3:1 – My First Interviews
As the summer began to progress into peak season, the sun provided Ibiza with some of its highest temperatures, with the heat rising as high as 40 degrees. Beaches started filling up in the night time and it was almost near impossible to walk down the West End of a night time without bumping into some PR, drunken tourist or even the odd celebrity.
July was also the time I landed my first major interview with Data Transmission. I was reading my emails eating an all day breakfast at my regular by the Egg Island and I received an intriguing email from Grahame. Little did I know, I had been offered to interview Hardwell in person at Ushuaia. Who better to interview first than a certain magazine’s number one rated DJ in the world? Goosebumps shot up and down my spine and I screamed “YES!” as soon as I read the email. What an incredible opportunity. In repayment for guiding me towards the DataTransmission opportunity, I offered Isabelle Salter the chance to work on the interview with me. In the build to the I AM HARDWELL Opening Party, we prepared questions every night and the selected the best ones.
Finally, the day had arrived to interview one of the biggest names in EDM today – Hardwell. In true San Antonio style, I finished up my Boneless Banquet and raced down to the much more prestigious venue of Ushuaia to meet Isabelle. Having never been Ushuaia before, I got inside and headed to the green room. Having not previously step foot in the club , I had no idea where this was and was in fear of missing my ten minute time slot with the superstar DJ. After asking numerous bouncers, we were finally directed to it where we walked in to discover Hardwell. For me, the feeling was surreal. I had a media pass around my neck and was holding a recorder to the mouth of the biggest DJ on the planet whereas three months prior to this, I was scanning meat and veg through a till at Sainsbury’s; how times change. I was literally like a boy in a toy store, I couldn’t contain my excitement and it was a real pleasure to interview Robert. He then put on a superb performance at the opening of I AM HARDWELL and it is a memory I shall treasure for many years to come. Just days later, an interview was set up for me with “Million Voices” hero Otto Knows. Another inspirational figure in music for me and he provided me with some really compelling answers.
3:2 – Living The Dream
Once I had attended and written up my first reviews and interviews, my summer in Ibiza continued to get better and better. I started to enjoy my summer even more than I already was. Instead of waltzing around San Antonio from Sunset Strip all the way around to the bay trying to sell tickets for a living, I was doing my dream job and getting paid for it – what more could you want in life?
Throughout the remainder of my summer, the events and interviews kept coming at me quick and fast. Just days after my Hardwell interview, I was hard at work again reviewing W.A.R at Ibiza Rocks. The show was headlined in astronomical fashion by Gorgon City and the clinical Hannah Wants. They had the audience two stepping to the beat all night and put on arguably the best W.A.R event of the summer up until then. It was pretty awesome seeing Hannah Wants live anyway because one, she was my favourite DJ and two, she was representing my home city of Birmingham.
The good times continued to roll. I was asked to revisit Mass Bass at Privilege to interview the ever interesting Borgore. Originally, I was supposed to interview the Israeli wizard on the decks prior to his set however he wanted time to prepare for his live performance so he requested that we do the interview after his set. Little did we know how unique this experience would turn out. We partied in the V.I.P area behind the DJ booth as Borgore took the show by storm. I then saw a few familiar faces moving around in the crowd heating the DJ set. They were none other than international superstars Skrillex and Steve Aoki. Both were unannounced guests for Borgore’s set and both took to the both with impressive style. Then following the set, we got took backstage where I could finally interview Borgore in his artist room. We started discussing how his set went and before we knew it, the surreal view of Steve Aoki walking into the room and sitting down next to me became a realisation. The Pacha resident appeared very enthusiastic about his music and very supportive of Borgore. I then interviewed Borgore before they all set off to Pacha to see David Guetta with Will Smith in attendance.
