International DJ Steve Lawler has a long history with the white isle, having been holidaying, living and working in Ibiza since his teenage years, when he discovered his passion for the island and its legendary musical culture just as the Balearic and acid house movements were taking off. We caught up with the ViVa music label boss at the Space closing party, as he wrapped up his tenth season as resident DJ for We Love… and his 20th summer on the island.
Tell us about your first time in Ibiza?
The first time I came to Ibiza was in 1990 with my parents. They didn’t know that I knew about the house and techno scene that was going on here, and at the time, I became really intrigued by the Balearic scene. I would sneak out of the hotel, end up at Café Del Mar at 8am in the morning and then sneak back in. My parents would knock on my door at 10am and I’d pretend I’d just woken up, when really I’d been awake all night, My first time was rebellious and exciting, because it was all new to me.
Fast forward to 2010 – you must have seen a lot of change?
I’ve seen a hell of a lot of change – some things not so good, others better – but world’s changing and Ibiza’s not going to stay the same. I’m glad it doesn’t, because change is good.
What is it that keeps the island so special for you to this day?
First and foremost, I just knew that I had to be on this island. When I first came here, I felt more belonging to Ibiza than I did to my home in England. I quickly came back the next year, then the year after and then in 1993 I came out and stayed for two months. In 1994, I came and worked at Café Mambo. There is actually is some magic about this island because everybody has that same kind of experience, loving it, staying here and making a life here, but nobody can explain exactly why. That means it’s magic to me.
Why do you think the music scene has continued to thrive here?
Ibiza has always been about music, way back before I was born. The island has become the epicentre for electronic music and I’m happy for that!
This year has seen the return of the beach party – do you ever see yourself doing something like this?
I DO do them! I’m playing the Bora Bora closing, I played in a cave a few weeks ago, I end up playing at villa parties… I just don’t advertise the fact because I play at Space. I do it all the time, turn up and play for free because I love to play music.
How do you feel at the end of each season?
A year older! My birthday doesn’t tell me I’m a year older; it’s the end of every summer that tells me.
Do you see yourself spending more time in Ibiza in the future?
I’ve always lived on the island off and on; I’ve got a house here and an apartment. I lived here for many years, then I decided it was right for me to get off the island for a while. But next year I think I’ll live here again. I live in Barcelona now, so I’ve got that whole taste for the Spanish life again.
Where do you like to spend your time off in Ibiza, any secret places?
I’m not telling you – no way!
This interview was published on October 13, 2010