Jonathan Ulysses Exclusive Interview
To many Jonathan Ulysses is Ibiza! As Space’s resident DJ for 11 years and with a career spanning over 16 Jonathan Ulysses has seen off many pretenders to his crown of The King of the Terrace. His own brand of high energy, grooving, driving, electronic, party house sets have becoming legendary and always rocking dancefloors!
“The most deserving resident at Space” DJ Mag
“A bonafide first division house DJ” M8 Mag
Big In Ibiza grab Jonathan for a quick chat before he shoots off to spin at Kinky Malinki @ Matter…
1. What are you working on at the moment?
Currently I’m working all over the globe. Recent gigs include Matter in London & Gallery at the Ministry of Sound. After Christmas I embark on a tour of Australia with Space Ibiza on Tour, where I’ll be playing in Sydney on New Years Day and for whom I’ve been playing various dates at clubs including Discoteque in Barcelona & Fabrik, Madid. In January, I’ll also be touring Brazil for the Music On Board Festival.
2. Where do you see dance music going in 2010?
I see dance music going back to it’s roots, back to the simple easy bass lines, jacking grooves & tickling high hats. I see the soul coming back into house music. Vocals and songs being more prominent. I believe that house music has always looked within itself to change and in my opinion, I think is going to sound very similar to it’s original sound in 1994/1996 where there was a lot of percussion, drums & melody prevailing in the overall sound.
3. What makes a good DJ?
My thoughts on what makes a good DJ are that he/she must be a good selector, he/she must be able to look into the eyes of the crowd and see which way the music must go and what mood he/she wants to put upon the people. A good DJ must mix with flawless precision & always excel a good vibe & be professional at all times and remember that they are there to do a job.
4. What’s your essential bit of kit, and how does it sit in your overall set-up?
My essential bit of kit would have to be my earplugs. I carry them everywhere and they are my most important item. I’m always very aware of protecting my hearing and not taking risks when I’m constantly exposing my ears to loud music.
5. Tune of 2009/Most influential artist of 2009?
Best tune for me in 2009 would have to be Time (produced by myself and Peter Brown), the remix by Nino Anthony being my favourite mix that I smashed all summer long on Space Terrace. Following that, 2nd favourite would be Union Jackers, Drop (myself, Filthy Rich and Prok & Fitch). Most influential artists for me would be David Guetta. I’m not an avid fan of his music but I think what he has done for dance music by combining it with really big US R’n’B Artists is a stroke of genius.
My future plans include a lot of production in the coming months. I have plans to work some more with Prok & Fitch, Michael Woods (Out of Office), Matt Schwartz (Destined). I will be doing more collaborations with Peter Brown & a new talent on the scene called Ant Brooks from Leicester.
7. How did you get into DJing?
I got into DJing many years ago in my youth and I set up a sound system called Soul Plus, where we would play at weddings, birthday parties, private events, and would play predominantly soul & reggae music with a sprinkle of drum n bass and jungle. We used to combine it with live MC’s and do small tours round South London, doing Sound Clashes with competitor sound systems. From there the guys that I was working with moved onto other things but I had such a love for DJing that I always collected music and always took every opportunity to get on any decks that were put in front of me. I then moved into the London Garage scene, and eventually moved across to house music at about 128bpms and the rest they say is history.
8. Favourite gig you have ever played?
My favourite gig I’ve ever played with always be Space Opening and Closing parties. Over the last 11 years I’ve experienced a fair few, they always wild and they never disappoint and you can always be totally free with the tunes. People are there purely to have a great time and nothing else outside those 4 walls matters.
9. Event of 2009?
For me, it was the start of 2009 that really sticks in my mind. I played a NYE party in Matakana Park in New Zealand the crowd of 10,000 people were going totally bonkers. The White Party in Luna Park, Sydney was another memorable gig and also Club Anzu in Brazil .. it has a great sound system & the most beautiful people you could ever wish to see all under one roof. 2009 saw me starting up my own Ulybug branded parties also in wicked venues such as La Rocca in Lier & Kinetic @ Mynt, Belfast.
10. Twitter or Facebook?
I’m a Facebook fan, haven’t really ventured down the Tweeting on Twitter road yet, I’m sure I’ll get round to it eventually, but I’m a bit of a neanderthal on the social networking sites.
11. What is your most prized posession?
My most prized possession is my sleek little black BMW 325i, she’s an absolute beast and great when driving from one end of the country to the other to meet the needs of the clubbers the width & breadth of England who want a little taste of that terrace madness. I love my MacBook pro too … invention of the century!
12. What tunes are on your playlist at the moment?
Come Baby (Ulysees & Ingram); Listen Out (Tom Stephen), Lil Mama (Tyler Hampton), DJ Fist (Nitro), I Like That (Ant Brooks).
Neither! I like other people’s cats and other people’s dogs. I’ve had dogs as a child and cats while in a relationship, they both too hairy, they have an underlying bad smell, and crave way too much attention, ruin your furniture and poo everywhere.
14. What is the weirdest experience you’ve ever had behind the decks?
The weirdest experience I ever had behind the decks was while I was djing in a club in Dusseldorf. I was coming to the end of my set and these two gentlemen starting arguing about who should call me off the decks and put the next person on. The argument then ensued into a massive brawl, while there were about 3,000 people on the dancefloor staring in disbelief at these two hefty German geezers kicking the blue bells out of each other. I played my last tune and made a quick exit.
15. What do you do in your time off?
I’m quite an easygoing guy, when I have time off in Ibiza you can find me chilling in the house I own in San Jose or meeting up with friends. In London, I have a busier schedule and more often than not, a lot of my free time is spent in the studio.
16. Have you ever received strange gifts from fans?
I did receive something a bit strange a couple of years ago during Space’s Opening Party, it was a school badge saying Head Boy and also one for my girlfriend saying Head Girl. Although it was an unusual present, I was quite touched that they had bought it in the UK, wrapped it and flown it all the way over to Ibiza to pin it on me!!
My ultimate holiday would probably be a trip to South Africa to go on safari & see lion up close or maybe Cuba to smoke a fat cigar, but I don’t think you could beat a first class round trip ticket to Mars with accommodation at the Mars Luxury Motel where you can hang out with the local aliens and take in some infra red crater juice!
18. What would you say is your best trait?
I think my best trait is that I’m a good listener. I believe if somebody has got something they find interesting they want to share it with you, then it’s worth taking the time to listen.
19. Is Ibiza still the home of dance music?
I think Ibiza is one of the many homes of dance music. Dance music is like an oak tree with many different branches and roots that grow and twist in different directions & paths. I think Ibiza has played a big part in the last 20 years in making dance music as popular as it is, and I think it will continue to do so indefinitely, because if you go to Ibiza dance music is the absolute king.
20. Has it ever all gone completely wrong?
Yes, it has all gone wrong. There was one time where a very drunk nurse threw up all over my records half way between the start and finish of my set, when I had no reserves and had no choice but to wipe ‘em and carry on!! First rule of DJ’ing never stop the music .. the show must go on.
For gig, tune and Ulybug info check out…