3:3 – Bora Bora Sundays, Space’s 25th and Housemate Dilemmas
Sundays… Considered a day of rest, no work and a traditional hangover recuperation time. However in Ibiza, this wasn’t the case. Over in San Antonio, the after parties from the night before would conclude in workers apartments or on the beach just prior to midday and the session would recommence over in Playa D’En Bossa just hours later. Ravers, workers and tourists alike would bombard the beach with cheap alcohol and begin partying at 4pm in the afternoon in the build up to Space or Sankeys. Some of my favourite Sundays have taken place at Bora Bora and some of my most hungover Mondays have followed this.
There was one Bora Bora Sunday however that I will regard higher than the majority and that was the night of Space’s 25th Anniversary. Since it’s formation in 1989, Space has created many fond memories for many of its visitors and with the line-up the super club had advertised, it looked like many more were to be made. Names such as, Erick Morillo, Annie Mac, Nina Kraviz, Tensnake, Skream, Route 94, Fat Boy Slim and R3HAB were all on the night’s bill ready to give Space its biggest and best birthday celebrations to date. This was an incredible experience for me in one of Ibiza’s most illustrious clubs with the back to back set of Skream and Route 94 being my pick of the bunch.
Having accumulated my first couple of interviews, the rest began to fall into place. My next assignment was to return to I AM HARDWELL at Ushuaia to interview not one but two DJs on the same night. These came in the forms of Dannic and Dyro – two super talented individuals who were very down to earth, genuine and friendly in their mannerisms. They were even better when performing at the open top venue and it was a pleasure to meet them.
My Ushuaia antics never ended there either. After another sensational outing at Bora Bora Beach on Sunday and a further rave around Jet Apartments, possibly some of the most luxurious hotels you can find on the island, we headed down to Ushuaia for the late opening party of EDM star Avicii. With a man flying around on a jet pack and fireworks exploding from the stage, it was pretty clear to see the Swedish superstar was in his element performing in front of thousands inside the Playa D’En Bossa favourite.
Despite living life in the fast lane all summer and having the time of our lives away from home, July was the end of the road for some workers. Our housemates were constantly moving in and out. Every week I’m sure I put up a room vacancy notice with various spaces available in our accommodation. We had friends leave because of arguments. We had friends leave because they simply wasn’t earning enough money to make the next rent and stay on the island and we had friends depart because they were extremely home sick.
This however opened a door for me in a sense because at the time, all the lads we were living with had run out of money and we’re back home in Birmingham and others had switched accommodation. Therefore at that time, I was the only male living with all girls. Bearing in mind these were all girls from different countries too – Italy, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Latvia and Hungary it often made for an unsusual social dynamic. We were very much in need of another male in the apartment. Step forward my best friend from my time in Ibiza, Ryan Shortland. Born in Wales and living in Birmingham, we hit it off from the off and in a sense, he felt like a younger brother to me. Definitely the perfect addition to the Ibiza household.
3:4 – Ticking All The Boxes
It was now half way through July and I had been every single super club Ibiza had to offer. From the incredible house scene Sankeys provided to the island’s biggest club, Privilege, I had done it all. That is except for one club – DC-10. I was determined to leave Ibiza no longer a DC10 virgin and there was no better night to take my DC10 virginity other than A Tribe In Paradise. A night hosted by everyone’s favourite valley boy turned techno shamen Jamie Jones who despite arriving with an enormous reputation certainly didn’t disappoint. The billing advertised the likes of some of my favourite artists – Patrick Topping, Hot Since 82, Maya Jane Coles and of course Jones himself, in what was a night to remember. Despite being quite cramped on the dance floor, I couldn’t fault any of the DJs that night and my first DC10 experience was by far one of my best memories of my time in Ibiza.
3:5 – The Dream Becomes Reality
All summer long, one of the main objectives I had in my mind from the very off set was to perform an interview with my favourite DJ, Hannah Wants. Being from Birmingham, I love to see my home town talent excel in whatever field of work they opt to engage in and the world of music was no different. I had watched Hannah several times in the past doing her thing at Rainbow in Digbeth and she stole the show on every occasion. I had then got the chance to watch her perform this summer in Ibiza and I was mesmerised by her work. When I found out I had an interviewed scheduled with her at Together at Amnesia, I was ecstatic.
