Taking over Ibiza: MEDUZA talk headlining Ushuaïa, chemistry with James Hype & more [Interview]
“It felt like we had done a lot in the music industry but not enough to fill a venue like that alone,” say MEDUZA, just after their massive debut headlining set at Ushuaïa.
For any artist, headlining Ushuaïa is something not to be taken lightly. A mecca of dance music on one of the world’s most iconic party islands, it has hosted some of the most established names in the industry, one of those being David Guetta as part of his renowned residency F*** `Me I’m Famous! For one of those final nights, circumstances meant that Guetta’s performance had to be cancelled, and the event had to find a worthy replacement. Enter: MEDUZA.
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Having already established a close relationship with Guetta through featuring prominently on the bill over at sister club Hï for the Future Rave residency, Meduza would then step up to deliver a headlining set at Ushuaïa for the very first time, alongside James Hype for a special B2B. Just after this incredible set, we caught up with MEDUZA to get all the inside information on how it felt, and much more.
This was your first time headlining Ushuaïa, which is obviously a very big deal for any artist. How did that feel?
“Incredible. It was really scary at the beginning, we were really worried about playing as we had never played at this venue before. It felt like we had done a lot in the music industry but not enough to fill a venue like that alone, so doing this set as a B2B with James Hype helped a lot because he’s a monster on stage, and you can see that. After we played the first track of our set, we felt connected with the crowd and there was a strong feeling there.”
Do you think it was the show that you were most nervous for, ever?
“It was one of them, for sure. Aside from this show at Ushuaïa, we would say the other one was EDC Mexico which was our last show before the COVID-19 pandemic. We were playing the circuitGROUNDS stage in front of 60,000 people and I remember for the first 15-20 minutes of the set, I didn’t look up at the crowd at all because I was too focused on trying not to mess it all up.”
Speaking of the pandemic, that is when you really started to blow up right?
“Yeah, we had been nominated for a Grammy in January of 2020, but had released ‘Piece Of Your Heart’ and ‘Lose Control’ a year before that in 2019. During the pandemic we released ‘Paradise’ and we think that probably saved our career, because it played on the radio so much, and served as a way for people to discover us or not forget us.”
Going back to the Ushuaïa set, as it was such a last-minute lineup change, did you have much time to prepare for it, if at all?
“Not at all. The good thing about us and James is that we grew up as resident DJs in local clubs, so we were all used to looking at the crowds to understand what vibe we had in front of us, and trying to get into the mood with them. It depends, obviously, on the venue, but we didn’t prepare anything at all. We were just following each other and it was pretty easy, honestly, because playing with James is one of the easiest B2Bs we’ve ever done.”
Now this isn’t the first time that MEDUZA and James Hype have joined forces on the decks with their B2B concept ‘Our House,’ but there’s a magnetic force that has kept them together throughout this year, and we want to know what the special sauce is.
Is it because the chemistry between you and James Hype is so strong? Tell us about that.
“It’s like understanding each other without talking, so it’s almost as if we’re playing as one. For example, we weren’t planning on playing ‘I’m Good (Blue)’ at the end of our set, but we all felt like we should do something to honour David Guetta, as we filled in for him and wanted to thank him for this opportunity that he gave us.”
Ushuaïa wasn’t in MEDUZA’s plans this year, but now that they’ve conquered both that and Hï, we wanted to know whether they feel the two spaces are vastly different from each other.
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Since you’ve now played both Ushuaïa and Hï, do you think the vibes between the two clubs are very different?
“Yeah, definitely. With Ushuaïa it’s more open and of course, it’s more commercial too, to the point where it feels like playing a festival. Since we played David Guetta’s F*** Me I’m Famous! residency it was more commercial, but we’ve had experience with making radio tracks so it wasn’t that difficult for us.
With Hï, it is a proper club, and even more so when we play the Club Room. There’s more of an intimate connection with the people there, and when we play the Club Room the crowds don’t use phones to film, and a lot of the time they just dance and have fun just like the old times.”
Since you’ve had such a busy one, what have been your highlights of this Ibiza season?
“This Ushuaïa headlining show and the set where we played in the main room at Hï for the Future Rave residency, for sure.”
As another Ibiza season comes to a close, the year is still a busy one for the trio. From continuing a jam-packed tour schedule which will see them in cities such as Amsterdam, London, Sydney and beyond, and also having just released their official remix for Calvin Harris track ‘Desire,’ they show no signs of slowing down any time soon.