“I went to this place called Clandestino last night with my label, some friends and a few other artists. Can you believe they don’t have lemonade here?” the Londoner says, perplexed. “My favourite drink is a vodka lemonade and they don’t have it! The bar staff looked so upset when I asked. They were like, ‘Would you like sparkling water with lemons?’ No. I want lemonade. So that was my whole thing last night.”
Bungled drinks orders aside, Pettet has been in New York a lot lately to put the finishing touches on his debut EP, The Sound, which drops early next month. A seven-track medley of “attention-seeking, booze-cruise party music”, the project is, naturally, inspired by hedonistic early-2000s club music. The Sound is made to get people dancing, flirting and sweating, an unabashedly sexy collection of songs that blend together break-neck beats and stomach-churning bass.
“The EP is all about heavy fun,” Pettet continues. “It’s an ode to who I was when I was 16, going to Magaluf and getting off that little Ryanair jet, when the sun hits you and you know you’re about to party hard. It’s also dedicated to the beat, in some ways, to the bass, the kick, the snare. This is the sound of Babymorocco, and I’m not trying to be facetious or ironic with it. This is who I am.”
Growing up in Bournemouth, Pettet has been entrenched in club culture since his early teens. “Trance was my favourite when I was younger,” he says. “I can’t sing the way they do, hitting massive notes, but I knew that was the kind of shit I wanted to make.” Aged 18, he moved to London to study fine art at Central Saint Martins before “doing a bunch of other shit, always to do with performance and writing.”
Finally, when the pandemic rolled around, Pettet made it known that he was taking music seriously. “No one wanted to work with me because they thought I was just someone on Instagram who posted pictures of themselves – and I get that. But I downloaded YouTube beats anyway and started putting my lyrics to them. Then people started approaching me.”
Most of all, Pettet wants The Sound to make his listeners feel sexy – something he sees as both a state of mind and way of life. It’s supposed to make you want to move your body right away, without thought or inhibition. “With the rhythm, having a good time,” he says, “I want people to feel euphoric.”
10% What kind of emotions and experiences influence your work?
My group of friends and a lot of the girls around me are super talented. There’s this aspect to the relationships I have with women which are so fulfilling and freeing. With my song Girlfriends – they put a lot into that. They send me a lot of stuff they like, especially my best friend Ikeda, who sends me so many references to 2000s music or club music that’s hidden away. Sharing that exploration of something I think we’ve lost in the UK has helped me shape my own sound. We used to have amazing dance music here, which feels a bit lost now. I’m trying to bring that back. I want to be the main UK boy.
20% What’s a bad habit you wish you could kick?
I have so fucking many. Drinking! But also I don’t wish to kick it yet. I’m having a good time, so… I’ll just wait until my body says I should kick it. I said the other day that I want no organs in my body, just a heart. I want to be empty. It’s kind of romantic and fun-sounding. You’d sound like an instrument, like a heart beating in you: boom boom boom.
30% What’s the strangest DM you’ve received?
Oh my fucking God. One person wanted to decapitate me – they had this fetish for headless men with hunky bodies. They messaged me like, “Can I pay you this amount of money” – it was in Australian dollars – “to chop your head off and post a video of it?” I was willing to hear how he’d transfer the money because I was thinking about taking it and not getting my head chopped off. He was really sincere about it as well. Weird shit happens in my Instagram messages all the time.
40% If you’re cooking food to impress someone, what will you make?
For myself, I cook shit for the gym, like chicken and eggs. But I can be romantic if I want to be. There was a kid’s Sainsbury’s recipe, on the saver menu, it’s basically a cheese bite, like a bready bit of cheese. I learned how to make the fuck out of those to perfection. They taste banging. No sides. I’d rawdog it and serve it with vodka, lemonade and ice.
50% You rule the world for a day. What’s going down?
There would be a cute tax on everything. There would need to be a certain amount of cuteness in the world – just the vibe of cuteness. You need to be sweet, to have some kind of pet around you at all times. All cocktails would be free and I would shut off all of the lights in the world, so we had to use candles again. Candles and moonlight. Everything is a bit bright nowadays, isn’t it? It’s getting a bit silly.
60% Love, like, hate?
I like alcohol – vodka, specifically. I hate that because I look a certain way, do the muscle thing at the gym and make fun music, people have got to make it into some ironic, stupid thing. It’s not a joke, it’s who I am. I hate being made into a joke by people who don’t get the sexiness. And I love attention!
70% Number one holiday destination?
Zante. The Laganas Strip – what more do you need for a good time?
80% What’s the most pointless fact you can share?
There was a woman in the 1600s in Italy called Giulia Tofana who put lead in foundation and lipstick, which was then used to kill people’s husbands. If you didn’t ingest it, you’d be fine, so women would kiss their husbands and kill them. This make-up was responsible for the killing of 600 men – it was called Aqua Tofana. I also used to read a lot about infectious diseases when I was younger, and I found out that if you leave syphilis untreated for long enough, your nose can fall off.
90% What gets you going about infectious diseases?
I used to want to be a doctor – I have a whole book of pharmacology in my house. I love finding out why the body does certain things, which is why I like to be big. I like the science behind it.
100% If you could travel back in time to see an iconic music act perform, who would it be?
Probably something really ancient. Imagine watching a concert in Ancient Greece, like Athena or some shit like that. That’d be wild. I don’t really like going to live shows unless I’m performing because I’m an attention seeker and I get jealous. I’d have to go all the way back before Christ was born.