Having moved to Ibiza full time in 2010 and complimented his musical career with the practise of Cranio-Sacral Therapy, Essential Ibiza thought it was about time we had a chat with Andrew Lovell, aka, Shovell
Ibiza has a rich spiritual history, is that something that attracted you to the island initially?
I came here in 1990 and I played at Pacha with DJ Alfredo, amazing hedonistic times and an unbelievable experience. I’d resigned from my job as a plumber only four months earlier. I was born and bred in South East London so coming to Ibiza back in 1990, playing at Pacha, and staying on the Island for three weeks – it was only meant to be one week – was a MASSIVE learning curve. One I couldn’t fully take in at the time, but now I look back, it was a definite beginning to my personal journey of spiritual awareness. Now I live here all year round, the unique feel of the Island, especially in the winter, is one of the key reasons I moved here. It helps my practice in Cranio – Sacral Therapy, my music and indeed my whole life, It keeps the balance, yea manIt’s a spiritual thing.
There has been an increased awareness in the benefits of spa and other wellness treatments, have you noticed an increase in business on the island?
Personally, yes I have. In the summer the Island can get crazy, there’s an enormous increase in the amount of people that come to visit Ibiza, and with that comes a chance for some of those visitors to enjoy and experience some relaxing and restful benefits to their health and to their all round being, even the hardest clubber has to land at some point. So whether it’s a Cranio-Sacral Therapy session, a massage, Reiki, a spa visit, hypnotherapy, crystal healing, yoga, aqua activities or a long walk round part of the island etc, someone is here to give that treatment. Also, with more and more people feeling and open to the benefits of these sort of treatments, it works out well for both client and practitioner.
Are your clients Ibiza inhabitants or do you find tourists make up most of your calendar?
Again, it’s a summer, winter thing. In the winter it’s by far a majority of Ibiza residents who make up my clientele, in the summer it’s a lot nearer a 50/50 split and a very busy time for me.
Ibiza is a magical place; is the balance between the spiritual and hedonistic what makes the island unique?
What makes the island unique, for me, is the vast array of natural beauty that is here in Ibiza. Not just the beaches or the wonderful views, but the lushness of the plant life, the mostly clear skies day and night and stretch upon stretch of beautiful, empty-in-the-winter beaches. Watching the sunrise from Playa Del Bossa, witnessing a full moon rise at Calla Longa and visiting the pure white almond blossom under a full moon at 2a.m. in Santa Agnes, are just some of the things that make Ibiza so magical.
Given that Ibiza can be an island of excesses, how important is wellness in achieving balance?
All important! Without health I would find it very hard to live the way I want to nowadays. Don’t get me wrong, anyone who knows me from the clubbing days, knows I was a fully paid up member of the hedonist society. However, since going to college in 2007 to study for my diploma in Cranio-Sacral Therapy, I very quickly learnt that trying to give someone therapy on a Monday morning after a LARGE weekend wasn’t going to work, so very quickly after starting college those party nights became fewer and fewer. Considering I was still playing percussion all over the world – and still am – in some of the wildest clubs, with some of the biggest party crews around, led me to find a brand new discipline, and therefore balance in my life. I need to be the best Cranio-Sacral Therapist I can be, so I simply had to change a lot of my old ways. This in turn helped me to focus a lot of newfound energy on my studies and new direction in life. The fact that I got the added bonus of feeling more clarity, focus and power together with a closer bond to my drums and drumming as an art form, has been a MASSIVE bonus. Cranio-Sacral feeds the drumming, and the drumming feeds the Cranio-Sacral. Underlying both of these things, and indeed all of my life is a deep sense of wellness and wellbeing.
Your musical career has taken you around the world several times and you’ve recently decided to call Ibiza home; what is it about the island that you would choose it over the rest of the world?
I have been very fortunate to travel around the globe playing and making music. Yet, apart from a month or so here and there, I have only ever lived in London. I love London, but it was time for change. With that new balance I was talking about receiving in the previous question, I was feeling more and more pull towards living amongst nature. A beautiful sea and coastline, the dazzling display of the stars at night, clean air, no traffic lights, no police sirens every minute, no one giving me the evil every time I went out, I wanted a rest. Last year, 2010, was my twentieth year as a professional musician, so basically I’d been on tour for twenty yearsit was time to get off the bus. Ibiza called, here I am.
