dj charlesy‘Dis­turb­ing Ibiza’ enters its land­mark fourth sea­son on the island — tak­ing place on Wed­nes­days at the world fam­ous ‘Ushuaïa’ Hotel & Club, it’s the premi­er urb­an out­ing on the island fea­tur­ing a wide range of names from the UK & US — Iam­HipHop report­er Prash sat down with DJ Char­lesy, newly appoin­ted res­id­ent on BBC Radio 1xtra (every Fri­day night), Tinie Tem­pah’s DJ and head cur­at­or of Dis­turb­ing Ibiza to dis­cuss the year he has had, his exper­i­ences on the fam­ous island & much more!

You’ve had such a big year trans­ition­ing over from Cap­it­al Xtra to Radio1/1xtra — how excited were you for this oppor­tun­ity to move over?

More than excited — it was like such a big change for me  — going over to the BBC is a com­pletely dif­fer­ent ballgame — the oth­er DJ’s on the sta­tion are people that I’ve looked up to for years. BBC Radio to me is the biggest thing in the world Radio ‑wise, so my goal was always to get that far. Cap­it­al Xtra was good, it was my first radio gig and I learnt alot but I felt like I needed to make my next move from there & 1Xtra made per­fect sense — they’ve been great, it’s been three months but felt like a lot longer!

 This is your Fourth Year on the island, Third at ‘Ushuaïa’, have you noticed on an island that has tra­di­tion­ally been known for house and techno, a grow­ing appet­ite for Urb­an genres?

When we first star­ted at ‘Ibiza Rocks’ four years ago as a pool party before trans­ition­ing over to ‘Ushuaïa’ (the islands most com­mer­cially suc­cess­ful ven­ue), myself and Tinie had already been doing shows here for years and could sense the appet­ite for it! We were at ‘Pacha’ (legendary night club in Ibiza Old Town) with Swedish House Mafia or at ‘Amne­sia’ (inter­na­tion­ally renowned club in the heart of Ibiza)  — and when we dropped a hip-hop tune or two — the reac­tion was as huge as the big­ger house anthems! We just wanted to make sure we worked with the right people to fur­ther devel­op the brand which is what we feel we have now. Dis­turb­ing Ibiza is one of the biggest nights on the Island and we are proud of that.

 ‘Dis­turb­ing’ have held some great events inter­na­tion­ally but are there any future plans to do some­thing in Lon­don on home soil?

Yes — always plans to do some­thing in Lon­don. Lon­don is the one we need to make sure is big. The goal is the take it to an arena level where the impact is massive. We did Afro Rep­bu­lik at the 02 arena recently which was the first Afro Beats fest­iv­al in the UK and that was his­tor­ic­al! Hav­ing Naomi Camp­bell open up the stage to Wiz Kid and oth­er acts like Yxng Bane, Maleek Berry and Not3s being on the lineup. We just want to cre­ate his­tory wherever we go.

See­ing the suc­cess & effort made with regard to pro­duc­tion and line up cur­a­tion here at ‘Ushuaïa’ — what needs to be done to elev­ate the live events and club scene in Lon­don?

I think in Lon­don there is so much — it’s sat­ur­ated — not like we are here in Ibiza. At home and pro­duc­tion levels don’t exist com­par­at­ively. I play in Lon­don reg­u­larly — but the stand­ards set in Ibiza are hard to rep­lic­ate else­where besides some­where like Vegas per­haps.

I feel like the brand­ing aspect is a miss­ing ele­ment fun­da­ment­ally for reg­u­lar Club night in Lon­don

The West End tables, Shored­itch is a dif­fer­ent atmo­sphere. Lon­don is so var­ied and ver­sat­ile but the budgets in place for Ibiza are so bey­ond what own­ers are able or will­ing to spend at present in Lon­don.

Clubs have only just restar­ted to embrace urb­an music again but are con­tinu­ally cau­tious des­pite it being the heart of where most com­mer­cial chart anthems are now being gen­er­ated — so its baby steps I sup­pose?

Book­ing artists for example — I’ve been in places where an act might bring 20 or 30 people with them — they may not be there to cause trouble but some clubs just can’t handle that — it’s safety.

