As I return from Ibiza and the first of several trips this summer, I present you with this….
I’ve relaunched the ‘AtalaiA Music presents Chapters’ podcast with new artwork and 2 special episodes to celebrate the tracks that have meant the most to me. The selections are mainly Ibiza focused as I’ve spent the majority of my time there - 16 summers and counting plus a couple of winters.
The start of my career, in Newcastle, seems like another lifetime. I played at nearly every venue from Buffalo Joe's to Perdu to Tokyo to Julie's to Chase to Digital with every genre of music and learned what it was to be competitive in the local scene. I would say yes to any paid gig just to get by at the time! I’ve been in situations that most DJs today probably couldn’t imagine! I’ve had drinks thrown directly at me, mixed on mini disc players (and other extinct equipment), battled alongside the bouncers and fully experienced the party people of the north east. Those 5 years did me a lot of good and made me tremendously resilient. They also taught me how to transition between many genres and tempos which pays off directly before, during and after sunset at Mambo Ibiza and before or after whoever the guest DJ may be (DJ EZ, MK, Roger Sanchez….)
Hustling for DJ gigs in Ibiza was character building for a Geordie who wanted nothing more than to play music in the sunshine at that time. I was always to be seen with my bag of records and massive CD wallets and I remember telling legendary Mambo resident and mate Pete Gooding that I was doing 21 gigs a week at one point (mostly 3-5 hour sets across beach bars and late bars in case you’re wondering how). I don’t think I even drank alcohol during my first couple of summers in Ibiza and many of you may know that I’ve never taken any type of drug although I’m all for drugs and experimentation. Call it foresight but I just made the decision early on in life to stay clear as I figured it would probably consume me at some point. I also figured the music scene would become my life’s work and I was right about that.
From my first gig at the Bay Bar to residencies with Bora Bora, Savannah and Mambo, sets at gems like Base Bar, Es Vive, La Torre and Sands, doing the first Mambo tour in Bahrain, setting up Mambo Radio online, playing the Radio 1 stage and Hi club, and countless gigs with Fatboy Slim, Pete Tong, Boy George, Masters at Work, Sonique, Chicane, Sneak, Todd Terry, Armand Van Helden, Guetta and Swedish House Mafia to name a few, Ibiza has changed my life for the better. The little island set me on the path to my job at BBC Radio 1 and all the other great things that have happened since moving to London.
Take note. Resident DJs are by far the best DJs I’ve played with so please support them and show love as they are absolutely integral to the scene and many of them deserve so much more.
If you'd like DJ advice on anything related to the above feel free to get in touch via my social links at www.atalaiamusic.com
Hope to see you in Ibiza this summer.
Enjoy part 1 with my thanks and appreciation as always. Part 2 next week.