The Natural Selection of Nightlife in Ibiza feat. Andy Dean (Emerging Ibiza), David Vincent (Sankeys), Seth Troxler (Artist), Steve Hulme (Pacha), Yann Pissenem (Ushuaia / Hard Rock Ibiza) and moderated by Grego O’Halloran (Ibiza Spotlight).
The topic of exclusivity appeared time and time again as the gentlemen looked back at the 2013 season and discussed an over-saturation of particular artists across the island. David Vincent asserted that promoters were attempting to make as much money, spreading DJs across multiple clubs. Seth Troxler noted that Cocoon used to have a hold on artists but now each headliner has his own party/event, which means big names are needed to fill out the clubs. He goes on to mention that clubs need unique content, but when not possible, they need to collaborate
“For me it’s about sharing,” said Andy Dean. “The talent needs to be shared. It’s important the new talent gets a platform to be heard.”
Seth Troxler believes there is an over-saturation of underground tech house parties with too many to sustain the number of clubbers. He feels there used to be a broader taste of music and it’s become financially harder for everyone involved with acts/promoters working against each other.
KEYNOTE INTERVIEW: SETH TROXLER (ARTIST)
Interviewed by Pete Tong (BBC Radio 1)
Seth Troxler stepped down from the panel to sit with Pete Tong to discuss his new / past projects and take on the current state of electronic music.
With regards to Visionquest: “Still going, but it got to a point where there were four people with four different paths and ideas. I began to feel guilty for getting credit for the label – it became an uneasy situation… I’m still part of the group, but best to step back and allow them to grow as artists.”
Seth went on to mention that it’s “impossible to become a DJ without releases, a DJ’s music is a global calling card, become considered on the same level as other artists on labels that release you. Creating music is linked to success – have to make music to break through.
He then elaborated on his piece with Thump talking about EDM and festivals, but noted that he respects artists like Skrillex and David Guetta but feels a lot of EDM DJs are low and don’t have that same respect. He praises events like Timewarp, Tomorrowland, and Movement but doesn’t feel so highly about the EDCs and Ultras of today.
KEYNOTE INTERVIEW: Steffen Charles (TimeWarp Festival / Cosmopop, Founder)
Interviewed by Ben Turner (Graphite / IMS Partner)
Steffen began telling the history of starting Timewarp (festival & club night) and how it originated with a family feel. On the inevitable politics: “If everyone is fighting with each other, no one moves forward.”
He mentions it’s difficult to get big sponsors in Germany because the media are obsessed with drug use. “If they talk about dance music they always talk about drugs. The only place that’s different is Berlin where it is such a huge income for the city.”
“You don’t make millions every year, but if we just stay with what we’re doing, artists can clearly decide between ‘I’ll go there for my friends, it’s fun, and reputation’ and then ‘I’ll go over there for the money. It’s about finding the right balance. It’s perfect. Without underground you can’t develop the artists for the bigger festivals.”
KEYNOTE INTERVIEW: PAUL MCGUINNESS (PRINCIPLE MANAGEMENT / MANAGER, U2)
Interviewed by Pete Tong (BBC Radio 1 / IMS)
Paul McGuiness began by mentioning that the key to success is finding the right artist. “I managed U2 when they were 17 and took 2 years to get a record deal. Part of the reason it took so long to get a deal was that they couldn’t play. Finally we were signed by the only label that would take us, Island.”
An interesting anecdote from Paul: “In 2005, we partnered with Apple who were running very stylish ads for iPod. We decided to be first to put our bespoke music into an ad. It was such a success in research, Apple ended up spending $30m around the world and was equivalent of a pop hit on radio. What was happening at same time as the ad was iTunes. This was the penicillin to save us from file sharing.”
Not holding anything back, “People have to get paid. It can’t be an amateur sport. There are a lot of vested interests (Google) who could do a lot more. They are biggest theft enabler. YouTube is different – it’s the future. But Google give you multiple opportunities to steal. We don’t take their promises to take things down seriously. It’s not past their ability to deal with that – they don’t want to.”
INDEPENDENT LABEL DEBATE: STATE OF INDEPENDENTS feat. Andy George (Moda Black, Partner), Eelko van Kooten (Spinnin Records, CEO), James Grant (Anjunabeats / Anjunadeep, Managing Director), Mark Brown (CR2 Records, Founder), Sophie Hall (MTA Records, Label Manager), Steffen Harning (Milk & Sugar Recordings, Founder) and moderated by Lloyd Starr (Beatport, COO)
There was a lot of debate around the pressure to evolve with the times, but are labels shooting themselves in the foot by offering too much free content to satisfy consumer expectations?
