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Rony Seikaly on DJing, Ibiza and doing his own thing

Rony Seikaly on DJing, Ibiza and doing his own thing

DJ Mag Ibiza catches up with the former NBA basketball player-turned-DJ about his love for the White Isle

Former NBA star Rony Seikaly released his debut album, ‘Moonwalk’, via his own Stride Records in May. 

Seikaly – who retired from professional basketball at the end of the 2000 season and has spent the past few decades building a reputation as a house producer and DJ – started producing 'Moonwalk' during lockdown, which gave him "the opportunity to have time to dedicate myself completely to music".

He says that making the album was his way "of travelling beyond the four walls of the studio to a world where only music mattered, and - being in a global lockdown - to be able to create alternate worlds of freedom, cheer up the soul through a nice, driving groove and create melodies to enliven the heart... 'Moonwalk' is a very personal way of saying that music is the best way to nurture the soul".

In addition to the LP's original tracks, a series of 'Moonwalk' remixes are set to follow with Matthias Tanzmann, Paco Osuna, Audiojack and Harry Romero and other contributors tapped for the project.

His relationship with Ibiza goes back years, and ahead of a string of dates there this summer, he recently caught up with DJ Mag Ibiza to talk about his history with DJing, the White Isle, and doing his own thing. 

When did you start DJing?

“I started DJing when I was fourteen years old. I turned my parents’ garage into a little DJ set-up playing for my friends, it was always in my blood. Later on, I was told that I had a different style of music and that I should go and play out. At the time I was doing it because I love music, not for the fame and all that comes with it, and that’s how I still am about it. Rony Style was a name that was starting to get used around the type of music that I was playing, it was my own sound.”

Do you remember your first trip to Ibiza?

“I came to Ibiza for the first time in 1988. I’ve been a student of the game since the ‘80s, I am not a newbie by any chance. People didn’t realise I knew about music just because I was a basketball player; I’ve been in the trenches way before a lot of these kids were born. I went to Pacha, Manumission or the usual stuff back in the day. I took Puff Daddy to for the first time to Circoloco.

“My first gig was in Amnesia in 2007 on the main Terrace — I headlined that. I’ve played at Pacha, all these great venues, I do this as I love doing it, I am not looking to be in the Top 100 DJs, I’m just doing my thing.”

Where will you be playing this summer?

“This summer I have a few gigs on the island. I will be playing DC-10 for Circoloco and with the Bedouin boys at Pacha."

What are some of your Ibiza standout moments?

“One of my best moments I think was Pacha back in 2002/2003 — that was a party! People would go in and leave with a smile, everyone was dancing, it was a party with great energy — the next time I felt something like that was at the peak of Music On. That vibe was really going on at Music On when Marco created that party. Since then, Circoloco has moved into that slot and taken the vibe of the island.”

How important is it for new DJs to the island to understand the history and culture of Ibiza?

“I think it is like being a politician and not wanting to learn about history — you can’t just think the world started when you just started to play music. You have people who have paved the road so that everybody who is a DJ today can play at these great parties. Other people laid the foundations, those guys can’t be forgotten.”

What are the essential things anyone coming to Ibiza should do?

“Dance to some amazing music, rest, get your rest and eat some good food, and there is plenty of amazing food here in Ibiza."

What are your favourite Ibiza restaurants?

“Es Torrent, the Fish Shack, Balafia are my go-to places. I like that kind of local island home feeling.”

Tell us a secret about Ibiza that nobody else knows?

“I can tell you one thing, what used to be an Ibiza secret is now on Instagram — there’s no more secrets, man. Now there are mobile phones, those little hidden spots that were known to the few are now up on Instagram. Those type of secrets are long gone.”

This feature was originally printed in DJ Mag Ibiza's June 2022 edition