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Ibiza DJ focus | Jonathan Ulysses

Profiling an island personality.

Whilst earlier entrees into our focus series have featured the current generation of island DJs, Jonathan Ulysses brings experience. We hope he won't mind us referring to him as a certified Ibiza veteran. He's been DJing for 30 years now, first coming to the island in 1993.

Jonathan is best known for holding court at Sundays at Space in its various guises, most notably for the legendary We Love. His high energy, soulful house sets on The Terrace saw his name etched into island folklore.

The size of the tunes was only matched by his colourful personality, and on the dance floor a community spirit was fostered. Halcyon days.

Running from 1999 to 2014, We Love became a weekly pilgrimage. It was Space's biggest weekly event and truly encapsulated the free spirit of Ibiza.

Jonathan Ulysses playing at Benimussa Park for We Love Reunion in October 2019
Image owned by One More Time

Naturally, Jon was on board to play when We Love threw a reunion party at Benimussa Park in October 2019. It was great to have all the original gang back together again, as part of One More Time festival. Jon lined-up alongside names such as Alfredo, Jason Bye, Andy Baxter and Jo Mills.

Currently, you can hear Jonathan broadcast his tastes and passions via a bi-weekly Ulybug radio show on Centreforce 88.3. His Thursday night 19:00-21:00 CET/18:00-20:00 GMT time slot is guaranteed to put you in the mood for the incoming weekend. Listen to the latest episode below.

The show shares its name with Ulysses' label. From 2008, Ulybug has been a home for Jonathan's own music, as well as developing new talent. Funky, jackin' or just plain pumping house music, the label mirrors the type of music Jon is known for playing.


Q&A

Hi Jonathan, how have you been getting on?

"I am fine and well considering this Covid-19 madness that the world is suffering right now. During lockdown, I've been trying to stay fit. 10-mile runs every weekend and 50 press ups, alongside 50 sit ups every morning.

I feel you have to keep your mind and body in good condition and you have to make the best of the situation that's handed to you. I have also been running my record label Ulybug Music and releasing some top tracks from new artists throughout the entire period."


How have things been going with Ulybug?

"The label has been going well. I've been working with artists like Soul Nomad, Dave K, C:Sounds:Project from Austria and Filip Grönlund from Sweden. The label has always prided itself on introducing new artists to the industry.

In regards to the effect of the pandemic on our schedule, I can honestly say that there has not been any issues at all. I use great promo companies to get the tracks to global DJs and my distributor, Prime, is only a telephone call away if I need advice."

"The artwork is all done in-house and the artists are very much involved with the entire process from promo to release. We have had some Traxsource and Beatport successes along the way and we are still moving forward.

Our next release is from Nick Manning and is out at the end of the week."


2021 will mark 5 years since Space shut. Looking back now, how do you view your time there?

"My view of Space and that period has not changed at all... I loved every minute that I was there.

Every day was different and exciting. The best DJs from across the globe came to play, the most beautiful people came to party and the club had the best atmosphere as soon as you walked in the door.

The management and the staff really went out of their way to make you have the experience of a lifetime. I feel blessed to have been there in that club at that particular time and I think it was when Ibiza was at its best for freedom, love and expression."

"Ibiza has changed and will always evolve. It's different now to how it was, but it will always be a magical place for both young and old, black, brown and white.

No matter what religion or nationality, Ibiza will always open its heart and soul to you and leave you with the feeling that you've touched the hand of god."


Obviously nothing can replace the sermon that was We Love Sunday. Are there any current parties on the island that strike a chord with you?

"We Love was a very special party in Ibiza for so many years. It had the greatest sound system, world class DJs, excellent residents and a great concept of bringing people together from across the globe.

Darren Hughes, Mark and Sarah Broadbent had their finger on the pulse and a great marketing strategy. We Love constantly adapted to the changes that were going on. It had so many different elements to the show, so many layers to its entire production."

"If I was to pick a few parties that are current in Ibiza, I would say Glitterbox at Hï, ANTS at Ushuaïa, Defected at Eden, elrow at Amnesia and Zoo Project in Benimussa Park.

They all take something that We Love offered to the people for many years."


Breakdown what a perfect day on Ibiza would be like for you.

"The perfect day in Ibiza would be to have my breakfast at Rita's Cantina in San Antonio, then head off to one of the wonderful beaches that Ibiza has to offer. Just chill out for the day, drinking some beer and sangria.

After a day of relaxing and meeting friends it would be off to Café Mambo, Savannah or Kumharas for more drinks and watch the wonderful sunset. Dinner could be fresh fish at Can Pujol, a lovely pasta dish at Davids or tapas at Rincon de Pepe."

El Ricon de Pepe in Carrer de Sant Mateu, San Antonio

"Once eaten, I would head to see some of my friends who own bars and clubs, places like Plastik, Soul City, Ibiza Rocks and O Beach. From there, we head to one of the clubs to dance the night away until the early hours of the morning.

Then head home to sleep, wake up and do it all over again.

You just gotta love Ibiza and all it has to offer!"


We like your style! Away from music, we know you're a diehard Arsenal fan. Honest evaluation - how do you think things are going under Mikel Arteta?

"Overall, I think Arteta has been doing a good job when you consider Arsenal are a big football club and he is still a relatively new manager.

There is a lot of dead wood in the team. Young players like Smith-Rowe and Saka are being brought through the system and Arteta is trying to build a new team around them. He has only been here one and a half seasons and already brought home the FA Cup.

At the start of the season, we had some injuries that cost us. Plus Aubameyang and Lacazette had a dry spell, but lately we've been back to winning ways and I'm hopeful things will improve."


Whereabouts will you be watching the European Championship this summer?

"There are many places I have watched the Euros in the past. Places like Savannah, Soul City, Ibiza Rocks and Plastik.

Anywhere I know the people who manage these bars are like a home away from home. I'm always made to feel very welcomed and comfortable, so anywhere I can watch the Euros in a relaxed atmosphere, surrounded by friends."


Nick Manning | You Know It is out now on Ulybug Records and available to purchase here.

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