Ibiza’s new superstar DJ just enjoying making and playing his music…
Interview by DJ Fidel and Nicky Trax
Growing up in Ibiza must have been an amazing childhood, where did you hang out and what kind of things did you do?
I had the best childhood ever! We used to go to friends’ houses in the mountains to do barbeques, go to the beach and play tennis in the amazing Ibiza weather. I remember going to the waterpark next to Ushuaia called Aguamar which was lots of fun and also Aqualandia, which is closed now and was next to Destino – that was the best! I spent lots of Sundays as well going to discover hidden places and beaches with my family around the island. I think Ibiza is a super place to grow up on and one of the best places to spend your childhood.
When did you first realise that Ibiza was one of the leading clubbing destinations – and what was your first clubbing experience like for you?
I was born here so in a way I always knew where I came from and what we had on the island. My first club experience was in Amnesia when I was really young and my eldest brother got me in with him and it was an awesome experience!
What was it like working at Disco Delta vinyl store in Ibiza? Did you get lots of free promos and meet some wonderful DJ/Producers?
It was a really beautiful time for me. I used to call the record companies to listen to the promos and then order the ones I liked for the shop. I chose the records I thought were good for the DJs and music collectors who came in to buy music. DJs like Loco Dice, Villalobos, Sven Vath, Roger Sanchez…lots of DJs were going to Delta and the shop has a really big history on the island and with the DJs that play there. I met a lot of people from the age of only 15 as that’s when I started working at the Disco Delta record store. Every DJ wanted to buy records then as the mp3 was not so popular and everyone came in…it was part of getting ready for a big night.
What DJ/Producers inspired you growing up?
Moodyman, Kerri Chandler, Frankie Knuckles, Masters At Work, Marco Carola, Cajmere, Loco Dice, Luciano, Sven Vath and many others.
What record never leaves your record box?
The Masters At Work Dub of St Etienne’s ‘Only Love Can Break Your Heart’ – classic
We love your track “Smoking Weed” on the Oblack Label and how did you come up with such a banging tune?
I was working in the studio on a Sunday and did that track in less than 8 hours! When I finished it I knew it was already going to be a banger and I played it the next week at Pacha and it smashed the dance floor! From that night lots of DJs started asking for it after my manager Danny sent it to Pete Tong and he loved it and supported it on BBC Radio1 as one of the 5 hottest tracks of the week. Loco Dice was also a big fans of the track before it came out so all of this was huge pre release promo attention which was amazing. Finally we signed the track with Oblack on a only vinyl release with Italoboyz and Philip Bader Remixes and the feedback has been unreal and the vinyl is already sold out! I’m so happy about this.
What producers and record labels are doing it for you right now?
I think Andrea Oliva is producing really good music right now and his last release ‘Skream’ on Hot Since 82’s label was massive. I just received his next release on The Martinez Brother’s new label Cuttin Headz and it’s huge. Dale Howard is making great music as well and Samu.L is producing some of the best music I’ve received this year. Apollonia and Djulz (Bassculture) for me have the best record labels on the underground scene right now and I love everything they send!! Awesome music.
You are playing Hollywood Forever at Egg London this Halloween, what can people expect from you on the night?
I’ve played at Egg London 3 times now and it’s my favourite venue in the world. Last time I played on NYE with Guti, Nick Curly and Tobi Neuman which was unreal. I’m really excited to be playing on their Halloween night and looking forward to catching up with all the other artists. You can expect some rare grooves and exclusive music all night long from me. I’ve just finished my Ibiza season with more than 30 shows so I’m more than ready to smash it in London! It’s gonna be lot of fun!!
Do you have a favourite club that you like playing in and why?
I am playing in so many amazing clubs around the world at the moment so it’s a bit of a difficult question, but here are 3 of my favourites…
1 Kristal Glam Club in Romania is my favorite all time club. I play there every year and trust me the vibe is just next level. Playing 119bpm for more than 3k people and the best crowd – WOW. The guys are doing an incredible job in the club and Kristal is the number 1 club in Romania. They are also behind the Sunwaves Festival.
2. I played my debut set at Ants in Ushuaia this summer and It was one of the best gigs of my life!! The atmosphere and energy is incredible, playing in Ibiza in the day time in an incredible club like Ushuaia for an open air crowd..what else you could ask for!!? One of my faves without a doubt.
3. Egg London. As I just said I love the energy of the venue and I remember my first ever gig there after my first time playing at the Eastern Electrics Festival. I did the After Party at Egg and played with Steve Lawler which was an awesome sold out event and I felt like I was in Ibiza!! Great energy and it was an unreal party. Since then I’ve played 3 other times at Egg London and it just gets better and better every time. I’ve played on the new Terrace with Popof for Famila and had the best time ever, playing for 3 hours and I didn’t wanted to come off the decks! I also love Egg’s hospitality and how they make you feel at the club…it makes for an amazing night all-round
What tracks are you working on at the moment?
I have so much music coming out! I just had a big release with Secondcity called ‘FUNKD’ + ‘Play It’, played for 6 weeks in a row by Radio 1 DJs Pete Tong, Annie Mac and Danny Howard. Also Marco Carola has been playing the music week in week out. I just finished a new Remix for the Grandfather of House, Chicago legend Marshall Jefferson’s new label which is coming out the 31st of October and I also have another remix coming on a package with Raffa FL. Plus a release on Hector’s imprint Vatos Locos label. There’s going to be so much more music on 2017 and I’m working around 8 hours a day in the studio right now and we have around 15 releases ready to come out in the next few months.
And before you leave us can you tell us what we should be listening to before we head out the door to Hollywood Forever?
I just did an exclusive mix for the legend that is Pete Tong on his After Hours Mix on BBC Radio1 last week! You can listen here http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04bbjt0
Manu Gonzalez headlines Halloween: Hollywood Forever alongside Gui Boratto Exclusive Live Show and L_Cio Live plus DJ Spen and Karizma on the Terrace at Egg London on Saturday October 29th. With the residents Kyle E, Ireen Amnes and The Willers Brothers in full swing also, all info at www.egglondon.co.uk