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Exclusive Interview: Graham Sahara

Reported by Nick Trackitdown on October 11, 2017

We recently caught up with long serving Ibiza resident, Seamless recordings boss and Pacha resident Graham Sahara, a few moments before he was co-crowned (alongside Paul Reynolds) 'Best Ibiza DJ 2017' at the recent DJ Awards, Ibiza. We had a quick chat about VIP culture, Pioneer DJ Radio and how not to lose your car in Ibiza. 

So here we are at the 20th Anniversary DJ Awards at Hi, Ibiza. How’s the summer been? 

Yes, the summer has been good, busy, and hectic. Plenty of travelling with various festivals, gigs, my residency at Pacha and my work with Pioneer DJ Radio. It’s been nonstop with a bit of family time in between and a couple hours sleep a day. 

Please tell us about your label label Seamless recordings? 

Well, this summer it's had to take a bit of a back seat as I'm so busy, but now winter is on the way, we have a couple releases coming up and just trying to change the model of the label. We used to do a lot of bespoke physical compilations whereas nowadays people tend to go to Soundcloud and download mixes for free or similar, so it’s not a very profitable business model to sort of follow these days. We’ve had a change up and we are coming back! We will do a few in-house compilations rather than the bespoke, boutique products, People don’t buy CD’s like they used to, and Apple are even't making computers with CD drives anymore. 

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

Best Boat Party........ mmmmmm not sure. Float Your Boat as Cirque De la Nuit didn’t book me. (Big laughs, Ryan Platts from Cirque is helping with the interview). 

Best Party, Melon Bomb. Big support, big love for my brothers on the island, they're doing great and have built a brand out of nowhere without having lots of investment like other parties on the island, so they thoroughly deserve an award for that. 

Best Radio Station would have to go to Pioneer DJ Radio (Laughs), No, but seriously, we're are trying to do something a bit different to everyone else. Everyone else follows the big clubs, the same big DJs and festivals, but we’ve tried to head towards a more Balearic vibe. We did a series called ‘Real Ibiza’ where we covered people like Rob Dan Bank, Pete Gooding, Nightmares on Wax, Jon Sa Trinxa etc, and trying to showcase things others aren't.

The youth of today may not know a lot about the history of Ibiza, so it’s nice to give that side of Ibiza a push rather than hearing exactly the same stuff DJ’s wherever you go. Let’s try and highlight something else, places like Las Dalias, Hostal Salinas, Pikes etc. Places that these people might not really know about, but really should. It’s the true Balearic vibe that made this island famous in the first place long ago. 

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There have been a lot moans in recent years about Ibiza changing, VIP culture and such like. For someone who knows the island extremely well and has yourself witnessed much change already. What is your own personal stance on this topic? 

Well, as I mentioned above. None of those venues are VIP for that very reason and that’s why we wanted to feature them. I’ve seen it change and to be honest, when I go out, with my own personal and music tastes, It would be DC10 and The Zoo Project, because you get that open air feeling (laughs as a plane fly’s over head). A lot of people want to enjoy large scale production thats funded by VIP culture, which is fine, i have no problem with that at all, however personally it’s not for me.

I’ve changed a lot in 25 years. If I had come here when I was 20 I would probably think. ‘Fuck Me, Wow, this is amazing!’ but I’ve come from another time and I prefer the dark and dirty naughty vibe, not so plush and swanky. That’s just me! Dark corner in a club any day hahaha. 

When you are not looking for your car (after a heavy night out), where do you like to escape to on the island that people may not already know about? 

Haha that’s changed, I’ve got an app on my phone now. Google maps gives you a history of timeline, it’s really helpful. Unless you’ve turned location off, so the wife can’t find you (Laughs) Formentera is always good, if you can find a spot which can be hard in peak season, I do like to get there for a weekend away. I just like to go to the north of the island, basically there are no beach bars, beach clubs and all that jazz.

You might find a bar on the beach but not a beach club per say! It’s nice to go up there with the family. As you can tell I’m not one for the beach, I don’t tan well haha. Places like Portinatx and all the lovely Cala’s around, you wouldn’t even know you are still in Ibiza, It’s really cool. 

Which tracks have been the most important to you this summer in your DJ sets? 

That’s a tricky one as I seem to play a different set every single day. Mondays in the restaurant, Pacha would be more flower power 60’s and 70’s, the funky room house or deep and tech when I play the main room. I’d probably have to say the most important tracks are, the rights ones for the right time with the right crowd. 

Finally, Ibiza is certainly a crazy place. What is your most off the wall story from over the summer? 

Well, not so much here but there was a trip I made to Parookaville festival in German this summer with Willie Graff and Pippi who were also playing with me. We met a bizarre guy who we thought was our driver at the airport with a big wheelie bin full of beer. Turns out he wasn’t our driver, but we got stuck in any way (Laughs). We get straight to the festival, loads of more beer, played my set, smashed it and by the time I’d finished my set there was an aircraft hangar full of people.

Then I might’ve got on the podium with the dancers, dancing like Jamiroquai in front of thousands of people rather inebriated and may have almost fell over on to Willie's pen drive in the CDJ while he was playing. There may be videos however I sincerely hope they're not be online.  

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20 Anniversary DJ Awards Ibiza - Best Ibiza DJs - Graham Sahara & Paul Reynolds. 

Keep up to date with Graham Sahara. 

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

www.djawards.com