Siam2nite had the opportunity to have an exclusive interview with Jonathan Ulysses, shortly before his performance at Superflow on 4th September.
You are a House music DJ & Producer from London and a Ibiza legend with 18 seasons behind you as a Resident of Space Club Ibiza (In Bed with Space & We Love Space) – the prestigious super-club was ranked in DJ Mag’s Top 100 clubs list on the #1 spot in 2011, 2012 & 2014 and on the #2 spot in 2013 & 2015). How did of you get in touch with electronic dance music in the first place, and how did you get into DJing and music production?
I got into DJing over twenty years ago, With at first playing at Family gatherings like Birthday parties for my sisters. Then I moved overseas to Greece and started playing music in the bars for two years.
I then headed for Ibiza I worked in a bar for about 6 years learning my trade and then I would always go to Space and Hassle the boss there (Fritz) for a set and one day he gave me a set. This was in 1998.
The following year they offered me a residency at the club. I worked really hard to gain the respect of the other DJs and the Promoters. I was DJing with some of the biggest DJs in the world at that time and I know that I had to continue growing so I started working in the studio with other producers to understand the in's and out's of house music.
I had some early success with some of my tracks like “Happy Day”, “Goldrush” “The Voice” and “Sundays at Space”. I have never looked back since this time. It has been great to be a part of Space when it was at its best. This was the golden time for Ibiza and Space. I know that I played a small part in the growth of the club and the Legend that is Space Ibiza.
Your trademark is trademark is up-tempo, driving, pumping House music. How would you describe the music you play and produce in your own words, what is distinct about your sound?
The music moves in different directions throughout my DJing career but I would say that the music I play and produce is full of Energy. I love the sound of the drum and percussion. Im also a big lover of vocals and song in a track!
I have worked with some big vocalists in the past like Barbara Tucker, Rozzalla, Sister Sledge, and more recently new artist like Lisa Williams, Lizzie Curious and Reggae Superstar “Top Cat”.
I try to always introduce these elements in the music that I play and produce. I am very adaptable and can play many different styles but my first love is up-tempo house music.
What other tracks, remixes or mix-sets would you recommend to someone that is not yet familiar with your music?
You can find my sets on Mixcloud and my production on Soundcloud. I also have a website www.jonathanulysses.com where I put up regular blogs of what I am doing and where I am playing. I have a very long list of tracks that is on Beatport and iTunes. Also you can find my tracks on Traxsource and Track it Down.
These are all leading websites where you can find my music mixes and productions.
What is on your agenda for the near future and what are you currently working and focusing on?
At the moment I am focusing on my Label Ulybug Music. The label has been running for around a year and a half and we have had some small but great successes. We have had front pages on Beatport/Traxsource/Trackitdown.
We have had support from some major DJs like David Guetta, Anne Mac, Danny Howard, Roger Sanchez, Paul Oakenfold, Fat Boy Slim, Michael Woods, Eric Morello to name a few.
We are also bringing through new and talented artists into the dance scene, and I have the freedom to put out my own productions and have full control of how I get my music out there. I am also doing my own Ulybug Music parties recently doing a party in “Fabric” in Newcastle Under Lyme in the UK, Portugal at “Club Vida” and in London at “McQueen”. It is great to have that independence and have control of your own destiny.
What were the best and the worst gigs you ever played and what were the funniest things that ever occurred during any of your performances?
The best gig will always be Space outside Terrace on a Sunday as this was my home for so many years. There have been other fantastic gigs like the first Space on tour in Australia and New Years Eve in New Zealand for “Highlife” in front of 20,000 people or Dubai for “Sandown" in front of 15,000 people or “MOB” in Brazil on the cruise liner for a three day Festival or event Green Vally in Brazil in front of 8,000 people at 10am was a blast. There are so many great gigs I don't think there is enough time in this interview to mention them all.
With Regard to the worst gigs I think gigs like these are negative and I would rather not mention them as it usually ends up in me not getting paid or something. So I think its best the worst ones stay in the past.
What can you tell us about clubbing and nightlife in Ibiza? What would be your nightlife related recommendations for first-time visitors? My recommendations would be to try out everything.
Don't close your eyes and try some of the smaller venues not just the big commercial events. There is a small Club called “Underground” that does great parties that a lot of people don't know about, or “Sankeys" that is doing real small but great parties or “Lio” which is the old “El Divino” they to also doing some fantastic events that is really taking Ibiza by storm.
You also have places like “Ocean” in San Antonio and “Blue Marlin” that is a beach bar that is doing some great day time parties.
I would say do not go for the obvious thing that is out there. Try a boat party like “Lost in Ibiza” where at the end of a sunset boat party you can join up with the other clubbers in DC10 for Paradise. Try to think outside the box!!!!
You have visited Thailand several times already – you played at XANA Beach Club (Phuket) in 2013 & 2014 and at Ku Club (Koh Phangan) & Solo Bar (Koh Samui) in 2014. On 4th September you will return to Thailand to perform at the recently opened Superflow City Beach Club. Did you keep your previous Thailand performances – and Thailand in general - in good memory? Will it be your Bangkok Debut? What can the Bangkok crowd expect of your upcoming performance?
I have been to Bangkok on many occasions but I have never played there, I am very much looking forward to playing at Superflow and I hope that the crowds are feeling the music that I will play on the night. I hope that I can bring some energy to the club and keep the people dancing all night. I will be playing a lot of Ulybug tracks and some exclusive tracks that some people might not know but I will also be playing some classics. I am hoping for an all round good time for everybody.