Ibiza. A Spanish island that’s been a mecca for beatheads the world over for as long as we can remember. An incubator and a stage for the next generation of electronic music stars. And the eponymous town to the south of the island, which is globally famous for its vibrant nightlife, is home to one of the best underground summer parties at one of the best open-air clubs in the world. The Ants afternoons and nights at Ushuaïa are legendary due to their incredible DJs, which this year included Groove Armada and their pumped-up atmosphere. And now a one-off edition of the series is coming to Hong Kong’s Tazmania Ballroom for the first time.
At the helm of the Ants parties in Ibiza alongside a raft of other DJs is Andrea Oliva, whose career practically mirrors the meteoric rise of EDM during the past half-decade. The Swiss superstar hit the mainstream in 2012 as his EP Click Off and his single Scene charted on Beatport’s Top 10 in terms of downloads. This led to an invitation in 2013 to spearhead Ants and, since then, the party’s successful growth each year has largely been down to him. And now he’s coming to Hong Kong, so we speak to the DJ ahead of his appearance…
Hey Andrea! Your sound is known the world over because of the Ants parties. But, before these events, what did you listen to as a young DJ?
In the beginning, I was listening to acid house and progressive house. I guess today you might call it a different thing but I was listening to Jam and Spoon, Cosmic Baby and things like that. Mostly German artists were my favourite. Now there are really too many standout artists to name in one interview. I listen to lots of genres, from chillout and breaks to rock. I play tracks from hundreds of different artists.
You also started doing parties at a young age, like the Banditz parties in Switzerland, which led to your gigs in Ibiza. What makes a good party?
Giving an event an identity, choosing the right lineup and promoting it well to the right people in the right places is the formula for a good party. Music is the soul but just as important as the music. You need a crowd who can give the right spin to a night.
Becoming a resident for Ants in 2013 was a huge career move for you. What was your reaction to hearing the news?
Ants is a brand that was created to have a significant party in Ibiza and to go on to tour the world for the next 15 to 20 years. I’m happy that I was involved from the beginning and have also been able to give ideas to a big team of creative heads.
What’s your role in the Ibiza scene and sound?
What’s important to me is not my role specifically but being involved with Ants and how that’s brought something innovative and different to the island. Of course, the people come to enjoy the beauty of Ibiza and are also visiting to go to some dope parties. That’s the part where I kick in and the only thing I have to do is to make them happy by playing good music and giving them the time of their life. I couldn’t be happier. I’m positive and enjoy what we do.
What does it mean for Ants to come all the way out to Hong Kong? What does it mean for you to play here?
It’s super-exciting, of course. Touching a new territory is always special because you don’t always know what to expect! I’m really looking forward to spending some time in the city and playing music there.
What can Hongkongers look forward to when Ants hits the Tazmania Ballroom?
The pure essence of a real Ibiza party. Get involved!