Interview: Rebeka Brown

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Photography by Ana Lui

Having just wrapped up yet another successful season collaborating with Matinee in Ibiza, where she wowed audiences on the terrace with her spectacular Disco Dramah live production, Spanish singer Rebeka Brown is quite possibly the hardest working woman in dance music. With multiple awards and a Guinness World Record to her name, she recently performed live on Spanish television for 2.5million viewers and at The Cannes Film Festival for Fashion TV – her star is definitely on the rise. We caught up with the energetic and captivating Ibiza-based songstress while she was hard at work at Sonic Vista Studios – world domination to follow shortly!

When did you first feel the connection to Ibiza?

The first time I came here I was seven years old and with my parents – I remember they went out and I had to stay in the hotel with a babysitter but I wanted to go too! Then when I was 15, I came here to party and I just fell in love with the island. About 12 years ago, I started performing (as a DJ while I was studying music, dramatics and art) so I came and stayed for a summer. Five years ago, I decided to stay permanently.

Is it something in particular about the island that attracted you?

It just has something special. Every time I went back to Barcelona, I was jealous of all the people staying on the island, especially in the winter, because it’s a completely different vibe. But I really found myself here. I feel balanced. Because I travel a lot, it’s one of those places I always want to come back to. I need to feel that connection.

Rebeka Brown, Disco Dramah show at Amnesia Ibiza: 18/09/10

Photography by Ana Lui

Disco Dramah is absolutely amazing – how involved are you in the production of it all?

I’m involved in every single thing – it’s like my baby! For me, it’s a dream come true, and (with my team) we did it all by ourselves with no experience. It’s a mix of music, theatre, visuals and dance – mixing everything that I am. My type of energy is really strong, and I try to transmit this to the people. I don’t think there is any other artist like this in the dance world – the most similar is Lady Gaga!

So how did you feel when Lady Gaga and Kylie brought their smaller productions to Ibiza?

Well… I was really surprised when I saw Lady Gaga in Ibiza – like, wow! But it’s good, it means pop and dance music are coming together. Lady Gaga, Black Eyed Peas, David Guetta… they all contribute to both styles and there’s no boundaries anymore. We all benefit from that.

Now you’re on the studio – what are you working on?

I’ve been doing a very Spanish style for a long time, but now I want to explore other genres and show other sides of myself – for example, I also play the piano. I’m working on many new projects with Henry [Sarmiento, Sonic Vista Studios], who has been a visionary to me. I needed some structure and focus and when we met while I was recording some vocals we had an instant connection. I want to reach more people internationally.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?

To stay healthy! In this business, sometimes it’s impossible. I like to take care of myself but when you’re in airports, you just eat whatever you find at that time. Staying in shape and exercising is very difficult, especially with the times I perform. For mainstream artists, at midnight, they’re done. But I start at 3am and finish at 8am and I certainly haven’t been sleeping all day! It kills you, but you have to work really hard and make sacrifices.

Has it been difficult, as a woman, to succeed in this industry?

It took me quite some time to be respected. Once people see that you move the dance floor, and you rule it, they see you are in control of your career and have brains and work hard, they respect you. I was born with this character, but sometimes you have to have to act like a man otherwise the industry would eat you!

This interview was published on September 20, 2010

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Photography by Ana Lui