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Go Back“DO YOU KNOW WHAT I LOOK LIKE?” – Ibiza’s laidback lady of the leisure industry, Smokin’ Jo
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Vulnerable yet tough, Jo charmed our jaded journo in a second. Read on to find out why she is the obvious choice to take on the important task of mixing the funky half this year’s Space Ibiza CD

Recovered from the ‘Mish?
Yeah. I feel really good actually. Even though I didn’t get in till 5 o’clock.

I was reading your diary on Trust the DJ. Your lifestyle sounds very glamorous – is it?
It sounds glamorous on paper, but when you’ve actually gotta do the flights, get up early, you know, have no sleep, it’s not that glamorous.

How long has it been like this?
A good ten years.

When did you go fulltime?
I was professional from day one, I’ve been doing it for 12 years. The first year or so I was mucking about a bit but yeah it’s been pretty hardcore for 10 years.

What was the scene like then? Were many people going professional?
I was one of the few women. House music was still quite new and fresh and it was amazing to be honest. Different kind of parties, not so commercial, a lot of raves still outside, kind of funky and trendy parties as well, yeah.

Was going professional a difficult decision to make?
You know what I didn’t even make it, to be honest it just happened. I was working in a shop, I was also djing and the shop closed down so I just carried on djing to make enough money. So it was alright yeah.

Do you do it for money or for art’s sake?
Both really. I got into it for the love of music and that is all, not for the money. ‘Cos when I started I didn’t even make 30 quid. But now I gotta get paid.

Did you grow up in a musical family? What music did you listen to when you were a kid?
No I had a very strange childhood. I didn’t have any music in my life till I was about 10 years old.

Do your family come to hear you play?
I don’t really have any to be honest. Kinda orphaned.

[It was at this point that the Space Ibiza team had to wipe a tear from the corner of their eye.]

When did you first come to Ibiza?
About 12 years ago.

Why?
I really wanted to come here, and also I had a Spanish friend who was working at Space and he said ‘you must come along I’m gonna get you a gig’ and I was like ‘yeah yeah yeah’ so I came and I just fell in love the minute I was here I just loved it and I’d only been djing for a year and I played the terrace and I played inside at Space, Pacha, I was like wow.

When did you first play at Space? Were you nervous?
Nah, in those days I was like so enthusiastic and so like ‘yeah yeah yeah’ I didn’t give a shit to be honest.

Any recommendations for the global raver?
Singapore, Zouk, Cavo Paradiso in Mykonos, of course Vinyl, New York and Space, Pacha here. And Pinup.

How will Ibiza go in 2003, you reckon?
For me I had a great time last year. Everybody said it was quiet and it wasn’t the same but I thought it was fantastic and I think a lot of people who didn’t come last year are going to come back so it’s be really really good, a nice vibe.
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Words by paparazzi scum