IF you’ve been out in Ibiza this summer you’ll have heard word on the street that Do Not Sleep has been rocking their new home in the club room at Amnesia every Thursday.
You may also have seen a billboard featuring their resident, Ronnie Spiteri. A place often reserved for the island’s elite, it’s a testament to the brand’s belief in their rising star that he now shares this revered space alongside the likes of Carl Cox and Sasha & Digweed. With the summer drawing to a close, attention has turned to Ronnie’s debut album which drops next week – we caught up with him to find out more about the project and his summer on the island.
So, for those who might not know you and your sound, how would you sum up Ronnie Spiteri?
Sound-wise, I sit somewhere between the Deeper Tech to Techno end of the spectrum with a hint of Progressive chords and melodies. And in person, I’m a very lovely chap indeed… Ha!
You’ve spent a fair few years holding down a residency in your home town, and most recently at Do Not Sleep in Ibiza – how do you think this has helped you develop as an artist?
As a DJ I don’t think that you can really understate how important things like learning how to read a dance floor and tune selection are. Practising in your bedroom is one thing but when you’re in front of a crowd it’s a completely different situation, so when you’re playing somewhere every week or month, you get to really perfect your skills. It also puts you on the shop floor where you’re meeting and working with people in the industry, so it’s not only good for you in a practical sense, but also when you’re trying to get your name out there in the real world.
Speaking of Ibiza, how has this summer been on the island? We saw your picture on the DNS billboard, that must have been quite surreal!
It’s been incredible and I can’t thank all the guys involved in the DNS team enough for the opportunity. It’s such an experience having a residency somewhere like Amnesia and it means you have to really adapt the way that you play compared to, say, a 300 cap venue in the UK. The season has just been getting busier and busier so hopefully it is the first of many.
You’re preparing to release your debut album in September – what can we expect from that?
Yeah, it’s called True Music and we’re releasing it on my own label, Kenja Records. I basically spent a lot of time in South America at the start of the year touring and the music scene over there is just crazy – it was one of the most inspiring tours I’ve ever been on and when I got back, I locked myself in the studio throughout winter and ended up with a stack of music which I was really proud of. After much thought, we decided to put it out as an album – every track on there is tried and tested during my summer residency at DNS and in all honesty, it was hard to pick just ten tracks from all the music I’ve been playing.
Are there any particular tracks from True Music have been really hitting the spot when played out?
True Colours has been doing the damage every time, not just for me – Hot Since 82 is dropping it as well as Alan Fitzpatrick, both said ‘it goes off!’
From the rest of the album, Eloise and Psychopath are personal favourites of mine too and are getting great reactions.
Having started off as a DJ, is production something which comes naturally to you?
I’ve been DJing for many years now and started tinkering around in my home studio on the production side and learnt from there; I think that for most DJs it’s a natural progression to at least dip your toe in the world of production – when you’re playing so much great music by other people, there’s definitely plenty of inspiration to get you trying to make some of your own ideas a reality. As with anything though, you can have all the right equipment but if you don’t practise, you’ll never progress – it’s only now that I’m at a point where I feel I can release a ten-track album that I am entirely happy with.
A lot of electronic artists use albums to experiment with their sound, was that ever a temptation for you?
Maybe one day, but for this one I just wanted to focus on the kind of music that you’d hear me play in any of my sets. The album is ready for the dance floor and is a snapshot of the kind of sets I’ve been playing all summer – plenty of techno, house and progressive vibes which do the job when you’ve got a big system in front of you.
Taking things back to the dance floor – you’ve got a busy Autumn ahead of you, are there any shows which stand out in particular?
I’ve got a couple more shows at Amnesia, then I’ll be back with the DNS crew in Leeds and London, we’re launching the album at Switch in Southampton in September, and then I’m playing spots at ANTS and with Roger Sanchez when they hit Switch too. I’ll also be playing El Row in the Park in October – the last El Row event I did was a memorable one, so definitely looking forward to that, their parties are just insane.
And finally, are there any big plans or goals for 2019? Where would you hope to see yourself in a year’s time?
My management team and I sat down earlier this year to map out a strategy for the year ahead and thanks to great teamwork, we are well on target… I’ve been signed to both NGE booking and David Lewis for global representation, dropping my debut album now, been touring all over the UK & Europe including my DNS Amnesia Ibiza residency, have productions already signed up till Feb 2019 and on that note… I’ve got some massive news to drop at the end of the summer about some huge support shows for the end of the year and the aforementioned releases, showcasing which direction I’ll be heading in sonically and live for 2019 and beyond.
And in a year’s time from now, I hope to be back sipping more ice-cold Pina Coladas on my manager’s balcony in Ibiza recovering from another great night at Do Not Sleep, Amnesia! Ha!