Tell us about your new career path, is it something you’ve always been interested in?
Yes, I’ve always had a yearning for complimentary medicines and therapies. Even back in my South East London plumbing days, I would prefer acupuncture or osteopathy to a visit to the GP’s. This was back in the late ’80s, so a lot of my mates thought I was a weirdo – yeah yeah nothings changed – but I much preferred these sort of therapies. My first Cranio-Sacral session was in 1990 after a bad car crash, I continued having treatment for the next few years, but the more touring I was doing the less time I had for anything else. In 2006, I had a Cranio- Sacral Therapy session after injuring my back and it was absolutely amazing, I thought, right I’m having a piece of this, found the college nearest to me in North London, The College Of Cranio-Sacral Therapy, started a course in Anatomy Physiology and Pathology in 2007, started the actual Cranio-Sacral Therapy course in 2008, and received a full diploma in July 2010. I was asked to leave my secondary school – by the headmaster – when I was fifteen, I happily left, but had no qualifications, so apart from my plumbing City & Guilds, which I finished at eighteen, I’d had no formal learning for twenty four years. Yes, it was a scary proposition, I hated school and I had a big dread about classrooms, but I was determined to have a go. I loved the whole learning experience this time round, and I thrived on it, it was one of the best things I have ever done thus far, and it has allowed a whole new chapter to begin in my life.
What benefits does your treatment bring to your clients?
You should ask my clients, but the idea of Cranio-Sacral Therapy is to allow the clients nervous system to become so relaxed, that it – the nervous system – has the time and space required to release trauma, both physical and mental, from its system. Sometimes the release is on a physical superficial level, sometimes the nervous system releases on a deep, emotional level and sometimes on both, It’s whatever the clients system feels safe to release. Either way, it brings a new, deeper balance to the whole of the clients system. Hope that’s clear? Come and have a session!
How do you relax and unwind away from work?
Winter time – Yoga, meditation, jogging, long walks, Nichiren Chanting, sleeping, learning Spanish, dinners with and for friends, cookin , reading, ‘The Wire’ box set, night in with my lovely Mrs – Faye, collecting kindling, building the fire, fun and laughter, time with friends. Summer time – Quiet beaches, sleeping, sunsets, swimming, salads, stillness, sitting in the shade, catching the warmth of the sun, BBQ’s, long summer lunches, Ibiza port, reading, fun and laughter, time with friends.
How important is a spiritual and emotional balance to you?
Vital. Not sure there’s a difference really. Spirit is what I am. My emotions display how I feel. If I’m in balance with both, I’m in the best place possible.
Does this balance help you with your creative, musical side?
Most definitely! Once the doorway to a feeling of inner peace, inner balance begins to open. Everything takes on a deeper, more significant meaning. The realisation is: Creativity is everything, music is the sound of the universe, the power of healing is contained in both. The more balanced I feel, the more these realisations grow and grow, they are tangible.
Will you still be making music and touring?
YES, YES, YES! Music is me! I have to play it, listen to it, make it, dance to it, converse with it, love it and be in a deep relationship with it always.
What should we be looking out for from you?
I’ve got a new release out now ‘Kama Yeh’ – Copyright feat Shovel. I’m in the studio right now with DJ Tuccillo here in Ibiza, early days, but it’s feeling great so watch this space, and I’m in the studio with DJ Ease – Nightmares On Wax for an EP, starting next month. I have just finished a short film called ‘Blind Love’ that has just started doing the rounds in London at a few selected cinemas, it’s booked into several film festivals over the next few months.
Where can we see/ hear you play in the island this summer?
Pacha, a lot of Saturdays for the Defected crew. Selected evening sessions at different beaches around the Island and some one off sunset specials around the island. Come to Ibiza – Look out for the flyers and posters.
When you’re not working, what is the perfect day/night for you in Ibiza?
See a beautiful sunrise, chant, swim, eat a hearty, healthy breakfast, watch the mighty Arsenal win on the big screen, continue the banter with some good mates, have a great meal with loads of friends, continue going out to a great bar with a great DJ dropping some classic, big tunes, laughing uncontrollably, dancing like it’s 1989, watch a breathtaking sunset on the way home, go to bed knowing how fortunate and loved I am, thank God The Universe for that fact.