DJ SNEAK

by Dan Prince, Photographs by Álex Soto August 2015 MUSIC Read in PDF format N7/2015
DJ SNEAK One of the biggest names in house music and the boss at I’m A House Gangster, Sneak loves his sundrenched summers in Ibiza driving around in his lowrider. This season, the Chicago legend can be found spinnin’ and grillin’ all over the island and is one of the three regular colony heavyweights behind the new ANTS The Mix 2015 album we’re all listening to poolside…

We love the new ANTS compilation you’ve mixed alongside Tapesh and Los Suruba. Are you loving their vibe at the moment?

I am very excited to be part of their movement right now. You know what makes ANTS so good at Ushuaïa? Girls. Simple as. They have an incredible crowd down there and pretty girls always make a great party.

I thought you always favoured the more underground venues out here?

Listen, I’m not here to comment on the other parties on the Ushuaïa roster, but ANTS just does it for me. The crew are really original, they look after the locals on the island with their free entry, the marketing is superb and the atmosphere is amazing. It’s like the new Ibiza. We can never recreate the old Ibiza, but this party is one of the few that is moving forward. And you get to play vinyl… Oh man, I went down to the venue for a sound check and I told the tech guy that I was waiting on a delivery from the airport of all my tunes that I’d shipped in. His eyes lit up and suddenly he ran off into the storage area and came back with these brand new turntables he’d just bought especially for me. Boom! I just bumped the vinyl all night.

What’s the longest DJ set you’ve ever played?

Almost 10 hours at Sunwaves in Mamaia, Romania. These events are some of the most intense parties out in the open air in front of the Black Sea. I look forward to hitting it again this summer.

And the most supercharged house tune of all time?

Adonis, No Way Back – by far one of the most recognised house tracks from Chicago, when house music was raw and real. This track would incite even the dead to rise up and dance – an incredible record!

You lose a bet and have to do one of the following forfeits – which one do you go for? Jump out of a plane, swim with sharks or drive round a race track with Mark Farina after he’s downed a bottle of rum?

Heh heh, I would have to take the car option. I can manage Mark, we’re great buddies so I know he wouldn’t put me in danger. All we would need is music and we’d get on just fine. Rum is not his thing. Tequila is though!”

When was the last time in a club you were really supercharged?

I get supercharged even when I’ve had very little rest – playing music is my passion. The fact that I get to do what I love everywhere in the world is pretty super to me. I’ve definitely come across people, clubs and festivals that need to get supercharged - I feel it’s my duty to bring that special Sneak energy that makes things feel and sound better. A couple of my latest ‘greatest feeling’ parties were not in a club, they were in a couple of warehouse parties put on by my mate and partner in crime Doc Martin. His Sublevel parties are the best! Bring on the next one.

What is your future dream for playing in Ibiza?

I am just enjoying playing around the island this summer and as I said, especially at ANTS. Let’s see where this relationship leads – I’m having fun right now. I’m ambitious, they’re ambitious and if they wanna take it another step forward – well, let’s see. I think there is a huge opportunity for a new world-class house music night in Ibiza; it’s what I’m working towards.

What is your stance on some of your counterparts getting into a mess whilst performing recently – a few DJs have been partying a little too hard whilst up on stage?

Listen, I smoke weed and everyone knows that so I can’t be a hypocrite. But I ain’t ever put anything up my nose or swallowed any weird tablet shit. What I don’t understand is all these DJs in their mid 40s suddenly taking loads of drugs and getting fucked up. Not cool. I take my hat off to Erick Morillo, he was a rough kid from the hood who kept things hidden partying-wise for so long, had a fall, but has now come through the other side. I am truly blessed that I have my family around me to keep me grounded. I have my music. I have my weed. I have my life.

Your BBQs are legendary in Ibiza. Why are you the don with the apron?

There ain’t no secret. For as long as man figured out they could cook over fire it has been done. Most people are doing other things that they shouldn’t while meat is cooking. You just have to have full control of the grill and meat at all times.

Dead or alive, who are the four people you invite round to yours to sample the DJ Sneak hot plates?

Notorious B.I.G., the chef Anthony Bourdain, Salvador Dalí and my man Snoop Dogg. That would be a cool evening.

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