Interview: Santé talks Road to Ibiza, new residencies, and future plans

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DJ, producer and record label owner, Philipp Maier, better known as Santé is one of the most tireless artists in the industry. His productions are punctuated by the kind of rugged kicks needed to keep driving dancefloors into the early hours. He’s seen his material released on the likes of Desolat, Hot Creations and Cocoon, and his debut album was met with glowing praise from DJ Mag. Added to that his own label has helped cultivate the career of Sidney Charles.

Despite widespread acclaim, Santé’s roots are a lot more humble. He moved to Berlin aged 21 in the pursuit of his dream of forging a career in the music industry. Whilst he didn’t make the entrance exam for the university course he wanted, he was not one to let such a set-back stop him. After securing a studio internship, Maier was able to pursuing his own productions alongside a day-job making jingles and tracks for commercials. Eventually after six years of dedication, a release on REKIDS gave Santé the notoriety he needed to pursue his love of house and techno full time as he was swiftly taken on as an engineer at Souvenir imprint and given the creative freedom to put out his own releases on the label too.

Having operated a unique live show during 2010/11, Santé told me “I now focus 100% on Djing“. That focus has certainly paid off having earned himself a serious reputation. Santé is able to hold his own against the likes of Sidney Charles, and Darius Syrrossian, named Best Resident DJ in DJ Mags 2014 Best of British polls. The trio of DJs recently undertook their ‘Road to Ibiza’ tour to give clubbers in the UK and across Europe a little taster of what they can expect should they be able to catch the trio on the white isle. Its thanks to their recent visit to Southampton’s own club Switch that I was lucky enough to get the chance to have a quick chat with Santé.

With the UK leg of the tour complete, Santé had nothing but praise for the experience: “Amazing shows and some of the best crowds in Europe! I love playing in the UK, it’s one of my favourite countries to play.” Throughout the Road to Ibiza tour, Santé, Darius and Sidney have been going back to back, night after night, for intense six hour sets. With an unrivalled extended session, Santé agreed that it was a great opportunity to take clubbers on a bit of a journey; ‘exactly, this is what we want to do with those long sets, create a vibe and built a night. Normally we have 2 hours now we have 6 we can built it like we want to. It´s amazing‘.  It certainly sounds like the trio delivered in Southampton, as director of Switch, and head of bookings, Ryan Kaery told me “they certainly brought a unique atmosphere. People barely left the dancefloor and there was this real energy.” Clearly the extended set went down a treat as Stephen Knight of High Tide added “they did Southampton justice with 6 hours of non stop real house music vibes. Real friendly DJs too, we look forward to having them back next year” Asked if he’d consider welcoming back another six hour set from artists in the future Ryan admitted, “Its good to changes things up once in a while – repetition is dull!”

The group dynamic between the three is flawless, however this was recently put to the test following a disagreement led to Darius Syrossion breaking ties with Sankeys and the Tribal Sessions brand. The trio were previously set to take up residency at Sankeys Ibiza come the end of their Road to Ibiza tour, however with Darius no longer able to, Santé and Sidney were faced with a bit of a dilemma. However, there was no question in the matter when it came to the trio’s loyalty, and Santé and fellow tour-mate Sidney Charles decided to stick by Darius taking to Facebook to state their position:

After careful deliberation, we, Santé & Sidney Charles, have decided to renounce the opportunity of playing at Sankeys Ibiza this summer. We leave a fantastic crowd and a great club with a heavy heart, but we strongly value our friendship with Darius and prioritize it over everything else. He was the one who brought us into the fold, and it wouldn’t feel right to play there without him, especially considering the circumstances surrounding his departure.”

Following this development the question on everyone’s minds was which club was going to snap up the trio for a summer residency? Santé explained to me that he, Darius and Sidney have all just has just confirmed negotiations with Vista club for their 2015 Ibiza tenancy. Unsurprisingly, Santé is already incredibly excited to take up the new residency: “Vista has got the most incredible views on the island. Big glass windows looking out over the ocean, the sunrise there is going to be so special!” As if the panaromic views weren’t enough, Vista has just been refitted with a revolutionary ‘Pure Groove’ soundsystem designed by NASA’s former Director of Electroacoustic Research, Tom Danley.

The trio’s weekly club night goes by the moniker, Do Not Sleep. The launch of a new clubnight is no easy undertaking given the level of competition from established names and brands in the worlds clubbing capital. When I asked Santé what he thought it takes to run a successful Ibiza club night, he elaborated that “we don´t want a huge club. We want to create the perfect Ibiza experience and vista is the best venue for that on the whole island.” With a clear emphasis placed upon intimacy, it certainly sounds like Do Not Sleep is truly going to be something special.

Do Not Sleep is set to make its debut on 29th May hosting a one-shot Friday party to coincide with Vista’s opening fiesta, with a back to back headline set from Cajmere and Heidi. Santé, Darius Syrrossian and Sidney Charles will then descend upon the club in July to launch their Do Not Sleep residency on Sunday 12th July. The trio promise weekly special guests with an emphasis on throwing together some of the world’s most talented selectors for some truly unique back to back sets.

When he’s not travelling the world, Berlin is the city that Santé likes to call home. If he’s not fulfilling a busy touring schedule, and lookoing to unwind Santé admitted “I go jogging a lot and in the wintertime I love going to the sauna.” Working from Berlin, Santé also operates his own record label A VOTRE. The imprint is a relatively new venture in his career, having been established in 2012. Nonetheless, A VOTRE has already put together a formidable catalog of releases. Santé explained “I like to have strong tunes on the label, it could be house or techno it just needs to be a kind of unique and original“.

A VOTRE has grown over the past three years to now cater for numerous artists, including both Darius Syrrossian and Sidney Charles. Not afraid to experiment, Santé has also incorporated the launch of a clothing brand too, and told me “We hope to create our own party / festival in the future and also promote a lot of younger artists.” In addition, A VOTRE has just released its latest EP, Dusty Roads, incidentally one of Santé’s own, featuring two original tracks and remixes from Butch, DJ Hell & Christopher Kah, and Emanuel Satie.

With consistent output on A VOTRE and seemingly boundless ambition, there seems little that can stop Santé and his fellows Darius Syrrosian and Sidney Charles at the moment. Their summer season at Vista promises to be one to remember, as the launch of Do Not Sleep could potentially be the launch of the next legendary Ibizan club night.

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