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Los residentes | Igor Marijuán

Profiling an island personality.

After a brief winter hiatus, Ibiza's newest clubbing destination, Akasha, returned last weekend.

No expense was spared for the opening party on Friday 25 February, when the one and only Sasha was back to headline.

Ahead of the party, we spoke to the man behind the wheel of this exciting project.

The club's creative director, Igor Marijuán, has been instrumental in bringing the vision to life. In only a few short months, his booking policy has given Akasha an identity which feels both fresh, yet remains totally faithful to the legacy of Las Dalias.

Igor in the centrally positioned booth at Akasha

Naturally, Igor's 15 year association with Ibiza Sonica Radio comes into conversation. Since day one, he has been a driving force behind the station's success and global appeal. Although the pandemic offered an opportunity to take a step-back, it's fair to call Sonica his career's work.

"It made my life! Not only mine, but my family too. My relationship with Sonica is not a job. It is much more than that. I put so much love into the project and learned a lot."

Igor is also keen to discuss his involvement in monad, for which he is a brand ambassador. A revolutionary music subscription platform where "the artists have a direct connection with their followers" and, most importantly, get paid fairly for their art.

Primarily though, we're here to talk about Akasha's big reopening weekend with Sasha, amongst others. Here's what's been going on in not-so-sleepy San Carlos.


Q&A

Hello Igor. We know you're super busy with Akasha at the moment, so thank you for finding time to talk to us. You've just come back from America, where you played for Do Not Sit. Was it nice to return the favour, after booking Behrouz at Akasha?

"Of course. I have played for Do Not Sit many times, in both Miami and Ibiza. I played for Behrouz during his residency at HEART, and more recently he threw a Do Not Sit party at Las Dalias, where we played together. It's always amazing.

That was a special 'appreciation for Ibiza' event, because he loves the island so much.

It was there the seed was planted of having an amazing adventure together at Las Dalias. His sound not only brings the ideal vibe, but the crowd that follows him fits perfectly with the north, you know, Burners, etc."

Behrouz took Do Not Sit to Las Dalias in September 2019 - he's back in 2022

"Behrouz will play at Akasha once a month during the season. A kind of new Ibiza residency for him."


That's sensational news. What a coup. We're looking forward to seeing that unfold. Looking back at the first series of events at Akasha, do any highlights stand out?

"The whole opening in November was super crazy. Not only with the programme, but with people discovering the venue and relaying their gratitude. We saw the same faces coming on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, because they couldn't bear to skip a day and miss out! (laughs)

People joked about permanently booking their own square metre on the dancefloor.

It wasn't just the customers who were impressed. Artists were blown away by the architecture and the stunning sound.

It was a very intense month, but our intention was to say'Here we are. It's time for the north'."


Yes, much has been said about the quality of sound at Akasha.

"It is something that needs to be experienced by everyone. It's like talking about a painting without seeing it.

Martin is a genius. He designed and built it. We call it the 'sound Ibiza TSI' soundsystem. It's pretty unique, completely changing the way music is played. It's almost like a production studio. Martin speaks passionately about this. He used Fibonacci's auric maths and sacred geometry principles to design the speakers. Can you believe that technology?"

Akasha's soundsystem and acoustics are an audiophile's dream

"This system, coupled with the acoustics of the venue itself, creates a completely unique environment.

On top of that, the DJ booth is placed in the centre of the space, which brings another aspect to the experience. The crowd is not only facing a single direction, so you can feel the eye contact of the crowd whilst playing, which is absolutely amazing."


It sounds like an audiophile's dream. In designing the space, how difficult was it to create a club space that was both contemporary yet stayed true to the ethos of Las Dalias?

"This is Sena's vision combined with the design of Indigo. Together, they have brought an organic, wood-based aesthetic, all KM0 (net zero carbon footprint) with components from Ibiza bringing something natural and comfortable to the nightlife world. Is just something made with love and the logical evolution of the heritage of Las Dalias, only with the XXI century twist."


What can you say to reassure long term visitors of Las Dalias, that the eclectic programming at the whole venue will continue into 2022?

"I'm pleased you see the eclecticism. The idea was always to bring sounds that fit the north of the island. Sounds based on spirituality, stories, travels, wood, earth, sky, clouds, atmospheres.

