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Lauren Lane on protecting our oceans and thriving under pressure

The LA-based producer weighs in on clubbing with a conscience and Ibiza 2017.

Having previously occupied Ibiza for four seasons, Los Angeles-based DJ and producer Lauren Lane can make the distinction between Ibiza's summer months. She understands that August is one that hits the hardest with it seeing us slammed into the blistering, swarming pits of peak season.

However, when I met Lane face-to-face in Ushuaïa's green room mid-August after her fourth ANTS gig of 2017, she was buzzing to testify that despite everyone's energy often being “a bit off” throughout this month, ANTS had been one of her best dates of the season so far.

Up until this point, Lane's mixing deftness had also been exhibited at Hï Ibiza for Andrea Oliva's Club Room takeover and Thursdays' In The Dark residency, as well as at Amnesia for Music On, Destino with RUMORS and DC10 alongside the Paradise crew.

The objective of the above parties is, by and large, to get yourselves through those club room doors, locate a dance floor spot, sweat until you're soaked, bark at the beat, dent the credit card, accrue newfound raving buddies and leave feeling pretty damn contented.

That's all good and well; clubbers shouldn't be berated for seeking a breather from a planet on which the human race seems to possess a gleaming hard-on for our extinction. However, we should not completely ignore the grim messages sprouting from earth's soils or surfacing from the oceans, especially when clubs toss out an obscene amount of recyclable waste.

“Do we really need two plastic straws in our drinks? Not one, but two? Everyone could pitch in a little bit by making small changes, like switching from plastic straws to biodegradable ones."

Lane is switched onto creating awareness of these issues in nightlife, big time. In July, she played at Oceanic Global's first ever event on the White Isle. Held at ATZARO, it was a cultural, artistic and inspirational experience, with musicians, conservationists, institutions, NGOs and brands getting together to combine music and an ocean conservation message. “I'm passionate about this because we need to protect the planet, now more than ever,” she divulges, before adding: “The oceans are sacred to us and people really take this for granted. They are a source of light and a source beauty, and they're being neglected.”

In the spirit of protecting our oceans at Ocean Global festival

She isn't alone in this, as other artists who made an appearance at Oceanic Global's festival at Blue Marlin Ibiza were Solomun, BLOND:ISH and Valentin Huedo. Jamie Jones, Ida Engberg, Audiofly and wAFF are just a handful of other globally-renowned DJs who are taking aim at being environmentally conscious and proactively seeking ways we can promote sustainability.

It makes me really happy to see people standing up for the oceans over the last few years whether it be to protect marine life or saying no to oil drilling.” Big artists can use their profile to effect change, but it's ultimately down to us to us to make the swap – something Lane points out. “Do we really need two plastic straws in our drinks? Not one, but two? Everyone could pitch in a little bit by making small changes, like switching from plastic straws to biodegradable ones. I had a cup at the fundraiser that was made from corn. I learned so much from this party and when I see what's possible, I'm even more passionate about finding sustainable ways to facilitate our nightlife. I think clubs and DJs should be more proactive in pushing for ways we can be eco-friendlier. Never litter, recycle and get yourself in vintage threads – simple, but if we get more people doing these things, you'd see a big difference.”

Artists existing in an increasingly digitalised world with big-arse profiles are in a greater position to influence their fans and peers as to matters like the above. Lane is doing excellently in the profile stakes, with her registering 2016 as a breakthrough year for her in terms of bookings and releases, and a couple of months back she was voted Best Breakthrough DJ in DJ Mag's Best of North America Awards.

Timing is everything,” she comments. “I wouldn't have been a breakthrough artist if it had not been my time and I had not been ready. I think that it was playing at BPM Festival for the first time back in 2010 that allowed me to break out from my shell. Since then I've moved to LA, lived in Ibiza, and have played for more and more people at bigger venues. Through that, I've got a much broader perspective on my taste and understand that you can't play the same kind of music at every gig. So, I've evolved as a DJ, but I've always stayed true to myself.”

Rousing dance floors with RUMORS, Paradise, ANTS and In The Dark

We all have our own methods of working to excel in what we do, and Lane thrives when put under pressure. “I always say the deadline is the ultimate inspiration. I want the newest music I could possibly have and I'm constantly downloading music until the last moment: sitting there waiting for it to download right before I get to the driver. I really thrive on that type of energy because it creates adrenaline.”

Internationally, standout events that have triggered her adrenaline rush this year would be her first appearance at Glastonbury at the Lovebullets stage and elrow Town festival at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London. Here on Ibiza, that rush was obtained by a debut at Marco Carola's crowd-pulling residency Music On back in June.

Hitting it big with crowds at Music On

It was amazing. I was very honoured to be asked to play on the Terrace for the first time with Marco Carola. I was in Ibiza Town when I first saw the poster, and it was a total mindfuck seeing my name on there with Marco and Apollonia. I don't consider myself this huge artist, so this was a test for them and it was a test for their crowd.” As she's been going to Amnesia for years as a clubber and to Music On since the residency's first season, on a sound level she understands what works in that club. “I did wonder if I'd have an empty dance floor, but it was nice because it did fill up and people were willing to take a chance by coming in early to experience my music. The Music On family said there'd be more, so I'm looking forward to being part of that passionate team again in the future.”

For Lane, successful parties prosper if the team behind it is a passionate, close-knit group of individuals who connect as a family. With Guy Gerber of RUMORS and Jamie Jones of Paradise she's found households within Ibiza's dance music bubble. “I've known Jamie and Guy a long time. They've been mentors to me without trying to be and I look up to them. I thrive from their careers because I think they both have it figured out in different ways.”

By that she's referring to how Jones kicked off Paradise at DC10 when it was unthinkable that Wednesdays could boom as loudly as Circoloco on Mondays, and how Gerber launched RUMORS as a free entry daytime party at Beachouse Ibiza before relocating to Pacha's plush open-air resort, Destino. “Paradise is a monster of a brand and RUMORS was created out of nothing. The parties are very different, but I respect both artists because they've honed in on their crowd with their sound. They've also brought other artists on board and nurtured them – me included. With them, I've been able to show my diversity because I can do sunsets sets at Destino and the Main Room at DC10. I've always loved all types of music, so playing for these parties reminds myself of another part of my brain.”

Before Lane is whipped away, I manage to squeeze a little from her on what's coming up for the remainder of the year. “Summer is hard because it's all go, go, go. However, I have an upcoming released titled The Wake-Up Call - although I´m not sure on what label it'll be on. I also have a collaboration with Detlef and I'll soon start working on an LP.”

Once summer 2017 is dusted, she'll be benefitting from a little respite in LA. “It's a great place for me because it's so calm in LA and I don't go out. I am very healthy; it's all hiking and yoga. My mind clears, which allows me to be creative with no distractions, no restraints and no interference.”

You can catch Lauren Lane at ANTS' Closing Party later this month, and remember, go easy on that straw count.


PHOTOGRAPHY l Michael Tomlinson and Andres Iglesias

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