Andy Wilson

By: Dream Chimney

The following interview was conducted on May 23, 2024

Andy WilsonAndy Wilson heads up the Balearica show on the world renowned Sonica Ibiza radio station.

Having picked up his family and all his belongings and hot footed it over the white island way before the millennium, he has seen the huge crowds come and go for the super clubs, so he knows where all the quiet and tranquil spots are on the hallowed Balearic ground.

Having been a DJ since the 90s, Andy Wilson goes back in time with Sancho Panza, Jim Angel & Matt Brown – the organisers of the legendary Notting Hill Carnival stand – who have gone on to lovingly create and curate the Campo Sancho Festival.

Andy Wilson returns to the festival this summer. Here the seasoned DJ, deep digger, and primo selector takes a moment to sit down with us beside the chimney for little talk.

Thanks for stopping by to chat. Where are you this moment and how are you spending the day?

I'm at home in Ibiza , catching up on music , emails and cleaning the pool.

How long have you been out in Ibiza?

In April it was 25 years, can't believe it!

Where are you from originally?

I'm from Manchester but spent the 80's between there and London with a lot of travelling, the 90's mostly Brixton and Thailand, and even then more travel.

Were you DJing much before you went over to Ibiza? What were you involved in?

I was in bands in the 80’s and buying a lot of records, but I started DJing properly in ’91, playing squat parties and pubs in South London, a few festies etc. I went to play in Brazil, then I got involved with the free parties in Thailand , Koh Phang an, and made many friends for life out there , including some of the Sancho Panza family, who brought me into their crew. I started playing regularly for them at Carnival and the warehouse and boat parties. I also managed the Vinyl Addiction record shop underneath the Vinyl Bar in Camden that Matt and friends set up. I’ve always been a very eclectic DJ, so I played all sorts depending on the party.

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What made you make the move over to the White Isle?

My son was born in ’98 and my wife Chrissie and I decided that as we couldn’t really travel with a baby, so we should get the fuck out of London and follow the sun. We’d been coming here on and off since ’89 so it seemed a natural move. Thailand was too far and too hot!

Where exactly are you on the island?

We live in the campo near San Agustin. I love that I have no fences or walls around my property, just nature and a sea view. It can be carnage a couple of miles away, but we can just chill at home or walk to the village.

The island was the beginning of the Balearic movement. What and who were responsible for the beginning of this scene in your opinion?

That’s a big question … I’d highly recommend the book Balearic by Luis Costa & Christian Len, I believe there’s an English translation coming on White Rabbit books for the full story, but it has it’s roots in the fiestas and bars and clubs of the 70’s.

In those times it was hard to get records in Spain, so the music was necessarily eclectic with influences from all over. That open-minded attitude alongside the psychedelics and the beautiful surroundings were fundamental. There were many important DJs but obviously Jose Padilla, Alfredo, Pippi, and Cesar De Melero were hugely influential.

How you have you seen the Balearic scene develop over the years? Is there a Balearic scene today in your opinion?

I would say the Balearic scene is under appreciated in Ibiza where the power of the big clubs dominates and many of the small venues and beach bars just copy the music that’s played in the discos.

There are a few places and DJs that still fly the flag on the island , and local radio is pretty healthy, but it’s an inherently non-commercial scene and in today’s world business rules.

The Balearic scene is probably better represented in Manchester or Copenhagen than in Ibiza. Big cities can nurture musical niches, Ibiza is too often just the lowest common denominator! Kerching …

You’ve been doing your Balearica show for some time now. When did your association with Sonica first come about?

I started doing radio my first year here, taking over the island’s only English language show, and then helped set up Global Radio in 2004 and co-founded Sonica in 2006 with two Spanish partners.

For those who are new to the show, tell us about the concept?

Pretty simple really - I play music I like and invite guests I like to play music they like!

Where do you record the show from each week?

Originally in the Sonica studios, sometimes from my house, but for the last 7 summers I’ve broadcast live from Pikes Hotel by the pool.

How do you source new music for your show?

I listen to music all the time - lots of radio - I love NTS and I’m always on Mixcloud . I also have a show on Music For Dreams Radio which is a fabulous station. I read Dream Chimney, Ban Ban Ton Ton, Test Pressing and I spend a lot of time on Bandcamp.

There’s not much opportunity for digging in Ibiza but I have 1000’s of records and CDs so I go exploring my own collection. And of course, lots of lovely people send me far too many promos , which sometimes makes me anxious as I can’t listen to most of them sorry!

Who are the artists that you think are making great music right now?

Ooh, too many to mention here but I always love the music on Claremont 56, Gondwana Records , Forever Living Originals, Athens Of The North, DSPPR, MFSP, NuNorthern Soul, Music For Dreams, …

How much have you seen Ibiza change over the years you’ve been there?

Everywhere has changed a lot - more inequality, more people, more cars, more buildings, and less freaks … The rich have always come to Ibiza, they used to want to blend in and play at being hippies but now they love to show off. VIP here used to be Very Interesting People, now its shorthand for wanker.

Many of the free spirits who brought so much to the island have been priced out.

When the season begins and the crowds arrive, does this affect your movements or do you embrace the busy times?

I like the yin & yang character of the seasons here, but I do prefer the quiet times now. I tend to leave the island for a few weeks in July/August and spend time in the UK and USA, and if I’m here I’ll plot up at home and avoid the madness.

What other gigs do you play on the island?

I play weekly at Cafe Del Mar and Pikes, and then a few one-offs, private events, anything interesting!

If we get out to Ibiza what is one thing we should do while we are there?

Go for a hike in the campo or along the coast and eat some seafood in a good restaurant.

You are playing at the Campo Sancho Festival in the UK in July. Tell us a little about the event?

It’s a really friendly gathering on a beautiful site, 1 hr from London with a great line-up and loads of lovely happy people. The perfect fun-sized festival.

When will you be playing? What kind of vibe can we expect from you at Campo Sancho?

I’ll be playing on the outside stage Friday evening bringing some sunshine vibes and getting everyone in the mood for 3 days and nights of partying ahead.

What is your history with Jim and Matt?

I’ve known these lovely men for 30 years and have been lucky enough to play for them and with them many times.

How good are you at camping?

I’m great as long as someone else does all the work. Ed from Karma Canvas sorts me out with one of his ace bell tents, so I just turn up with my bags and some supplies!

What is your tip for surviving 3 days in a tent?

Earplugs and eye mask, lots of healthy snacks, a good torch, and plenty of supplies.


Campo Sancho Festival information

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