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Ibiza 2019 in retrospect | What the DJs had to say

We spoke to winners and nominees at the DJ Awards.

Ibiza 2019 is sadly over. The first in a series of retrospective features sees us interviewing the stars of the show at the glitzy annual DJ Awards bash in Marina Botafoch.

Roll out the red carpet. Back in September the 22nd edition of the DJ Awards hailed Plastic No More. In addition to dishing out awards, the event aimed to spread awareness of plastic misuse and encourage sustainable, eco-friendly initiatives within the industry.

We sent our trio of reporters to mingle with the stars first at OD Ocean Drive's press reception and later at HEART Ibiza's award ceremony itself.

Our Charlie's Angels - Hannah, Sasha & Jo (left to right) - armed with mics and glasses of bubbly

The clubbing interns were charged with tracking down DJs and getting their invaluable insight into the season that was. Here's what the winners and nominees had to say about summer 2019.

Kerri Chandler

House DJ | Winner

Key Ibiza 2019 event appearances:
Circoloco opening party | DC-10 | Monday 20 May
Pure Pacha | Pacha | Saturday 14 September
ABODE closing party | Amnesia | Thursday 26 September

How important are the DJ awards to the industry?

I'd say very. I think that promoters look at all the names nominated and who won and they see who they should be booking to headline their parties for the next year. For me, that's very important, especially at this stage in my career.

I've been at it for a very very long time and this is something that makes people in the industry understand what's relevant.”

What's been your track of the summer?

You know, I hate to say the same track, as I've been playing it forever. And if I don't play it, I get in trouble! But it's the new version of System. For me, it's the track I have to play. If I don't, I reckon I could get booed or something.” (laughs)

You're widely regarded as a legendary face within the scene. Are there any current DJs that stand out to you as being potential legends of the future?

Oh, wow. I know a lot of people, but off the top of my head the first one that comes to mind has got to be Wheats. Voyeur too, I love Voyeur. Hugo for sure and Paul Cut. Paul is a genius.

Theo Kottis as well, he's one to watch. I think that's my list for now, but I could go on forever.”

Thank you, Kerri. Not only an industry figurehead, but a gentleman. A week and a half removed from the DJ Awards, we would get the pleasure of catching him captivate a whole new generation of house heads on Amnesia's terrace at ABODE's closing party.

Fusing new school kicks with old school mentality, it's clear why Chandler has defied the years and remained relevant in an ever-changing landscape.

On the night, we heard him play fresh music from the likes of Reelow, Josh Butler and his own pick Wheats, alongside established producers such as Todd Terry, Basement Jaxx and more.

We're sure that Kerri Chandler will be back on Ibiza in 2020. Here's to more special appearances, like this one.

Michael Bibi

Tech House DJ | Winner

Key Ibiza 2019 appearances:
Solid Grooves | Privilege | 8 appearances
elrow | Ushuaia | Wednesday 21 August
Pyramid | Amnesia | Monday 12 August

How does it feel to be nominated?

It's nice. It's an affirmation of the work you've done. A lot of time, you don't really know how your work is received. For me, it's something that tells me I'm doing a good job and inspires me to keep going.”

What is your track of the summer?

Ooooooooh, Carloh - Back To House!”

Now the track is finally out, released this past Friday 18 October via Solid Grooves.

What's been your favourite event on Ibiza this summer?

Solid Grooves at Privilege, of course. I started the party seven years ago. I didn't just want to create a label, but a family. For us, it's about a whole lot more than just the music.

Obviously, the music we make is the most important thing, but it's also about the friendships and the people we connect with. I think that translates to everybody on the dance floor. They can tell our business is a family affair.”

Michael Bibi would later collect the award for Tech House DJ, much to the delight of many in attendance. The people's choice, it would appear. Just six day later, Bibi would be celebrating again as Solid Grooves brought the curtain down on a marvelled season.

Conducting a back-to-back-to-back that also involved PAWSA and Dennis Cruz, Stacey Pullen was the surprise guest in typically mobbed out scenes. His Ibiza season may have ended, but Bibi was not prepared to stop any momentum.

His next ambitious project, known as Isolate, launched in London, while Halloween sees Solid Grooves head to Turin for Movement Torino Festival. The DJ/producer finishes the year by headlining Tobacco Dock in his hometown with Horizon.

Enrico Sangiuliano

Techno DJ | Nominee

Key Ibiza 2019 appearances:
Amnesia Opening Party | Amnesia | Saturday 11 May
Drumcode | Privilege | Tuesday 6 August
RESISTANCE | Privilege | Tuesday 13 August

How does it feel to be nominated?

It felt really good, because it feels like you're on the right track - especially since this is the second time. It's always a good sign, because it says everything is running well.”

