We caught up with house DJ legend Hot Since 82 behind the scenes at Cafe Mambos in Ibiza ahead of his Labyrinth residency at Pacha.
When did you first realise you could make a career in music?
When I was 11 years old, the first day of secondary school, the teacher went round each individual pupil and asked what do you want to do when you grow up. So everyone said a police officer, a plumber, a builder, a joiner, and I actually said I wanted to be a DJ, that’s the true story. And the teacher stroked his grey beard, and he said “hmm, I seriously think you should reconsider that.”
Name three popular artists you had on your playlist when you were younger.
Erm, Michael Jackson, David Morales, and who else was I into. I was into a lot of hip-hop as a kid, like erm Cypress Hill and Snoop Dogg. All that West Coast kind of hip-hop I was into as well. So some kind of playlist from the West Coast of the states.
If you could collaborate with one person, past or present, who would it be?
Past or present wow, erm Marvin Gaye.
Great answer. Who’s your favourite DJ to go back to back with?
I mean, I guess the DJ I’m more comfortable with playing and have the most fun with is Nick Curly, super nice guy, great DJ and yeah we always go in and just have the best time. I think people can see that as well from the dance floor and it’s relentless and flawless, so Nick Curly.
What’s been your career highlight to date?
Career highlight wow, I think, I mean, er wow. There’s been so many, getting an essential new tune, I think just playing in Ibiza. You know, I came here 18 years ago, this is the mecca of dance music, to come out here and be booked at a show was the highlight and still is the highlight of me being a dance DJ.
Have you got any music out at the moment that you can tell us about?
Actually, tonight, or right now, I’m not quite sure. Pete Tong’s premiering a brand new record called Buggin’ featuring Gem Cook. And that track comes off my new album, which is coming out the first week of October, I believe. There’s 8 new records on there, there’s gonna be some bonus tracks, intro and outro. I’m very excited.
So you’re back in Ibiza for a massive 21 week residency in Pasha with Labyrinth, what made you bring the residency back for another season?
Success! I mean, last year it was a success, so obviously were back again. The club’s been renovated which is great. So yeah, just building on the success. It’s become a family affair now, so the line-up hasn’t changed considerably, although we have some new people like Moodymann, Armand Van Helden and it’s just good to be back on the Island again, in a club space like Pasha that’s, you know, the heart of Ibiza if you ask me. The heart of Ibiza’s clubbing anyway.
So, why should people come to Labyrinth?
Erm, cause I’m playing! Because listen, there’s no door policy, it’s just about having a good time. The line-ups are strong, there’s a wide variation of house music and techno, so whatever you’re into there’s always going to be something in the night that you’re gonna get down to. Yeah, Labyrinth just represents having a good time in Ibiza, and that’s what it’s all about. People are on holiday aren’t they, people want to enjoy themselves.
So what do you love most about Ibiza?
Erm, used to be dancing in the sunshine, that’s what it was all about. All that’s been tamed over the years, but I just love how you can come any day of the week and you can see all the biggest Djs in the world on one tiny little space. This tiny little space, this Island. That’s very unique I think.
Can you sum up the party Island in three words for us?
What the fuck!
You also play at Café Mambo numerous times throughout the season, can you describe the vibe at the famous sunset bar?
The vibe still retains that special Ibiza feeling, where it’s hedonistic, you know people come here and watch the sunset and party until the place closes and then they pop onto their favourite club, where they have tickets for. I still love playing here, this is where I used to come as a 17/18/19 year old teenager and watch David Morales and Frankie Knuckles, all my heroes’ in house music. I used to be the young skinny kid out there, you know fist pumping to all these guys. And now the roles been reversed and I’m up there now, it’s something that you can never take for granted and I still get Goosebumps coming down here still playing music. So it’s a special feeling for me.
So what other events have you got planned for the summer?
I mean, actually the summer is always absolutely mental. 3/4/5 shows a week sometimes, rightly so, this is the best time to be a DJ. In the summer, playing festivals all the way throughout Europe and beyond. Everybody likes the sunshine don’t they, so there’s a lot. There’s the Oasis festival in Marrakech, which I’ve never been for, so that’s gonna be great to tick off. Erm, Fabric which I’m going to be headlining for the first time on a Saturday night. There’s extra special as well, so yeah just all over Europe this summer.
So how do you spend your time away from the music?
Erm, well just try and stay grounded. I still live in Yorkshire where I grew up. Still have the same friends, same missus, so just walk the dog, get some nature in me. You know, you’re always in confined spaces, planes, trains, hotels and clubs. I try and find some release by taking the dog out for a walk man, I know it sounds a bit simple, but when you do this job it brings you back down to earth, and the best things in life are free.
So a little bit about you now, what’s your drink of choice on a night out?
Well, usually it’s whisky. I’m a huge bourbon, whisky fan, but I can never remember anything and when I say anything, I don’t remember what the f**king hell I’ve done. So, I’ve put that on the back burner, I’m drinking Sauvignon blanc at the minute. And that’s a becoming a bit of a nice tipple for me. And I don’t get really bad hangovers, so it’s all good.
So favourite film or TV series?
Favourite film is Lost boys. Don’t even ask me why, but I have lost boys tattooed on my arm, I wish I didn’t but ey-up. Favourite series, oh wow. I really love Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones. I really loved star wars animated cartoon, I watched all of that, that was great. But I’m a sci-fi head, so. Oh actually, I’m watching this thing called forensic files. I’m mad into like murders and criminal investigations so I’m mad over that on Netflix.
Favourite song out at the moment?
Favourite song out at the moment, oh bloody hell, er oh wow. I’ve got to plug my own record haven’t I, surely! Er, Hot since 82, buggin’!
What’s your guilty pleasure song? One that no-one knows that you love
Ah guilty pleasure song. F**king hell man, you should see my Spotify. It’s well embarrassing! Erm, guilty pleasure. What about, Lionel Richie, dancing on the ceiling, we all like that one!
So a bit about fashion now, can you describe your look or style?
Erm, I’m always playing, I’m always at work. So I like to wear something a little bit oversized coz I’m quite a petite guy. So tight clothes is a no-no from me. So something a little big vintage, a little bit, half kind-of scruffy looking I guess.
Words of advice for those wanting to make a career in music?
Erm, just produce your own, yeah get into the music production and put music out. Cause back in the day where I first started, you could be a good DJ and break-through, but now you’ve got to pump music out. So, keep a big social, you’ve got to work that social media as well. Fresh music and a strong social media makes things pop.
Check out the new track from Hot Since 82 below: