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Video: International Music Summit (IMS) 2023

Lissy Lübeck catches up with Sam Divine and Danny Howard at Destino Pacha Resort.


Our annual curtain-raiser to the season, International Music Summit (IMS) is so much more than a business conference. It's networking on a huge scale - one big reunion, as every corner of the music industry flies in to reconnect, share new music and kick-start the summer.

Last week at Destino Pacha Resort, amid all the hype surrounding opening parties, we caught up with Sam Divine from Defected and BBC Radio 1 Dance Party host Danny Howard to get their thoughts on the months ahead.


"Hi guys, I'm Lissy Lübeck from Ibiza Spotlight and we are back for 2023 with our regular news round-ups.

We're here today kicking-off the season with the epic International Music Summit here at Destino Pacha Resort. Yesterday we spoke to Defected's First Lady, Sam Divine, as well as BBC Radio One host Danny Howard. Let's see what they had to say and what we get up to this evening..."


Lissy Lübeck: "Thank you for coming down to chat with us today. Welcome back to the Island. How does it feel?"

Sam Divine: "Absolutely amazing! I mean look the weather is just absolutely incredible and it's so amazing to be at IMS as well to kick-start the whole season. You know, bumping into everyone, everyone's like super-chilled. Calm before the storm… It's just amazing to be back."

LL: "So you kicked things off last night at Defected's worker's party. How was that?"

SD: "It was amazing. It was sooo good! Like literally seeing the workers walk in and they're just like, 'What is going on?' You know that feeling of belonging? And I got on the mic and I was like 'How does it feel to be the class of Ibiza 2023?' Yeah, it was just such a good vibe.

And it's good to road-test new music as well, you know. We've got a lot of records coming out on Defected. I've got a lot of records coming out this summer. Just to see their little fresh faces, because they probably won't look like that at the end of the season!"

LL: "So your Ibiza Journey how did that start? Did that start as a worker yourself?"

SD: "I came here in 2005. I literally came here with a record box and a suitcase.

I didn't know anyone. I actually came out with someone that was doing the pre-parties for Cream and setting up, I think they did Hed Kandi and I don't think it was Defected at that point but I had a residency at Hush.

I basically played up and down the West End for free or for booze money - whatever came first! I lived off Pot Noodles and Mars Bars literally for a whole summer. I was the skinniest I've ever been that summer and it was just incredible.

And, at the end of the summer, Jimmy from Hush was like, 'yeah, you've got the residency' and went back for the next four years. I held the residency before, yeah before I kick-started off with Defected."

LL: "Did you ever think at that time that you would be like one of the mainstay residents for Defected?"

SD: "I didn't. I actually didn't.

But then the summer of 2006 I started working in a record shop in Notting Hill and Aaron Ross the A&R at the time used to come into my record shop and he was like 'come out to Ibiza' like you know, 'come and hang with Simon (Dunmore)' and that's basically how it all happened…"

LL: "Would you say that the islands changed or evolved much since then?"

SD: "I mean everything evolves right? I mean we've all got older. Music's changed. I mean, House music always has that kind of full circle, but I think there's the spirit of the island hasn't changed.

You know, I've read books from back in the day when Pete Tong and Carl Cox came over and you know the spirit is definitely still here. And I think everything is evolving: music, you know, the venues, the types of crowds that are coming out as well.

It's just it's a beautiful space for us all to come and let our hair down and to kind of leave your inhibitions at the gate wherever you're boarding from, right? And even just touching down and coming over Es Vedra… You know I still get goosebumps!"

LL: "So what would you say Sam Divine's classic Ibiza Anthem is?"

SD: "Anyone that knows me, it's Kings Of Tomorrow and Julie McKnight's Finally. That record is so special to me in so many ways."

LL: "And do you have a song of the moment that you play in all of your sets at the minute?"

SD: "Yes, it is an edit actually by my producer Nick Sheldon, who is craaaazy talented and who I'm working on my album with at the moment.

He's done an edit of The Vision called Heaven and it's got that Garage-y vibe which is me through and through, I'm an old school Garage girl at heart and it just lights up the dancefloor."

LL: "Can we expect to hear that in your set tomorrow?"

SD: "You can expect to hear it in every single time I play, without fail! It's just that record that I draw for every single time. So, yeah, definitely tomorrow it's getting its first actually Ibiza play. So it'll be special.

"Defected opening party tomorrow at Eden and you'll be able to catch me throughout the summer playing for Radio One, elrow, and of course Defected and you can find all the dates on my website samdivine.co.uk."


Lissy Lübeck: "Danny Howard, hi! Tell me about your residency at Amnesia. Obviously, there's a lot of competition now on a Monday evening, why should people come to your night?"

Danny Howard: "Amnesia's the best club on the island. Probably in the world actually…

There's no atmosphere like the Terrace when it's going off and I think that's why you need to go. It's one of the original Ibiza clubs that still got its authenticity, still got its original structure, still got that like Balearic vibe when you go in.

It's untouched and still got that same magic it always has done. I think I promoted it pretty well then actually! Amnesia every Monday: Gorgon City, Sonny Fodera and, me, Danny Howard. It's going to be great!"


Lissy Lübeck: "IMS is the curtain raiser to the season and, after three days of panels and discussions, we finally get to party tonight at the Grand Finale in Dalt Vila."

International Music Summit IMS Grand Finale listings - 2024

Dalt Vila

International Music Summit IMS Grand Finale

[in order of appearance]
IMS Grand Finale is completely SOLD OUT. Tickets remain on sale for the official After Party at Club Chinois from 23.59 h

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