fbpx

David Morales – 24 hours in Ibiza

“I haven’t stopped coming here in 22 years,” says David Morales fondly, when asked about his Ibiza experiences. “When I first came in 1994, being from New York, I had never heard of Ibiza. It wasn’t on my radar at all. It was Cream that brought me over and the first club I played at was Ku. I didn’t know what to expect.”

Amazing is the word the Grammy award-winning DJ and producer chooses to simply sum up that first timer experience. “The second year I came I played at Amnesia, I played at Space when the DJ booth was behind the bar – it was a totally different experience to now,” he continues. “It was always the English brands that booked me in the beginning, like Cream and Renaissance. I started coming for one weekend, then two weekends and in the end, Def Mix had a residency at Pacha for nine years, which meant we stayed here for the whole summer.”

It was Ibiza’s strong DJ and music culture that kept Morales coming back in those early years. “You were cutting edge then. You could play whatever you wanted, but it couldn’t be radio music – commercial wasn’t allowed. People came just for the music, just for the experience… and Ibiza WAS the experience. We had to bring our game. People were really there to listen to what you were playing, they came with no expectations.”

Main photo by Natalie Beth Harris

In 1998, the video for Morales’ seminal anthem Needin’ U captured the feeling of Ibiza as it was at that time. “Ibiza was a hedonistic free for all,” he laughs. “It’s funny, I’d been on a major record label and made videos for over $100,000 but this one, we shot for just £11,000 and it went to the top ten.”

It was the authenticity, the true feeling of what Ibiza was to so many people, that was the key to its success. From arriving at the airport, queuing for the clubs, the OTT dancers and lasers, the camaraderie of the DJs, forming friendships on the beach, the blatant sexuality, the salt flats, the sunsets, the fashion and even the famous Pikes swimming pool. “Love, drugs, good times. That video really represented Ibiza.”

Today, he sees himself representing an older generation of DJs – a generation that didn’t grow up with VIP culture, fireworks on stage or commercial music in their sets. It is this generation that is having a strong resurgence thanks to the popularity of nights like Glitterbox, with older clubbers striving for that musically induced happiness, and younger clubbers wanting to experience the ‘real’ Ibiza.

“Ibiza used to be a secret,” says Morales. “It was something special no one knew. And if you did know, it was a place to escape. It was intoxicating. Now it’s in the movies, it’s changing … I’ve watched it evolve but it’s still something special. I have connections here. I’ve made so many friends over the years. I’m grateful that I’m still getting booked to play. I’m 54 years old and I’m happy I’m still relevant in Ibiza. I love coming here, I will always come back here. There’s something special about this island… you just need to find the balance.”

How do you feel as you step off the plane onto the tarmac?
For me, the minute I get off that plane it’s like ‘phewww’. I understand Ibiza for something different – I’m not a tourist here. It’s not about clubs for me. It’s the energy of the island I understand.

Is there anything special you make a point of doing when you arrive?
When I arrive at this hotel, Ocean Drive, it’s like coming home. It’s my favourite hotel. When I get here, I have a beer and a shot of tequila – the staff know me, they’re like, “You want a beer and a shot Morales?” Then I always go see my friend Neil Ahern at Inkadelic – that’s my first priority when I get here.

Does Ibiza feel like work or holiday to you?
Ibiza… is Ibiza. Even though I am here to work, it’s still Ibiza.

What is your best Ibiza memory?
I have so many! But probably my 40th birthday at Pacha. I had my family here, my mother for the first time had come to Ibiza, my son who was 15 at the time was here and friends and family from all over. It was the first time in my life I could really share what I do with my mother and she was blown away. I come from a very rough place, and my mother, she remembers me in my bedroom at 12 years old banging music out – she was telling me to turn it down. What she saw, dropping Needin’ You in front of 4000 people and to see the response, that’s a standout. She could remember my passion and see where I was at now.

What’s your ultimate Ibiza track?
Needin’ You. Case closed! It was the first video that was ever shot in Ibiza, that represented the island and captured its vibe.

