We had the great chance to organize this phone interview with Pete Tong, worldwide famous DJ and host of the Essential Mix programme on BBC Radio 1. Since 5 years now, Pete is also organizing the International Music Summit in Ibiza. This event gathers the most influencial people from the Electronic-Music world, joined by inspiring personalities from other scenes and industries. Following the IMS 2012 interview, Pete revealed us his TOP5 « Artists to Watch » and some of his Essential Summer tunes. I hope you’ll enjoy reading this interview.
1) Pete Tong Introduces the International Music Summit
2) The IMS 2012 Anthem
3) The IMS Grand Finale and Pete Tong’s Summer Season
4) Pete Tong Names 5 Artists To Watch
5) Revealing the « Essential Summer Hits »
1 – INTERNATIONAL MUSIC SUMMIT IBIZA 2012
> IMS seems to be a festival, a conference and a professional show at the same time. We would like you to introduce this event in your own words. What is IMS exactly?
IMS is a Summit, this would be the exact word we would use in English. The original idea was to gather the leading people and artists of the Electronic world for 3 days to discuss the issues faced by Electronic Music, but also its future and see how we could make it better. We felt it would be a perfect thing to locate it in Ibiza because of its huge influence and contribution on the whole story of Electronic Music from the beginning… and yet a lot of people around the world still think of Ibiza as an island just for party! We actually wanted to do something that would change the reputation of Ibiza and we worked with the government of Ibiza, the “councell”, and developed our concept, discussed about the access to Dalt Villa, the historical part of Ibiza, and they‘ve supported us. This was our first year and we started from here. In terms of influence, I could name Sonar, in Barcelona. This kind of big events have that sort of “art-code”, that “artistic attitude”… and that was one of the things that inspired us for IMS.
> So, basically, back in 2008, the purpose behind creating such an event was to make something different in Ibiza, to create some sort of a “more serious” Electronic Music event?
Well, we just wanted to help making a different impression of Ibiza in the world. I mean… we love clubs, we love partying, but we also wanted to bring something different, to do something that would be business-oriented, allowing people to network and do business together. For us, one of the most important things was to meet inspiring people. That’s why we invited characters from around the world who are involved in Electronic Music, directly or indirectly. We brought people from Hollywood, people from TV, people from the web, from Google, from Facebook and let them interact with leading people of the Electronic scene. That’s what we wanted to do.
> These objectives, the issues covered in 2008 have evolved. With Electronic Music opening to a wider audience, you kind of reached the original objectives of IMS. Today, in 2012, with speakers like Nile Rogers (from Chic), but also representatives from Twitter, Spotify, Vue Cinemas and lots of non-electronic actors, what are the main issues that will be covered? Which challenges are faced by the Electronic Music today?
I think that the big thing today is that Electronic Music has finally caught the attention of everybody. It’s a big business now. Artists like David Guetta or Swedish House Mafia have conquered other audiences. Today they are getting the same business opportunities as U2, Coldplay or Rihanna. Electronic Music is no longer an underground thing and it has the highest level of awareness it never had before. People want to get involved in this business now. This year, I think the biggest topic for the summit is “The Year Of Change”… and not only the changes in Ibiza but the change in the way of Electronic Music is now received around the world. That’s why it’s very important for us to bring more of the two worlds together with more people from different walks of life.
2 – THE IMS 2012 ANTHEM
> Last year, Sasha produced the IMS anthem with « Cut Me Down ». Who’s in charge of the song this year?
Japanese Popstars are doing the anthem this year and Sister Bliss, from Faithless, is doing the remix.
> Japanese Popstars? That sounds great to me! You did a remix for them, right?
> What kind of track can we await from them this time?
I don’t know what they will come up with because they don’t really fit into a “one and only” style, or genre of music. They’re producing some sort of Pop-Electro, sometimes Techno Music… so we’ll see what they are going to propose us in a few days now!