I’m inter­ested to know what reac­tions US Stars such as French Montana, Wiz Khal­ifa, Tyga have had to per­form on such a unique plat­form like Ibiza & at Ushuaïa?

At the start it was hard to get them here because their impres­sion was ‘DANCE MUSIC’ — it took a while to explain, we sent them videos, pho­tos to show them — but what helped was the agents for these artists are mostly Brit­ish, so they helped com­mu­nic­ate & break it to them.. Last year we had Kid Ink, French Montana, Akon — they have gone and told every­one — espe­cially French, he has helped us to book a lot of people this year because he has told every­one ‘IT’S CRAZY’ — and they come for a few days to get a feel of the island and go back home and ask us to book them for more dates!

That’s cool — espe­cially when you con­sider the peri­od of time we had in the UK where we weren’t sup­port­ing our own — now US Artists are co-sign­ing what we do as well as UK Acts really sup­port­ing one anoth­er! You guys have star­ted to offer the stage to break out stars in the UK such as Bug­zy Malone tonight, Not3s, Stef­flon Don — how import­ant is it to be able to elev­ate these acts on the Dis­turb­ing Plat­form? 

It’s import­ant for us and the growth has been amaz­ing. Last year we booked Stef­flon Don and she was on 8.30/9pm as a warm-up act — a year later she’s co-head­liner with full stage and pro­duc­tion show — it’s import­ant for us to sup­port all artists, espe­cially UK

I came last year and got to see Jazzy Jeff & DJ EZ on the same night at Dis­turb­ing — how was it to have such icons of the cul­ture, as a DJ, on your event, on the same night?!

The hon­est truth — that was the open­ing party — we needed some­thing big — and i was selfish! I thought of who are my top three favour­ite DJ’s  — EZ, Jazzy Jeff & DJ Craze — I was sat for three hours off stage just watch­ing them and record­ing — it was for me more — but it worked out as we had an older crowd that could appre­ci­ate it! That night will go down in my head forever — it reminded me that I still have a long way to go!

Those guys are the bench­marks though right — that’s longev­ity, suc­cess..

I remem­ber try­ing to book EZ as a pro­moter in Lon­don and I’d have to work half a year to be able to afford to book him for a night — now this same legend did eight out of our six­teen dates last sea­son — its amaz­ing!

How did the oppor­tun­ity to work with Cathy Guetta come about and what are the key dif­fer­ences between Dis­turb­ing Wed­nes­days at Ushuaïa and Mondays at Hi — the two premi­er urb­an products on the island?

Wed­nes­days are aimed at UK, the acts are UK, the late sets we barely touch the Amer­ic­an stuff — its all very UK driv­en for a UK fest­iv­al crowd and vibe — for Mondays it was a more glob­al hip-hop offer­ing that we sought — The club group approached me for some ideas, we developed these — Cathy was then sug­ges­ted as she gets a VIP crowd like nobody else on the island — so she cer­ti­fied it by stamp­ing her name on it — of course her ex-hus­band Dav­id plays across the road at Ushuaïa on Monday for ‘BIG’ and he will get on the mic and sug­gest people head over to ‘Hi’ straight after.. Monday I will prob­ably play 1 or 2 UK tracks at the most dur­ing a set — music­ally the Monday has to be kept a lot broad­er and var­ied as the UK fla­vour is avail­able on Weds — if you want a more roun­ded offer­ing — Mondays are there for you in a dif­fer­ent set­ting too!

Con­grat­u­la­tions on this con­tin­ued suc­cess — we look for­ward to many more land­mark moments in your future!

Dis­turb­ing Ibiza takes place on selec­ted Wed­nes­days through­out June, July & August. For tick­ets & info vis­it or!

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Prash Suthersan

Prash Suthersan

Prash Suth­ersan is a Lon­don Based Pro­moter who spe­cial­ises in South Asi­an Live Events & Enter­tain­ment. His pas­sion and exper­i­ence in the live music arena has allowed him to pen down his thoughts on some of the biggest acts from all genres of music.

About Prash Suthersan

Prash Suthersan
Prash Suthersan is a London Based Promoter who specialises in South Asian Live Events & Entertainment. His passion and experience in the live music arena has allowed him to pen down his thoughts on some of the biggest acts from all genres of music.