Ibiza Interview with DJ and Producer OFFAIAH
OFFAIAH is a project which has been 2 years in the making from the London-born, US-based DJ Producer.
His recent release on Defected Records Somewhere Special’ ft. Cat Connors has gone down a storm entering the Top 50 on Beatports main chart, getting regular plays across BBC Radio 1 and is streaming well across Spotify.
This summer OFFAIAH will be returning to Ibiza to play to the dance music loving crowds across the island at Ibiza Rocks, Eden and Ushuaïa.
Ahead of his first Ibiza appearance this summer at MK Area 10 Pool Party, we sat down with OFFAIAH to get his low down on his upcoming Ibiza season, music and life as a DJ.
A huge welcome to the blog, how would you describe your sound and why did you feel it was time for a move away from the sounds with which your previous aliases have had huge success?
Hi guys, thanks so much for having me. I like to describe my sound as “sonically groovin” – I’m always looking for cool grooves which are the basis upon which I make all my tracks.
Groove is everything to me, its what gets people moving on the dance floor. Once the groove is nailed I’m on to the sonics and work really hard to make sure the track has an overall pleasing and satisfyingly warm sound.
As you mentioned I’ve produced under various different aliases over the past 19 years and I’m always challenging myself to make something new and different – slipping into house/tech house just felt natural to me at the time – it wasn’t really a conscious decision but more of an unconscious one.
I always describe the way I work in the studio as a never-ending experiment and I just let the music takes me where it wants to go.
You are on the billing for 3 very different events this Summer in Ibiza. A day time pool party at Ibiza Rocks with MK Area 10. An evening set at Ushuaia alongside Calvin Harris and a more traditional nightclub set as part of Defected.
How do you approach three very different venues and audiences in curating your sets?
I have to say I’m really looking forward to these shows. Yes, the audiences are likely to be a little different from show to show but it’s not going to have much effect on how I approach my set – my sound is my sound and that’s what I want to focus on.
My set consists of 60- 70% my own music so not much is going to change in that respect – as a DJ I have to walk that fine line between playing what I want to play and playing what the crowd wants to hear but ultimately I have more respect for DJ’s who play their own set, and not play just what they think the crowd wants to hear thus giving the crowd a better taste of what they are truly about.
Ibiza we are told by many offers a unique place for artists to explore and to push the boundaries of their sets how excited are you to be able to push yourself and to play to such an energetic and dance music loving crowd?
This is very true – as I said before DJ’s always have to walk that fine line between playing for themselves and playing to the crowd and some places in the world can prove harder to play what you want as opposed to what the crowd wants.
Ibiza is definitely a place where DJ’s are expected to push the boundaries and as a result, are able to tap in to things they may otherwise not be able to – so for me personally speaking its a great place to showcase brand new material, material I may be slightly on the fence about but want to take a risk with, and playing new material not knowing exactly what kind of reaction you’re going to get is half the fun in DJing.
You have been lucky enough to play at the world famous Cafe Mambo which encompasses that true magic and spirit of Ibiza. Why do you think Ibiza is such a magical place for so many music lovers to come together across the summer months?
Ibiza is a breathtaking place full of life, colour, music and culture. I fell in love with it from the first time I went over 20 years ago, and the sunset viewed from Cafe Mambo is something never to be forgotten.
Its a place where you can party 24/7 if you so desire – but there is a different side to the island too – Ibiza has an abundance of rose quartz which is a mineral used in watches, clocks and timers for its time-keeping properties due to its natural vibrational frequency.
This resonance the quartz gives off is said to have a tremendous effect on our bodies, promoting calming and even healing effects. So couple this with the beauty the island has to offer and the music being played from the best DJ’s around the world and you really have something that is truly magical.
Mental health in the DJ world has become a hot talking point over recent years with the pressures of touring and crazy schedules having a massive impact on DJs.
We know you are a keen runner is this a way of keeping healthy not only physically but mentally as well and how important is it to look after your body and mind when DJing?
Yes it can be quite gruelling, especially when you are going from city to city, show to show, around the world doing late gigs and catching early flights, it’s easy to run yourself into the ground.
I am very mindful of this and try not to take on too much if I think it’s going to be detrimental to my health (which is easier said than done).
I’ve always been into playing sports/athletics from my early school days and naturally like to keep fit, so this is a big advantage for me when having to dig deep for that last bit of energy to get me through that last gig of the tour.
Keeping fit for me is so important not only to stay physically strong but also mentally strong.
You are a great lover of gadgets and technology what are you three go to pieces of tech in everyday life and you could not be without?
Yes I love gadgets and tech, I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to that department lol.
Always on either my MacBook Pro, my iPhone, or playing around with my newly acquired Sony a7iii full frame camera.
The debate about playing digital or vinyl will always be a hotly contested one which do you prefer and why?
I actually started off playing vinyl and let me tell you it can be a real pain lugging a big record box with you around the world – especially when the alternative is a usb drive that you can slip in to your pocket.
I’m always looking into ways of how to deliver the best possible sound but, personally-speaking, the difference in sound quality of vinyl over digital is not enough to warrant to playing on vinyl.
You can do way more in terms of mixing and FX on the fly when playing digitally so for me digital is the clear winner.
Every summer in Ibiza certain tracks just seem to hit it off with audiences which three tracks do you think will define this summer in Ibiza that we should be listening out for?
There is so much great music out there at the moment which makes this a tough question to answer but these are my three Ibiza tracks to listen out for this summer.
Ferreck Dawn – You Are The One
SKT – Ballers
Mat.Joe – Ya Know
Apart from playing in Ibiza this summer what other events are you most looking forward to this year?
I’ve got a lot of cool shows coming up this summer – I’m especially looking forward to Sundance Festival in Slovakia and Defected in Croatia, not to mention the K-Fest K2 Festival in Wales.
Lastly, what does the future hold for OFFAIAH and what have you got in the works we should be listening out for?
I’m just working away, forever experimenting in the studio so looking forward to seeing what comes out next.
My next release is called “Love Me” which is out June 14th 2019 on Solotoko, and after that I have some cool collaborations lined up for late summer/autumn, so be sure to look out for those.
Just want to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who is listening and supporting my music, and I hope to see you at a show one day very soon!
Our deepest thanks to OFFAIAH for taking time out to speak to us today you can catch him in Ibiza this summer at Ibiza Rocks MK Area 10 Pool Party, with Calvin Harris at Ushuaia and at Defected at Eden on several dates this summer.