Giuseppe Tuccillo was born in Italy but moved to Ibiza 13 years ago to enjoy the opportunities that the island gives to DJs and producers – meet lots of people, make friends and start amazing artist collaborations. His tracks such as for example One Desire with Barbara Tucker or Set Me Free whith Willie Graff have become massive international hits, whereas his recent tune City Lights on 8bit is being really big in Ibiza now.
Tuccillo spent years as a resident DJ at Space and Pacha, but now that he joined the famous B4 booking agency he is not attached to any Ibiza venue in particular. Being a very prolific producer, he spends most of time in his studio working on new tracks but doesn’t have a label of his own yet (read further to get to know why).
In addition to the interview Tuccillo made a podcast for I Voice that includes some previously unreleased material and told us a few words about it as well.
How long have you been living in Ibiza and why did you move here?
I’ve been living in Ibiza since 2000, it means for 13 years now. I was working for Undiscovered label in Italy when DJ Pippi and Cesar De Melero, both from Ibiza, came to Naples to work together with me on a chill out compilation. In a year they offered me to move my studio to Ibiza and start working with them here, which I eventually did.
What was the first time when you played in Ibiza?
It was around 2000, in winter, and it was Warhol club, actually Soto Café . I played there along Pippi and Kato, the promoter of What’s Up events. My first residency at a big club in Ibiza happened to be at Space in around 2005-2006.
Do you have a lot of gigs in Ibiza this summer?
This summer I’m not playing that much in Ibiza: Sankeys, Ushuaia Tower, maybe some afterhours… I don’t have any residencies in Ibiza anymore – I started working with B4 booking agency so I’m a freelancer now, playing here and there.
After many years of residencies, time has come for a change now, for a new era. Being a resident at a certain club imposes restrictions on you, and I want to move on with my music. So I think things have changed for the better for me.
After many years of residencies, time has come for a change now, for a new era. Being a resident at a certain club imposes restrictions on you, and I want to move on with my music...How did you manage to join the agency?
My wife used to be my manager, but I also had to handle many things myself, and it was a bit of a nightmare to take care of all these e-mails, productions, bookings, contracts and other things. It started to be just too much at the moment when I decided to focus more on the production side, to spend more time in the studio and have less DJ gigs. She was working like crazy, she couldn’t do it anymore on her own and found an agency for me.
B4 is the most important and the most professional booking agency in Spain. By coincidence, a person whom I know for many years, Mikel, had been working for this agency, but I wasn’t aware of it. Back in the day I used to play a lot in the Basque Country, Mikel was booking me there since around 6 years ago and that’s how we met. Now B4 represent me worldwide, and I like it very much that they are so professional, so correct. I started collaborating with them only few months ago, so let’s see how things work…
Which was your last faraway tour?
My latest faraway gig outside Europe was Zouk at Singapore and Ibiza festival in Bogota Colombia, several years ago. In February maybe I’m going to Australia, and since I’m working closely with Tomoki Tamura from Holic Trax I’m thinking of doing a tour in Japan as well. Even if not for playing, I would be very excited to go to Japan – I love their culture and especially the food.
We know that apart from making music you also have a sushi restaurant in Ibiza, Café del Soto…
Yes, but it’s actually not mine, it’s my wife who runs it. Having a restaurant is hard, because you need to live almost all of the time there. My passion is music and I live for the music!
Why don’t you have your own label?
I’ve been trying to invent a proper name for my label for about 7 years. Each time it goes like this: I find a good name, than I type it in Google and see that it is already occupied! I promise 2014 will be my deadline and I will finally start a label.
But you manage to find names for your tracks more or less efficiently…
No, this is another big problem of mine. When I start working on a track I temporarily name it after the vocals it contains – for example, if the vocals have the word “blue”, I name the track Blue just for myself. But when there are no vocals at all the task turns out to be just too hard… Now I have an EP coming out on 20:20 Vision, I have all the tracks mastered, everything is ready, I just need to find the names. Sometimes it happens so that I send my tracks to the labels and they answer: “Ok, the music is cool, but you need to work more on the names”.
