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Ibiza music: Cassy – 24 hours in Ibiza

Cassy Britton’s first trip to Ibiza wasn’t about DJing or dance music. It was 1995 and she’d been invited to stay at the childhood home of a friend from her London drama college for the Easter holidays. “When I went back to Austria and asked my mum for the money for the flights, she was like no! But I really felt strongly that I had to go to Ibiza. I don’t know why I found it so interesting exactly. It wasn’t for the clubbing. I just wanted to come and see it for myself.”

Ultimately, Cassy talked her mother around and came to the island to stay in a typical Ibicenco farmhouse (”I have no idea where it was!”) with her friend, who had been born on the island to German and American parents. “He was one of the first people I ever met who actually grew up in Ibiza,” she says. “He’d had a very different childhood, privileged, but kind of nutty. When we stayed on the farm, I found all of his mum’s friends really interesting and cool – there was a club owner and a really eccentric but lovely German lady. It made a super impression on me.”

Years later, in the early 2000s, Cassy had moved on from drama and into DJing and producing music. Ibiza was still ‘the’ place to DJ however she felt reluctant to return. “I kept thinking – do I really have to DJ there?” she reminisces. “Everything I heard from other DJs sounded just a bit tedious, the after parties and the who’s who and who goes where… the scene. But then when I came, what was actually really cool for me was the clubs and the experience of DJing and listening to music. It was a very different experience to that first time.”

Main photo by Natalie Beth Harris

Over the years, Cassy – a much-loved resident DJ for Circoloco at DC10 – travelled back and forth from the white isle from her various home bases of Berlin, Paris, New York, Amsterdam and London and eventually felt the calling to set up a more permanent base in Ibiza. She spent a season living in Playa d’en Bossa before a calling to live in the heart of Ibiza’s UNESCO World Heritage Listed Site led her to a beautiful apartment in Dalt Vila, where she lived for two years, all-year-round.

“I’d been coming here, in and out, loving it, hating it… and I knew it would be nice just not to have to always bring so much stuff, to have a base here. I wanted to enjoy the experience of being in Ibiza and having a really nice home. I stayed the winter, though I was travelling a lot, and I loved my place in Dalt Vila. I loved going home!” The desire to move again came when Cassy fell pregnant, which meant the trek up and down the cobbled hills of the old town was no longer as romantic as it had been in the beginning.

In 2016, Cassy – who recently released her debut artist album, Donna – and her young family set up base in the Marina Botafoch area for the summer, a place that was much more practical for the comings and goings of a family with a small child. As the season comes to an end the family are preparing to move back to Cassy’s hometown of Vienna. “It’s been voted the second best city in the world, so I can’t complain,” she says. “But I will be sad to leave Ibiza.”

How do you feel as you step off the plane onto the tarmac?
Right now… tired! As a working mum who travels on the weekend, living in Ibiza is not practical because the connections aren’t direct. But it does feel like home, and I feel safe here. Ibiza is good for me, it helps me grow – there’s just something about the whole place.

Who do you spend most of your time with when you’re here?
Mostly my boyfriend and my son. But a lot of people from all over the world come to visit, which is nice, because I get to see people I may not see otherwise. When DJs come in who I’m friends with I’ll always try and have dinner with them too.

Best Ibiza memory?
I liked living in Dalt Vila. I rented a beautiful apartment and spent two years living there. And now I also have the memories of being here with my family.

Does Ibiza feel like work or holiday to you?
It doesn’t feel like a holiday, especially not now I’m a mother! I don’t have time to go to the beach, spend time in the car, in traffic… it can feel stressful. You have to learn that you can’t get too many things done in one day here. It takes a lot of focus and patience and time if you want to do things. When I think about taking holidays, I like to leave Europe.

Favourite part of the island?
I like the San Jose area, and the southwest. I had never really spent much time there before, but the more I go, I like the feeling there. I prefer it to the north.

