By Cédric Finkbeiner
The DC10 is a return home, an annual major stage for the co-founder of Hot Creations, constantly on the roads throughout the year. Paradise, created in 2012, is a success story which mobilizes many talents such as Carl Craig, Maya Jane Coles, Patrick Topping and which is now exported worldwide.
Jamie Jones, in line with Seth Troxler, Erick Morillo, The Martinez Brothers, is part of the soulful music virtuosos; this caste of DJs who electrify the fans of House with their innate mastery of groove, as much in the intimacy of the clubs as in the colossal festivals. In exchange, the artist is regularly awarded by the community, including an award for best DJ in the world in 2011. Sure that the DC10 is in good hands.
How did you get your residency at DC10 and how special is this place for you?
I was on the dancefloor of DC10 when I was nineteen years old. I pretty much went there every single week in summer from 2000 to 2006. I was still on the dancefloor after that, but I’ve been lucky enough to get couple gigs, the first one being a closing party. In 2009, Seth Troxler and I were asked to be residents, so we started playing pretty much every week. When the opportunity came up to do my own thing in Ibiza, they offered me a platform to do that and Paradise was born.
The DC10 is also a great place just to hang out and chat with your friends. Each night is different, I mean, you never walk out of the club saying “Yeah, that’s been ok, nothing so special here”. The thing about DC10 is purely the unique atmosphere that it generates whether you’re backstage, in the garden or on the dancefloor. It’s got some kind of vibe which is why people have such a passion for it and call it “The Church”. This last year at DC10, in particular, has been my favorite out of the twenty years that I’ve been playing there. I found my groove and played a bunch of records that I wouldn’t have necessary thought would work in Ibiza. Some of the sets, that I really went as far into a rabbit hole as I could, were some of the most positive feedback of sets I’ve ever had. I feel like there’s more and more people who love edgy House and Techno music and enjoy it.
Considering that you mix almost every Wednesday at DC10 this summer, how do you renew yourself from a gig to another?
Many years ago, I was following a talented DJ every week at the club. I was enjoying his music but noticed that he was often playing the same records. I thought “if I ever have a weekly residency, I’m going to make sure that I play for the people who come every week”. Obviously, there are some records which I play couple times over the summer, because they are unreleased and need to be tested out, but for the rest, I make sure that each gig is unique: I have that mentality of spending time listening to 4000 clips of music every week, in order to play on Wednesdays at Paradise. People don’t realize how much time goes into searching for music as a DJ who’s dedicated. It’s non stop hours spent every single week if you’re doing it properly. The idea is not to rest on your laurels, not to play only the demos or promos you get sent and what the crowd expect you to play. It has always been a mission of mine, with Hot Creations and with my DJ sets, to keep things moving forward, without respite.
The hundreds of gigs you’ve been playing at have sharpened your critical sense for sure; in your opinion, what are the ideal conditions for a club to be successful?
There are a lot of things unfortunately that have happened in the Dance music that made it really hard for clubs to keep going on. Look for instance at how many clubs have closed in London over the last eight years. It’s hard because there are so many festivals on now and people having not much money, they would rather save up to go to see twenty DJs they like over the course of a couple days, rather than spending money on a big night out in a club. But obviously there’s still clubs that are going strong. I think that from the ground up, best is to start small and build a reputation for quality music, a quality sound system, with an environment that’s comfortable for people to enjoy themselves, that’s not attracting disrespect, for example by being too onto females or too loud. I think there’s a lot of clubs that have great ideas also, like Panorama Bar/Berghain which forbids the cameras for instance: it does help the vibe.
Another key of success comes from the nature of the people who are running the club: you need to be a warrior to be efficient. People like Dave Beer for instance, who ran Back To Basics in Leeds, went on for about twenty years with absolute dedication. It takes a really nice mix of love to do it, passion for the music and for the sound. The sound quality is hugely important: clubs like Fabric are successful because there’s so much attention to detail in the sound and dedication to keep its clientele happy. When people start to cut corners, for example when they’d be paying you all this money to fly over and then they’d have Technics that are in poor condition or a CDJ that has beer split over it, it can’t work well. People sometimes don’t realize also how important are the booth monitors: if the DJs aren’t feeling the music they play, how are they supposed to trust what they’re doing and let the music flow out of them? It’s so important that some DJs, such as myself, have monitor riders, so that we can go there and do the best job.
In Ibiza, you’ve been a DJ coach at the renowned Burn Studios Residency competition, which closed this year. How great was this experience and which advices would you give to “DJ Nobody” to rise up the ladders of success?
It was really cool to have some time dedicated to share my experiences and hopefully to help young people aspiring to do some of the things I have done over the years. I guess something that often came up by young DJs is “I’ve been stuck at this level for too long, what can I do to go on the next step?”, like playing at festivals, getting paid a certain amount or playing at a certain club… For sure, it’s good to have dreams, but I feel like the biggest success you can have in music is simply by being able to pay your rent and put food in your stomach thanks to it. Once you’re able to do that, then the rest is not so important. Happiness doesn’t come with any type of fame. One of the problems nowadays is that everybody sees everything that the celebrities are doing on the social medias, whether it’s playing to 10,000 people, flying in a private jet or else. That’s all cool, but it’s not nearly as fun as playing records you love in an after party with ten of your best friends… I think that it’s really important to stay grounded and just appreciate where you are right now, whatever level that is.
Now if you still didn’t get the chance to have regular gigs, producing is obviously an important step. It must be done in an authentic and creative way. For instance, I think it’s really important not to listen to what a label owner – like myself – is playing, nor to make music that you’d think would work for him/her. When I started producing, after having homed in on my sound, I was just making music that I wanted to play and that was different from everyone else. The most interesting tracks that I get as demos are the ones which I haven’t played or released before on my labels, but which make me dance. What matters is that: if you’re in your studio and you’ve been dancing around to the loop you’ve created, if you’ve just bounced a song and you want to put it on repeat for the pleasure, then you’re onto a winner.