’t need one. Before even releasing his first EP, he’s created official remixes for Flosstradamus and Valentino Khan, supported Alison Wonderland on tour, performed kinetic live sets at sold-out shows across the globe, released infectious single ‘Bad Maybe Good’ with GRAMMY-nominated Nigerian singer-songwriter Kah-Lo, and he’s just getting started.
On recent track Remain feat. Floridian singer and producer Mixed Matches is one of his favourites to date, although Perto admits they’ve never met in real life. “I was on SoundCloud and I searched a song but his came up instead, and I thought, ‘F*ck, he’s incredible!’ I just DM’d him one day and said ‘Please send me something — I’m dying to work with you’. That’s how that happened. I made the whole song with what he sent me in a day. We’ve never even been on a phone call together.”
Perto has also just released his second single for the year Go Away which features US rapper iann dior. The 20-year-old Texas-via-Puerto Rico musician is an artist on the rise in his own right, on the cusp of becoming one of new-age hip-hop's most in-demand stars, he’s amounted close to 500 million streams on Spotify alone and earned his place in-line for XXL’s Freshman Class in 2020.
Speaking of the collab Perto admits “I did a remix of one of iann dior’s songs, and he had no idea who I was — he hadn’t even heard it. But somehow we got connected and made like a bunch of new songs – “Go Away” was one of them and definitely has the most significance to me. I was pretty much illegally remixing his song, and then within two months I was in the studio with him every day for a week.”
2020 promises to be enormous for Perto, but in his words: “I don’t pay too much attention to it. I just make music.”