Ibiza clubbing: Camilo Miranda – Connected to the source

As resident DJ and curator of playlists for iconic Ibiza party destination Pikes, DJ Camilo Miranda possesses musical knowledge that runs far deeper than his 31 years on the planet. Like many wisened scholars of the arts, his natural curiosity always led him to look – or listen as the case may be – to the original source of his aural pleasures as a teenager, going beyond the edits, re-edits, remixes and samples he would encounter to discover their true roots. This was no easy feat in the days before you could ask Google anything or better yet, hold your phone up in the air and let Shazam do all the hard work for you, and Camilo’s tenacity enabled him to develop an eclectic and varied music collection.

Born in the south of France (“In 1987, when all the good things were happening,” Camilo quips), to a Brazilian father and French mother who followed the ‘endless summer’ path from France to Brazil for a few years, Camilo first came to Ibiza – which today he considers home – at the age of four. Thanks to strong connections with Trancoso and its electronic music scene in the early 90s, his parents took the opportunity to spend a summer season in yet another paradisiacal corner of the world. By the time he turned 10, they had made the island their permanent home.

Camilo remembers hot summer days spent on Sa Trinxa, listening to the legendary Jon Sa Trinxa spin his heady Balearic beach sets. By night, his father would run the (now sadly defunct) Orca bar at Km5 Ibiza – at the very height of its popularity – introducing the island to traditional Brazilian caipirinhas all the while collecting European house music records to sell in Sao Paolo in the winters. “I was always surrounded by a buzz about music,” Camilo recalls. “It was very free – kids would run around parties and I always loved the atmosphere of clubs with the loud music, the lights… and the girls who weren’t wearing many clothes!”

As many children of the island did at the time, Camilo initially rebelled against house music (“I used to tell my dad it was so gay and I’d never play it,” he laughs in hindsight), preferring to listen to rap, new metal, hip-hop and psy-trance. “Then I discovered Daft Punk and electro French house and it all changed,” he says. The aspect that remained was the feeling he’d heard it all before and he would constantly be asking people where and how trance originated, or techno, or whatever genre he was playing as his ear evolved. “That was always my motivation – to discover the origins of the track and to find and play the original,” he explains. “I’d always think the original was way better and through that discovery, I’d find other music I liked – it was an eclectic way of searching for music but I was always clear about what I liked.”

Becoming a DJ seemed like a natural progression – at the age of 16 he’d ‘borrow’ his father’s sound system and spend hours teaching himself to beat match, before learning how to read a crowd, and understanding the role of DJ as entertainer at psychedelic forest raves. And while Ibiza may have seemed like the perfect place for a young DJ to kickstart his career, Camilo’s parents decided to return to Brazil to start their own restaurant and so he followed his family. As it turned out, the restaurant – Cafe Quariquara – had DJ equipment and Camilo developed relationships with promoters from Fortaleza to start throwing parties that were to become very popular.

Despite his success, Camilo felt disconnected in Brazil – from the people, from the parties and from the place itself – and ultimately decided to return ‘home’ to Ibiza alone. With his own musical identity forged – a sound he describes as “very disco with a post-punk Italo sound – music from now that sounds like the past with a futuristic sound” – he began the musical journey that would ultimately lead him to where he is today. Rooted to the source, based around house and electronic music, his style is constantly evolving and yet no matter where you are listening, it is undeniably recognisable as belonging to Camilo Miranda.

Despite having grown up in Ibiza, Pikes was never really on Camilo’s radar (“I thought it was a place for old people!”). As his musical tastes progressed however, he started to become aware of the legendary DJ Harvey – who he first saw play at an off-SONAR gig in Barcelona – who was about to begin a residency at Pikes. At the time, Camilo – who at the time also bore quite a striking resemblance to Seth Troxler – was working in Ibiza town and a chance encounter with the man himself led him to visit Pikes that night. “This guy came over with his girlfriend and I thought, man, I’ve seen him before,” Camilo muses. “She was laughing and saying I looked like Seth, so I said what’s even more funny is how much he looks like DJ Harvey… and he handed me tickets to his very first party at Pikes.”

From hereon in, Camilo saw Pikes in a new light, having experienced one of the best nights of his life musically and personally. “It was such a great feeling – so free and every song was better than the one before. This continued for the whole season and eventually I gave someone my mixes and started doing the warm-ups for Doorly.” Hosting his own night – a party called Homies – came next, with Pikes providing the perfect ‘house party’ type setting in which to bring in all your friends and dance. “Pikes has this revolving energy – you can move around the venue all night, there are so many different rooms and you’re not always stuck on the dance floor,” he explains. “We wanted to throw the kind of party where there were no limits – you could take your shoes off, sit on the sofa and read a book or talk about Dostoyevsky with a philosophical girl or just be very free and hedonistic on the dance floor.”

Over time, Camilo became part of the Pikes family (“They like what I do, I guess!” he shrugs, tongue firmly in cheek) and now curates the daily soundtracks you hear floating over the airwaves in addition to DJing regularly – poolside and in Freddies – and hosting his own party, Family Matters on selected Tuesday nights throughout summer. “The concept for Family Matters is really what I do – I connect people, loved ones, from all around the world when they are in Ibiza. We’re all on the same musical vibe even if we live thousands of miles apart and Pikes is the perfect place to host them.” With highly respected guests such as Chris Coco, Leo Mas and Paul Daley on the roster throughout summer, it’s the kind of family reunion music junkies dream of.

“Music is not about a place anymore,” says Camilo. “It’s not about being in Ibiza or Berlin, London or Amsterdam. Music is about the global community and how we cross paths and reunite with our loved ones all over the world. Sometimes it surprises you – but we all travel a lot, we love food, we love sunshine, we love going to beautiful places and so we do connect with each other quite easily. These are family things. At Pikes, we’re like a big family and that’s what I like most about it. Family matters.”