“It’s about evolution, not revolution – jumping back and forth on trends can hurt a label,” asserts Steffen Harning.
Andy George believes there is always room for lots of labels to co-exist, “just need to identify yourself differently,
Mark Brown advises young artists to “surround yourself with talent, work on social media yourself, bring something different to the table, and try to be different and original.
When asked how to measure success, Sophie Hall explains, “Success means longevity. It can vary wildly if you think about numbers, but if you think about longevity – that’s the important part.”
KEYNOTE INTERVIEW: ANNIE MAC (BBC RADIO 1)
Interviewed by Pete Tong (BBC Radio 1 / IMS Partner)
Annie Mac chatted with Pete Tong about her start and the state of dance music, but also about female DJs needing more shine.
“Ushuaia’s billboard has nine men with receding hairlines,” she joked. “We need more female role models, the more we have the more that will be spawned.”
She feels that Dubstep imploded in a massive way and isn’t too happy with the way it played out in America. She also went on to discuss the lifestyles of the megastar DJs of today.
“You have to be a nomad to be a DJ at that level,” she said. “Tiesto owns homes but lives in hotels, doesn’t have time to live in his homes.”
On EDM in America: “It’s a whole different world… kids who’ve grown up with EDM are getting into 20s and exploring labels like Dirty Bird and finding different artists (deeper stuff.
And her advice for women to make it in the music business: “Try not to use your boobs to get places, you won’t get respected.”
IMS ANTHEM 2014 – THE MAKING OF… Produced and deconstructed by Pretty Lights
Interviewed by Declan McGlynn (Point Blank)
Grammy-nominated Pretty Lights deconstructed the making of the 2014 IMS Anthem using Ableton – stay tuned for it’s release!
KEYNOTE INTERVIEW: SEYMOUR STEIN (WARNER BROS)
Interviewed by Pete Tong (BBC Radio 1 / IMS Partner)
On working with Madonna: “She wanted a deal more than I wanted it…believed in herself so much…the rest is history…i knew she’d make a score…no idea how big until the 4th single…there was no stopping her.”
He also noted that the most important person in Madonna’s career was not anyone but Madonna. “I realized that very soon…best I could do is get out of her way. Someone like Madonna doesn’t come along very often…give them all the freedom they need and more.”
Business today: “A lot harder to be in the record business, it’s easier on the live end (thriving). The artist is everything, most important is the song…simple to say…got to be prepared to be wrong more than your right.”
YOUNG GUNS NETWORK feat. Charlie Wedd (Eton Messy, Co-Founder), Halina Wielogorska (Boiler Room, Director of Legals & Business Affairs), Luke Hood (UKF, Founder), Moderated by Sam Wolfson (Noisey / Vice)
Luke Hood: “When UKF started, the radio wasn’t a convenient time to hear genres, people didn’t want to sit through 2hrs of radio to hear one track. Authenticity is vital”
If you think something won’t work for your audience, then be prepared to say no,” explained Charlie Wedd. “If you don’t think it fits, then don’t do it.”
Halina Wielogorska: “Boiler Room only has a 100 people audience, were doing too many events in one venue. We’re now trying to do sets in lots of different areas, got that visual vertical – need to use it.”
KEYNOTE INTERVIEW: ALFREDO (ARTIST)
Interviewed by Ben Turner (Graphite / IMS)
The Ibiza living legend Alfredo began by talking about how he arrived from Argentina in 1976. Not for music – but to find somewhere to live.
“Some friends sent me a letter telling me there was a paradise on this island. We’d been looking for a place like that. When we arrived we found friends, freedom, everyone friendly. People only knew first names. DJs were just called by their first name, hence Alfredo.”
“Someone offered me a job as a bartender,” he said. “They asked to help run the bar. I discovered turntables and loads of records. Loved music from a young age. I discovered mixing & making your own sound. That was the moment I knew I wanted to become a DJ.”
On Ibiza in the past: “It was very cosmopolitan. No English, French, Italian parties. People were from everywhere. Age was 18-50. Every color of the skin. To make them dance you have to tell them a story. I got a chance to create my sound”
“When UK people were a minority of dancefloor, this was the best times in Ibiza. Once they were majority, it lost it. I had to change my music policy. Couldn’t play as wide a variety.”
“DJs nowadays don’t have the chance I got and I feel sorry for them. To develop your music you need more than one hour to create an ambience, to feel the feedback of the people. But things change. I don’t think it’s the best.”