Having secured a residency with mute!, the Geordie lad then extended his olive branches with the introductions of both his own label imprint, Red Lunar Records, and his very own event, Jacky & Friends.
A scintillating young sensation notorious for his driving high-energy performances, Jacky’s distinctive playing style definitely shines through within his spectacular productions.
We recently caught up with Newcastle-born DJ and Producer, Jacky, and discussed Jacky & Friends involvement with Defected this year, his experience as a worker’s DJ before playing his own residency at super-clubs and his latest EP on Defected titled ‘Sensation’.
First of all Jacky, we noticed you have just launched your first official website – jackymusic.co.uk. Tell us more about this and what you are hoping to achieve with it…
I was thinking about getting a website together for a while, my brother’s a web developer so helped me put something together. I’m using it as a platform to conglomerate my socials and information on what I have going on in terms of releases and tour dates.
We are in the midst of opening party season in Ibiza. What do you love the most about this time of year and why?
It’s just a great opportunity to see all the Ibiza faces that you haven’t had a chance to catch up with since the end of last season. It’s also exciting to see what’s changed, what parties have moved to what venues, what new bars/clubs have popped up etc. It’s also the first bit of sun I’ve seen.
You, of course, played the Defected opening party at Eden Ibiza this Sunday just gone. What was your biggest highlight from your set and why?
The biggest highlight was following someone like MK, it was unreal. I’ve also been a big fan of Defected for years, so it was a real honour to get the opportunity to play for them at a super club.
How do you think the addition of Defected at Eden Ibiza will impact upon the nightlife in San Antonio this summer? Do you think it will help drop the West End image at all?
Yeah for sure, I think it will make a massive difference having a brand like Defected at Eden all summer will help make a change. It’s a good start to help breathe new life into the San Antonio scene and present it as a more desirable clubbing location.
Elsewhere under the Defected banner this summer, you have five additional showcases of your own with Jacky & Friends. For someone who has never experienced Jacky & Friends before, what three words would you use to describe it?
Party – because it’s always a massive roadblock party!
Vibe – everyone always has a good time and the vibe is electric.
Mental – I’ve mentioned this before, but it has a pretty hardcore following and people get pretty loose! It’s quite a unique event!
What was the philosophy behind the selection of artists booked for Jacky & Friends shows for 2017 and why?
It does exactly what it says on the tin. I only book artists that I know personally and have either mixed/produced with or have been a fan of for a while. As I start to produce more and release on more labels, that pool is growing which is great!
Jacky & Friends will also be gracing Benimussa Park alongside Zoo Project for several shows this summer. Besides the outdoor factor, how will these shows differ to the Jacky & Friends shows alongside Defected and why?
We’ve never done outdoors parties before, there will be no roof haha! Benimussa Park has been able to offer us the big Treehouse stage, so that is a blessing itself which we are really grateful for. So, going from a dark, dingy club to a massive outdoor open-air terrace – it’s totally different, but I’m really excited to see what happens.
Switching gears now, if we rewind the clock back a few years, you were actually a part of the Ibiza workers community selling tickets in San Antonio. Do you have any funny stories of like as a worker’s DJ? If so, what was the biggest lesson you learnt from then in progressing further within your music career?
As a worker, you get all of these free worker’s bands. So, I had a season pass for Sankeys, we always had free worker’s guest list for Space and so on, we always ended up going out and when got to witness all of these DJs playing to big crowds and it was just so inspirational. This gave me the hunger to be behind a DJ booth and I told my friends: “I will be there one day!” And now it is a dream come true.
What words of advice would you give to a worker DJ with a residency on the West End trying to break out into a super-club in order for them to get noticed more?
I’ve said it many times before but you just can’t give up, never take no for an answer and always be persistent.
You have been smashing it in terms of production. Your latest release on Defected titled ‘Sensation’ is now available. Can you tell us a little more about the story behind this concept and where you first come up with the idea for it?
In regards to the ‘Sensation’ EP, that literally came out of nowhere. I was on holiday with my mate in Ibiza and he told me that his sister was a vocalist. We then tried to get in touch. Her name is Amelia Sia and she is based in Norwich. She sent me over some vocals and I thought she was really good, so we got together and completed and released the EP within three weeks. She’s a really strong vocalist and has never actually released any tracks before; this is her first EP release.
It must be really nice to have an original vocal…
Yes, it’s great. It is always good to have a sample, but to have an original which nobody else has got is amazing.
Whilst in the studio producing, what influences you creatively?
Being in clubs and listening to the DJs play, you always remember sounds and being in certain moods. The same applies when you are just sat in a room or in a car though so I get my inspiration from a mix of both.
Finally, what are your plans for the summer in terms of festival bookings/future releases?
In terms of festivals, I have a date with Parklife coming up on the elrow stage. There will also be a Jacky & Friends after party for that at Gorilla in Manchester. This will feature Waze & Odyssey. We usually host our parties at South. We used to play for a party called mute! In addition to Waze & Odyssey, we also have Sharples – he is my resident. He actually made me a resident for mute! in Manchester. Then, as things developed and I started to do more stuff production-wise, we started the Jacky & Friends concept around the same time. So he is my resident, a really good DJ and a really long-time friend.