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Darius Syrossian: Friendship first

Do Not Sleep resident spills on bromances, respect and new beginnings...

It's clear that Darius Syrossian inspires a following. Steadily DJing his way south to warmer climes from his hometown Leeds in the north of England and blasting his way up to join the ranks of Ibiza's best loved DJs during his time at Steve Lawler's Viva Warrior parties at Sankeys, Syrossian then went on to headline Sankeys' popular Tribal Sessions resurrection, pulling a remarkably loyal fanbase with him wherever he went. In a shock move that was sprawled in no uncertain terms across social media last month, Syrossian and Sankeys parted ways, and within a few days two more Sankeys regulars, Santé and Sidney Charles, had also announced their defection, staying loyal to the friend and colleague who had introduced them to the club in the first place. Within weeks, Do Not Sleep was announced, a collaboration between the three friends that begins at the end of a spring tour during which the lads have honed their back-to-back sets to a fine, yet explosive, art.

In this feature interview, Darius is keen to discuss the strong bromance and musical synchronicity that hold the Do Not Sleep trio together, the circumstances of the latest big change in his professional life and why he's champing at the bit to get this new season underway.

Can you tell us a bit about your relationship with Sidney Charles and Sante? Professionally and personally, why is this power trio going to be the business?

"These guys are like brothers to me; they are the nicest most down to earth guys you could ever dream to be working with. I love what I do, it's my passion, but to do it with people who are your bros makes it all the better. Can I add though, regarding this power trio going to be the business, well, I assure you we don't think we are the business, that's not why we do this. We just want to do our music together and bring it to like-minded people who are also into our sound, simple as that…we are not striving to be number one."

After the three of you split from Sankeys were you instantly thinking of starting something together? How were the plans for Do Not Sleep initially conceived?

“We already had our Road to Ibiza tour booked, which was 15 shows of us playing together, and we were already doing lots of back-to-back shows when the Sankeys split with myself and the club happened. I did not ask Sidney & Santé to leave, but I got a call from them two days later where they told me they didn't feel comfortable staying on at the club when it was me that brought them on board there, and they said ‘let's just stick together and see what we can do'. They turned down a massive residency at Sankeys - they had 10 shows each lined up. But I want everyone to know they don't hate or dislike Sankeys. As they said, they leave a great club and crowd with a heavy heart, though I did persuade them to at least keep their Eastern Electrics show that they are doing for the Sankeys stage - it's just a name given to a stage after all.”

“The decision they made was purely one to put friendship over anything, and a respect matter. Just because DJs still play at Sankeys doesn't mean we are not friends or I don't respect them. Business is business, but for Sidney and Santé, the friendship came first, and this is why I love them like they are my brothers.”

"With regards to DO NOT SLEEP parties at Vista Club, before they approached us we had agreed that this summer it's one for all and all for one! We do all our shows together, as bros! They approached us and when we saw the space, we thought wow that place would suit our sound perfectly: nice intimate room, DJ booth isn't too high up so you can interact with the crowd and the sound system is kick ass. Also at dawn, the light comes in so you get a full Ibiza experience. And the guys behind it are good people, so we said lets do it! We also got approached by Space Ibiza to play their official opening Fiesta on the terrace and that's a show that any DJ would be honoured to be part of; we played this party together as well as a few Kehakuma shows at Space Ibiza as well."

Everyone was shocked at your departure from Tribal Sessions, what are you looking forward to most about this new Ibiza path you're about to head down?

"The fact that, for the first time, I can actually put my all into something that I can genuinely feel properly part of is most exciting. I've spent a few years now grafting parties that belonged to others, but I gave my all for them. For example, I hand-on-heart loved my time when I was at VIVa Warriors, but it wasn't my party, and it's built around a legend, it's his party. When you get to a certain level in that set up, you almost feel like you are intruding on someone else's party. It was great to be involved in it, but I went as far as I could in that set up. I must say though, I love Detlef: he's such a genuine decent person, I hope he can now move forward and get the recognition he deserves."

"With Tribal Sessions, I was asked to come on board and front the party and help bring it back from the dead. I'm proud of the fact that in one year we made the party what it is today, the hard work there saw DJ MAG nominate myself for best resident DJ award, which I won with the public's vote, but we also got a nomination for best club night too. It's a legendary party and deserves to be right up there. It's only natural that eventually when the party was fully re-established I wouldn't be needed anymore; I think because I put in so much work and passion for the party, people saw it as mine, and my honest opinion is that Sankeys did not feel comfortable with that. But the party is fully re established now and it feels good to know I helped bring it back up for them. So myself, Sidney Charles and Santé wish them all the best with it."

