Hot Since 82 talks new Ibiza residency and the growth of Knee Deep in Sound [Interview]
Hot Since 82 has built an incredible name for himself in a relatively short period of time. On top of being one of the most in-demand tech house DJs in the world, he spearheads his imprint Knee Deep In Sound as a platform to push forward-thinking house music. Though the label is only a few years old, it has managed to set a new standard for quality and consistency, helping to usher in a new era of sophistication in dance music.
Daley Padley, the man behind it all, traces his roots in the scene back to the most famous party island in the world: Ibiza. This summer, he is returning to the sacred destination to put on his first ever residency on the island at the world-famous Pacha Ibiza. Hot Since 82 will be playing, hosting and curating three special nights of ‘Knee Deep in Ibiza’ on June 24, July 15, and August 5.
Ahead of the affair, we had the opportunity to speak with the young Yorkshireman about his residency and the evolution of his growing imprint Knee Deep in Sound.
You’ve said that Ibiza is like a second home for you. When was the first time you went there?
This is my 16th year on the island, so I’ve been going there since the year 2000. The first time I went out there was with a group of a friends from my hometown. I think there was about 8 of us. I always say the first experience in the Ibiza is always the best. I was 17 at the time, and it was the first time I had been on a holiday alone without parents. I guess I just had the time of my life, trying to explore every little bit that I could on the island. It was amazing, probably the best holiday ever.
Back then, were you already DJing? If not, did you know at that point that you wanted to have a career in music?
No, I mean I’ve always been into music, especially dance music, since the early 90s. Back then my older brother had some turntables, and I used to play around with those and such. But it was actually when we got back from that summer holiday that I started collecting my own records.
I got my own turntables and mixer on my 18th birthday. In fact, the first time I went out there it was my birthday, so it was exactly 12 months from the first visit to Ibiza to when I started playing. I got a DJ gig at a local bar in town which was kind of the hipster place at the time and I ended up playing there for five years after that, so that’s the place where I started learning my trade so to speak.
Was there a notable set that you saw when you went there for your first time that had a lasting effect on you?
Back then, trance was really big — people like Paul Van Dyk, Tiesto, Ferry Corsten, Judge Jules. I used to really like trance music. Hard house was really good back then as well–people like Lisa Lashes and the whole Tidy Trax label were huge back then. More on the house side of things, I went to see Roger Sanchez. He did a four or five hour set at El Divino in Ibiza town. That was the set that really made me realize what I wanted to do.
Going on to your new residency this summer, how did the partnership with Pacha come about?
First of all, it’s such a massive honor to be asked to play the world’s most famous disco club–because it is one of the longest standing clubs now, probably in the world. It has such a heritage, especially in Ibiza. I ended up playing three shows for them last year, which went down extremely well and I had a great time. I was lucky enough to be asked to be brought back this year.
More importantly, I am bringing Knee Deep in Sound there as well. We’ve curated three special nights, bringing some really good guests and seeing where the wind takes us. I think the lineup is quite special to us. We’ve chosen people that we personally like to work with and the people that also release on the label, so it’s going to be quite intimate.
Have you prepared any special music specifically for those nights?
No, I think the main thing about Pacha is that this is something that they’re passionate about and it’s something that we’re passionate about and have been for a long time. We just do what we do, they didn’t want to change anything, and we’re not trying to change anything that we do.
We’ve been asked to come back and bring Knee Deep because what we do is good I guess–it’s just straight up house music and a little bit of techno. It’s just party music, really, and that’s what works in Pacha and I think from the three shows last year, they get the way I play and they understand the label as well. So I think everybody involved knows it’s going to be a good show and a success overall.
Can attendees expect an extended set from you each of the nights?
Listen, I’m always up for an extended set! It’s just what time they turn the music off on people. Obviously being my party, I’ll be closing each one out, so I’ll be playing at least three or four hour sets. But not just me, like I said, we’ve got some really good guests. On June 24, which is the opening night, we have Booka Shade. They are really good friends of ours that released on the label.
Also, Santé and Sidney will be out here playing for us. I’m a huge fan of those two as producers and their sets are always really, really great. They just did their first show for us at EDC in New York which was really, really good. Then they did the warehouse party that we had in LA as well. We’re working with Santé and Sidney quite a lot now. So yeah, I think the opening night is going to be something quite special.
So seeing as it’s your first residency in Ibiza, this is a huge step forward both for you and for Knee Deep. Can you speak on the growth of the label and the parties that you’ve been throwing?
The emphasis of the label is just forward thinking house music. You know, the main thing is we get paid to make people dance and that’s the philosophy that we’re always trying to spread. So just gotta keep it real and make people dance.
I mean I go to many parties in Ibiza, and not mentioning any names, sometimes it’s a little too druggy. Kids are on holiday and they want to get their money’s worth and want to have a great time. We always want people to leave parties and think that was one of the best parties we’ve been to in ages. I don’t get that kind of vibes at some parties there anymore. We want to put the fun into it for everyone so people will leave the club and be happy with what they’ve been served. That’s the main priority for us.
Like I just talked about, doing parties in New York and LA, the label’s come into its own now where I think Hot Since 82 has been able to take bit of a step back because the label has such a high level of quality. People are familiar now with Knee Deep in Sound, and when they see the artwork or the name, they know it’s going to be quality.
A couple of people have mentioned to me, especially when I was in Los Angeles last time, that they don’t even look at the lineup anymore. As soon as they see that it’s a Knee Deep party and I’m playing, the odds are they’ll buy the ticket. Then, you know, maybe a couple of weeks or months after, we release the full lineup, then it adds more weight to the party. But, the parties are selling out just with me and Knee Deep in Sound, which is great. To get to that level of quality for such a young label, it shows how hard we work behind the scenes.
Going off of the fact that you are such a young label, can you speak a bit about the long term vision for you and Knee Deep in Sound?
I turned to my team years ago and said that I wanted to start a label. They said things like, look Daley, you’re way too busy to be taking something on like that. And I’m like, I’m getting all this music sent, some of it needs to be put out. I’m playing it but I’m not doing anything with it–these guys are never going to catch a break. A lot of the music that I was getting was just from run-of-the-mill bedroom producers, which never get to see the light of day because most labels will only sell the music from big artists that are already established–which I understand from a business point of view. But still, a lot of the music I get sent is just incredible.
That was a priority for us, to try to give breaks to as many artists as possible. And obviously if some of our friends, such as Booka Shade, send us music we’ll gladly put that out as well. But it’s just nice to have a brand as well, because like I said, it’s a lot of stress for me to be constantly at the forefront of it all. To take a back seat and let other artists push through and do their bit on the lineup is an honor for me to offer them that.
So, forward-thinking. We’re not planning to change anything, we’re just going to keep releasing quality music. The same with me. I’ve done quite a lot of remixes lately but I’ve not really been concentrating on my own stuff because it’s been more about the label and I think for the rest of the year it’s going to continue to be like that. Though I’m kind of working on an album, which will probably be put out next year, it’s all about the label in 2016.
Check out Knee Deep in Ibiza’s upcoming parties: