We had a chat with HEART Ibiza resident and producer Camilo Franco, about his Ibiza experiences, how he made it there and the scene in his native Colombia.
Check out what he had to say below.
Hi Camilo! First off, I wanted to ask; what’s been keeping you busy recently outside of music?
Hello and thanks for having me! Well I’ve been busy woking in a new concept called BoHo that I started a year and a half ago…It’s related with music like all in my life but is also about lifestyle, and more…Let’s say this is what’s keeping me busy recently outside of music.
You made a bold decision to come and move to Ibiza a few years back. How do you look back on that period of your life?
Well that period of my life was amazing! So many new experiences and things, I discovered Ibiza cause of my hobby/job and dreams and I fell in love not only with the island itself but also the music culture, vibes and energy. So much talent there!! It was hard starting out but it was more than worth it.
Looking back, what made you so confident that you would make it as a professional DJ?
Actually it was completely unplanned. I’ve been playing since I was 13 years old, I spent hours and hours playing in my bedroom and practicing. That gave me a lot of confidence (but only in my room haha). I was studying sound engineering and working as a DJ during the weekends and paying for my studies out of it. I started producing and at the same time working for a sound company selling professional sound systems and light systems. It was always like a hobby/dream that I was making some money for my needs, but eventually I just realized that as a DJ I was doing very well and that I could go just for that with my full energy! This is when I took the decision to become professional. I quit all the rest and I went straight for my dream!!
Was it more confidence or naivety?
There was a time when it was naivety but nowadays confidence!
Did you have a mentor in Ibiza? Or who gave you your first break?
Yes kind of! Erick Morillo was the one that gave me the chance to play in Pacha Ibiza for his Subliminal parties for 2 years in a row. That was big! We meet at Pacha in Valencia and after my warm up he told me: “I like your style and I want to book you for my parties in Ibiza” , also the people from Balearic People gave me a chance to play there during their time at Privilege, the people of Sundown did the same at Amnesia and in the end the Space Ibiza director named Fritz gave me the chance to play at Space Ibiza for the first time…I think all that together gave me my break!
So lets chat a bit about your first gig in Space. How was that for you? What room were you playing and what party was it at?
Ohhh wow! I was soooooo nervous! I was playing vinyl in those days and it was for We Love Sundays at Space at the Sunset terrace in 2006 at 4pm and after Tanya Vulcano. That was the peak time of the terrace! It was 2h set and I can tell I did a good job…. It was like I was flying…after so many years dreaming and watching the biggest artists on that DJ booth finally I did it!
Did you manage to attend the Space Closing party a few years back? How was it for you?
Yes and it was also very special cause my set was on the same terrace where I played for my very first time. My set was after David Morales and before Erick Morillo (the king of the Space Ibiza terrace). My last track was my unreleased remix of Peter Heller – Big Love. I had tears in my eyes. So emotional….so special!
Can you talk us through some of your favourite nights at the club?
Yes I had 2 favourite nights: We love Sundays at Space, also called We Love! and of course Carl Cox’s night! Those were my 100% fav.
You’re a resident at Heart now. How does it compare to the days at Space?
Well it’s another world. Space was more for real ravers, just all about music and I loved it sooo much. Heart is about music too but also about art and I like that a lot. Heart is more for the kind of artist or person I am now.. I like also that Heart is not that big and you can feel the crowd closer. The sound system is super top so I can tell I’m not missing so much Space’s sound system. The Heart family is awesome and I feel very welcome every time I play there.
How important do you feel a residency is to establishing your own brand and sound? Does playing regularly in the same place advance your skills as a DJ?
I think it’s to important start step by step, first working on your brand locally playing constantly and after that start expanding it to different territories. Playing regularly in the same place helps your skills and also let you work on your confidence but if you want to grow or improve you need to get out of the same place, and your comfort zone.
Do you have a preference for playing warm-up sets or closing sets? And when was the last time you had a a truly amazing experience as a DJ?
I like to play warm up sets when the dance floor is already full and I can be able to warm them up properly with no killer tracks and just work with the groove, but of course I like also closing sets to be able to use all those killer weapons I have and smash the crowd.
I think the last time I had a truly amazing experience as a DJ was at the BoHo Full Moon Experience in Barcelona last 27th of July. The connection I had with the crowd was something else and I played for 6h, (all night long) building the whole night!
Are those sort of gigs increasingly rare these days?
Well back in the days we played 5h or 6h set, now it’s very rare and a special thing to see DJs doing that.
In terms of your own relationship with music, was there one musician or album etc that made you realise ‘this is what I want to do with my life’?
Well I guess my biggest inspiration comes from the musicians in my family (uncles) and my musician dad. I’ve been having music in my ears since I was born, like jazz, latin, soul, etc…I studied music but it was a bit boring for a hyper kid like me so I started being curious about the DJs playing music and this is how I ended up here.
How influential was Colombia and your family and friends in helping you progress as a musician?
Well as I mentioned before I’m coming from a musicians family and i listened a loooooot of music all my life so I guess that helped a lot to make me have a special ear and taste for the music and of course also when I play out.
Whereabouts are you from in Colombia and how is the music scene there?
I was born in Bogotá (the capital) and in terms of electronic music I have to say there are many great Colombian talents making very good electronic music and paying it. The sad thing is the electronic music scene there is still not very big. Yes they have amazing festivals and clubs, but still needs to improve a bit. It will happen for sure!
Do you have a favourite place to perform at and why?
Ibiza is my number 1 place to perform! If anyone have ever been to Ibiza they will now why! The energy, the crowd, etc…But I have to say that in the last 2 years I met these promoters in Egypt and they do the most amazing events and with the most amazing crowd and I love to play with them too. Family & Friends, check them out!
Apart of that I love to play also in one of my other residencies at CDLC Barcelona.
If you could collaborate with any musician – living or dead – who would it be?
That’s a very difficult question but I’d say Sade or Michael Jackson, Ultra Nate.
Ok, and you can bring three musicians to dinner. Who would you pick and why?
Well the 3 I mentioned before! Because I would love to ask and hear about their experience in music and the music world.
Do you make aims and goals as a musician? Or are you generally just someone who goes with the flow?
My goal is always to improve my skills and to be updated in music, I also go with the flow but always with those basics.
What’s next for you that’s keeping you excited?
Starting my brand new label BoHo Music, keep making music and improving my skills in the studio.
Thanks a lot!