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STEVE LAWLER



Author geenna | Date 13/07/2017

You were one of the main DJ residents of Space Ibiza, with Carl Cox crowning you as King of the Terrace and now you’re a resident of the new haunt Hï Ibiza. What do you think of the new club? I think the new club is amazing, it’s a great venue and I think Ibiza needed something new. It’s fresh and exciting and a purpose built club, which you don’t find a lot of nowadays. The main room called the Theatre is made for big room music and in contrast to this there is the Club room that is like a dark basement with low ceilings so it caters to both sides of the musical spectrum. Tell us more about your new residency In The Dark, what can fans expect? For In The Dark, the residents each have a distinctive sound that will cater for everyone. It’s great that none of us are the same style as it makes the night exciting; punters don’t pay to listen to the same music throughout the night. They can expect it to be underground and of the highest quality. Your most recent release Crazy Dream is wicked! It is your first release on Turbo Recordings… Why did you choose them to release this record on? What is it that draws you to Turbo Recordings? Thank you! Tiga is one of my heroes. I’ve been playing his records from the early 2000’s. Turbo is really unique and has its own place. The music that is released on his label always stands out as different so I tried to break the rules a little for this and create something that would suit Turbo. Thankfully, when I sent the record over to Tiga, he signed it straight away. It was one of those fist pump moments. You also recently released on Phil Week’s Robsoul Recordings for the first time with the two-track EP ‘Take Me There’. What drew you to Phil’s imprint and what was it like working with him? Phil is so laidback and that’s why I wanted to work with him. I was playing one of the tracks from the EP at my Warriors party and it just so happened that Phil was in the booth at the time. He asked me what I was playing and when I told him it was one of my unreleased tracks, he signed it straight away. It’s amazing how it worked so spontaneously. With all this change in Ibiza this season you’ve decided to throw only two exclusive Warriors parties at Sankeys after launching your residency five years ago. What was the reason behind this decision? I couldn’t let go of Warriors. It’s a really successful brand that really connected with a lot of people. So I have decided to make Warriors a sort of pop-up brand where we will host warehouse parties around the world. So far, we have takeovers planned in Manchester, London, Madrid and Mandarin Park. It felt right to throw a couple of parties in Ibiza this season – it’s where the brand was born. The next one is on the 4th October. Why do you think it was important for you to have your own-curated platform? I’ve always really had a curated platform. I guess it’s because I care and I love what I do. Just simply playing music isn’t enough for me. I like to get involved on a creative level. I just like to have an idea and see it through with a team of people. It’s enjoyable and so rewarding to see your idea come to life. Whilst founding your record labels Harlem Records and VIVa Music, you’ve become an A&R. How do you think this has affected the way that you DJ? Do you feel it has helped you select music and understand what would work for your audience? I think being a DJ helps as you understand how to work an audience or where to place music. However, being an A&R helps me get music early. Back in the day, what you would do to stay ahead is you would cut acitates/dubplates. Now because you can play music digitally, if you don’t get music early, you’ll be playing the same tracks as everybody else. There has been a backlash on DJs who rely on Facebook groups to find music for their sets. As one of the legends in the electronic music world, what are your thoughts on people relying on these groups for music instead of going out and digging for music? In this day and age, everything has been made so easy for people. It shouldn’t be easy. It’s about finding your own sound and being individual. There’s a lot of hard work involved. I hate the fact that it’s so easy. Are there any new artists that you have your eye on for ViVa Music and Warriors? Yeah there’s Cozzy D – he’s got this unique, individual sound and that’s what really stands out to me. Javi Bora who has quite a raw sound, which I'm into and Matt Tolfrey – obviously he isn’t new to the game but the stuff he has been releasing at the moment is sick. Also Archie Hamilton, I really like what he has been putting out. In your documentary, The Art Of The DJ, you give an insight into what the beginning of the electronic music scene looked like as a child of the Acid House generation. How do you feel about the scene today, do you feel you are moving forward or backwards, especially considering the political and authority battle against nightlife? The scene will always move forward. It will go through these periods of restriction from the authorities but we’ve been there time and time again and beat it. I don’t believe that’s going to stop anything. People have the right to party and people will find a way to party. It’s the only bit of freedom we’ve got left. When these things happen it spurs another generation fighting for the same right we did it during the rise of acid house. You also explored what it was like for you to break into the industry and become a world-touring DJ. Do you think that the way artists break into the industry nowadays has changed? Do you feel that it is almost easier to get to position of DJing full time and why? Everything is easier now. To get a number 1 record on Beatport nowadays you only need to sell a thousand downloads which is insane. My track ‘Rise-in’ sold around forty thousand vinyl records and reached the top 40 national charts. When I was breaking through as a DJ, I was grafting for about five or six years before anything happened. I wouldn’t change anything of this for the world though. It’s part of who I am. What is your aim for 2017? My main aim for this year, certainly for this summer, is to make something special with In The Dark. It’s a brand new club so we need to give people the best time of their lives and they leave the place sweating. That will etch itself on the walls of the clubs.



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