We talk to Nick DeSimone (New York, 42 years old), known as Nickodemus, the most prestigious DJ and producer in World Music and we remember his more than 20 years in Ibiza.
If what you remember best from your childhood is how “we were passionate in everything we did”, how “the whole family liked to get together to cook, eat, drink and sing” to music that “was always soulful, funky, rhythmic”, you can be sure you’ve reached adulthood with the necessary psychological balance to succeed in life.
If, on top of that, you understand that the greatest achievement of your well-respected career has been to “make music in difficult conditions in areas where they don’t have many resources to record, like in a makeshift studio in N’Djamena, an abandoned building in Puerto Rico, a bedroom in Beirut, a classroom in South Africa”, and if, despite all your success, you still find time to work with associations such as Forests Without Frontiers, which plants trees in Romania, or Give a Beat, which teaches music production and DJing to prison inmates (because “I’ve seen the power of music to help people”), then it’s clear you’re just really cool.
As if that weren’t enough, New York-born Nick DeSimone – AKA Nickodemus – has not let any of it go to his head. The planet’s foremost world music DJ and producer, with a career spanning over 30 years, has remained in the underground circuit, living by simple mantras such as, “A little perspective goes a long way,” “Take a minute to reflect on the situation and be empathetic of others,” and “Support and give a hand to others.”
Ibiza has been lucky enough to enjoy this principled artist’s presence for over 20 years, starting when “a very kind French/Moroccan legend who sold CDs in the hippie market in Las Dalias once contacted me to distribute our records and CDs back in 2000. After sending him our new releases, he noticed there was a need for more of this music on the island and we were invited to play there.” Since then Nickodemus has performed at Café del Mar, at clubs such as Space and Lío with Mr Doris, at Malanga, where “you are elbow to elbow, cheek to cheek, dancing and meeting people”, at Es Xiringuito Figueretes, and at the tremendous parties hosted by Nightmares on Wax at Las Dalias and various beach bars in Ibiza.
Of course the island has changed in that time, but then so has everywhere else, he says. “The corporate entities behind the sponsors, clubs, promoters and booking agencies found their formulas in social media statistics and when people only have a weekend to go on holiday, they want a proven formula and these places serve them.” There are a lot more people in Ibiza these days. “My impressions now are similar, but like everywhere, it’s much busier and more expensive.”
Nickodemus has been confirmed at the Sueños de Libertad festival on July 2, which features an atypical line-up for the island: “South/ Latin America and the Caribbean ritmo tropical will be in full force”, he says, with the likes of Quantic and Bomba Estéreo also featuring. So, what can we expect? “Smiles and dancing!”