As well as awaiting the interview, I was reviewing Together that very night. We had the pleasure of watching Andy C, Pendulum, Sander Van Doorn and headline residents Chase & Status work their craft. I enjoyed every single second of the night but none better than the concluding set of Hannah which we waited until 5am in the morning to enjoy. When I got to interview the Tamworth born star, I surprisingly kept my composure and remained calm and collected. Instead of hesitating and welling up like any over the top fan normally would, I remained composed and like to think remained professional in the interview. Hannah was a pleasure to talk to and with us both originating from the Midlands, we had quite a lot in common. The one thing I admired about her the most though was her passion for her work which inspired me to produce the very best I could in my work. Definitely a dream turned into a reality.
3:6 – Journalist Lifestyle
The opportunities didn’t stop there either. I covered further reviews in super clubs such as Sankeys, Booom and DC-10. Now firmly into the second half and the very peak of the summer season in Ibiza, I took these blessings graciously and enjoyed every second of them.
Reviewing nights at Sankeys allowed me to digest and enjoy the house products of Steve Lawler and Darius Syrossian. Steve Lawler’s VIVa Warriors night saw Ibiza’s most loyal “VIVa Warriors” pack out Sankey’s every Sunday. The Sunday I attended was no different and I was overjoyed to experience such talent as Sante, Detlef, Anek and Miguel Campbell – artists which I now regularly listen to on a daily basis. Then you have Wednesday nights at Sankeys – Tribal Sessions hosted by house genius Darius Syrossian. This was one of my more preferred nights on the White Isle this summer. Workers and tourists alike got he opportunity to get painted up in tribal paint and get lost in the paradise as Syrossian and his crew worked wonders on the decks all season long. I got to enjoy the craft and wizardry of Darius, Jozef K, Sidney Charles (who I was particularly impressed with) and Hector Couto to name a few that night and I revelled in every beat they dropped.
Defected In The House on Tuesdays at Booom was also another night that captured my musical my imagination. Now one of my favourite music labels today, the artists shooting through the ranks at Defected are producing some marvellous work, none more than the artists on show that particular night. On the billing that night, it read Pleasurekraft, Secondcity, MK and Sam Divine – what a line up to be reviewing and just to add to the pleasure, I had an interview scheduled in with Secondcity, it was perfect. I two stepped and danced away to every beat and loop dished out by all four impressive acts that night but was extra excited to interview one of the biggest acts of the summer in Secondcity. “I Wanna Feel” will forever remain in my memory as one of the songs of Ibiza 2014 and to get the chance to speak to the man behind that memory just created more memories. It was a wonderful experience to interview the Londoner and was by far one of my better interviews of the summer.
The fun didn’t stop there either. The 16th anniversary of Circoloco at DC10 was just around the corner and having only attended DC10 once all summer, this event seemed a must. The line-up had countless acts of interest on hand for me to check out – Seth Troxler, Tania Vulcano, Dyed Soundorom, Tale of Us and there was even a guest appearance from P Diddy during Vulcano’s set. This was insane night and definitely one of my better memories of Ibiza – a sure sweet 16 for DC10 and a sweet first for myself.
3:7 – Unique Experiences
Ibiza provided me with some of the most unique experiences I have ever had to date. I explored new beaches including Cala Bassa and Cala Gracio. They had the most beautiful water and scenery along with the finest sand I had ever seen unlike the local San Antonio beach I was use to glaring at through my beer goggles on the end of a night up the West End.
Whilst at Cala Gracio, I had the opportunity to go cliff jumping. This was something I had always wanted to do but had never done. Literally, I just ran and jumped without thinking about it otherwise I would’ve been there all day! Another interesting experience was the day I went crabbing with Liz.
To be continued!