"But now the boys and I have a new path as you say and what we are looking forward to is that this time, we feel this is something we can do together, rather than doing it for someone else. Playing together on the Road To Ibiza tours we have learnt a lot about each other; we have been playing some awesome six hour back-to-back sets, taking it in all directions, starting off really deep and going through house all the way to tearing techno. During a six hour set in Amsterdam I dropped Laurent Garnier 'Crispy Bacon' and it blew that place apart [laughs]. We have got our back-to-back flow locked down perfectly, just in time for the summer."


PHOTO | Vista Club at Privilege


Vista Club is an incredibly beautiful space, especially at dawn. Are you looking forward to some special sunrise sessions after holding down a residency in a dark, basement style club for so long?

"I couldn't have said it better myself. When I saw the place, I instantly thought, 'Oh my god!'. A sunrise set here is really going to give the clubbers a true Ibiza experience, you actually get a view of Dalt Vila from the club! I just cannot wait to get there and spin. Myself and Sidney went to do a soundcheck the other week when we arrived on the island, and we were looking at each other saying, 'this is one of the best spaces we have seen on the island, and how lucky we are to have it as a place to hold a residency'. Sidney and I had Santé on FaceTime video call and were showing him the room as he was still in Germany. We could see he was very excited too just from looking at the space down the phone [laughs]."

Most of your fans won't know much about VISTA CLUB, yet it's proven itself as a fantastic space for a decent house and techno stomp. Why did you choose this venue to host your new party and what's the main thing you want to get across to those surprised at the decision?

"When I looked at Vista Club, I was like, 'wow, why has this place not got the credit it deserves?' I was told it has already been a great place for nights like Elrow, they started there in Ibiza and were huge before they moved to Space, Get Physical did some ace shows there last summer, also, remember Sankeys in year 1? I didn't ever play there that year but it was empty all the time, then Steve Lawler decided to go there and everyone said ‘is he mad'? But one thing I respect about him is he knows what he is doing. If he gets the right vibe people will go, then VIVa Warriors started, and I was there the first two summers of VIVa, and the parties were insane. This is what I want people to know: we can do the same here at Vista club with DO NOT SLEEP. There is a saying in life I always go with… 'It's not where you are that's important, it is who you are with that is!' So when people come, we can recreate our vibe anywhere."

The Do Not Sleep press release talks about featuring back-to-back sets... will the three of you play together every party? What can we expect in terms of collaboration each night?

"We are right now in the second half of a fifteen-week Road to Ibiza tour, all back-to-back sets. We've really learnt a lot about each other musically, the last few shows have been obscene! Just ask the people who went to the Leeds, Bristol and especially Manchester shows! I think in all my life, time has never passed so quickly. We did some 5-6 hour sets, and it just flew by in an intense atmosphere, it was like a pressure cooker."

"Here is a mini film, with myself, Sidney Charles & Sante on the road, there is some great footage from the Manchester show. We are hoping to bring this vibe to the island this summer. When people come we can do it together!"

Can you tell us a bit about who else you'll invite to join you this summer?

"The guys had some guests they already wanted to bring on board, but I requested a few people too and they have been so nice to work with and listened to my input. One person whose sets and productions I've really been feeling is Marquis Hawkes; I actually booked him for Tribal Sessions before the split, but I asked to bring him onboard for Do Not Sleep and I'm pleased to say we have him, the legend Dennis Ferrer, Breach aka Ben Westbeech and Nathan Barato from Music On, who is a great friend of mine I have known for years and has just delivered an obscene remix back for my first release on my new label Our Rhythm that launches in the summer. We also have people like, Dense & Pika, but it's not just about obvious big names; it's underground, talented ones too like Italian DJ Luca Agnelli, who has done some ace stuff with Locodice's Desolat label."

Starting a new party in Ibiza is always a bold venture - what are your main goals for this summer?

"To just carry on like the last few summers, enjoying life with my friends, meeting new friends, and putting on parties that bring people together having fun and enjoying life. And also - spinning with my bros, Sidney Charles and Santé! Feeling like part of a family where the feeling is mutual: I love what they do, but also they love what I do. Nobody is better or above anyone else, we just enjoy the music together with each other and the crowd, whether it be at Space opening, the Kehakuma shows or our main project, DO NOT SLEEP at Vista Club that starts on 14th June. Remember life is about the journey not the destination, so I just want to enjoy this journey."

Do Not Sleep opens proper at Privilege's Vista Club on Sunday the 12th of July, but you can catch a warm-up party on the 14th of June. Tickets to the warm-up are currently going on Spotlight for 4€ (booking fee only), for a limited time only. Steal.

For those pour souls not making it out to the white isle this summer, the trio plays in London at the Undone Event, on the 19th of June at Bankside Vault.

soundcloud.com/dariussyrossian

facebook.com/darius.syrossian

View this feature in the weekly Spotlight Magazine, Issue 022.


WORDS | Jordan Smith

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