Erick Morillo is in the ascendancy. Not only is he one of the world’s most recognisable and successful DJs, he also heads up one of the most renowned labels the industry has seen in Subliminal and holds a weekly residency at Pacha during the summer. It’s not luck that’s got him to this enviable position; Morillo has grafted longer and hard than pretty much anyone else and while he’s reached near unparalleled levels of success his passion for the music has never been greater.
We caught up with him ahead of the ’10 season to talk future stars, witchcraft and why the hunger is still as powerful as it’s ever been…
Do you still think you have the same hunger for dance music now as when you first started?
I think that yes, I still have the same hunger, and I actually think that the hunger has gotten deeper and I feel now I can do anything. It’s a fun hunger as in the past I didn’t know how I was going to do certain things, and now I know what I’m doing and I’ve surrounded myself with great people. This collaboration with Defected and Strictly Rhythm has elevated my game to another level and I feel like if anyone has seen me at any of my gigs, they see me and the love and passion I have. I’m dancing, sweating and everything so yeah, I still do have that hunger and it’s grown.
Do you think you are as obsessed about having whatever is the newest thing now as you were then?
I’m definitely keen on staying at the top, and that has to encompass all the new music, all the new guys coming up and keeping my eye on what the new trends are musically, DJ wise, and so on. So I still have that passion to be at the top.
Do you ever look for new artists or is it all sewn up with people you have already spotted?
People send me demos, but I’m not as on top of my demos as I’d like to be, but I do listen, I’m always looking. I look for quality, if someone wants to send me a track, I’m very accessible. We do look for new things and new records from people, it’s just about having that quality of being a little sexy, a little dirty and housey for sure!
What new guys are you bringing out at the moment?
Some of the new guys we are championing right now, there is a guy called Antranig who people may not recognise but he has worked with Danny Tenaglia for many years. He did a couple of records for us a couple of years back, went on a hiatus and now he’s back with a vengeance. We just released a records on Subliminal, called ‘Whores’ which has really caught on, people are really responding. Now he’s going be doing this Sondos compilation this summer as well as releasing a couple of singles. Another one that I really love is Lee Kalt. He’s a DJ from New York who released a record called ‘Special K’ which was released about a year and a half ago. He now has 13 tracks which he showed me, they are unbelievable. So there will be a Lee Kalt record out this summer and one out later this year. Richard Grey is someone I’ve been working with for a while now, he handed me an artist album. We are going to be releasing a couple of singles, the first one being ‘Bang’ which is a collaboration he did with Robin S. So Richard Grey will be one of the stars doing the Subliminal thing. I’m really excited about these new guys who are doing it for us.
Tell me about your new release with Eddie Thoneick then?
I’ve known Eddie and his productions for a couple of years now, and we got in touch late last year to discuss doing a collaboration. We started doing this record, we got Shawnee Taylor on vocals, and we ended up finishing this ‘Live Your Life’ record which is going to be released in June. It worked so well that we decided to do another record together featuring Shena, which will be out in May, called ‘Nothing Better’ another record I’m excited about. Now we have a great relationship, I feel it’s working. It’s very easy to work with him, he’s a very talented person and we are going to have him this summer playing in Ibiza at Pacha and I envision doing a lot more projects with him.
Ok, let’s go on to talking about Subliminal sessions at Pacha, Ibiza.
Absolutely! I think this is going to be our ninth year? Maybe 10, I’m not how many years we’ve been doing it for! This year’s theme at Pacha is ‘Voodoo Nights’. I plan on being the resident witch doctor and playing from June to September and other medicine men this year include Richard Grey, Eddie Thoneick, Dirty South, Steve Angello, M.A.N.D.Y. also Little Louie Vega which I’m really excited about. I’m also looking forward to bringing in Fake Blood and A-TRAK. So I’m really excited, the theme is very sexy, and also shamanistic with fire eating and crazy rituals. It’s going to be fun, so come one come all; it’s going to be a great summer.
How are you going to raise the bar this year from last year? Because it gets tougher every year to do that perfect party. Is there anything you are doing differently this year than you did last year?
We started planning what we are going to do a lot earlier, we got the theme and photo shoot done, so we nailed this concept. In the photo shoot, I’m the witch doctor and the girls are like my sacrifice, if you will! We got 3 hot Brazilian models, with legs up to their necks! It’s about fun, people come to my parties because they love the energy, the fun we create. With this theme, it’s very easy to get lost in the Voodoo world! We’re dressing the club up for a night of voodoo so be prepared to be under my spell.
So let’s talk about your Subliminal Sessions album. How are you feeling about it?
Well this year’s compilation is called ‘Voodoo Nights’. It’ll have my new single ‘Live Your Life’ as well as Jose Nunez who’s coming back with a vengeance. We’ve got this track called ‘Dance Again’. One of my favourite tracks of the moment, which really blew up in Miami and you can’t get away from it Mr Dennis Ferrer ‘Hey Hey’. We also have some exclusives. We have a Cevin Fisher record called ‘We Are The Lucky Ones’ and it’s going to be released on Sondos at the end of July. There’s also a remix of Danny Tenaglia’s classic ‘Underground’ which is on the album. It’s a very sexy sexy album, there’s going to be a lot of vocals, tribal and drummy stuff.
What one track of yours would be your first choice that’s going to smash the Ibiza dance floors?
It’s hard, I know that my record ‘Live Your Life’ is going to be a big record for me this summer, I think that’s really going to take off. I also like the Dennis Ferrer ‘Hey Hey’. I think that will last all summer long. There’s a record on A-Trak’s label called ‘Babylon’ which is pretty amazing! Steve Angello did an edit and I really love that. I think those records will be big. I think the Jose Nunez ‘Dance Again’ will be big for me! I love that in dance music right now, there’s so much great music out there. As a DJ it’s a joy, as every night I can change my sets as there is so much stuff! So much quality out there, it’s going to be a great summer for me.
What other places are you playing this summer? Other big festivals, any other big international dates?
I’m a pretty lucky guy, I get to pick and choose where I play. Here in England, I’m doing SW4 in London in August, so I’m really excited about that. I’m all over the place again this summer; Bosnia, Mykonos, Cannes, Portugal, NYC, The Hamptons. You name it and I’ll most probably be there this season. I’m lucky I can pick and choose where I play, you can see my schedule at my website which is phenomenal.
Source: Defected Records
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