Hed Kandi celebrates a decade of Ibiza parties this summer and the Saturday night glamouranza in Es Paradis pays homage to the amazing achievement on a weekly basis. The brand, world famous for it’s production, for the compilation series and for the smoking hot girls who adorn their covers, has been a major part of the clubbing capital throughout the ten year love affair, offering clubbers an option of dressing up and losing themselves in a clubbing fairytale every week.
It didn’t take Hed Kandi long to establish itself with the legions of clubbers from around the world that wanted their dance music fix in lavish surroundings, listening to accessible house music surrounded by beautiful people all having fun. It carved out a glamorous niche for itself on an island that loves to play dress up and engage its imagination and has remained one of the most visited parties on the island ever since.
The theme of the 2012 party is understandably ‘Ten’ and there is also a compilation full of some of the biggest anthems of the decade, giving everyone who has ever set foot in Hed Kandi Ibiza that opportunity to relive their experience. Andy Norman is one of the men responsible for the compilation and someone who has played a major role in the continued evolution of the brand, both in Ibiza and around the world. We tracked Andy down to the office in London and grabbed a chat about the last ten years of Hed Kandi Ibiza…
What makes Hed Kandi and Ibiza such a good fit?
We were rather fortunate when we started in Ibiza. We were doing something and playing a sound that many people were not doing on the Island at that time. It seemed that our timing couldn’t have been more right for people that just wanted a club night that was cool but not difficult to get your head round. This made our venture into Ibiza exciting.
What are you most proud of from a decade of parties on the island?
During our early days in Ibiza we played in the back room in Eden to a few hundred people. Going from that to play El Divino was a proud moment. We had a number of very successful seasons over there, pulling in over 2000 people every Saturday. We started breaking records on attendance. Another proud moment was moving to Space Terrace and doing another cracking season there. The record breaking hasn’t stopped there. Since the move into our current home in Es Paradis, we’ve smashed the ball out of the park week after week. These things don’t just happen, you need a great team to make proud moments, and thankfully that’s why we still do it today.
How much thought and preparation goes into a Hed Kandi Ibiza season?
We start work on the next season pretty much as one finishes. From initial ideas, themes, production designs, production build, dancer costumes, entertainers, sound, light, logistics, the list is huge! No matter how far ahead you plan though you can always count on when you get up to deadline day everyone is still running around with a million and one things to do!
Hed Kandi has enjoyed residencies in various venues before settling in Es Paradis, have you finally found your spiritual home?
It’s hard to say we’ve found home as every venue has been special and given us special moments. Although what I will say is Es Paradis has not only given us a great place to accommodate comfortably our followers but a space in which we can put together an incredible Hed Kandi experience. We can change things, redress things and make the venue look totally different from the previous night. Es Paradis gives scope to put on a great show and its looks suits Hed Kandi.
Production plays a massive part in the Hed Kandi experience, what can we expect from the Ibiza party the summer?
This year is our tenth season on the island, so we saw it fit to throw a birthday party every Saturday night! Massive cupcakes, huge presents, explosion after explosion, beautiful entertainers and dancers and a giant DJ booth made out of LED. It doesn’t get much bigger than this!
Ibiza Ten, the album, is out now, what was the thinking behind it?
To capture the essence of the last ten years of Hed Kandi in Ibiza. Celebration, combined with the biggest anthems from the Hed Kandi dancefloor over the last decade, capturing the moments that have been so special to so many people. We love this album!
How did you manage to compress ten years of anthems into one package?
It was extremely difficult! There were so many to choose from, but we think we managed to pick the best of the best and the ones selected are timeless so the album will live on for years to come.
Looking back on the tracks on the album, which stand out for you and what memories to they bring?
Armand Van Helden Feat. Tara Mcdonald – ‘My My My’
The very lovely Tara McDonald did a few seasons for us on the Island and a great memory for me was seeing her smash this out to a packed Terrace. She performed this with such power that it brought hairs on the back of my neck to new heights.
StoneBridge Feat Therese – ‘Put ‘Em High’
This was one of those tracks that we played in El Divino one summer and it worked quite well but the following summer it was played again and it became a huge summer anthem. It went on to be a massive UK top 20 chart smash and to this date Hed Kandi’s biggest ever club single.
Wilder & Clarke – ‘Stand Up’
Originally around in the mid to late ‘90s ‘Stand Up’ was remade by two of our own Kandi resident DJs. It took our Ibiza club nights by storm and had more hands in the air moments than you could possibly imagine. It’s still a big favourite to this day.
Layo & Bushwacka – ‘Love Story (Tim Deluxe Remix)’
For a while this was the encore track. I remember a few times at the end of the night in our years playing this once the house lights came on and have the whole dancefloor cheer with total delight. It was almost as though they expected it and waited for it to come on, proper good times.
What have been the biggest changes with producing a Hed Kandi Ibiza season in the last ten years?
Well during those early times our main strength was our imagery so, when we produced our night in Ibiza it was about vinyl banners and a few hanging mobiles. That worked then. We were on smaller budgets and we really had to stretch them. These days the budgets are somewhat bigger (but still controlled). There has been a little more to play with as the years have gone by and that gave us the chance to be a lot more creative. Not just the artwork and graphics but a whole host of other elements, which form an amazing experience once you walk through the door. We attempt to make our Ibiza night not just a musical thing but also a visual adventure.
What are your hopes for the brand in Ibiza over the next ten years?
The last ten years have simply been amazing, and to only hope that we can have ten more of the same memories, good times, friends and parties is enough for me, Viva Ibiza! xx