Ibiza music

Artistically complete

DJ Michael Canitrot talks music, family, and Ibiza

For French DJ – and Lío Ibiza resident – Michael Canitrot, music was a hugely important pillar of his upbringing.

There are many routes into music. Some find a hero and dedicate their lives to replicating them, others fall in love with a sound and vow to learn everything about it, and then there are the lucky few who simply happen to be born into musical families. For those fortunate folk, their lives are marked by classics from an early age – first steps, first day at school, first kisses – these momentous life events unfold to a soundtrack chosen by their parents, who just so happen to be discerning music connoisseurs.

That was very much the case for Michael Canitrot, a DJ who continues to count his blessings for the environment he grew up in. “I grew up with music everywhere,” the Parisian DJ explains. “Every day, we were listening to music. My father was a DJ on a French radio station and my mother was a big fan of black music – everything from Marvin Gaye to Earth, Wind and Fire.” Consequently, it was no surprise to the family when at the tender age of eight years old, Michael started DJing. “I really wanted to play for everyone,” he smiles. “Whether at birthday parties or at home, I started to understand how to connect with people musically.”

Over the following years, Michael was diligent in his pursuit of perfection. He learnt to play the drums, got behind the decks as often as possible and was given music lessons every weekend by his father. “He introduced me to all the biggest bands like The Beatles and Led Zeppelin,” Michael says. “He would explain everything to me, about what they did and how they made music.” He guzzled up the knowledge and applied it to his own playing style, and it wasn’t long before he’d blagged himself a gig at Paris’ (then) most legendary club, Les Bains Douches, run by none other than David and Cathy Guetta. “I was so nervous about that gig because to get it, I told them that I’d already been DJing for many years, when in actual fact I was only 17 and it was my first time in a club!” Michael recalls.

It went on to be the first of many performances, and also laid the foundations for his longstanding admiration of other French DJs. “I met Bob Sinclar in Paris,” he explains. “Throughout the entire party I stood behind him, trying to understand what he was doing.” Ever the student, Michael was always taking notes. “Laurent Garnier is also the kind of DJ who can transport you from midnight to 5am and take you on a real journey,” he says. “I really like this kind of DJ.”

Naturally, there are other elements Michael has taken from his home scene, which he’s now transported to Ibiza – this summer he’s playing on selected Tuesday nights this summer for his Pop Art residency at Lío Ibiza. “In France we always like to create something artistically complete,” he says of the concept. “The music is one part but there are other components we can touch on. That way, we create something new and fresh for people.”

With that in mind, his musical home for the season makes perfect sense – the Marina Botafoch club is renowned for its glamorous production. “Pop Art is very much a Parisian party with an artistic angle and beautiful visuals that we’re bringing to Ibiza,” says Michael. “We started off playing deep house but now we cover everything from house to soul to funk – the idea is always to surprise people.” He admits too, that the VIP nature of Lío Ibiza keeps him on his toes musically. “It can be tricky to make people dance when they’ve been everywhere in the world and heard everything,” he muses. “They know what they’re looking for in a party, and that means I really have to capture them.”

This is a theme he’s noticed at many Ibiza clubs over the years – from the very first time he visited the island right up until now. “On my first visit to Ibiza, I was able to see people really connecting with the DJ and that made the atmosphere really impressive,” he says. “I was also so interested to see how they promote the nights here. It’s not just about the party, it’s about the parade, the communication, and the production, and that was just a whole new level for me.”

Needless to say, the production at Pop Art fits seamlessly into the Lío Ibiza aesthetic, and is providing the perfect backdrop for Michael’s concept – it’s the kind of party that keeps people dancing long after the cabaret has stopped. Michael has recently been testing out a new tune called Way Down, made in collaboration with Duvall from DISCIPLΞS, that’s been going down a storm on dancefloors. And as far as dancefloors go – Lío Ibiza’s has been packed to the rafters since the Pop Art opening party this summer, with the party proving hugely successful with the clubbing community on the island, in addition to those clubbers who jet in from all over the world. If you haven’t yet discovered it, add Pop Art to your list of must-dance places this summer – it’s a fresh new vibe in Ibiza, from a fresh international talent, that looks set to be one of the soirees of the summer.