Now an established international headline act as a result of an entirely organic journey, this scintillating Swiss has displayed the willingness and ability to explore and craft his own unique sound within the confinements of House and Techno.
An unquestionable hero at his ANTS residency at Ushuaïa Ibiza as well as a regular hit at such nights as Paradise and elrow, Andrea’s tougher-edged tech has proven to be one of the most popular formulas in the party capital over the past few years.
We recently caught up with ANTS favourite, Andrea Oliva, and discussed how he established himself as a major player in Switzerland, his Ibiza residencies at Ushuaïa Ibiza and Hï Ibiza and his latest remix of Thick Dick’s ‘Welcome To The Jungle’.
First of all Andrea, you originate from your home country of Switzerland. What kind of local influences were you open to in your homeland and how difficult was it for you to establish yourself as a major player within Switzerland?
When I started to play in the 90s, we had a massive club and rave culture in Switzerland. I was dazzled by that movement and its DJs and just wanted to be involved in it. Hard work and dedication made it possible to establish the whole thing for me in Switzerland finally. I started to DJ when I was 12-13 years old, I started to work in record distribution and record stores when I was like 17 and I also started my own nights when I was 20 which ran for over 10 years… that’s the kind of dedication and hard work I am talking about.
Can you tell us more about the House and Techno scene within Switzerland and what direction you see it heading over the next few years?
The rave culture in old warehouses has gone unfortunately, but we still have some of the coolest clubs. Nordstern in Basel is one of these – next level and an incredible sound system!! We have of course some more clubs in the other cities like Zurich, which has Hive, Supermarket and Zukunft, for example, which have always been innovative. Due to me touring so much – I don´t get to play so many gigs in Switzerland anymore so I can’t tell you exactly where it’s going really. But what I can tell you is that there is still a big passion for electronic music and that is the basis to keep our scene alive.
A regular for ANTS at Ushuaïa Ibiza, you have established yourself as one of the more popular fixtures of Ushuaïa Ibiza’s only underground concept. Talk us through some of your earliest ANTS memories from over the years and why they stand out to you so much…
It feels so good to see how ANTS has grown. The idea was always to add something special to the island and to keep up with being one of the best parties. Each year just seems to get even bigger and better than the last.
What has been your favourite ever ANTS gig to play to date and why?
Honestly – every single ANTS gig has its stand out moments. ANTS is in the midst of celebrating its fifth year anniversary this summer.
What do you think has been the secret to its success and why it is still running so strongly today?
The promo, the concept, the decoration, the story – all has been formulated with passion over the years. The brand was built on unity and that’s the winning formula.
How do you think ANTS has helped develop and establish you as an artist over the past half-a-decade? What are the most valuable lessons you have taken away from your residency thus far and why?
Everything goes hand in hand, you give and you take, the right balance is the key. It’s of course not only about me when it comes to ANTS as so many other great talents also play. The force is in the brand and the DJ’s are a part of it.
This summer has also seen you host your very own residency alongside Eric Prydz at Hï Ibiza on Tuesday nights. What have you enjoyed the most about playing at Hï Ibiza and why?
It’s just great to be able to invite friends to play with me. I go B2B with my guests most of the time and so far it has been incredible.
You will also play a date over at DC10 Ibiza for Paradise later this summer, what are you most looking forward to about this particular performance and why?
I feel very close to the Paradise family. I have been playing a lot of Paradise gigs in the world and have also released my music on Hot Creations. Paradise is one of my favourite parties so you can imagine how excited I am.
Switching gears now, what are your three favourite tracks to play within your sets lately and why?
There are way too many to mention a few – there is such a strong output of music lately! I’ve been enjoying the music so much that my tracks constantly change from set to set.
Your latest release is a remix of Thick Dick’s ‘Welcome To The Jungle’. What is your favourite aspect of the original and how does your version differ?
One of my absolute classics, I was so happy when they asked me to remix it. My version is an interpretation today of a track which came out 16 years ago.
Finally Andrea, we noticed a recent social media post you published with a picture of a phrase saying ‘What this world needs is a group hug’. What do you mean by this and how do you think electronic music can help share this message?
The post says it all. I think clubs, artists, festivals and our industry in general could do much more to influence at least our generation with positivity.