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Interview | What's the score Nathan Dawe?

We speak to the Thursday host at Ibiza Rocks.

Nathan Dawe is buzzing when we call him. The BRIT-nominated, UK Top 10 producer spent the weekend just gone visiting Manchester with pals.

"We went to the AO Arena for the Amir Khan versus Kell Brook fight," he tells us on speaker. "One of our mates, Frazer Clarke, was on the undercard. It was his first professional fight, but he won. We all travelled up from Burton and it was a really good night."

We could chat about boxing more, but the real reason we're calling is to discuss Nathan's forthcoming Ibiza season at Ibiza Rocks.

What's the score Nathan Dawe?

Following a brief introduction last summer under Covid restrictions, the party hotel invited Nathan Dawe for a full season in 2022 - and this time, he gets to do things properly.

Those who haven't been paying attention could be forgiven for thinking he's come out of the nowhere. But, as is often the case, we suspected that to be untrue.

Though what is true, is that Nathan managed to pull off the peculiar feat of raising his public profile when most of the world was in lockdown. The fact remains, you don't get to work with the likes of Little Mix and Anne-Marie without paying your dues.

Would it be fair to say you're a rare example of an artist who's enjoyed a lot of their fame during lockdown?

"I think that's fair to say. Obviously I was a DJ long before I was bringing my own music out. So I already had a foundation before that.

It does help to have that footing before you start releasing. But definitely, it was during the pandemic when my own tunes took off the way they did and opened me up to a wider audience."

You were introduced to Ibiza Rocks as a guest of Craig David and now you've progressed to hosting a residency of your own. That's a pretty good career trajectory!

"It's crazy. It was 2019 when I appeared for Craig. It was amazing, one of the best gigs I've ever played. I remember then, walking past his dressing room and saying I'd die to be in there.

To go back last year and be walked around the venue before the launch, see the sign on the door just like Craig had, it was all a bit mental. That was great. But I'm beyond excited to do it properly this summer."

How did you find your experience at Ibiza Rocks last summer?

"I kind of didn't believe it was happening. With all that was going on in the world, I was bracing myself for it to be cancelled. But it didn't. Even though there were quite a few restrictions in place, we made the most of it. I still had an amazing time.

Obviously it wasn't as busy as it usually is and the party atmosphere was a bit subdued, but it was just nice to see people coming together on their holiday and enjoying themselves. You know, sitting on a bed with their friends and generally having a good time."

All smiles at Nathan Dawe's residency in 2021

"I know it wasn't easy to pull off, but I'm so grateful to Ibiza Rocks for making it happen. It was a lot of hard work and a lot of planning to get it to a legally compliant format. But it worked out amazing in the end."

I guess that served as a little taste for this summer, where we get to do things properly?

"Yeah. I was just saying to my mates the other day, it was like the warm-up!" (laughs)

"Sure it was a little taster, but you ain't seen nothing yet. I think this year is going to be incredible."

Ibiza Rocks is the ideal venue to experience with friends

"Last year, seeing all these different faces at the venue, all there to have an amazing time. I'm sure even then, there were a few people who hadn't heard of me before. But by the end of the night, we had so much good feedback, we obviously won some new fans. People like that will be back this year and hopefully they'll bring their mates.

But I'm excited to show what I've got to an even wider audience this summer."

As a recording artist, you're somebody who likes to work with both singers and rappers. Is that a good indication of the diversity of guests we can expect to join you at Ibiza Rocks?

"Absolutely. I think when it comes to my music, a lot of people don't quite know what to expect. I always try to surprise. I've worked alongside a lot of established rappers as well as some of the biggest popstars.

When it comes to what type of artists, basically nothing is off the cards."

Nathan Dawe & KSI's Lighter peaked at #3 in the UK singles chart

"The thing I love about Ibiza Rocks especially, it's such a varied crowd. People of all ages and backgrounds, and who like all different types of music.

That's why I think I fit so well, because I play everything from R&B to House, Bassline to Drum & Bass, Reggae - and that's appealing to a lot of people. My event is more of an eclectic party.

We'll have a variety of talent and sounds. It'll never just be one genre - especially my sets. On the same day, we'll have a really good House DJ alongside an R&B DJ, rappers, Garage MCs, the lot."

Ibiza Rocks has a reputation for bringing diversity to poolside

"Each week, I want to have an array of DJs, older acts, newer guys as well as a live element, you know? Hopefully we'll bring in some more entertainment alongside that, such as drummers, saxophonists, violinists, and just make it a proper party atmosphere.

I think week-by-week, people are going to be surprised with the line-ups. There's a few special guests that we're going to get."

How hands-on are you when it comes to booking? Are Ibiza Rocks pretty receptive to your ideas?

"Yeah. I mean, last year was a little different, because we couldn't have too many high-profile artists coming out because of the limitations caused by the pandemic.

This year, it's a different ball game. We've put in a request for who we want to book. Next month, we'll probably get the ball rolling."

Is it too early to talk about specific names - or are we getting ahead of ourselves?

"I think it's a bit too early as I haven't even asked anyone yet!

The good thing is, everybody wants to play in Ibiza. I'll probably just send a blanket WhatsApp message to everybody on my phone in April and be like, 'right - who wants to come to Ibiza?' Hopefully we'll be able to get everyone we want."

Nathan's collab with Jaykae and a sample we think you might recognise

"I've got Jaykae knocking on my door already. He's keen to be out here as many weeks as possible. He'll definitely be out for a few. Plus some surprises too."

Is there dialogue between you and the other Ibiza Rocks residents about who gets to book who?

"I'm really good friends with Joel Corry. We both know the kind of acts we're intending to book. There probably won't be much overlap, but we'll talk for sure. We're always picking the phone up to one another. The communication is always open."

Meet the teammates: Jess Bays (Cuckoo Land) and Joel Corry also hold residency

"I saw Jess Bays last summer at a festival and we had a good catch-up. Her performances are amazing and speak for themselves.

We're all going to absolutely smash it this year. I can't wait to spend a whole week out and all go to each other's event."

Have you got any new music coming soon?

"Yeah. I'm going to drop my next track in April.

I've got clearance on a massive dance sample, which I've been playing in my sets pretty much my whole career. I'm super excited to get that out. I think that's going to go down really well in Ibiza. It's a bit of an Ibiza classic. Perfect for Ibiza Rocks.

I can't take credit for doing the hard work getting the sample cleared. It was down to my amazing label and management.They put the hard work in there. It took us a good couple of months, but we got there in the end.

We wanna get it out just before summer, because we're certain it's going to fly."

Look forward to hearing that one. Thanks Nathan. See you at poolside!

Catch Nathan Dawe and his guests at poolside every Thursday this summer from 9 June to 22 September. Tickets available below at just €25 each.

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