The Do Not Sleep and Cuckoo Land Ibiza resident, Jamie Roy talks us through his whirlwind season on the White Isle, the one venue he’s still itching to play and his bromance with Cristoph
Jamie Roy, a name that’s becoming very familiar with many producers and party go-ers on the White Isle, with residency slots for Do Not Sleep at Sankeys and Cuckoo Land Ibiza at Ibiza Rocks, it’s certainly not by chance that his name is getting banded about. Having discovered his strong passion for dance music in his early teens, Jamie knew this would be the career path for him after displaying a strong affinity to the likes of Green Velvet among other legendary artists of the underground. Originally from Dumfries, Scotland, Jamie Roy has come a long way in such a short space of time; from completing seasons as a worker in Ibiza, to completing his first summer as a resident DJ at Steve Lawlers acclaimed Viva Warriors nights and now this summer seeing him play a record number of gigs across two very established parties.
It was a pleasure to speak with Jamie earlier this summer about a range of topics, stories with other artists and the new projects he’s working on, both collaboratively and independently. Be sure to keep an eye out for his future releases alongside Citizenn and the brand new warehouse night, Only Scene at Night, that debuts in Glasgow next month.
Catch Jamie Roy at the Do Not Sleep closing party on 26 September, tickets available via Resident Advisor.
Hello Jamie, thanks for speaking to us so soon after your set. We’d like to start by asking how your journey into music started?
Thanks for having me guys. Well, this is my fifth season on the island.. I first started selling tickets for We Love (Sundays at Space), I didn’t know DJ’s like I do now and from there I began to build connections. The Viva Warriors break happened completely off chance. At the time I was on tour in Australia with Hot Since 82 and Steve Lawler emailed me and said “Hey, a few Ibiza people have mentioned your name, I want you as a resident“. Before this I had done a couple of things in San Antonio, and Doorly, he was the first real DJ I met, gave me my first few gigs at Sankeys. This year, things have progressed and now I’m here as a resident DJ for Cuckooland at Ibiza Rocks and also playing Do Not Sleep parties at Sankeys on Tuesdays.
It really sounds like things all happened extremely fast for you. With this fast rise, it’d be interesting to know, along with your performances, when you first began producing tracks?
Almost every night for three years I drove to Glasgow from my hometown, Dumfries – it’s about an hours drive – and I’d take music production classes there and I started that about six years ago.
“over the past twelve months I’ve been able to totally focus on the music.. it’s the best feeling in the world.”
For me, it’s only really started to take off over the past year and a half, it takes time and if it was easy then I suppose everyone would be doing it. Previous to this year I was a plumber so it’s extra special that over the past twelve months I’ve been able to totally focus on the music.. it’s the best feeling in the world.
Yourself and Citizenn are good friends, you’ve worked on material together previously, is there anything happening at the moment?
Yes, I can’t say too much yet, but we’ve got a release set on one of the biggest labels, buzzing! I first met Lawrence about three years ago, just randomly in Ibiza further cementing just how much of a great hub Ibiza is to meet other cool producers. We’ve got a four-tracker on Skream’s label, Of Unsound Mind that’s doing really well, Richy Ahmed has been playing it out at places like Ushuaia – another bonus of being in Ibiza is you get to see who’s supporting your tracks as sometimes music gets played and it can go unnoticed.
Who’s the single biggest inspiration to you either from a music point of view or perhaps outside of music?
Oh, Green Velvet for sure.
..What is it about Green Velvet?
Well I was actually his driver for about a year, I brought my van over for IMS (International Music Summit) and I’d drive him around, he’s known for his vocal cuts over tracks and he’d actually sing over the music in the van during trips, the guy is a living legend.
What projects are you working on at the moment, have you got anything going on over the next few months you can share with us?
Well, here in Ibiza throughout the whole season I have 39 confirmed gigs which is fantastic. After the summer I go to Australia and then on to South America.
.. You went to Australia last year, didn’t you?!
Yes, it’s simply amazing that place. I’m going with Daley (Hot Since 82), he’s been great to me over the years.
This summer you played with him in Ibiza at the Mixmag lab, how did that go?
Yes it went really well, the gig was in San Antonio and it was so nice to come down and see all the guys and play alongside Daley.
You’ve mentioned Cuckooland and Do Not Sleep but we’ve not spoken much about them. How did you first meet Darius Syrossian?
Last year I was doing my residency for Viva Warriors and Steve Lawler, I’d been offered residency time by Darius but he couldn’t offer as many gigs at the time so he was really good with me and said let me go and do my thing for Viva Warriors and next year we will reconvene. Darius seriously helped me out a lot, big time. I was back at home thinking what was happening this summer, because everything was organised so late this year but I’m thankful for how things have worked out.
We understand you road-tripped your way to Ibiza this year?
Yes, I drove down all the way from Scotland. I’ve done it for the last four years, and this is the first time I’ve been able to bring a studio out to the island. It’s beneficial because previous years I wasn’t able to work in the studio as much in the summer and everything was coming out in the winter, but now I can work all year round. I understand you need to keep current and it’s very easy to become forgotten about so this is huge for me.
Last night we had an incredible time at Amnesia for the elrow party, you was there too. How did you find it?
Oh it’s amazing isn’t it? Skream was on great form for sure.
You’ve released on his label before and you say yours and Citizenn’s release is arriving on it too, how did you develop this relationship?
Well, back home I’m friends with Jackmaster and him and Skream go way back. If you have a personal touch then the chances of a DJ or a label listening to your material is much bigger, but at the same time I do understand these guys and labels get flooded with loads of demo submissions every day.
Where’s the number one venue in the world you’d wish to play?
That’s easy, DC10! I’ve played every club on this island apart from Amnesia and DC10, so you never know. You’ve got to earn your stripes and you can’t just walk in and expect to play unless you’re churning out bad boy number one’s on Beatport. You’ve just got to bide your time and keep working towards it.
Who’s the best guys to party with from the music industry. We have a feeling there’s a few contenders here!
Skream or Jackmaster, 100%. These boys are next level. The older I get, the better I am at partying – when I was younger, I needed more sleep, now I just sweat more. But yeah, Jack is something else, they’re both animals man!
What’s your favourite track to pull out on the dancefloor?
Oh that’s a tough one. Let me think… Dubfire’s (Deep Dish) edit of Sandy B’s ‘Make The World Go Round‘, that’s got to be one of my favourites. Just the other week I dropped Jermaine Stewart’s ‘We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off‘ and that went down very well in Ibiza Rocks’ pool party setting. I think it’s good to have fun and not be too serious during your sets.
Your second season as a regular playing residency parties, as we’ve touched on, Steve (Lawler)
was the man who put you on the music map, right?
Yes absolutely. Steve, now a really good friend of mine. He’s one of the biggest names in the game and has been performing for twenty or so years – and to get an email from him asking me to play at his parties was one of the biggest moments of my life.
Only recently, you performed at a gig in Scotland alongside Eric Prydz..
Yes, so back home in Scotland I am part of this collective called ‘Only Scene at Night’, it begins in October and it’s very similar to a Warehouse Project or Printworks but for Scotland. There will be a series of twelve nights and I’m really looking forward to it. So the Eric Prydz night in June was a taster for what’s to come.
.. A man that’s been doing a lot of work lately with Eric is Cristoph. Please tell us the behind your magical bromance?!
Ahh, So it was when I was in Miami, it was just us two and we just got on famously for like four days straight. He’s a truly lovely guy and you know, there’s a lot of bullshit that goes on in this industry and you can buy in to it, but it’s best to just keep a clear head. I get on really well with people who don’t have hidden agenda’s and that’s why I think we got on so well. He’s doing great with the Prydz stuff, he’s gone on that progressive route and it’s really going good for him.
Our final question, one that we ask all of our guests. What makes dance music so special to you?
The connection you make with people. There’s no other job in the world like it, everyone is at the parties to have a great time and there’s no one judging you or anyone else. A very special community that I’m happy to be apart of!