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Exclusive Interview: Solardo

Reported by Nick Trackitdown on October 5, 2017

Last week we caught up with Mark and James (otherwise known as Solardo) at Hi, Ibiza for the 20th Anniversary DJ Awards. After our brief chat they went on to be rightfully crowned 'Best Breakthrough Act' in a poll voted for by the public and also destroy the main room with their unique jackin house vibes! 

It looks like it’s been a very hectic year for you guys, what’s been happening for you here in Ibiza? 

Well, we have been over around 14 times this summer for Hyte, Ushuaia, Paradise, Do Not Sleep and Abode, it’s been very hectic and we’ve been here a lot. 

You’ve just held your own arena at Abode in the park this weekend gone. What went down and did it live up to your expectations? 

Yes, completely, from the first time we played for them at Studio 338 around 18 months ago, we feel that we have gown as an act at the same time as Abode has grown as a brand, it was a very proud moment when we got the offer from our agent. They were putting on a tent and they wanted us to host it as ‘Solardo Sessions’. It was the first time we had ever hosted a tent at any festival. It was mint, it was rammed all day and roasting hot! 

Have you found any time relax here in Ibiza this summer? 

It’s been very much in and out with other gigs on the cards, but yes we have found the odd day or so here to relax. 

Being from Manchester, how much of an impact has the recent closure of Sankeys had on the House music scene back home? 

Huuge!! For me it’s absolutely massive because Manchester now has not got a real go-to house club on a weekly basis throughout the full year. I feel we’ve got the premier run of nights with the Warehouse Project but that’s only at the back end of the year. Then you will have the odd shows at like The Albert Hall, but from what Sankeys has been from the 90s, where on a Friday or Saturday you can go and catch some of the biggest acts in the world regardless. That is what I feel Manchester is missing now. 

We are here at the 20th Anniversary of the DJ Awards, Ibiza. Is this your first time at The Awards?

Yes, this is the first time here for us, it looks pretty jazzy to be fair, lot of stuff going on, few free drinks and canapes’ knocking around. As long as there’s no Salmon I’m good! (Laughs). On a serious note a lot of people from the industry come together here. A lot of people actually turn up which is good to see. Especially as it’s at Hi, we think this club is really cool. I mean we are sat outside in a Tepee, normally we’d be doing other things in here… like sorting tunes and things! (Laughs). I think it’s going to be wicked in there tonight! 

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Your track Tribesmen on Hot Creations is still causing damage wherever played. Did you predict that it would be blow up as big as it has done? 

I don’t think we had any idea about how it was going to reach the levels that it has done.  Annie Mac played it on Radio 1 recently and the reaction was absolutely insane, for a track to be getting a reaction as big, way over a year since it’s been released on the circuit, it’s still most definitely holding its own. 

What other tracks have you been going down well out there for you guys?  

Of our own ‘Fall Down’, ‘Be Somebody’, ‘Keep Pushing On’ which came out on Relief records recently has been doing absolute damage! From other artist’s a track by Mark Jenkyns featuring Mizbee called Sirens, it goes ‘Ooohh La La, La La’ Nobody knows what it’s called but they go ‘Oooh La La La’ (Laughs). 

Do you change your set frequently or decide on a summer set for those big festival gigs? 

It depends where we are, if we come into contact with crowds we are going to see again you have to change it around. There’s always the same backbone, but if you play the same tracks over and over, it becomes more of a concert than a DJ set. You’ve got to be careful also with the amount of recorded sets going out these days you don’t want them all the same. These days we are spoilt for new music, back in the days when we listened to Garage / D&B tape packs, every DJ played the same tracks. So, we do try and mix it up as much as possible! 

Seeing as we are at an awards party. If you had to give out three of your own awards this year, who would they go to and why? 

Definitely one for Jamie Jones, he consistently fills his sets at Paradise with big tunes that are different every single set, that is dedication! An award for finding tunes! 

Award for caner of the year would definitely go to Skream. That guy is made out of Teflon (Laughs). I honestly think you could try stabbing him and he would just laugh at you! He would drink anyone into the ground.  

Finally an award for best club scene of the summer..Ibiza!  ;-) 

What are your plans for the winter months, any news you would like to share with the readers of Trackitdown.net. 

Basically, it’s business per usual. Tomorrow we embark on an 8-date tour of the US. Then we fly to South America at the end of October for shows in Mexico, Brazil, Guatemala, Peru, Chile. We are also announcing Solardo Sessions which has gone from a 40 date UK tour, to expanding on some of the most prestigious clubs around Europe, but we can’t say much more than that at the moment.

It’s not going to be as many dates but more impact shows such as The Warehouse on Boxing Day. With us being from Manchester is nuts, we can just get out of bed and get the bus there! We could literally Skateboard there. (Laughs) We also have tours of Australia, NZ and Asia off the back of that. It’s basically just a roundabout that keeps spinning and you don’t get off anytime soon! It’s banging! 

Finally, Ibiza is certainly a crazy place. What is the most off the wall story you have from the island this summer? 

(Mark)

I had a little bit of a problem in Ibiza, which i won’t go too much into detail about but it took me quite a while to come back to Ibiza. The first day that I came back to Ibiza, I’d been here 10 minutes and I was that excited, I got a Taxi from the Airport to Ocean Drive Hotel. Within 10 minutes I’ve lost my DJ bag with my Passport, laptop, all my USBs, my headphones. Everything!

This was a bank holiday weekend where we had a run of 7 gigs over 5 days. For 9 hour’s I literally panicked and ran around, then I got to the point where I was laying in my hotel room thinking I’m stuck here, it’s taken me so long to get back here and after 10 minutes I am stuck here. I rang every taxi, now I actually know there are 5 big taxi firms on the island. I rang every single one and asked them to put a message out to all drivers offering a 250 euro reward out for any driver that returns my bag.

We were playing at Sankeys that night and I think about 20 minutes before we were due to be picked up. I saw a taxi drive in and he just literally waved the bag in the air and I just ran out, paid him the money and thanked him profusely for about an hour. 

(James chips in)

The real story was he was concerned about the taxi driver going through his web history! (Laughs) 

20 Anniversary DJ Awards Ibiza - Best Breakthrough Winner - Solardo 

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For all this year's winners, photos and information about this year's spectacular even, visit. 

www.djawards.com 

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