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Interview: Eddie Halliwell

Cream and Judgement Sundays stalwart Eddie Halliwell talks technology, fans and Joris Voorn!

Spotlight: You have 4 dates for Cream Ibiza, how are you feeling about representing them this year?

Eddie Halliwell: It's absolutely fantastic to be playing for Cream at Amnesia, it's one of my favourite place in Ibiza to play, been doing it now for about 6 years now.

Where else are you playing?

We're doing four Fire It Up parties at Judgement at Eden as well.

You've got your competition running at the moment for 6 fans to come spend a week in Ibiza and meet you, how important are fans to you?

They're the most important thing, if the fans didn't come to listen, you wouldn't be doing what you do. It's one thing I really enjoy; interacting with people, it gives me such a buzz. It gives me more energy in what I'm doing, when I see reactions in the crowd. Clubland and DJs wouldn't be around if it wasn't for the fans.

Where has the best fans?

The most responsive fans are always the Scottish and the Irish, they're the most, vocal.

The Guardian recently did an article on how ‘Superstar DJs' were killing off the once underground dance scene, do you feel this is the case, do you think that dance music needs to go back to it's roots or do you feel that this is a natural progression and is forming a new wave of clubbing?

I certainly don't think the superstar DJ status is killing clubland, if anything there are some names in the industry who, through their name alone, are promoting the scene in territories around the world that otherwise wouldn't have a scene.

For example, some of the gigs you get in Brazil, they're the biggest gigs I've ever done. I did New Years Eve with Paul Van Dyk on the beach, to one-and-a-half million people. If the scene wasn't as well known, you wouldn't be exposing it to such large audiences; if the scene was underground, it wouldn't be developing as quick. Because obviously these promoters and DJs can hook up together, they can put on these big gigs and make the scene better, bigger and stronger.

Many budding djs are finding that to become nationally recognised they need to go into the studio, as prouction is an easier way to get their name heard, why wasn't the case for you? Would you ever release tunes or do you feel it's not necessary now?

I certainly think it's a great way to get into the industry, but I think some people overlook what actually you need to do to make things work. Production is one way to get your name out there, but if you've not got anything to back that up, you might not continue progressing. One of the most important factors I've learnt is to have a team behind you to push what you're doing.

When people talk about production for me, I'd love to have big tracks, but that's coming with me in time so I can do that myself rather than going into a studio and using an engineer who's doing what they want. I've been very fortunate over the past few years to continue DJing; doing what I love no. 1 and learning the ropes along the way. I can certainly see now for me in the future to be doing production because I've built up a knowledge base to be able to do things myself. I got into this industry as a DJ, not a producer, and I think many people see producers and DJs as the same thing but for me DJing and production are two totally separate worlds, and DJing is no.1.

With Technology rapidly changing in the DJ booth, were you keen to stay with vinyl or did you happily make the shift you digital media?

I've always been into technology, from being a kid, but I suppose when you've developed your skills using vinyl, change was always a concern. I've learnt from moving with technology that it's very important to progress. When I embraced new technology you can see how much more enjoyment it gives you and how much it benefits you. Working with the technology I'm using now, it gives me more of a buzz when I go out to perform, because I can be so much more creative. It has been a massive, massive transition, from vinyl to CD, and I can only see the positives of it.

Can you just explain what ED-IT is, and what was the thought process behind this concept?

We road-tested it in April last year, but it's been in my head for quite some time, ever since the transition from vinyl to CD. If I'd had the choice I would've liked to introduce it a lot sooner but I was getting things clear in my head about which direction to go in. As you're probably well aware when CDs came out, people were like ‘that's not DJing anymore', when Ableton came out they were saying ‘that's cheating', that to me is a narrow-minded view from people not accepting change, and for me I realised people think that way so I've been a bit weary of introducing the technology.

I wanted to do it but didn't know the right way, so what we decided to do was launch a platform that's an exclusive set up where I can work my new bits and pieces but also do other things that are not in my normal DJ sets like working with visuals and pyrotechnics, which brings more of a show to clubbers, more of an experience. I've learn by working with visuals and special effects, it creates more of an impact than a DJ on his own can. Ultimately, ED-IT is an exclusive platform which has it's origins in me working with technology but has developed into something bigger.

Do you think you'll get to a stage soon where you can use ED-IT at every gig?

There will always be things you can't do at a normal gig. Some gigs you do, you can't actually install special effects, for reasons like health and safety, some venues are perhaps not equipped for stuff like that, but regarding technology, it's definitely going to help my normal set-up progress for the future.

What are 2010's priorities?

Just keeping out of mischief! I don't know... I suppose the Fire It Up Radio show, which is being syndicated around the world, priorities are to keep developing that. I have a company who sells that around the world and they're doing an amazing job, so yeah, keeping that going and just keeping on the road.

What tracks are doing it for you at the minute?

Top one for me is Joris Voorn “The Secret”, on Cocoon, it's a phenomenal record.

Who is your one to watch in 2010?

There's a few. Jerome Isma-Ae, I'm doing Global Gathering with him in Ukraine in a few weeks time, he's getting more exposure which is good. Joris Voorn, he's obviously a very big artist but he's got his residency at Space this year where I don't think he's been doing stuff like that before.

For me I've always been into him from when he was doing his techno productions, but he's sort of crossing over with tracks, like I just mentioned “The Secret”, you're going to get all sorts of DJs playing that. When producers start doing that, they start getting more recognition. So, a couple of names that have been floating about for some time but I think they're going to get bigger this year, definitely.

Eddie Halliwell mixes the Cream Ibiza 2010 compilation.

Release Date: 5th July

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