What is your track of the summer?

My own tracks always work well at clubs and festivals, of course. But I was to pick a different artist, I would say Chrome by Layton Giordani.”

Enrico Sangiuliano keeps things in-house, and plumps for another Drumcode protege.

What's been your favourite party this summer?

That's a hard question, as each party has many people with different reasons for being there. There were many, many standout shows this summer. It wasn't on Ibiza, but Creamfields was great. It was my first time and I was really impressed by the energy. Incredible.

Whose been the biggest influence in your career?

Adam Beyer for sure. I've followed him forever. I remember the first time I saw him. It was 2003 and his first show in Italy. It was 2015 when we properly connected on a personal level, so it took 12 years. It just came naturally. You could say that he's my mentor.

Though he would ultimately miss out on the award for Techno DJ for the second consecutive year, Enrico Sangiuliano did not walk away empty handed. The Italian thoroughbred was recognised for his producing prowess, as he received the industry award for Producer.

No doubt his 2018 album Biomorph, of which many of the tracks are still doing the business on the dance floor, weighed strongly in his favour.

Where Ibiza is concerned, Enrico's stock rose to new levels as he played a handful of times for RESISTANCE and twice at Amnesia, including the venue's massive opening party.

Roger Sanchez

House DJ | Nominee

Key Ibiza 2019 appearances:
Glitterbox | Hï Ibiza | 8 appearances
Defected | Eden | Friday 16 August

What does it mean to be nominated again in 2019?

For me it means a recognition by the people of Ibiza, that I've connected with them for yet another year. Which is great, to continue our journey. That's what's great to me.”

What has been your track of the summer?

That's an interesting one. I think, for me, it's been a track by the S Men, which is myself, DJ Sneak and Junior Sanchez, called Evolution.”

What's been your favourite event this summer on Ibiza?

Glitterbox has been my favourite one this year. It's so much fun there, I love it.”

You've been DJing here on Ibiza for a long time, how do you interpret the changes in that time?

I think what's happened is, there's been some transitions with the venues and there's new blood that's come in. You know, Ibiza's had an influx of new parties from Claptone and Solid Grooves.

House has kind of come back around and regained some lost ground, whereas a few years ago, things were a little bit different. So I kind of feel like there's a soul that's coming back again in the music scene here.”

Always great to hear from the legendary Roger Sanchez. We're sure the S-Man will be back in Ibiza 2020.


Deep House DJ | Nominees

Key Ibiza 2019 appearances:
Magdalena presents Shadows | Cova Santa | Friday 19 June
Bedouin present Saga | HEART Ibiza | Sunday 18 August
Black Coffee | Hï Ibiza | Saturday 24 August

What does it mean to you guys to be nominated at this year's DJ Awards?

Luca (LS): “It's a great honour, of course. It's something that we honestly didn't expect.

We had a great summer, even from the beginning of the year we felt we were in the right place this year, so to be here marked the end of this big journey of working really hard that we have been on.”

Anthony (AM): “We've just been grooving along and enjoying it and then it was really nice to be thought of for the DJ Awards.”

What has been your track of the summer?

LS: “There's been a lot of them, but one that instantly comes to mind is a remix of Serge Devant's It's Like That by Sébastien Léger on our record label Flying Circus.”

LS: “Sébastien sent it to us at the beginning of summer and we knew it was going to be a big track for us. We played it all over and we've only ever had great feedback, so we're very happy with it.”

AM: “Mine would have to be Wild Dark's I Am, it's been in almost every single set this summer.”

AM: “It's more of a kind of rhythmic workout that stops you having to play every single track completely melodic, it helps to settle people down and gives them a groove workout.”

You've kept super busy this summer. What is it about Ibiza's music scene that keeps you coming back for more?

LS: “It's a continuous thing, there's this kind of rhythm which you get into where in the middle of the year you play a lot of holiday hot spots. Ibiza has become a place that we come to so often that it feels right for us to come back year after year.

It has a great scene and people here put a lot of effort into the nights - it's as simple as that.”

Although eventually pipped to the post by Maya Jane Coles as Deep House DJ, there's no disputing Audiofly's artistry. We hope to see more of Anthony and Luca in Ibiza 2020 and beyond.

You can view the full list of categories, nominees and winners at the DJ Awards' website.

There you have it - Ibiza 2019 as viewed by the stars of the show. Did you agree with their picks and observations? Did you agree with who won each overall category?

The DJ Awards will be back for its 23rd edition in 2020. All we have left to say, is let's carry the message of Plastic No More forward into future seasons.

Stayed tuned to our club magazine for more Ibiza 2019 retrospective features coming soon.

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