Ethereal is back, doing what it does best, fusing art with music. Namaste too, which has been a huge part of the heritage of Las Dalias for more than 20 years, will of course remain part of the programme. It will continue on Wednesdays on a weekly basis."


That's great news. What about the rest of the programme? Anything new to sink our teeth into?

"Fridays will be our melodic night. Think of labels like All Day I Dream, Lost & Found, The Soundgarden - music to fly with... Saturday nights we will be going back to Las Dalias' roots with more organic sounds, but taking a little inspiration from Berlin to Tulum - a real party.

Then around June, we plan to launch Thursdays and Sundays. Sundays will be our fun day, with live acts. There will be a rotation of amazing tribes coming on board. After doing events worldwide The Gardens Of Babylon comes to Ibiza for the first time - a huge global community.

Holotropia is something new from Ida Engberg, Filipa Lazary, Foz and Oren. All amazing people with lots of experience within international nightlife, as well as Ibiza."

Island resident Ida Engberg playing at Akasha

"The rest of the week Akasha will be the perfect place to party after visiting the hippy market. There's a few other surprises to come, that we want to keep concealed for now. (giggles)

As for the artists, we'll have Nick Warren, Guy Mantzur, Roy Rosenfeld, Unders, Amonita, Powel, Rodriguez Jr, YokoO, Valentín Huedo, Anstascia, HOSH, Mimi Love, Animal Trainer, Karlos Sense, Clint Lee, Francesca Lombardo, LUM, Audiofly, Moscoman, Newman and load more, plus Sasha of course, and others that I can't mention for now.

They don't all have fixed dates yet, but you will catch them all during 2022."


As the creative director, what qualities do you look for in artists booked to play at Akasha?

"Primarily, we look for specific sounds that fits with our philosophy. We try to programme nights that make the people want to be there from open till close.

My background as a founder of Ibiza Sonica put me in a good position to spot ideas I know would work musically. They're not necessarily artists who come to Ibiza often.

I’m counting the days until the crowd comes to Akasha simply because they trust our curation. No matter if they know the DJs or not. The aim is to attract people willing to discover new names and not transfixed to the same list of DJs that already play all over Ibiza."  


Will your own party, Pareidolia, be back?

"At some point, yes, perhaps some one-offs? We had an amazing season last year with Pareidolia at Las Dalias, but when I took over the music direction of Akasha, I realised that we needed a break.

We have a party lined-up at Vagalume in Tulum on 4 March. After that, we'll be ready for any Ibiza and other international opportunities that arise."

"Pareidolia was actually conceived in Tulum six years ago and had a weekly slot at Coco Tulum hotel on Sundays. We had a blast there. That is when Cris44 and I decided to take it to other destinations, including Ibiza. Home at last!

The thought behind the party is pretty straight forward, being a daytime party, free entrance and family friendly. It's all about happy faces and optimistic organic House music. Pareidolia is the tendency to perceive faces in everyday objects.

When we put these events on, those images just happen to be literal happy faces."


When the island's super-clubs open in April, how does Akasha intend to compete with bigger names and bigger budgets?

"Ibiza is a small island, but it has a great ecosystem of venues. The idea is to offer a variety of talent to build up nights from scratch. To gain a loyal following.

Due to our capacities, it is not possible, nor our desire, to compete with the big clubs.

And since we are in the north, our aim is to bring people to Akasha that wouldn't usually venture to the venues in the south of the island. We take the same approach with the DJs that we book. DJs who want to have fun in a more intimate space."


It's been a very in depth and insightful chat, Igor, thank you. Before we go, we must quickly discuss this Friday and the opening party. Sasha is back. Just quickly, how much convincing did it take to get him onboard with the Akasha project?

"Not much!" (laughs)

"He is somebody else I played with a couple of times last year. He invited me to join him at his LuzOscura events at Cova Santa and we'd previously played together at Kumharas.

These are places where he can explore different sounds and intensities of what he usually plays at 03:00 in a big room.

Sasha's music is full of emotions. Akasha is a setting where he can feel the intimacy and the connection with the crowd. He played last year and loved it. It was a great night. There is no better artist to start the 2022 season. See you on Friday!"

Thank you Igor. See you on Friday!


Akasha's springtime parties are on sale now exclusively via Ibiza Spotlight.

Amongs them are some scintillating dates, including Matthias Meyer (12 March), Ethereal (20 March) and Nick Warren (22 April). Head below to see the confirmed schedule and pick up your tickets.

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