‘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 theushuaiaexperience.com or disturbingevents.com!