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Nic Fanciulli: Family Ties



Following some of their mind blowing b2b sets across the world and particularly during Ants at Ushuaia last season,  Nic Fanciulli and Joris Voorn have come together to present their La Familia concept.

The pair have brought together friends and artists of both their respective labels alongside hot new talent and Island favourites, to bring 7 exclusive dates to the impressive hotel venue. Artists include Matthias Tanzmann, DJ Ralph, Timo Mass, Second City, Iario Alicante, Ben Pearce and Stacey Pullen.

We took some time with Nic before he went on to the main stage for the opening date with Joris, to ask him about the concept behind it, his years in Ibiza and some of his favourite b2b sets.

What was the idea behind the concept for La Familia?

I played three b2b shows with Joris at Ants last year and it was a real platform for us to play together. At the end of the season we had a conversation with Yann and the Ushuaia crew and they asked us if we wanted to come and do something this year. I sat down with Joris and spoke back and forth and came up with La Familia. Basically the idea is to invite all our friends and keep house and techno fun, not too serious. People are here on holiday and want to listen to good music. We’re playing in Ibiza, not Berlin.

Do you think people have been taking themselves a bit too seriously in the house and techno scene?

You’ve got to think what are you in it for, the main thing is the music, the second thing is what goes on around it and how it feels. Luciano nailed it with his Cadenza crew at Ushuaia a few years ago and for me I thought that was a real fun concept. Even if you’re not in it for the music you come along because it just sounds fun and that’s what we’re trying to create. We’re not serious people, we just like good music.

Is that why you wanted Ushuaia as the venue to host La Familia? Is the return to daytime clubbing a good thing for Ibiza?

I want to play under the stars, which is what Ibiza was all about originally. At Space there used to be no roof on the terrace and it was fantastic. Now you have this epic room instead. By midnight at Ushuaia it is a great experience. When I played the opening this year it was the biggest opening they had ever had it was the biggest night on the Island that week so it just shows you that. There is a place for everything, but for me and Joris this is the perfect place.

What is it that you enjoy about playing b2b with Joris so much?

When playing with him I just subconsciously know the next record he’s going to play. As soon as he picks a track out I know what direction we’re going in and where we’re going. If Joris is on one I can just step away and let him go on for a while. The most important thing is friendship; you know what wavelength you are both on already. I know him inside out, I know the way he works and the main thing is we’re just having a good time. It’s always going to be good.

What has been your favourite b2b set you have played so far other than with Joris?

It would have to be with Carl Cox at the Revolution – Space last season. Just because it was with Carl! When you’re playing b2b with him you’re just grooving and he’ll pick up the microphone and the whole place goes bananas! Musically it’s a fair playing field but when it comes to him picking up the mic there’s no fucking chance!

If there was anyone else you could go b2b with who would it be?

Laurent Garnier, I played with him once and that was in my hometown of Maidstone. He’s one of my main influences alongside Lee Burridge and Francois K. They always used to start off with down tempo stuff, reggae and then move on to house and techno.

Do you enjoy switching things up a bit? Haven’t you played disco sets in the past with Carl Cox?

We sometimes play together at a really nice restaurant called The Swan in Maidstone, they have a beautiful garden at the back. We play funk and soul, house, disco, vinyl, anything goes. I have no boundaries when it comes to anything I play; I just want to play everything.

Would you ever go back to playing vinyl records in clubs with the current resurgence? What setup do you use currently?

No, I enjoyed vinyl at the time but I got sick of the record bags and then you got to the club and they would only have one needle, or crackle or on one turntable the tempo would be fucked. People like Sven Vath and Ricardo Villalobos do it really well, but it’s not for me anymore and at the time CDJs were introduced I was the first one to say I wouldn’t move on.

I now use Traktor, CDJs, X1 & F1 controller and I have every record I own. I love it because I can work on the plane and you’ve got all your records there.


What plans have you got with your own record label Saved? In recent months you’ve had quite a lot of upcoming artists but you’ve also featured some bigger, well established artists. Is there a thought process behind it or is it solely about the music?

The theory behind the label was that you can’t categorise what Saved is, if I play it I sign it, if I won’t then I don’t. That’s the thought process. It can be a deep house record anywhere to a techno record. Similarly it would be boring to just to play a set full of the same music.

The Saved 100 release took a year in the making and we’re lucky to have a mixture of really amazing artists on there. We released that and have now gone on to release music for new and upcoming artists and well respected ones.

Do you think you have remained at the top of your game for so long by varying your sound rather than just sticking to one specific genre?

You get phases in music; you can be propelled to superstar level because that is the popular sound at the time. I feel like I’ve only been around since yesterday and then I read a Mixmag Article from 2003 the other day! I’ve seen so many different phases of music and people jumping on bandwagons.

How has Ibiza changed for you over the years? Is it as good as it has always been?

I started off as a punter on the dance floor. People come here to lose themselves for 2 weeks; it’s always been the same. They work hard, save up and want to let their hair down. Clubs are changing, when they put the roof on Space I remember people saying “it’s over”, but now there is a new generation. Ushuaia could be the new Space to them.

People don’t like change. It’s no different to when I started coming here and the gods were Sasha and Digweed. It’s all about the sound at the time. Over the last 10 years I think this is the busiest year, everywhere you go it’s rammed.

Do you ever plan to take La Familia anywhere else across the world?

First we want to focus on these parties and do them as well as we can and then we can possibly look towards the future. If we went to London it would be amazing to do it in a film studio and really spend some time on the production and plan some really special events.

Finally, are you still working on your own artist album?

Well I just finished the Defected In The House album compilation which took 7 months. There’s over 20 records on each CD and I think it’s the best one I’ve done, it was worth the stress eventually. You wouldn’t want to be around me whilst I was doing it! With the artist album I’m 7 tracks in so I’m getting there.

Defected presents Nic Fanciulli In The House is out now and fans not heading out to Ibiza this summer can catch him at The Social Festival on September 14 at Kent’s Mote Park. Head to www.thesocialfestival.com for more information and tickets.

Words: Tom Warner


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