Ultimate Ibiza track?
The song I would most like to hear in Ibiza is David Morales’ Needin’ You. I didn’t experience it in Ibiza at the time it came out, but for me, this is really Ibiza. You see it in the video and I wish I could get that feeling. The parties aren’t like that anymore and the music isn’t like this anymore. I want to get that real, dance music feeling – not the stylish hyped thing, but that more joyous sound. Those songs are missing today, those moments when everyone knows the song – you don’t have to know anything about music, you don’t have to be cool, you don’t have to be VIP, you just know it’s a cool track. That’s why I want to go to Glitterbox, to experience that music.

How do you feel when you’ve got to start packing to leave?
This year I will feel sad, definitely, because I am moving back to Vienna. I’ll always come back, and I think you shouldn’t be attached to things or places, but I will be sad to leave.

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You have 24 hours on the island – tell us your favourite places to…

HAVE BREAKFAST

When I get up in the mornings, I go down to Passion Pantry with my laptop and my phone and get a moment to myself. I do some emails, have nice coffee, a chia pudding and a ginger shot. It’s always a nice breakfast there. The other Passion is so busy, so I really prefer the little shop.

GO FOR LUNCH

I think food is actually the thing in Ibiza that is stunning compared to other places. There are so many amazing food options but I’m lazy, and I don’t like to drive, so I stay in the Marina quite often! I like the lunch menu at Trattoria del Mar, it’s really nice Italian food and I always like going to El Giardinetto. That was my go-to-place for years when I was visiting Ibiza as it’s right next to Ocean Drive Hotel. They always recognise you and it’s such a nice chilled, relaxed place.

EAT DINNER

In the Marina again, there is a really amazing restaurant called IT. It’s quite expensive but the quality of the food is so good… I’ll always go there when I’m meeting someone so I have another excuse to go! I never usually eat raw shellfish, butI eat it there almost every time. The pasta is amazing, the very thin pizza is amazing… it’s all really, really good! They’ve also opened a new beach club in Cala Moli, with a similar menu but a bit more relaxed. If I go to Ibiza town, I like Locals Only and another place I’ve discovered is San Francisco in Salinas, just behind Coricancha – I can’t believe no one told me about this before. They bake all their bread themselves, and the salmon burger – so good.

DRINK

I go to my safe place, IT again! You can just sit at the bar and they also have really nice low couches and tables outside for drinks, and the view is amazing.

DANCE

I haven’t been anywhere just to dance this summer, because when I have a night off, I want to be with my son. But I have really wanted to check out Glitterbox.

DJ

For fun, definitely the DC-10 terrace – for me, that feels like home. But as a DJ, I would say the Space terrace has the best set up on the whole island.

BEACH

I don’t really go to the beach because I don’t like feeling the ground, walking into the water but what I did recently that I loved was Stand Up Paddle Boarding on Talamanca with my boyfriend and I really enjoyed it. You can just paddle out and jump into the water, so you don’t have to feel the sand! [Laughs] If I had a boat, I’d probably swim all the time.

SHOP

I used to be a heavy shopper, though now I have a son that’s changed. In Ibiza I don’t go and shop for the same things I would in a city, here I buy more hippy type stuff. I really like Antik Batik in Ibiza town – I’ve bought a lot of pieces from there. There’s a SKINS Cosmetics store here now too which is good.

ESCAPE

I go to the gym at BFit and train with my personal trainer, Javi. Everyone says he’s the best trainer in Ibiza – I definitely think he’s the best! They say people who train with Javi are insane, and it is really hardcore but it’s so good. Training really helps me relax. I go twice a week, but I would go every day if I could. I’ve gotten so fit over this summer, Ibiza for me now is really all about getting fit and training and eating well.

ESCAPE

I like IT at Cala Moli and El Chiringuito at Es Cavallet when I’m with groups of friends, because it’s just so nice and everyone can find some kind of food that they like. Even though I have been here all summer, with a baby I haven’t really had time to go around and explore, so I stick to the places I know are good, and I know how to get to!

The healthy deli-style setting of Passion Pantry

Trattoria del Mar in Marina Botafoch

The stunning view from lounge bar and restaurant IT in Marina Botafoch

The still waters of Talamanca are perfect for SUP

Contemporary Ibiza fitness centre BFit

CASSY PLAYS CIRCOLOCO CLOSING AT DC-10 ON MONDAY OCTOBER 10, 2016