Tech-house poster boys Solardo had a bit of a crazy 2019. The centrepiece of it was undeniably their new residency at Hï Ibiza, BODYWORKS, alongside buddies CamelPhat and Aussie troubadour FISHER. “We played 12 consecutive Tuesdays there throughout the summer and couldn’t have wished for a better response,” Mark Solardo tells DJ Mag. “We had over 90,000 people through the doors in total, it was mental.”
They played quite a few big shows with northern buddies CamelPhat — including Ultra Miami and Nocturnal Wonderland in California. Then, the latter part of the year saw their ‘XTC’ track — recorded with Eli Brown — crack the UK charts, take over the radio airwaves, and be played by everybody from Carl Cox to Calvin Harris. Its old skool flava — big stabs, diva vocal — chimed sweetly with shifting dancefloor trends for the year, and bossed it for the boys at festivals — they played over 30 this year — from Creamfields to Glastonbury and beyond.
Do you submit your DJ setlists to the relevant royalties collecting society?
“100%. It's so important to do this every month as it maximises your earnings and helps others earn too by proving that you played their tunes! For anyone starting out, this is a good tip to get into the habit of early.”
What more can we do to combat the mental health crisis in our scene?
“Basic things like what to notice with someone who is struggling, and obvious things like picking up the phone and reaching out to say ‘Hello our-kid, how goes it?’ James suffers terribly from ADHD and as much fun and a joke as we love to have, sometimes the big wooden hook has to come out before it goes too far… sometimes it has gone too far. But full props to him, he’s found a system that’s manageable and we have enough good people around us to react when needed and when to let it go.”
Are you personally doing anything to improve the gender balance of line-ups?
“We always try and get an equal balance on any of our line-ups. We've had so many mint female DJs come and play our residencies in Ibiza and our own events such as Cassy, Heidi, Chelina Manuhutu, Black Girl / White Girl, Monki, Lauren Lane, Davina Moss and many more.”
What changes have you made this year to be more environmentally friendly?
Mark: “Whenever I buy anything, and the cashier asks if I wanna receipt, I say no I'm saving the trees. I also have a plastic straw I take everywhere that’s attached to my keyring, never know when ya gonna need it.”
What was your favourite toy when you were a kid?
“Optimus Prime Transformers.”
What’s your guilty pleasure?
“Extra hot king prawn tom yum soup. Sorts you right out.”