A one-time staffer behind the desk at Phonica, an esteemed selector and a celebrated radio presenter at BBC Radio 1, Heidi is the sort of woman whose electronic music CV stands up there with the very best. A native of Windsor, Ontario, she moved to London full-time in 2000 — and has barely had a minute to look back since.
As well as all her aforementioned qualities, Heidi is also the lady behind the always-crazy Jackathon nights, a series of parties that celebrate the more discerning side of the house and techno sphere. We checked in with her just before the Do Not Sleep Opening Party at Privilege, where she’s playing alongside one of her own musical heroes, Cajual label boss, Cajmere. Here’s what she had to say…
How would you best describe your relationship with Ibiza?
“It depends on what part of the season it is. Usually I come in all guns blazing at the beginning and by the end of the season (like most DJs after a crazy summer of festivals and midweek Ibiza gigs), we all tend to look like drowned rats. The sun and seafood always help if you can drag your hungover ass out of bed to see some of it though. I love it here — especially if you're with the right people at the right time and in the right setting.”
Did you have any misconceptions of the place before you came?
“I first came in 2005 to play for Get Physical Records at a now-defunct club called Penelope. I was with my two dearest friends and it was actually that weekend that they convinced me to try DJing as a proper career. Great memories!
But all I knew about Ibiza before I came was what written about it in certain DJ magazines. I came just at the right time, when the music started to change and it was less handbag house and more underground stuff like Sven, Luciano, Ricardo and Richie and also guys like Damian Lazarus and Jamie Jones. It obviously took some time but now that sound and vibe is everywhere and has totally triumphed, which is great to see.”
As an emerging DJ, was Ibiza always somewhere you aspired to get to?
“Like most things in my life it happened organically. I didn't plan on it. Opportunities presented themselves and I'm super impulsive so I jumped in head first. I guess I made a good judgement call, but lots of hard work was involved.
Don't get me wrong, this job didn't fall into my lap. I had to really earn the respect of my peers and colleagues over the past 10 years. It wasn't easy. It still isn't sometimes but I'm a very happy woman.”
So what’s the craziest thing you’ve seen here?
“I can't share that with you I’m afraid! My eyes can't un-see what it was but trust me when I say you don't want to know [laughs].”
And what’s been your most momentous Ibiza gig over the years?
“Hard to say. They all have something extra special about them. I'm always surrounded with other amazing DJs and producer friends, and the music is what keeps the island alive. I will say one thing though — the Terrace in Space is really one of my favourite places to be.”
Do you remember your last magical Ibiza moment outside of the clubs?
“Usually by the end of the night outside of the club, it's sunny and I'm very pissed on Hierbas. I guess you could call that magical!”
How are things going with your Jackathon parties?
“Things are great, but they have changed a bit over the years as everyone’s started a record label and are doing their own parties. It’s become harder to book certain acts, but I'm still bringing all the genres together and plucking people from their crews and curating some amazing line-ups.
I'm doing less than usual because I'm touring so much, but I have a big one coming up at Sonar with Carl Craig, Derrick Carter, Tom Trago, Kim Ann Foxman and Krankbrother. I have just finally hired someone to help me so we are plotting and cultivating some serious plans for 2016.”
Can you tell us a bit about your plans for the Ibiza season ahead? And what are you looking forward to?
“I'm basically playing everywhere for everyone. I like to bounce around and keep it fresh. It's nice because all the crowds are always different for each night. I'm also doing the Terrace mix for Enter at Space. It’s my first Ibiza mix compilation since 2006, so I’m major excited for that. One thing I always look forward to in Ibiza is anyone who can make me laugh a lot. And there are usually a lot of them in Ibiza!”