Subscribe for regular updates

Instagram @WHITE_IBIZA

Just in time for the rush in summer rental bookings, we’ve added the gorgeous Can Verde to the White Ibiza Villas portfolio. A peaceful and serene rural retreat, just minutes from Benirras, the villa is perfect for families or groups of friends looking to immerse themselves in nature and authentic island life. Beautifully maintained lawns, established gardens and soaring palm trees circle the pool while traditional stone terraces contrast with cosy interiors and breathtaking mountain views. Visit our website [link in bio] to read more. 
#whiteibiza #ibiza #ibiza2019 #ibz #eivissa #whiteibizavillas #ibizavillas #ibizavilla #ibizaholiday #holidayhome #holidayrental #vacationhome #vacationrental #homeawayfromhome #luxuryibizavilla #canverde
Over the years, all manner of charismatic creatives and celebrities seeking respite have laid their weary heads at @escucons_ibiza, totally entranced by its bucolic charms. And it’s no surprise, because here lies a 16th century, traditional Ibicenco villa overflowing with modern, eccentric charm — just enough to feel stylish while still maintaining the comforts of home. Pure, uninterrupted bliss. 
#whiteibiza #ibiza #ibiza2019 #ibz #eivissa #escucons #ibizahotel #hotel
Before opening its doors in Ibiza, John Frieda made its name as an exclusive international hairdressing brand with outposts in both London and New York. But the white isle version rocks its own, unique charm — it’s a little more laid-back, a splash more undone, a smidgeon more beach-inclined. Re-opening on April 17, you’ll find it within the exclusive grounds of Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay. Next stop: wherever the wind takes you. 
#whiteibiza #ibiza #ibiza2019 #ibz #eivissa #ibizabeauty #ibizastyle #ibizahairsalon #johnfriedasalon #johnfrieda #hairsalon #salon
The best views of Ibiza’s famous sunset sometimes come with a requirement for sharp elbows, too — gentle jostling is required to secure the best spot. But not so at Villa Sa Serra, where you can enjoy the world-beating colours of a kaleidoscopic dusk from the comfort of your own alfresco terrace. Sink into some Varaschin feature, open that chilled bottle of wine, then delightedly revel in your own fortune. It’s the stuff Ibiza dreams are made of. Contact us directly [website link in bio] to book your summer holiday.

#whiteibiza #ibiza #ibiza2019 #ibz #eivissa #ibizavilla #whiteibizavillas #saserra #holidayrental #holidayhome #vacationrental
When White Ibiza features writer Danni Landa started researching the work of @manusanfelix_official, who recently teamed up with @ibizapreservationfoundation to develop the Posidonia MAPS app, she ended up in a joy-filled Instagram rabbit hole filled with Manu’s incredible underwater photography (like this one!). The app helps skippers find safe anchorage that doesn’t destroy the beautiful and protected Posidonia meadows of Ibiza and Formentera and Danni cannot wait to get on the sea and start spreading the word. We also just found out that March is #seagrassawarenessmonth so there couldn’t be a better time to start talking! Visit our website [link in bio] to read the full article and download the app. 📷 Manu San Feélix

#whiteibiza #ibiza #ibiza2019 #ibz #eivissa #whiteibizavillas #ibizavillas #ibizavilla #ibizaholiday #ibizapreservationfoundation #ibizapreservationfund #manusanfelix #saveposidonia #posidonia #seagrassawarenessmonth #newapp
When our editorial team are looking for a great menu del dia or a place for after-work cocktails and snacks, they consistently head to @localsonly_ibiza, located on the bustling Plaza del Parque in the heart of Ibiza town. Thankfully, after a short break for winter, its doors are now open again. It’s creative international menu delights vegans, vegetarians and meat-eaters alike while the wine list pleases all those who drink!

#whiteibiza #ibiza #ibiza2019 #ibz #eivissa #ibizarestaurant #plazadelparque #restaurant
While contemplating the imminent arrival of summer in Ibiza this week (hello beach weather!), our blogger @misswibiza was struck by the fact we are yet to REALLY experience a true winter on the island (aside from that one day she remembers buying a puffer coat – although she assures us that was more of a splurge than a necessity). In part it’s due to the fact the season gets longer and longer every year, but mainly – we’re looking at YOU climate change. In her latest blog post, Miss W stands in solidarity with the striking students from around the globe – while it’s all well and good enjoying the year round sunshine right now, we’ve got to do something to bring back our beloved winter!

