peekaboo performing at a music festival

Inside the Hide & Seek Tour With PEEKABOO

In just a few short years, Matt Lucas, known by bass music fans and dubstep lovers around the world as PEEKABOO, went from an up and coming producer to a household name. Receiving recognition from influential labels and artists, Lucas reflected with MP3 MAG a half-decade of growth and evolution within the PEEKABOO project.

Photo Credit: @treevalds

Lucas was immersed in a musical household from birth. His father has been a professional trumpet player with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra for over three decades while also teaching jazz trumpet at the University of Michigan, where his mother received her bachelor’s degree in clarinet performance. Although Lucas grew up learning to play his father’s signature instrument, his infatuation with the guitar introduced him to rock and metal before eventually hearing electronic music.

“One day, I was playing Call of Duty — I loved watching the old CoD videos — and I remember hearing “Kill Everybody” by Skrillex on there,” Lucas explained. “I was like, wow this is great. I asked my buddy who these guys were, and he goes, oh no, that’s just one guy. I’m from this band culture, and I couldn’t believe one guy made this entire song. I instantly resonated with it. Through OWSLA, I found all this music…I found something that really got my interest and I fell in love with it immediately.”

This curiosity would soon become an infatuation. By 14 years old, Lucas had already been experimenting in FL Studio and Abelton. Before long, and after being inspired by tracks like “Bloccd” by longtime friend DMVU, he would independently release his first EP, “Revenge,” in 2017, garnering mass attention and critical acclaim among music fans and fellow artists. By the time the Imposters EP came out the following year, PEEKABOO became well known and appreciated by fans.

“When I released ‘Revenge,’ I didn’t have a label,” Lucas said. “I didn’t even have managers yet. I just made a goal for myself that year to make an EP.”

From there on out, the meteoric rise of PEEKABOO became apparent. Large headlining tours and large-scale festival slots were becoming the norm. However, back in April 2022, Lucas tweeted about his desire to “go back and play intimate small venues with a room full of die-hard bass music fans with no big and flashy production, just underground vibes” — and then he made it happen. The Hide & Seek tour featured nearly two dozen smaller capacity venues across the country. Lucas reflected on why he started the tour in the first place.

“As an artist, I feel like sometimes, we forget where we started from,” Lucas said. “The progression that everyone wants to follow is about bigger venues and timeslots and going up and up. But I had this realization that it’s not really about that. Over the years, I’ve had this growth and I’m so grateful for all these opportunities. But my fans want a closer, more intimate experience instead of watching me from afar on a giant stage all the time.”

Photo Credit: Tessa Paisen

Not many artists can say their tour routing takes them from a 200-something capacity show in Buffalo, NY, straight to supporting Ganja White Night’s two-night Wobble Coliseum event at the Hampton Coliseum for nearly 10,000 music fans. However, this juxtaposition is not just unique — it’s intentional.

“After two years of not seeing anybody in person, I feel like I lost this connection with my fans and I wanted it back,” he said. “I wanted to play these small venues where it’s all about the sound, the music, and the vibe I’m trying to set. It’s been really refreshing because I get the chance to play a totally different type, left field type of set. It’s a chance to be an artist and play what I’m enjoying at the moment.”

The Hide & Seek tour is an extension and evolution of the PEEKABOO project, a new direction and opportunity to connect with his fans in a meaningful way.

“This tour gives people a chance to see me who can’t afford a several hundred dollar festival pass or a $75 ticket for a single-night event,” he said. “I’m trying to create this change and hopefully inspire other artists to do the same, to do what you want and enjoy being an artist.”

Photo Credit: Tessa Paisan

The latest EP from PEEKABOO, Secrecy, was released through Zeds Dead’s label Deadbeats on July 29. Featuring two solo-produced tracks and collaborations with two of his best friends, G-Rex and Sully, this latest release is one that Lucas holds close to his heart.

“It’s probably my favorite body of work I’ve done in the past few years. I’ve spent so much time on it and it’s something I’m really proud of. I wanted this EP to be a head nod to my older sound from 2018

PEEKABOO kicks off the next round of tour dates with a special 360° experience show at the renowned Mission Ballroom on Sept. 2 with support from Eliminate, Digital Ethos, Dalek One, and Mythm. Popularized by The Boiler Room, the concept of bringing the DJ booth to the dancefloor has been adopted by promoters and artists worldwide to create a more inclusive experience for fans. This unique concert environment allows Lucas to thread the Hide & Seek theme into future tour dates, whether they be in traditional venues or on festival stages.

“We’ve had this in the works for a little bit,” Lucas revealed. “Mission Ballroom told us “yeah we can do it” and they’ve never done a 360-style set at that venue so I’ll be the first one. I want this to be very memorable because it’s probably the biggest show of my career. I’ve never been more excited to do something and I’m putting a lot of work into this.”

Photo Credit: Tessa Paisen

Looking to the future, balancing large-scale gigs and smaller, intimate shows will continue to be a focal point for the PEEKABOO project. However, the primary focus for Lucas is getting in the studio and committing to his craft and exploring freeform, left-field bass music.

“For the future of my project, my No. 1 priority is writing good music,” he said. “I’m trying to always to one-up my production. My goal for next year is to put out music I’m really proud of, even if it’s not a giant club banger and it’s more vibey hip hop — I’m putting it out.”

Releasing the music he wants and playing the shows he wants, regardless of genre for the former and size of venue for the latter, speaks to Lucas’ fearlessness and motivation to do what feels genuine for the growth of PEEKABOO.

“Success is not, to me, about the number of tickets sold. The success comes with writing music that I’m passionate about, that I’m happy about, and having a strong relationship with the people that support me — the fans. Ultimately, that’s what makes you get bigger.”

Shaina Sklar is a Digital Editor for MP3 MAG. She is a writer and editor based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, co-operates Soundsystem Cultures, an events and audio production company, and she has been previously published with Street Ritual.