Swiss DJ/producer Andrea Oliva will steer Heart on its final voyage, and given his reputation as a master selector, respected producer, and Ibiza favorite, we’re unable to think of hands better qualified to guide Heart and its attendees out of the evening and into the early morning one last time.
Oliva has received acclaim for his residency and involvement with beloved Ibiza-based and crowd-oriented party ANTS and has also gone back-to-back with and received cosigns from the likes of Pete Tong. Before taking to the decks tonight, he spoke with New Times about misadventures spent drinking with P. Diddy, his feelings on closing out Heart, and what’s on his itinerary for the rest of 2018.
New Times: As a touring DJ who's come to Miami repeatedly, what does your relationship with the city look like?
Andrea Oliva: I’ve played in Miami consistently for the last five to six years, including at the Space Terrace, Treehouse, Story, and all the parties for Winter Music Conference. I wish I could have lived the golden Miami years with Danny Tenaglia, but when it comes to playing Miami, I am always excited, and I’m especially excited to be back in Miami to finally play Heart and to share in the big closing celebration!
Assuming they’re not too rowdy, do you have any previous anecdotes from your time in Miami that stand out to you?
I love the Miami daytime party vibe — I’ve had some fun for sure. Once I was playing Space with Luciano, and all of a sudden in the morning, I was giving out big shots of tequila to P. Diddy. The next thing I remember, he was giving out roses to girls on the dance floor!
How does it feel to be playing Heart’s last party? There’s been some confusion surrounding the timeline around Heart’s closure; I doubt you knew it’d be the last party when this gig was booked, correct?
We just found out a couple of weeks ago this date was going to be the closing party at Heart. It’s sad, of course, but on the other hand, this is a good reason to have a special last party. I am preparing all of my music so that it’s a memorable night.
Given the diversity of the events you DJ — from bright, daytime events to nocturnal events in clubs — how did you go about honing your skills as a crowd reader? What are some cues or things you keep in mind or look for while mixing?
This is something you start learning when you get the chance to have a proper residency — when it's all about warming up for the night ahead by selecting the right tracks for the right moment.
I think you grow as a DJ by starting from a warm-up slot, you can have crowd-reading in you. It becomes something you can take advantage of once you start playing better slots at bigger festivals and clubs in different territories of the world. DJ'ing is still an art form; it’s not just playing one big tune after the other — that would be too easy! You have to work the crowd and take them on a journey; only then can you hope that it’s gonna be a night to remember instead of just being one more night out.
As a resident of ANTS since its inception, did you expect it to take off as well as it did? What do you owe its success to?
I was there from the beginning. Concepts like ANTS add something special to the scene, and I am happy that people understand the message behind it.
The first talks about [putting ANTS together] were actually in Miami around 2012 or 2013. Back then, not everyone understood the concept, but if you have a group that is passionate enough to set up a party that gives people an experience — as well as a good feeling of being an important part of the party — then that explains the colony message outright. It’s all about sharing positive moments together and celebrating electronic music.
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What can we look forward to from you in 2018, whether on-record or with regards to what’s ahead on your touring itinerary?
I am happy to be doing a big North American tour now right before the busiest time of the year starts in Europe with all the summer festivals and Ibiza season.
On the music side, I am currently working on my own label, but I’ve also found time to give some of my music to my favorite labels. 2018 is going to see some releases from me on Hot Creations, Seth Troxlers’ Play It Say It imprint, and Saved Records. I am also working on some very interesting remixes, which I can’t wait to finish and will also have released by the end of 2018.