George "Nightmares on Wax" Evelyn took time out of the frenetic run up to Saturday's launch party for new record Nightmares on Wax presents Wax Da Beach to talk music, moving to Ibiza and the Leeds United Calypso(!) with Addicted.
George explained that the nature of putting together a compilation album means that you "chose far too many songs" and after all of the rights have been sorted "everything's last minute. I had forty eight hours to deliver the mix." The advantage is that you "feel your way through" and the record becomes a reflection of the "way that I DJ" . "I can't remember doing half of it. It's only started to sink in as I listen to it".
Growing up in Leeds, George was "surrounded by music" from the Soul Funk and Disco loved by his sisters to the Reggae sound systems in the neighbourhood. "I've got a lot to thank Leeds for". His influences include Bob Marley, Third World and Duke Ellington and he bought his first record, Third World's Cool Meditation, when he was seven. Later he was "breakdancing and body popping" which he quips he does now "only when I'm drunk". This synthesis inspired the sound of Nightmares on Wax: "my music has always been influenced by the street". A former season ticket holder, George remains a Leeds United fan and watches the matches whenever he can "I think we are back on the up now after many dark years". He laughed "I would for a ticket" when Addicted joked about whether he would ever consider doing a re-mix of, sixties football anthem, the Leeds United Calypso.
As for realising that music could become a career, George says that he "tries to remain focussed on the music" and that it was "just something that I wanted to do". "There's been tough times" but "you need to remain connected to why you are doing it" and it's the business elements "the marketing and the product placement" that "seem alien".
George "didn't know anything about the place" when he first flew out on holiday to Ibiza at the age of eighteen. He stayed in San Antonio and "ran out of money in three days". In between other travels, he came back "sporadically" and played the opening night of the Space Terrace. "The first time that I hired a car and drove around the island, it reminded me of St Kitts…the terrain, the lush beauty and the secluded spots" . "Ibiza has a special energy…you can't believe it's only two and a half hours away from England" and, creatively, the island has made him realise that "paradise is a fine line. You can get lost or found".
Talking about the annual rhythm of the White Isle, George remembers that "when you first move here, you're on holiday" but then winter comes and "downtime is writing time. It's not as easy to write in the summer". His daughter has become fluent in Spanish and is learning Catalan. Now a full time Ibizean, he started the outdoor Wax Da Beach parties to provide "an alternative". "Ibiza's such a soulful place" that George wanted to play music that reflected the "foundations of what built dance music". "I've been given a blank canvas on a beautiful island".
Looking ahead to Saturday's launch party, George is bringing Massive Attack's Daddy G to Ibiza for the first time "I've been talking to Daddy G for over a year". Wax Da Beach is about "music with roots and feeling and Massive Attack have that…good music sounds ten times better in the sun". Addicted finished by asking George to pick the song of Ibiza Summer 2011 from the Wax da Beach record and after much deliberation "it's a difficult decision", he chose K'bonus feat. JtotheC 'Dance Baby Dance'.
Wax da Beach from Nightmares on Wax is out now and the launch party takes place at Sands Ibiza on Saturday 6th August. Find out more at www.ministryofsound.com/summer.
George Evelyn spoke to Fran Harris, editor of ladyadventurer.co.uk.