Addressing one of the most relevant questions for the industry – “how does one succeed in the music business both physically and mentally?” – this panel examined how to balance your physical and psychological well being whilst adhering to the expectations of an increasingly demanding industry.

Do you need to conform to your social media persona? Should you feel obliged to stick around for the after party? Does your rider really need to be loaded with enough alcohol to fill a fridge?

Amidst all the hype and the hedonism, the constant battle for establishing a healthy equilibrium between work and play is a challenge almost every artist can relate to and one that can’t be avoided if you want to maintain a successful and sustainable career in the electronic music industry.  During this panel artists and industry representatives discussed ways of training your brain to stay present, to deal with psychological stress and how not to burn out when on the road touring.

“If you think of yourself as an ecosystem, with physical, psychological and emotional needs, the question you really need to ask yourself is what do I really need to be at my best.” Rachel Turner (Achieve Unlimited, Business Psychologist & Performance Coach, UK)

Diversity remains a key issue for IMS, this year Smirnoff Sound Collective joined forces with SheSaid.So to discuss issues of gender disparity in the industry and find ways to balance the ratio of female representation in electronic music. Global DJ headliners are only 17% female.  How can this figure be improved upon without tokenism?

Changing the mindset of music fans and music executives alike is key to progressing to a more gender balanced future, with French producer Miss Kittin calling on men to step up and share the work at home so that women too can concentrate on their careers.

“I run Mobilee Records with Anja Schneider, and from the beginning we were always looking for and supporting female talents. It is part of our DNA. But I would say from the 50 to 60 demos we receive each week, I don’t remember the last time we received a demo from a woman.” Ralf Kollman (Mobilee, Co-Founder, Germany)

The digital domain is an ecosystem that connects numerous sub-ecosystems: online communities of end-users, developers, suppliers, distributors and many more. They use each other’s strengths; complement and boost one another in order to jointly create value for end users. This is the basis of the digital economy of which the dance industry is an integral part.

Opening his keynote with the powerful statement “If you believe you are in the music industry, you are wrong. We are in the tech industry”, author and blogger Denis Doeland examined the importance of thinking differently to meet the challenges of a digitally driven world, a world in which the artist/fan relationship is the lifeline of any business, attention is the new currency and data is the new gold. 

“As an artist you have to maintain your network every day, every hour, every minute, every second, you can’t do this manually.”

Doeland outlined his vision of a completely automated industry where contextual data, bots and blockchain are the key drivers of audience and therefore revenue growth.

You can listen to the full Keynote here and also read the full report here

Watch the full talk on the IMS College Facebook here

“When I got to 50, I sat and thought what is my heart saying to me? I just want to make people happy with my DJ’ing. This is what I love the most.”

With a career spanning over 30 years, “Papa” Sven Väth is one of the most loved and respected DJs in the world. The curator and founder of Cocoon bought his vast knowledge and experience to an eager-to-learn crowd of music students during an intimate keynote in Malta, before giving a storming headline set later than evening. He discussed his journey in the music industry, the first time he came to Ibiza and his relationship with vinyl and turntables.  

“It’s very simple. It’s just my instrument, two turntables and a mixer. I’ve worked for 37 years now as a DJ and I’ve never seen a reason to change my style”.

The state and health of the underground scene and how to nurture it in a region where EDM dominates was a key talking point in Shanghai on day one of IMS Asia-Pacific in the panel, ‘Nature vs Nurture’. 

“How do you define underground in China? Anything that’s not in the charts or played on radio. Even mainstream sounding electronic music if it’s not in the charts is considered underground.“ – Tom Bray (YETI OUT, Co-Founder, China) 

Key players from the local scene discussed and collectively created a ‘Ten Point Plan’ on the stage to help unlock the eco-system and break through new talent, with key actions including ‘think local, book local’, foster discovery, encourage entrepreneurialism and the promotion of electronic music as an art form.

‘We’re throwing warehouses parties. We want people to come in there and sweat. We welcome VIPs of course, but we’re certainly not gearing the club for VIPs. Privilege is for dancers. You come there, you come to dance and sweat.’

Dave Browning (Game Over Ibiza, Director, Ireland)

When you invite leading figureheads from Ibiza’s super clubs to debate their contribution to Ibiza music culture, it’s inevitable that there will be some conflicting and contrasting opinions. Throw in Seth Troxler and you’re sure to get a truly passionate discussion! 

The closure of the iconic Space after 27 years and the opening of its replacement Hï Ibiza featured heavily in the 2017 Ibiza debate. Whilst heralding a new era for the island the topic sparked significant debate on sustainability and the effect the ambition of the island and the rise of VIP culture is having on the working class of Ibiza

“By even lowering the standard of debate to say we acknowledge this as a possible valid point of view, then we are wasting our time and we are elevating a point of view that is meritless to a point that it should never even reach. The question isn’t if, it is what we are doing next” The Black Madonna talks about gender in balance in the music industry.


Mixmag’s DJ of the year 2016 gave a fascinating and engaging keynote during day one of IMS Ibiza, using her wit and wisdom to underline her belief that equality in all it’s forms, not just gender, needs to be addressed in electronic music. 


To a full crowd, The Black Madonna covered her musical influences, crack house laws in America that threatened rave parties and discussed a subject close to her heart, the inequalities within the electronic music world.

 Secure your place at IMS Ibiza 2018 –

The Martinez Brothers, two young men from the Bronx raised on their father’s love of the Paradise Garage and road-tested worldwide before they even left high school, have emerged as leaders in the global house music scene. In a revealing keynote hosted by Pete Tong, the brothers discussed their early influences and future goals. From their first DJ gig at the legendary nightclub Shelter to being tapped as Circoloco residents and now being propelled into the forefront of electronic music.

“The power of persistence, I would have never thought I would be up here, let alone playing back to back with Masters at Work, my heroes!” – Chris Martinez

 The end result: an inspiring insight into their journey, paying homage to their past and inspiring positivity for the next generation.

Secure your place at IMS Ibiza 2018 here