Recently you’ve been doing lots of collaborations as a producer. Can you tell us about the artists you are currently working together with?
I make a lot of collaborations usually for the same labels – 20:20 Vision, Isgud, Holic Trax… With Tomoki Tamura from Holic Trax I have a collaboration called Doublet, which is included in my podcast for I Voice.
The other collaboration is with Willie Graff, also included in the podcast – this is almost like live music, we are making a new project… Also I started a new collaboration with Subb-an, the owner of One records, and we made an EP in just two days.
Another collaboration I made recently was with Ralph Lawson who came to Ibiza to play for We Love... at Space and we just closed in the studio and made music together.
In which countries does your music sell the best?
It depends on the nationality of the labels that release my music. For example, I’ve been doing a lot of work for English labels such as 20:20 Vision or Freerange, and as a consequence I played a lot in such clubs as Ministry of Sound, fabric, Warehouse and others. I play most often in the UK, Spain and Italy.
What was the crucial factor that helped you become an international DJ?
My productions helped me become an international DJ – for example, the year when I came to Space I made a record with Barbara Tucker which reached no.1 position on Traxsource and Beatport. There should be a balance between DJing and producing: when I started as a resident at big clubs I was doing good records at the same time, it was step by step development, each thing helped the other. Another factor that meant a lot was being based on the island and having a chance to collaborate with all the artists coming here – we took advantage of meeting each other and working together in the studio.
Have you ever thought of making your own club night in Ibiza?
I’m not a promoter or a public relations person, I’m a Musician-Dj-producer. I know many people who make parties in Ibiza and I know how difficult it is, especially with all the competition of today… So I might do something small and intimate for my friends, but not a proper club night of my own.
What was your best gig in Ibiza ever?
Last year in DC10. It coincided so that during my set Carl Cox was playing in the other room and it was not announced, it was a surprise appearance. It was really early, 6-7pm, and when I started playing there were only a few people on the dancefloor. But very soon the club was packed, it started exploding!
You moved to Ibiza quite a long time ago when things were very different… Would you recommend to young DJs and producers move to Ibiza now?
I would recommend them to come to the island but not to live only for the parties – you need to understand Ibiza spiritually as well. Many people think: “Ok, I come to live to Ibiza so I can add the word “Ibiza” to my artist name”. But you need to know the island to have the right to use its name along with your name! I’ve been living here for 13 years and I don’t know all the island – for example, I’ve never been to Es Vedra, I simply don’t have time for it. For young people to come to Ibiza should mean to live the island 360º, to get to know its parties, nature, sunsets, local people etc. etc...
I’m a lazy man, especially in winter. I live in a country house and spend much time there, because I have everything I need there. There is a hill near my house, I climb it every day and sit there for a while for a spiritual relaxation, I even can see Formentera from the top. I don’t really need to travel around the island to feel it. Well, I mean of course I do travel around Ibiza from time to time – for example, in the winter I go to Santa Ines to see blossoming almonds. White flowers under the full moon look like snow, it’s so amazing…
How often do you visit Formentera and what are your impressions of it?
To be honest, I’ve never been to Formentera in daytime, I always come there to play at night. Last year I played there only once, at Pineta club with Francois Kevorkian, Louie Vega & Ralf. It was really different from Ibiza, people there were somewhat richer and more serious, what they call high quality public.
In Ibiza it’s crazier, in Formentera it’s like – party? ok, but we also need to relax. Parties in Formentera last for one day only while in Ibiza you go out on Monday and finish on Saturday! It’s one of my dreams – to go to Formentera during the day, to take a bike and explore the island. But the thing is that I sleep all day because all night long I’m busy in my studio creating music till 7am…
Tell us please a few words about the podcast you made for us.
I’m very happy to record a podcast for Ibiza Voice – it’s another disaster of mine, I’m always too busy to make podcasts. The last I made was for Ministry of Sound long ago.
I’m so concentrated on producing music that I don’t even have equipment for making DJ sets at home. In the podcast for Ibiza Voice I included three unreleased tracks: