Award-winning DJ Manu Gonzalez sat with DDW to spill the tea on life as a DJ at one of the world’s greatest party islands.
Having just finished his latest residency show at Hï Ibiza, the island-born DJ, Manu Gonzalez, drew summer to a close with a memorable set alongside The Martinez Brothers and Paco Osuna. Although summer may be over for the vast majority of us, Manu Gonzalez remains busy, his shows taking him all over Europe to the sound of his electronic beats and his now-signature backward snapback.
Amidst a big new release coming this October alongside UK artist Secondcity, Manu sat down with DDW as part of our Conversation Skills series to delve into the ins and outs of being an award-winning DJ on the world’s greatest party island.
For most people, Ibiza is a holiday destination. For you, it was the place you grew up in. How did growing up on a world-famous island like Ibiza influence your music and identity as a DJ?
Being born and bred in Ibiza, and being Ibiza’s representation worldwide, waving the island’s flag around the world is an incredible blessing. I have this island running through my veins 24/7 and the passion, emotion, inspiration, and energy that this gives me… I can’t even explain it, you have to be born and grow up here to experience it, and that’s quite rare!
Why do you make music? What keeps you going?
I worked for one of the most famous electronic vinyl/record stores on the island and outside. I sold music and vinyls to many artists coming to Ibiza to play at the clubs, or to play outside of the island. This gave me an incredible Dj background, but I wanted to go to the next level, so I became a producer. This meant that others could buy and play my music too, which meant that rather than just playing music from other artists, I was also creating my own art, my sound and identity.
Playing recordings and making records is a passion for me, a way of sharing my background, knowledge, and feeling through music. What keeps me going is the passion I have, creating a piece and putting it out to the world is such a beautiful feeling.
I have a big new release in October, including a remix by UK Number 1 chart topper artist Secondcity. This will be a big record.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I’m 31 now, in ten years I will be 41, and considering myself a very ambitious, focused, entrepeneurish, and dreaming person, I can only see bigger and better things for me (and the ones around me) during this journey. I have achieved so many goals, but I have not even done 50% of all that I have planned.
The best is yet to come.
What track is your guilty pleasure?
I don’t know (lol)
What are your top five party hotspots around the world?
Definetely Hï Ibiza and Ushuaia Ibiza.
Then I really like playing in London, at the Ministry of Sound. I play a lot in Romania, in South America, in the UK, in Barcelona (Pacha Barcelona, in Madrid, etc…
It’s not easy to pick my top 5 venues 🙂
Name one thing you cannot live without.
Making things happen.
How do you want to be remembered?
As the Ibicenco who made it internationally – not coming from outside the island and succeding but coming from the island and making it.
I already feel I achieved this but I want more, and until then I won’t stop to represent this island to the highest standard that I can.
Do you have any funny or interesting stories from your career?
If I have? Many…..wow. Do you have enough web for me to start? hahaha
I will mention one: one day I played for 10 hours + at a show and I really needed to go to the toilet, so I played a 10min record and the security took me to the emergency exit to go to the toilet. Funnily enough you could only exit, but to enter you had to go inside the club from its main door.
After I peed, we ran to the main door, and to our surprise, the main door was also closed (we were exceding club hours) so we listened until the music stopped, and I and this security guy waited outside laughing until someone picked us up.
The crowd went wild when I went back to the DJ Booth 😂
Describe the Ibiza party scene in three words.
We the best.
What don’t you want to die wondering about?
Why my metabolism is so slow?