Interview: Erick Morillo talks about WMC 2010 & his relationship with SHM


Here is a very good interview with Erick Morillo. This interview is made by Matter London. Njoy

Erick Morillo has long been a member of the international DJ A-list, with a career that began in the early 90s with the huge international hit ‘I Like To Move It’ under the pseudonym Reel 2 Reel. Since then he’s been responsible for many more club anthems – such as ‘Reach’, as Lil Mo Yin Yang with Louie Vega – plus countless other productions, compilations and remixes; collaborations with Puff Daddy; and a key role in the establishment of the legendary house label Strictly Rhythm.  He’s now widely known for his own label Subliminal and the string of worldwide DJ residencies he holds, including Pacha Ibiza’s Wednesday night mainstay, Subliminal Sessions.

Morillo spoke to Matter in the wake of another huge Winter Music Conference in his adopted home town of Miami, as he looked forward to another very busy Ibiza season and his first London date of 2010, when he’s joined by Sebastian Ingrosso for matter’s first Subliminal Sessions night on Saturday 17th April.

How was Miami WMC this year?  We’ve heard reports that it was one of the best yet.

Miami was amazing – it was a great conference; really, really busy.  It’s really grown into a massive worldwide event.  I did two parties: I played Ultra Festival, which was incredible.  It was the first year that they sold-out completely – over 55,000 people.  I also played a party called Liv on Saturday night which is at the Fountain Blue: by 11 o’clock they had to close the doors, we were at full capacity with two thousand people outside trying to get in.  It was a really, really incredible party – I played til about 6 in the morning.

I also had my birthday party at home in my back yard, which was a really good mixture of not just industry people but celebrities and models and what have you.  WMC’s turned into the party of the year – cramming a whole summer of Ibiza into one week.  There’s so many events, all the biggest DJs are here, it’s just non-stop day and night – from pool parties to house parties.  It’s grown to be so massive, not only here in the US but worldwide – you just have people from everywhere, so there’s enough people to fill up all the great events that are here.

Did you get much chance to check out much of the other events during the week?

I really didn’t venture out to much other than my events – I kept it to my own little house parties or my friends’ house parties.  All the good events are so busy that for me it’s a little bit uncomfortable to head to a lot of different events.  The conference started on Tuesday: Tuesday and Wednesday I really took it easy cos I knew it was gonna be really a hectic weekend; Thursday I had my event; Friday was recovering from that; and Saturday I had two events, so I didn’t really have time to venture out and do a lot of stuff.

The matter date is gonna be kind of the London leg of your birthday celebrations – are you planning to celebrate elsewhere too?

Absolutely – I usually like to celebrate my birthday for a month – celebrating for a day is not  enough!  This is my 39th birthday – I start celebrating in the middle of March, when I usually do places like Barcelona and Moscow.  Miami is when it’s my actual birthday, then I usually do New York in the first week of April, then London – I believe in celebrating your birthday for a month.  I’m really looking forward to bringing Subliminal Sessions to matter for the first time and having Sebastian Ingrosso play as well.  I’m just really looking forward to bringing my sound and playing in that quality room at the venue.  I believe production-wise it’s one of the best in the world: I love what they’ve done with the projectors, the sound system and the floor that vibrates!

We’ve heard you’ve got some special plans for that floor…

Oh absolutely!  My idea is to for a bunch of girls have orgasms while I’m playing.  That’s my goal – I won’t be happy until I’ve made someone lose it completely!

How has your relationship with Sebastian Ingrosso and the Swedish House Mafia developed?

It’s phenomenal – these are guys I’ve kind of mentored and had a great friendship with even before they were as big as they are right now.  It’s been a great thing to see them grow from the first time I saw them, when I went to do a party in Stockholm for MTV – this is going back about ten years – and these guys were still really young, and they had an afterparty back at their recording studios for me.  I knew from then that these guys were gonna be massive.  Steve Angello kept sending me tracks, and I released a couple on Subliminal.

I’ve seen them grow from nothing to being among the biggest stars in the industry, to the point where Steve – even though he’s doing his own night in Ibiza – is also playing at my opening party at Pacha.  We have a very good friendship – I consider these guys to be my brothers.  To see them become what they have, I’m very proud and happy to call them my friends.

Have they influenced how you’ve approached things musically, in a similar way to how you will have influenced them when they were starting out?

I think so – not only musically and how they’ve dominated house music over the last 5 years, but in their energy and how they play together when they play as the Swedish House Mafia.  I consider myself to in that be in that category with someone like Carl Cox: we just give it our all – it’s all about energy and about creating a party atmosphere.  They do that as well, better than anyone I know.  It’s just awesome to see them do their thing, so I definitely think they’ve influenced me musically, and as a DJ they’ve given me some of the music that I play and made me a better DJ for it.

How’s your Ibiza season shaping up this year?  Have you got any special plans for the Subliminal nights at Pacha Ibiza?

Absolutely – our theme this year is Voodoo Nights, and I’m gonna be the resident Witch Doctor playing every Wednesday and we’re gonna have the other medicine men: Steve Angello, Dirty South, Harry ‘Choo Choo’ Romero, Jose Nunez, Little Louie Vega is coming back again this year, Audio Bullys, Annie Mac and Roo from Amsterdam.  M.A.N.D.Y. are also going to be doing a residency with us. I’m really excited about the season and our theme this year – I’m looking forward to putting people under my spell!

It sounds like the acts are going to be very diverse in terms of sound.

Yeah, I know a lot of people come for Erick Morillo and Subliminal Sessions, but I also try to book people cos I enjoy listening to them play – it’s not just about house music.  For example, M.A.N.D.Y. are a little bit more on the tech-y side and Little Louie is more of the soulful garage sound.  I’m into all kinds of music, so it’s about bringing people who are gonna help give something different to what I do already.

And how about the Subliminal label – who’s going to have a big impact for you this year?

We’re releasing an artist album by Richard Grey, who’s also playing at our parties this summer.  He’s given us a great album that we’re gonna start promoting early in the summer.  Jose Nunez is gonna have a great summer too – we’ve got three releases by him starting out with remixes of ‘Bilingual’, which was a record he released from him a couple of years back,  then he’s got another two records which are just absolute monsters.  We’ve got some stuff from Harry ‘Choo Choo’ Romero and I really believe that Eddie Thoneick is gonna have a good summer with us: we’re releasing two of his singles, as well as a record I did with him featuring Charlene Taylor called ‘Live Your Life’, which I think is gonna be massive.

I’m also putting out a compilation in June called ‘Subliminal Session: Voodoo Nights Summer 2010’, so I’m excited about that.  We have digital albums from Eddie Thoneick and Jose Nunez; plus we’re gonna be re-launching Sondos – which is our darker, tougher label which we’ll launch in the summer with a new record by Huggy.  Also Antranig’s got a new single and physical compilation too – I think he’s gonna be one of our stars in the near future.

That sounds like another incredibly busy summer – do you see yourself slowing down or taking a break?

Every year I say I’m going to, but I really am enjoying what I do and I still get a lot from it.  I am making a point to at least try to have one weekend off from the travelling every month or two.  I don’t really consider what I do for the label work, I really enjoy the music.  We’re getting so much great music that I don’t see myself slowing down too much in the next year or so, but maybe in two years we’ll see how I’m feeling.  I can’t say that I’m tired or it’s too much – I really am enjoying what I’m doing, and I’m still getting a lot from it.



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