Rising star DJ/producer of 2021: “John Summit.”
The re-emergence of Plastik Funk – aka Spanish DJ, Rafael Ximenez-Carrillo – from lockdown has been a particularly triumphant one. He was the first musician granted a travel visa to Vietnam after restrictions ended, though it’s hardly surprising, as Plastik Funk’s party-ready house sound is arguably custom-made to celebrate surviving a pandemic. “I was touring and played around 60 shows this year already which feels great,” says the relentlessly positive DJ, “and we are working on my tours for 2022.” He also launched a new merch line and his own charity coffee brand.
As a producer too, Plastik Funk continues to move from strength to strength, having spent much of his lockdown hard at work in his studio. “I was producing a lot of new music and tried to work more and more on my signature sound,” explains Ximenez-Carrillo.
How was your first gig back after lockdown?
“Absolutely crazy! I was the first international DJ to be granted access to tour in Vietnam post-Covid, so this involved a 14-day hotel quarantine. The first party I played after lockdown and quarantine was also my birthday — one of the best nights ever!”
How have the last 18 months changed how you view your work/life balance?
“I got a bit more patient and I definitely appreciate every show and tour more than before. It also showed me a way to have a better balance than before Covid hit.”
What further steps should the industry take to combat climate change?
“Carbon emissions can be reduced, especially across places like Europe where it is so easy to drive or take other means of travel. I think one of the main problems we have at festivals and clubs also is the sheer amount of trash, plastic and non-recyclable materials.”
What’s the best bit of tech you’ve added to your studio or DJ setup this year?
“I’m in love with the Pioneer CDJ-3000, a must-have piece of kit!”
What’s the best album you’ve heard this year?
“The Weeknd ‘Greatest Hits’.”