Ibiza DJ interview: Sean Rowley, Guilty Pleasures

Ibiza music: Guilty Pleasures at Aura

So just who are Guilty Pleasures? Well if you’ve been living under a rock the size of Es Vedra for the last seven years, you’ll be pleased to meet Sean Rowley, DJ and founder of the hugely successful pop-focused UK club night that will be hitting Ibiza this summer – namely, the picture perfect setting of Aura – weekly from Wednesday July 27, 2011, a man who encourages you to beat the mid-week blues by indulging those guilty musical pleasures of decades gone by. We caught up with Sean prior to the opening party to get the lowdown on just why Ibiza needs Guilty Pleasures

When did you first come to Ibiza?
I first came as a 17-year old on the pull in the ‘8os! That was my first Ibiza experience, but then I’ve been involved with a few little gigs along the way, like Manumission in its final year… then some discussions started up between us and [Aura owner] Hayden about us coming over once a month, then it grew to every week and the more I thought about it and found out about Aura, it was too good an opportunity to pass up!

So what is it about Aura in Ibiza that suits Guilty Pleasures?
Well, I’ve been approached by a few venues over the year but had always felt it wasn’t right for us. It was too young or too small or just didn’t fit what we do… but as I said, the more I found out about Aura, through conversations with others who were involved in it,  the more the dialogue  kept going, I just thought, this is really going to work and was too good an opportunity to turn down! We’re not just going to rock up and throw the party – we’ll do it properly… and give it a go!

What can we expect at Aura – for those who may not know what you do?
Well, it’s something that’s so dear to my heart, I’ve put seven years into it and it captured the mood of a nation so to speak. It’s been such a massive success in the UK, and here in Ibiza, I didn’t want to do a low rent version or a school disco type thing. Right from the early days, it’s been important that people have a bit of fun! Guilty Pleasures brings the fun back, for ex-clubbers, an older crowd… people who come up to me and say, ‘This is brilliant! Now I have a reason to go out again!’

On an island that is so dance-music oriented… who do you think are your target audience?
Obviously dance music is always moving forward and reinventing itself, but you get to a certain point – within your age group – where you feel like you don’t want to be on the frontline anymore. You still like to go out, to have a party, especially the music savvy crowd… but you don’t want to get too caught up in the seriousness of dance music. We attract a slightly older crowd… and obviously cater to that in the content we offer, leaning very much towards pop music in the ‘80s, ‘90s and even present day. People love that. They adore pop music and we aren’t ironic – we say it’s alright to love this. There’s no VIPs at Guilty Pleasures… everyone is welcome – it’s a bit of a leveler!

How different is it to a retro night – how do you avoid being cheesy?
We’re not too cool for school, but we’re never trashy. We genuinely LOVE what we do. Of course, we’ll go on a slightly different tip for the Ibiza parties, we’ll be incorporating a lot more really good disco into the set – I mean really, it’s not that long since people were dancing to Alfredo playing Phil Collins!

What has the response been like from your UK following?
Amazing! We have really put the word out and there are so many people saying they’ll come out! Also… everyone who knows us, and knows Ibiza says that Aura is a brilliant fit. We’re bringing out our dancers, performers and having such good parties over the season… you can expect a lot of fun to cure the mid week blues!

Guilty Pleasures hit Aura on July 27, August 3, 10, 17, 24 & 31, plus September 7, 14, 21 & 28, 2011.

Ibiza music: Guilty Pleasures at Aura