Wonder what it would take to start a career in music?
Ever wonder if you embraced that journey,
what it might take to win a Juno?
2 time Canadian Juno winner, Peter Pantzoures
shares his dib® story.
Peter Pantzoures: The Rise of a Musical Sensation and Two-Time Juno Winner.
Peter Pantzoures is a name that has made waves in the Canadian music scene. Born with an inherent talent and a passion for music, “Lil’ Pete,” has captured the hearts of his fans and critics alike with his unique musical abilities. Both on his own, and as a member of the renowned production duo, the SoundBluntz, Pantzoures soared to new personal heights, earning the prestigious Canadian Juno Award not once, but twice. We aim to delve into the inspiring journey of Peter Pantzoures, his rise to success in the Canadian music scene and why he’s an ambassador in the Dreaming Is Believing® community.
Early Life and Musical Influences:
Peter Pantzoures was born in December, 1976. From a young age, his love for music was evident. Raised in an immigrant household filled with diverse musical influences, music played a large part in his early years. Alongside a genuine interest and enate talent for adopting new and emerging technologies, Pantzoures found inspiration in multiple genres, and from diverse cultural origins,.. but more importantly he was surrounded by hard working dedicated new Canadians. The work ethic passed down by his parents would propel him towards his own success. It was during his formative years that he honed his skills, mastering the art of “integration.” As a result of a few inspirational friends encouraging him to push his way into Toronto’s night club music scene, and “creating small opportunities”, Peter started his journey as a live stage performer in Toronto’s club scene at the age of 15. Forever changed and inspired, the stage name DJ “Lil’ Pete” was born. Pete, the new kid behind the turntables, knew exactly what he was going to do with this opportunity. The feedback from energized crowds, and the passion they shared fueled and motivated him to begin building the cutting edge studio that he would end up recording his remixes and future albums in.
Rise to Prominence and First Juno Win:
This story starts in the same city, but in separate adventures, as many do. In Toronto’s competitive nightlife scene, Lil’ Pete (Peter Pantzoures), and Swet (Cory Bradshaw) have long been fixtures, whether captivating crowds in the city’s grandest clubs or creating and remixing an impressive array of dancefloor anthems.
Cory meshed with Chris Sheppard, a Toronto radio DJ who played a key role in spreading electronic dance music across Canada, with Cory’s considerable influence being instrumental in Sheppard’s ascent. Cory’s involvement, although behind the scenes, proved to be indispensable, co-producing several of Sheppard’s dance tracks, including the chart-topping hit “I’m In Love With You” by BKS.
From humble and beginnings, Peter’s production started with a modest bedroom setup. “That’s how everyone begins, right?” His collaboration running Canada’s premier DJ record pool, Bombs N Bass (alongside Mark Micallef), resulted in numerous remix opportunities, including projects with TLC, Drake, Jully Black, Taxi (Dollar Wine) and System F, Nelly Furtado (Say it Right), Armand Van Helden (Funk Phenomena), Keisha Chante (2U) and Serena Ryder. Recognizing his abilities and sensing a connection, Cory needed a secret weapon and an opportunity, and that’s exactly what happened next when he teamed up with Lil’ Pete, whose handle is an oxymoron, considering his bigger than life personality. Pete received a phone call from Cory Bradshaw in 2002, proposing a revitalized rendition of a Michael Jackson timeless classic.
In 2003, all the hard work, dedication, and a partnership with Cory Bradshaw paid off. Pairing up as the duo behind the SoundBlunts, they won their first Juno Award for “Dance recording of the Year.” The “Bluntz” tackled a dance remix of the Michael Jackson hit ‘Billie Jean.’ From the chart topping and record breaking ‘Thriller’ album, the dynamic pair had a friend sing the track, and “you’d swear to God you were listening to Michael Jackson.” So much so, that they had to “show proof to some record companies that this was a full out cover and not a rip-off of the original recording.”
“… and it won the Juno, we triumphed on that one; it was an unbelievable feeling.” Their remix swept across Europe, licensing itself to approximately 30 official compilations, including several from Ministry of Sound in the UK, collectively selling millions of copies, not to mention the countless bootlegs. Austrialia was a completely different story. The ‘Billie Jean’ remix reached the top-40 on Rick Dees countdown, as well as becoming a number-one record on the charts. The remixed single sold 20,000 plus units in the land down under. This prestigious accolade served as a testament to the duo’s undeniable talent and the impact made on the Canadian music scene.
Pete acknowledges, “The reason you do a remake is that it has already been a hit. You’re already a few steps ahead. But with ‘Billie Jean,’ a million people attempted to remake it. We did it justice. There’s a distinction.
Continued Success and Second Juno Win:
Winning a Juno with your debut song is no small feat, let alone securing another “Canadian Grammy” the following year with your second release. In 2004, this new duo triumphed once again, becoming the first dance act to achieve consecutive victories when their song “Something About You,” originally recorded by English new wave band Level 42, clinched the Juno for Dance Recording of the Year.
Driven by their rapid success, the Bluntz hungered for an even greater challenge: revitalizing dance music’s former glory with their inaugural full-length album, Blame The Bling.
Their first single, “(Maybe You’ll Get) Lucky,” proved prophetic when they had the opportunity to collaborate with Australian pop star Cheyne Coates, former lead singer of Madison Avenue, the dance duo behind the global hit “Don’t Call Me Baby.” Cheyne’s vocal style had initially inspired the song, making the collaboration a fortunate turn of events.
Legacy and Future Endeavors:
Since then, The SoundBluntz have tackled significant remixes,such as The Caesars’ iPod hit “Jerk it Out” and Beastie Boys’ “Triple Trouble”.
With their feature album released, one can only imagine that their primary focus has been on writing, arranging, and recording. Of course, with a name like SoundBluntz, they are easily mistaken for a rap act. The clean-living duo intentionally selected their dance-oriented label for a specific reason, and it’s quite profetic. “What does a blunt signify? What is sound? We embody the high, you see? We’re not consuming the drug; we are the drug.”
Peter Pantzoures’ contribution to the Canadian music scene extends far beyond his Juno Awards. His ability to fuse various genres and create a distinctive musical identity has inspired a new generation of musicians and DJ’s to aim high and dream big. Beyond his work with the Sound Bluntz, Pantzoures has also collaborated with renowned artists Stephan Mocchio (writer for Celine Dion, Weeknd, Miley Cirus and Avril Lavigne, as well as Simone Denny (Singer for Love Inc, and the theme some for the Queer Eye TV Series).and embarked on solo projects that showcase his versatility and evolution as an artist.
His journey from a young musician to a two-time Juno winner is a testament to his dedication, passion, and exceptional talent. As a member of the SoundBluntz, Pantzoures has left an indelible mark on the Canadian music industry, specifically in the Dance Music genre. His ability to connect with audiences through his music and inspire fellow musicians has solidified his status as a sensation. Recognizing that “we get there together”, Pete is a shining example of Dreaming Is Believing®. Today, Lil’ Pete is opening doors for new DJ’s, musicians and performers at Crank Studios, his production company in Scarborough Ontario Canada. As we eagerly anticipate his future endeavors, it is clear that Peter Pantzoures’ star will continue to shine brightly in the years to come.
Congratulations Pete, and thank you for sharing a slice of your story with us!