Welcome to Intriguing People 2018, our annual celebration of Las Vegas’ cultural trailblazers and social trendsetters. See more from this year’s series here.
Up until last year, 25-year-old music producer Erisse Peterson flew under the radar. Unbeknownst to the Las Vegas music community, the transplant (by way of Georgia and the Magnolia State) has made beats since she was a theater student at Mississippi School of the Arts, meticulously sharpening her groovy, hypnotic sound. It wasn’t until May 2017 that she was ready to make her official introduction. And when she did, she caused quite the disrupt.
Foregoing the standard promo run—no “check out my Soundcloud” DMs, no music videos, no concerts, no management or publicist—Peterson, known better by her musical alias Planes, premiered her seven-track debut EP, SOMETHINGMISSING, on coveted music magazine The Fader’s website. And it was done so at the urging of iconic California rapper E-40, who came across one of Peterson’s beats on Twitter and subsequently purchased it.
“A lot of good things came out of that one interaction,” says Peterson, who’s also an actress and was recently cast in independent feature We Put the World to Sleep. “It really gave me the exposure I needed. … I was super low-key in my bedroom, making beats, just lurking in the shadows. But after the Fader feature, a lot of people took notice of me. And they were genuinely interested in my music and what I do, especially here in Vegas, because I was pretty much unknown here. It was really cool that I had a lot of local artists reach out to me and want to collaborate with me.”
While she’s gone on to become a staple of the local music community, Peterson’s also spent the last year pushing her own sound forward.
Photos by Krystal Ramirez
Initially starting out as a rapper, Peterson wanted to learn how to make her own beats and started experimenting with production. She discovered she had a knack for it and eventually abandoned the mic for a keyboard and laptop (though if you get her comfortable enough, she’ll spit a verse that could make Cardi B stop mid-money move). Self described as “electrofunk,” Peterson’s music is a blend of synth-pop, hip-hop, soul and new wave. Her goal is to move people, literally and figuratively.
“I want to make sounds that not only inspire people, but take people on a trip. My music is so genre-bending that it can really create a unique experience for people,” she says.
That’s best illustrated on her recently released “Galactic Daisy,” a psychedelic six-minute ride that’s the aural equivalent of huffing space dust. The song woozily drifts into an intense drum show before bringing you down to Earth with calming keys. If it’s any indication of what she’s up to in 2018, then this very well could be her breakout year.
Peterson’s currently working on an upcoming project with friend and frequent collaborator Heart of Troy. She’s also making beats for some nationally-recognized artists, though she’s tight-lipped about it, partly so as not to jinx it and partly because she’s still in disbelief.
“I still feel like a small fish, like, nobody knows me,” she says. “It’s cool that things are happening because they just motivate me to keep going harder. It shows me that if I keep at it, I could be one of the biggest producers out here.”
Planes breaks down her music—and shares a rare freestyle—in the video above.