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Andrea Oliva and Paco Osuna talk about Ibiza

Two seasoned DJs share their memories and thoughts on the White Isle in this special interview.

In the run-up to International Music Summit (IMS), we recently sat down with two dance music giants for a chat. Master electronic music selectors Andrea Oliva and Paco Osuna are set to play back to back at the IMS Dalt Vila on Friday 25 May.

Behemoth of international success, Andrea Oliva has shot up the electronic music career ladder in a very short amount of time, with every set and release projecting him further into global fame.

Starting out in the Switzerland clubbing scene, his music and reputation eventually brought him to Ibiza. Now a key player and synonymous part of ANTS, he is known for smashing out sets at Ushuaïa during the summer season.

Flying the flag for the Spanish underground is Paco Osuna. This creative and expressive DJ is a true originator and craftsman within the dance music scene. Through the label platform, Mindshake, he has built a worldwide enterprise which promotes techno music culture.

On top of his music business exploits, he is no stranger to the DJ booth playing at many festivals and clubs over multiple continents. Whilst in Ibiza, he has held a residency at Richie Hawtin's ENTER and taken over the Amnesia Terrace at Music On.

Both of these talented DJs will undoubtedly bring something special to the table for their b2b set at IMS Dalt Vila. Expect thundering techno and pounding tech house blended together with expert precision, enough to make anyone reach for the lasers.

Until then, check out what Andrea and Paco had to say about their time in Ibiza through this special spotlight interview.

When did you first come to the island and can you recall your first experiences of performing in Ibiza?

Andrea Oliva: First time I came to the island was 2004. My first time on the island was linked to my first ever gig in Ibiza and it was for a party called In Bed With Space at Space Ibiza! It was an incredible experience as it was at a time where the old space terrace was the ultimate Ibiza experience. I played on a Wednesday morning at 07:00. It was basically the after-hours of the Carl Cox party.

I remember arriving earlier and the car park was rammed with people waiting to get in at 07:00. Space used to close the night before at 06:00 so a lot of people were waiting for an hour to get back in. I was wowed by the whole atmosphere really; it was a magical two hours spinning on the Terrace.

Paco Osuna: My first contact in Ibiza was in 1999, and it was horrible. I remember the first day: I was the last DJ to play at the opening of Amnesia. Everyone had played and it was at least 11:00 in the morning. There were very few people left, but when I asked the DJ who was playing at the moment whether it was my turn, he told me that I still had a lot to learn. I never forgot those words and don't believe I ever will. It's like everything: when you arrive you're the new one, and many people for that reason treat you with distrust. But there is always someone willing to help you, to open the doors for you. In my case, it was José de Divina, one of the people always willing to help me.

It was in Amnesia that I met Sven Väth. He knew I had a devotion to techno, and one day he heard a demo of mine and offered me to go to work with Cocoon, becoming the first Spanish DJ to be a part of it. From that moment, my professional career began to expand.

How has the island progressed and changed since you first started to perform in Ibiza, has the music style and feeling changed in any way?

Andrea Oliva: Economically speaking I always had the feeling it was super expensive, but even back then you knew you were paying to hear the world's best DJs playing every day and night at all the different clubs on Ibiza. Of course the older you get the more you feel at one with the island, and the more you discover about its nature, the more you are drawn in by the beauty of Ibiza. What's really happened over the years is that the island has become a sort of big brand in its own right.

Some of the people simply come here because Ibiza nowadays is known worldwide. Some come for the clubbing, some to enjoy the island. Now it's a big mix of every kind of tourism, but even though it has become more exclusive in some areas, you can still live the Ibiza you maybe knew from 10-15 years ago. You just need to know where to go and how to live the whole thing. Ibiza is not just about the most famous spots everybody knows. There is so much more, and if you explore the island you will find them … it just depends what you are looking for!

Paco Osuna: Ibiza is Ibiza. It is always nice to be there and to play there. It has a very special atmosphere. You live a freedom that is very difficult to find in other places. But like everything, when it becomes massive, the magic is lost a bit. When I started going, we who played techno were a few. Everything else was either house or trance, and we were a minority and considered weird. Nowadays, the majority is techno.

Almost 20 years ago I lived an unforgettable time on that island. We breathed a totally carefree atmosphere, we could be with Richie, Marco, Luciano, all sitting there at a table listening to and playing promos, exchanging music. All united with a clear goal: to enjoy music and have fun. I could say that it was one of the best periods of my career as an artist.

Even so, Ibiza will always be a reference, no matter the musical trends, because although the fashions change, it will always have that atmosphere that makes it unique and that allows people to feel very free.

What is your tip to be this year's must-play record?

Andrea Oliva: There is so much good music around these days! I am sure I could answer this question better around the end of the season. Some tracks just grow over the summer, you never know!

Paco Osuna: Honestly, I cannot give any advice. Ever since the digital era took over, music today is massive and the duration of the tracks' success is very short. They are pieces made more for consumption than for collection.

Formerly, the same track could be the hit of the year for the duration of the year. At the present time, the overcrowding of music has made everything go at a much faster pace but also expire at that same speed, which makes it very difficult to save a track for a long period of time.

IMS Dalt Vila takes place on Friday 25 May in what is most likely one of the most spectacular locations on the planet. See below for full line-up details and tickets.

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