It’s official, the new Ushuaia is on fire! Fortunately not literally (unlike parts of London), but there’s nowhere that’s being more talked about in Ibiza right now than the brand new club cum hotel. Hosting huge outdoor parties with a capacity that stretches into the thousands, they’ve already got the likes of Luciano lining up to man their decks while the accompanying hotel boasts soundproofed suites with Pioneer CDJ 2000 decks with eight speakers and a subwoofer amongst their luxuries!
Who better to help kick off the party of than Danny Tenaglia who, fresh from mixing our 20th anniversary cover mount CD, arrives there on Friday 12th August to dazzle the tanned faces of the White Isle with a set of classics. Supporting him is promoter turned DJ and producer Nicole Moudaber, an island resident who understands exactly what music to drop in the summer sun.
We caught up with Danny and Nicole ahead of the event.
We last caught up with you in Miami. How has the rest of the year been so far since turning 50?
“So far my year has been fantastic. Took some time off for a few months and now I am feeling refreshed and excited for what the rest of the year has in store for me.”
This is your first visit to Ibiza this season. What does returning to the island mean to you? It’s definitely where you’ve had some formative experiences if we remember correctly.
“I have many, many fond memories of my experiences in Ibiza, my first trip there was certainly life-changing. Throughout the years the island, its people, and the clubs there have really been an inspiration to me in many ways. There is no other place like it in the world and after all this time I still look forward to every one of my events there.”
We’ve wondering if you know much about Ushuaia? We’ve only seen it from the outside but from the photos from its opening it seems like a club to match Space, which is directly opposite and where you used to be resident.
“I too have only seen it from the photos. My good friend Nicole Moudaber is the one who presented me with the idea of doing a house classics party there and she was very enthusiastic about the venue. From other sources I have also heard great things about it so I am very happy that this event will be taking place. It is going to be very special.”
You’re playing a house classics set and are well known for the time and effort you spend it making personal edits – do you have any secret weapons you can let us know about?
The CD you recorded for out 20th anniversary had lots of our favourites like Kim English’s ‘Nite Life’ and ‘The Ones’ Flawless.
“Well, the weapons would not be so secret if I told you about them... All I will say is that there are quite a few tricks up my sleeve in store for you guys. I have been digging deep into my record bin during the last couple of weeks. Get ready!”
You’re playing alongside Nicole. Can you tell us how you met and why you’re a fan of her sound?
“My friend Mitch Clark introduced me to Nicole years ago in Ibiza and we totally hit it off from the minute that we met. She has a great amount of energy and ambition and is truly passionate about music. She is a solid DJ and a very talented producer with a very bright future ahead of her.”
What does the rest of the year hold for you?“Aside from my upcoming gigs in Ibiza at Ushuaia on 12th August and Pacha on q7th August with Erick Morillo I have some other events scheduled around the world including Stereo in Montreal on 27th August, Electric Zoo Festival in NYC on 3rd Septamber and Rock In Rio Festival Brazil on 24th September. Who knows where else the rest of the year will take me. All I know is that I am very happy and thankful to still be doing this after all these years. It's a blessing.”
Can you tell those unfamiliar with you what your background is?
“Afro-Lebanese and British, previously a club promoter, now an artist enjoying my creative journey.”
You’re DJing alongside Danny but are also helping to promote the event, which I believe is how you first got involved in the dance music industry proper. What’s it like putting on an event at a venue like Ushuaia?
“Very exciting! My partner Sophie Mac and I make a great ‘plato-combinado’. We have put together a strong team and we work closely with Ushuaia, on a daily basis, putting the finishing touches to our event. The whole process has been very enjoyable so far and we're aiming to have an amazing party on 12th August. The anticipation is high, an adrenaline rush, and we can't wait for Danny to arrive with his team.”
Can you let those who haven’t been there into what it offers for clubbers?
“We have an amazing production in place for the show. Add Danny Tengalia to this equation and you get euphoria. Clubbers will be taken on a journey of sound and visuals set in a magical place - no one can resist that. You just have to come and see it for yourself.”
Danny is playing a classic house set. What can we expect from you in support of him?
“I will not be playing classic house, I will be on a house tip though. You won't hear any techno from me at that hour by a pool. Instead it’ll be loads of deep vocal house, which I love and don't get to play often, so I’m really looking forward to my deep sexy groove vibe at Ushuaia.
“My set will be live on Ibiza Sonica from 5PM Spanish time (GMT +1) for those who can't be with us on that day.”
You’ve been in the studio with Danny. Can you tell us when the fruition of that will come to light?
“Our track is titled ‘You're Freakin Me Out’. I wish I could say when it will be completed, probably when I convince Danny to put his vocals on it. When I was in the studio with him and he was on the keyboard jamming, he started singing on top of the track and a melody came out which freaked me out when I heard him come up with it. I jumped up and I said to him, ‘this needs to be ON the track Danny!’ He laughed and got even more inspired with it turning it into a proper DT vibe. For those who are familiar with his work, I tell you, if he puts on that vocal you will freak out too. “
How does the relationship work once you’re behind the mix desk?
“We bounce off each other, we get so excited when it works we dance like kids around his studio. He's such an inspiration, a true musical one.”
And what other productions do you have coming up?
“In August I have two remixes coming out on Monique Musique and Rockets & Ponies for Santos. I also have an EP coming soon on Intec as well as a remix of Carl Cox’s single Chemistry on Intec. I have releases on Drumcode coming soon too. I have been asked by Loco Dice to do an EP on Desolat planned for release in the fall.”
You’ve been a regular in Ibiza at Carl Cox’s night at Space. How important has his support been? And what other gigs do you have coming up this season?
“This year will be my third at Space with Carl. Carl is a brilliant DJ and an amazing A&R person, which I discovered when we met by chance in Barbados. We were there at the same time. We met on a beach with drinks, as you do, and were chatting about DJs, music, careers when I found out that he managed and helped break DJs like Josh WInk, Laurent Garnier, Christian Smith and the list goes on. So without him I wouldn't have reached the level I'm at right now. He basically took me by the hair and tossed me up in the air! The first time I got invited to play for him was at a little London gig he had on and from thereon he's been supporting my music and my art. So yeah, his support played a major part in my career.
“At the end of August, I'm playing in the UK and Rote Liebe in Cologne as part of my residency there. Then I will be at Electric Zoo in New York on 2nd September at the Carl Cox & friends stage with Loco Dice, Josh Wink, Nick Fanciulli and many more. I'm also playing in Brazil that month for Rock In Rio Festival. This event is so special, the last one they had was 10 years ago, the line-up is surreal. This will be followed by a South American tour. Things are heating up, it's an exciting time and I'm loving the ride!”