> Let’s talk about the Grand Finale, which is the closing event of IMS. It is taking place at the center of Dalt Villa, historical part of Ibiza Town and UNESCO protected site. It should be a very special thing to play there?
Yeah, really special… it’s an incredible site! Grand Finale is taking place at the end of the day, when the sun goes down, we are at the top of this little mountain on the coast and have a view over the whole Ibiza town. It’s a totally unique and inspiring place to perform, I’m having a lot of fun every year. This year we are really excited as David Guetta is coming back to do his free show on the Thursday, joined by Diplo and Paul Oakenfold. On Friday, for Grand Finale, we have Carl Cox, Seth Troxler, Loco Dice, Azari & III, but also a new band from the UK called Disclosure, and myself! I can honestly say that it’s seems pretty good!
> Yes it seems! Can you enlighten us on how do you selected these artists for Grand Finale?
Some years ago we had Basement Jaxx and it was a really big act. But it the end, IMS is mostly about new music to be presented. We don’t want it to be a “big artists only” event and we want to push new talents and new music acts. Moreover, with David Guetta now doing his show on Thursday, it allows us to go into a different direction on Friday. This year, as I told you, we have Azari & III. They made one of the album of the year in 2011 and introduced themselves to the whole world with their underground anthem “Hungry For The Power”. We also have Disclosure, a new act that is really blowing up in the UK. They are two brothers and they’ve just signed to PMR Records (Universal / Island Records) and already have a couple of tracks in the Radio 1 playlists. They remixed Jessie Ware “Running” and will bring Jessie with them to perform at Grand Finale. We also always wanted to have Carl Cox on the event but so far he wasn’t available because of the Space Opening event… but this year he is doing Grand Finale. Again, we also have Loco Dice and Seth Troxler for the first time. They are both reaaly huge DJs so we’re really happy to have them this year too.
> I heard that IMS is also some sort of a kick-off event for the Club-season in Ibiza, right?
Yeah, that’s what the government of Ibiza wanted: to extend the season by a week and have us to come three days before the clubs’ opening. It’s actually a nice time to go there too!
> And what are your plans for the summer on the island?
I’m back at Pacha! I’m starting on the 25th of May with Calvin Harris for All Gone Pete Tong. We’ll run this event for 19 weeks and we have an amazing line-up including Seth Troxler, Jamie Jones, Laurent Garnier, Trentemoller, but also Seb Ingrosso, Maya Jane Coles, etc. This is actually what you can hear at my radio show: some underground Djs and some more-popular artists. That’s what I always enjoyed to do!
4 – ESSENTIAL ARTISTS
> Ok Pete, that’s all I wanted to be covered about IMS and your Ibiza season and I’ve got a couple of Bonus questions…
Yup, tell me!
> If you had to name 5 artists to watch, which one would it be?
Hmmm, that’s a tricky one, ahaha! Let’s see… Infinity Ink, which is Luca C and Ali Love; then I would say Disclosure, who are really getting big… mostly in the UK but they’re definitely a band to watch; then I think about Eats Everything; on a more-commercial level, I think that Nicky Romero is going to blow-up; last I would say Blond:Ish!
5 – ESSENTIAL SUMMER HITS
> Great! Last question! I just saw you named “Flashmob – Need In Me” as the essential tune of last week. I’m really happy for them as we support them from their debut EP on Get Physical. I thought that we could go a little bit further and see if you could predict the essential tune of the summer?
It’s quite difficult, I think it’s too early to say, but let’s try! I think that Blond:Ish « Lovely Days” might be one of the early anthems of the summer. I also think that Miguel Campbell « Something Special” might come back from last summer. Nneka « Shining Star (Joe Goddard Remix)” is going to be a good record for the start of summer too. Last, I think that “Infinity” by Infinity Ink is going be huge too… but these are records that have been around for the last months… this is what happens with anthems!
> Ok Pete, that’s all for this interview. It was a real pleasure to have you on the phone and I wish you all the best for this summer!
Thank you for your time Antwan, Bye!
Keep up the good vibes Pete! Antwan Shalom.