The world of EDM is a little darker today, after one of its brightest lights went out. Pierce Fulton, known as a DJ and EDM music producer, died Thursday at just 28 years of age, after a long battle with mental health. Fulton’s music tapped into his struggles and brought hope and comfort to many who could relate, and his loss is a difficult one for the EDM world to wrestle with.
Born June 6, 1992, Fulton is from Vermont. Fulton’s love of music goes back to 6 and even younger, when he picked up a guitar and played song requests for friends and family. With a natural ear for music, Fulton quickly mastered guitar, piano, trombone, and other instruments. The DJ’s website bio reads, ” … with 15 years of classic rock, reggae, blues and even a bit of metal and classical music under his belt, you can imagine how strange Pierce’s first interaction with electronic music was. Somehow this small high school in Vermont was blessed with an incredible music department entirely run by two teachers, a husband and wife. One semester of Pierce’s senior year involved back to back music theory and electronic music production classes and another course in music history. The electronic music course taught students the fundamentals of production programs, basic synthesis/sound design, and sampling in addition to studying the history of iconic electronic music from the likes of Kraftwerk, Aphex Twin, Frankie Knuckles, and more. It was a revelation having had no real exposure to this world, growing up in such seclusion, so far away from club culture.
You might know Pierce most for his songs Kuaga, No More, Losing You & Landmines but with his recently released Borrowed Lives EP and debut album Better Places, he goes back to those early musical roots.
‘I’ve played some sort of music since I was a child,’ says Pierce. ‘Anywhere from a guitar to just banging sticks on stage as a 5 year old at my aunts wedding, I’ve always ‘done’ something. Electronic music was the first time in my musical lifetime that I stopped playing things and started clicking and dragging. It’s a blast because you can be a one man band, but over time I realized I lost a lot of what made me a musician. I still can’t even play my guitar as well as I did when I was 14, don’t even get me started about drums or piano. With my songs like Landmines and No More, you can hear the live music sneaking it’s way back into my life but Borrowed Lives and my album Better Places are my first full steps back into being a musician again.’”
Before his death, Fulton spent most of his free time in the studio, seamlessly blending genres and musical styles, touching the roots of his love for music. Fulton released his debuted EP back in 2011, and toured with Wolfgang Gartner in 2012. The young DJ then released another EP in 2014 and started releasing music under Armada Music the following year. Fulton released another album in 2017 and then in 2020, and embarked on a duo journey with DJ Ansel Elgort titled Shirts and Skins. Fulton debuted at the top of Billboard’s Emerging Artist’s chart, and his song Kuaga (Lost Time) hit number 38 on the Billboard Dance/Mix Show Airplay. Fulton’s best known track was Waiting for Tomorrow with Martin Garrix.
Sadly, despite his talent for music and his beautiful contributions to the world, Fulton struggled with his mental health. And as so many who struggle with mental health do, his death by apparent suicide Thursday shocked and devastated those left behind.
Fulton’s brother, Griff, is the one who shared news of the young DJ’s death. Per The Daily Mail, “The DJ’s older brother Griffith announced the devastating news in a heart-wrenching statement across Pierce’s social media accounts on Monday.
‘It breaks my heart to share with you that Pierce passed away on Thursday evening following a tragic struggle with his mental health,’ he began in a lengthy tweet.”
Daily Mail adds, “He continued: ‘Pierce was so incredibly full of life, love & unimaginable creativity. He was kind, caring, thoughtful, silly & sweet. The most magical person that we were all so blessed to know, hear & see.’
Griff went on to describe Pierce as ‘an expert at absolutely anything he set his mind to’ and marveled over his ‘incredible ability to retain knowledge unlike anyone’ else in the world.
‘The only word that truly can describe his abilities is genius,’ the late star’s sibling wrote. ‘He could captivate a room of strangers in the blink of an eye with only one hope – to make everyone feel loved, comfortable & welcomed.’
Griff added: ‘He traveled the globe for the better part of a decade doing what he loved & cemented powerful friendships with so many wonderful people along the way, accomplishing more in his career in music than most could dream to accomplish in a lifetime.’
‘He loved you all so much & wanted to give you everything he had; and he had so much to give,’ the grieving brother wrote, before noting that the past year has been ‘an incredibly difficult time for everyone.’”
Griff then encouraged people who are struggling to reach out for help, and shared that the family will be starting an organization in Fulton’s memory. Reports suggest Fulton died by suicide, but the family has not confirmed this information yet.
Fulton’s loss hit his community hard. Friends and colleagues took to social media to share their heartache at his passing. Per The Sun, “‘Rest in piece brother @PierceFulton. Your amazing talent and humble spirit will not be forgotten,’ fellow musician Don Diablo wrote.
… ‘I love you, man. I am lost for words. We will always remember you through the amazing music you’ve created. We Will keep playing it for everyone to hear. I promise,’ said DJ 3LAU in a statement.
‘I’m so shocked and legitimately heart broken. His song Yesterday helped me so much and gave me so many vibes when I was younger and my life was easier. I thank him for giving the world a taste of his talent,’ a fan said.
‘Rest in peace Pierce, your music inspired me to start my journey as an artist,’ another fan wrote.
‘he was one of my best friends, and truly like a brother to me, I don’t know what else to say on here.. RIP to someone truly special,’ said DJ Audien.”
While Fulton has heartbreakingly left his loved ones behind, his music lives on. The DJ’s music and legacy will forever remind people that there was once a talented little boy who dreamed in music, and he grew up to share his dreams with the world.