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Nic Fanciulli and Joris Voorn: A Family Affair

Ushuaïa's newest residents have got it made.

"I was talking to someone the other day and they were like, 'well who inspires you?' " muses Nic Fanciulli. We're sat outside the very luxurious Ibiza Gran Hotel on a hot Sunday afternoon in Ibiza: me, Nic, and his musical inspiration, friend and La Familia DJing partner Joris Voorn.

Full of compliments like this, it's not hard to see why the pair's relationship - both on and off the decks - has stood the test of time. After meeting in Australia in 2008, they have gone on to forge one of the most successful partnerships in the industry, one that in a few short hours after this interview, will see them head to Ushuaïa for their first ever headlining residency in Ibiza. Not too shabby.

Fittingly, it all started with the music. A fan of his work, Nic first contacted Joris to remix a track off his then new Skylark album, and the Dutch DJ didn't disappoint, with Nic recollecting that the mix was 'awesome'. "From there we were just seeing each other all the time and playing shows together", recalls Joris, "I don't even know how it happened that we played together for the first time." This seems to be the way the pair's journey has played out all along, nothing planned, nothing forced; even down to their Ushuaïa residency, Nic explains, "there's an idea and a concept behind it, but the idea is that we just go out, we do our thing, we have fun."

The residency in question is of course La Familia, and if you've been on the island at all this summer, you'll no doubt have seen the tongue in cheek, American gangster themed posters advertising the night. The idea came about after the success of the duo's input at Ushuaïa's underground night ANTS last year. "We were the first residents of ANTS, and I actually did the first party when they opened", explained Nic, "so we sort of helped to create that night musically." Indeed, Ushuaïa were so impressed with the pair's back to back sets that the residency seemed like the next logical step, and Nic felt that it was one show in particular that sealed the deal, "It would have had to be the moment at the [ANTS] closing party last year when Joris and I were playing and it started raining, I remember Yann [Pissenemm, Founder and Artistic Manager of Ushuaïa] coming up to us and saying 'this is just incredible, I cant wait to see this next year'", and so with the ANTS takeovers in place to build the brand, La Familia was born.

"The name says it for itself really, the idea was that we'd bring everyone together, our friends and family", Nic explained, before gesturing to the couple strolling towards us from the pool, "that's my parents - hi guys!'" - did you ever hear of a point being illustrated more perfectly than that? No, didn't think so.

Another important part of planning La Familia for the duo was making the decision on which DJs to book. "We tried to find people that we know, and music we like obviously, but also people that we have a good connection with, it was really important", says Joris - broadening the family if you will - however this in itself proved to be a hurdle for the pair. "We had our wish list, but of course everyone has their wish list and there's quite an overlap; and everyone has their loyalties here, it's not like booking someone in say London, there have been residents here in certain clubs for years. But we got there in the end, we've got a really nice line up, and for the first year I don't think we could have expected the line up to be so good so, we're happy". And so, we feel, will everyone else be. With the likes of Breach, Nick Curly and Âme all set to hit the La Familia stage, it's certainly an impressive opening season line up if ever we've seen one.

So that's friends and family checked off the list, but not forgetting one other very important place these boys have support from - each other. "Two heads are better than one, especially on this island; the hurdle is trying to create a night in Ibiza that stands the test of time and stands out from the rest because there's so much competition," says Nic, "So the real test is today, but we're sharing the pressure, so I'm excited and nervous at the same time."

As well as shared responsibility, playing alongside a fellow DJ has its other perks. "There's been times when I've been playing where records aren't working, I think that's down to peoples attention spans in a way, they're a lot shorter now than they were before, and that's definitely something that I've picked up from Joris, he can switch things quite quickly from one situation to another and I've definitely taken that away," notes Nic.

From Joris' side, it's classics that he's learnt a thing or two about from their joint sets. "Nic is very good at playing certain classics, that I would probably never even think of. They set the whole room in a completely different vibe, and it's actually nice when it doesn't fit because then it suprises people, and I think that's very important to keep surprising people."

The conversation then takes an interesting turn, onto what actually constitutes a classic track nowadays. "It's funny because we're roughly the same age, so sometimes classics to us, a younger generation won't know. It's weird because we've grown up with that record being the biggest record of the night, but now the kids are like, 'well what's that?'" explains Nic. Joris goes even further to question that in today's fast moving musical scene, is it even at all possible for a track to become a classic? "The generation now don't really grow up with records being played three, four, five years in a row. I don't want to sound like an old man, but when I started DJing I was playing tracks that were say five years old, and five years later I'd still be playing them. Also because we had a more limited amount of records that we could take with us, and now we have like 10,000 on our laptop, whereas back in the day it was 18 in your record box."

But classics or no classics, the duo are sure to point out that although they may not be commercial, they will be keeping the fun elements to a high at these La Familia parties. "It's ibiza!" assures Nic, "everyone's here for the same reason, they're on holiday, they want to have fun; people can go to a dark techno club anywhere in the world, but we've chosen to be outdoors under the stars."

"It's almost a bit like a festival vibe", agrees Joris, "you can't go wrong with that."

We couldn't agree more, and after hearing all the ins and outs, the plans and preparations for this infamous night, there was only one thing left for me to do. Put on my dancing shoes and head over to Ushuaïa, for the first of La Familia proper.

When I arrived at what I can only assume is one of the latest Opening Parties ever, I was pleasantly surprised as the venue, although made slightly smaller than say the space used for Sunday night's previous happenings with Avicii, was comfortably busy - no mean feat for a virtually unknown residency; it seems brand building a la ANTS paid off.

More stripped back than it's Saturday night incarnations, a city skyline adorned the screens behind the decks, where Nic and Joris were last up with their relaxed brand of tech-house - as fun and accessible as they'd promised. Highlights included Voorn's mellow anthem Ringo, which was met with a flurry of confetti, Sasha's remix of London Grammar's Hey Now, and a retro number to finish things off, with a bit of Bronski Beat and Smalltown Boy. A great night from two of the nicest DJs I've met all season.

WORDS | Joanna Wright

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