The London DJs bringing the bangers to Ibiza this summer, from Jamie Jones to Eliza Rose
Brighter(ish) days are officially upon us, and it’s also drawing closer to the time of year where Londoners are enticed by the allure of proper sunshine in the Balariacs.
For party lovers everywhere, Ibiza has been the one of the world’s most famous dance destination for decades – hosting bonafide DJing legends like Fat Boy Slim,Eric Prydz, Carl Cox, and live performances from musical icons like Grace Jones, Sylvester, and Gloria Gaynor.
It’s also an unofficial summer residence for some of of the UK’s brightest and best DJ talents. As the White Island gears up for its legendary party season, here are the defining DJs to catch this summer in their home away from home.
One of dance music’s pivotal artists, South London-native Oliver Jones aka Skream is one of the most renowned DJs the UK has produced, having pioneered the sound of dubstep with counterparts HATCHA, Benga and Artwork. The capital city’s rich scene has always held a special place in Jones’ heart. “London is a unique beast because of the Windrush generation, and that older black influence. We merge together, we f*** up s***.”
Jones has always been an experimental figure, venturing into house, techno and garage among other sub-genres. The DJ is a former regular at iconic former West End club The End, which shut its doors back in 2009. The DJ famously first dropped his remix of La Roux’s hit track In For the Kill at the venue.
Skream has become a regular fixture in Ibiza, too - though he once spent incredibly mundane four hours there stuck in a lift. “It was like something out of Final Destination,” he quips, and climbing out onto the floor above to escape was a tall order, given that he’s over 6ft. Anecdotes aside, popular club DC10 is where he feels most at home. “That terrace is magic. There’s no feeling like it.”
Essential track: Skream & Jansens - World Is Empty
London-based TSHA has made a name for herself as one of the most exciting talents in the club scene, earning plaudits from the likes of George Fitzgerald and Bonobo. “It wasn’t till I came here that I really could experience raving and different types of dance music,” she says, of first moving to London, “and it’s so diverse here. The London scene is home to me. It’s where I feel most welcomed as an artist, and as a person. ”
TSHA’s first ventures into Ibiza came towards the end of the pandemic, while clubs were still closed. So for her, there’s more to Ibiza than its famous - and admittedly world-class - parties, and she’s loved exploring the other side to this late-night hotspot.
This summer, she will play the Circoloco’s opening party on May 1 at DC-10, which happens to be her favourite venue: “The Circoloco crew are just the loveliest and most fun, and they have the best lineup”
Essential track: Jamie Unknown - The Get Down
Raised on the harsh, speed-laden strains of bassline that reverberated through their hometown of Doncaster, I.JORDAN is now based in London - and is one of the scene’s most exciting DJs. Entering the fold via Peckham’s now-defunct afternoon social New Atlantis - a destination for sipping green tea and listening to ambient music - their output has steadily taken a turn towards the high-octane, and debut EP For You broke through the weirdness of lockdown to become an unlikely dance smash in a time without nightclubs. 2021’s fast-paced follow-up Watch Out! came next, along with a string of shows around the capital. “Everyone’s really, really up for it,” they say, of London’s scene. “Club culture is a part of what we grew up with… it’s in our DNA to be up for it and shouty and dancey in clubs.”
This summer, I.JORDAN is headed to the party island for Ibiza Rocks with Becky Hill - which is sure to be “ridiculous” and laden with pyrotechnics. It’ll still be tough to beat their fondest memory of Ibiza, mind - playing Freddies at Pikes. Queen frontman Freddie Mercury famously loved the venue so much that he ended up living at the hotel for a time, and the disco spot is named in his honour.
“It has the world’s most amazing disco ball! I played this trance track called Lizard by Mauro Picotto there, and it’s always been my dream to play that track in Ibiza. It’s always had a special place in my heart because of [2000 film] Kevin & Perry Go Large! For a lot of people who don’t really understand what your profession is, it feels like if you’ve DJ’d in Ibiza, you’ve sort of made it…”
Essential track: Eliza Rose - Better Love (I.JORDAN Remix)
Barry Can’t Swim
East London-based Joshua Mannie doesn’t just have the most surreal moniker of the year; he’s also making waves with his nimble, jazz-inflected strain of house. Off the back of now-huge tunes like the piano-laced El Layali and deep house banger God Is The Space Between Us, he’s now one of the summer’s must-catch names.
When Mannie first moved to London, he was captivated by Brixton club Phonox, and the underground party scene unfolding on the city fringes. “I remember one that my mate had put on. I’m pretty sure it was illegal…” he says, reflecting on the empty warehouse, borrowed decks and solitary security guard that were hurriedly brought in. “It was just quite lawless, to be honest with you, but really fun,” he says. “Super remote, and it felt really old school.”
Mannie admits that initially, he had the “wrong impression” of Ibiza - viewing it as hyper-expensive and not all that much fun. Delving into the island’s world-famous party circuit, and playing famed superclub Amnesia has changed his perspective completely. “Moments like that, I’m thinking to myself, I was working on a meat and fish counter a few years ago, part time, while I was studying. Now I’m playing Amnesia! You never lose sight of how bizarre it all is.”
Essential track: Yame - Teens
Coming off the back of a huge year with number one track B.O.T.A (Baddest of Them All), Eliza Rose has become one of the brightest new purveyors of summery bangers. Her favourite thing about London’s scene? “It has to be the amount of talent!” she says. “Back when I started it was a bit of a chin-scratcher Boys’ Club to be honest… and for a phase it was predominantly white - but the raving scene is still strong to be fair and has always been mixed and thriving.” She does caution, however, that many London venues are currently battling to stay open, with “loads of good clubs in London getting shut down.”
Having played London institutions like Corsica and Fabric, she’s now heading to Ibiza for the very first time this summer, with shows at DC:10, Hi and Ushuaia. Reflecting on what playing the island means to her, she’s focused on the simple things: “Good music and raving in the sun, innit. What more can you ask for?”
Essential track: Erykah Badu – Honey (Guy Robin & DJ Leo House Rmx)
Hot Creations label boss Jamie Jones is about as quintessentially Ibiza as it gets – having founded the legendary party Paradise back in 2012. It’s still going strong today, and relocated to Amnesia last summer after a decade-long run at DC-10. “I’ve spent most of my adult life between Ibiza and London,” the Welsh DJ says. “My year would not be the same without spending a significant amount of time in Ibiza.”
Though the island is now something of a second home, it was experiencing London’s club scene as a student that first kickstarted Jones’ love of the genre . “There is always someone doing something new and fresh”, he says of the capital, “whether it’s a warehouse party or after-hours under a bridge. I’m not out on the rave scene partying hard as much as I used to be, but I still see that people are doing these fresh things, and constantly trying to carve out a place for themselves.”
As something of an Ibiza veteran, Jones knows better than most how much the scene there has shifted over the years. “I’ve watched the island change a lot over the last 25 years, but I’m still genuinely surprised to discover things there.” In recent years, he’s finally ventured out to the island’s many coastal spots. “I didn’t spend too much time on beaches in my earlier times in Ibiza. I was usually hopping from villa to club! There’s so much to do there, and I also think the people it attracts are free spirited. That really compliments the energy on the island.”
Essential track: Jamie Jones – Lose My Mind