Gold Panda. Picture: Supplied

"I don't know if it's on there any more," Gold Panda says as he ponders whether he's still incorrectly listed as Derwin Schlecker on Wikipedia, which he is. "I got banned from Wiki because I kept changing my name every two months for a few years."

For the course of Gold Panda's two-album career, the English electronic producer's legal name has been shrouded in mystery.

"I've also got a very embarrassing name," Derwin adds, not prepared to reveal his real last name. "I'm saving it maybe for a track name."

It's suggested "Derwin Schlecker" sounds like a German pornstar, perhaps influenced by his recent three years based in Hamburg and Berlin. "I could well be," he smiles.

The mischievously humoured Derwin indeed worked a related job before embracing music full-time. Fluent in Japanese, he applied at a Japanese retail store.

"Right next door was a sex shop, so I gave a CV to each one and the Japanese shop didn't call me but the sex shop called me about 20 minutes later and said "Have you got a shirt and do you want to come in tomorrow morning to start? My interview was basically, 'Don't steal nothing 'cause you're on camera'."

While peddling porn likely isn't the most popular occupation, the "15-hour shifts and good pay" allowed Derwin to work two days a week and focus on Gold Panda for the rest.

Quickly he rose from obscurity to being asked to remix Bloc Party, and soon after to meet and potentially sign with their label, Witchita.

"We were having Bloody Marys at 11am and I thought 'Geez, this is rock'n'roll' and I was waiting for the big contract until they said 'Oh no, there's no money'."

Yet his perseverance paid off, ensuring he need never sell a penis pump again.

"You get nothing for your first gigs, then you get nothing for a remix, and then 50 quid for one - you know, you have to work your way up, like any job I guess. But yeah, it worked out alright."

In the past five years Derwin has achieved such gold as winning the Guardian First Album award for debut Lucky Shiner and having last year's darker, more dance-orientated follow-up album, Half Of Where You Live, universally acclaimed. The result has been constant touring, though he vows to slow down. And find a new abode.

"I'm actually living at my grandmother's house in Essex at the moment, so I'm looking for a place."

The West Australian

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