#whiteibiza #ibiza #ibiza2019 #ibz #eivissa #whiteibizavillas #ibizavillas #ibizavilla #ibizaholiday #misswibiza #ibizablog #ibizablogger #blogger #newblog #newpost #climatechange #globalwarming #greenibiza #ecoibiza #climatechangeisreal #climatechangemarch #strikeforclimate
The cascade of coloured steps that signify S’Escalinata should make it hard to miss, and yet this gem of an Ibiza town bar somehow still remains under the radar. Throw in some brightly coloured cocktails or a jug of pretty peach sangria and it’s impossible not to pull up a pew on a multi-coloured cushion when you finally scale the ancient walls and stairwells of Dalt Vila to find it. 
#whiteibiza #ibiza #ibiza2019 #ibz #eivissa #ibizabar #bar #ibizacafe #sescalinata #sescalinataibiza #sangria #cocktails
Most girls (and some guys!) get their hair and nails done before jumping on the plane to Ibiza – it makes sense, you want to look your best the moment you start travelling. But once you’re on the island, you also want to know who to call when you need a touch-up, a change, a blow-dry, fresh lash extensions or just an all-round pamper session to help you relax. Our beauty hot list has got you covered - @glamibiza for mobile beauty salon services (as seen above), John Frieda Salon at @ibizabay for the most creative hair stylists and @lashbyjayne for a flirtatious flutter. Visit our website [link in bio] to read more about them.

#whiteibiza #ibiza #ibiza2019 #ibz #eivissa #whiteibizavillas #ibizavillas #ibizavilla #ibizaholiday #ibizabeauty #ibizatherapist #mobilebeautytherapist #mobilespa #ibizaspa #ibizasalon #beautysalon #hairsalon #glamibiza #johnfriedasalon #lashbyjayne #eyelashextensions #hairstylist #beautytherapist

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

HAVE BREAKFAST

Hotel Ocean Drive. Here I can get chicken wings and French fries for breakfast… it’s protein and carbohydrates! And my beer and tequila shot too.

GO FOR LUNCH

I like going to Cala Jondal, to Yemanja for lunch on the beach.

EAT DINNER

There’s so much going on and so many choices, but one of my favourite places is Trattoria del Mar in Marina Botafoch. It’s a wonderful location.

DRINK

Blue Marlin Ibiza Marina, it’s really nice there by the sea.

DANCE

When I come here I don’t go to any clubs anymore… I don’t go out! I think it’s important for DJs to listen to other DJs, someone might inspire you, make you open the book. If I hear hype about someone, I’ll want to understand the hype and go see them…

DJ

My favourite place of all time was Amnesia… and I only ever played there once, in 1995, in the main room. For a DJ, Amnesia is the ride…

BEACH

I like Salinas a lot, and though it’s not exactly Ibiza, I love Formentera. It’s the best. It’s something so different. It’s away from all the tourists, technically speaking. There are beautiful beaches, restaurants, nice hotels. When I go to the beach, I want to arrive with a book and chill. I don’t want a DJ or any noise – I’ve had that for 40 years. You’ve got to know when to switch it all off, you know?

ESCAPE

Formentera. I came to Ibiza last month and actually took a holiday over there for the first time, it’s so lovely.

RELAX

I really appreciate the island for its tranquility. I’m alone a lot. You need to have balance and a lot of people don’t understand how to create that balance. I like to just go somewhere and read a book when I have spare time. Right now I’m reading To Kill A Mockingbird for the first time…

Tattoos & body art

Legendary Ibiza tattoo studio Inkadelic

The famous Yemanja on Cala Jondal

Marina Botafoch Italian eatery Trattoria del Mar

The portside Blue Marlin Ibiza Marina

Ibiza’s sister island Formentera

David Morales plays Glitterbox at Space on July 29 and August 12, 2016.