We met Emma Jai in a small corner bar deep in the West End of San Antonio, Ibiza. The place was furnished with a quaint Funktion-One sound system and full of youngsters having at it on the dance floor. Emma was rockin’ the decks harder than any other DJ on the bill that night–we fell in love.
Dublin native, Emma set out for the White Isle to pursue her passion to a higher degree–and that she did. Spending multiple seasons in Ibiza honing her skills and networking like crazy, Emma is now a fixture on the scene.
Emma Jai held two residencies this past summer at Eden in Ibiza and scored a gig playing on Carl Cox’s illustrious boat party. Notable upcoming shows for Emma include ADE in Amsterdam; Ministry of Sound in London; and a new residency in Muscat, Oman.
Emma has followed a life of music and works tirelessly to live out her dreams–a Heroine indeed.
Connect with Emma Jai
Interview with Emma Jai
How did you get first get into house music and DJing? Do you remember a specific moment that inspired you or was it an evolution?
I’ve always had a great passion for music as I was raised in a music loving home. I joined the DJ society in college and had a friend who showed me the ropes. I was lucky as my father bought me a set of pioneer 320s and I just worked really hard practicing and thought myself the rest. I didn’t stop practicing till it felt right.
I was raised in a musical house hold, listening to my father play all the old electro funk and my mother been the queen of disco, I always knew that my future would be music orientated. I just didn’t know which path my journey would bring me. I probably wouldn’t be DJing or where I am if it wasn’t for my sister Tara, who introduced me to the “Scene” and artists such as the Tidy Boys and Lisa Lashes that my love for the art of DJing grew.
How did you end up in Ibiza? What is the key to getting consistently booked there?
I was working in retail a few years ago and spent the whole summer depressed imagining what life would be like to just pack up and follow your dreams, so after Christmas I quit my job! Ran home and booked a one way flight for the following summer to the Balearics, and the rest is history I guess. My motto is “what would life be if you didn’t have a dream to follow.”
To be honest there’s no “Key” or guiding steps to success. That’s not how it goes unfortunately, But some advice I can give is find out who your are as an artist and never stop promoting yourself, but be humble always be your own critic.
I made a mix at the time with all my favorite tracks and made a DJ CV which had where I played my inspirations ect. I literally walked every bar, club, disco bar any thing that had a set of decks handing out my work. I was lucky to play my first ever Ibiza gig in Tulip bar. I’ll never forget how happy I was to see my name written on the chalk board outside!
I guess the key is to be confident. There will be set backs, knock downs, and straight out no’s, but keep going and never lose faith!
Do you have any residencies?
I did hold some residencies throughout the summer, but found myself varying from place to place as I’m a bit of a wanderer. I like to mix things up and play different venues and clubs. I was lucky to play this summer for Carl Cox’s boat party and held two residencies at Club Eden.
If we had one week in Ibiza what two parties and/or clubs would you recommend we check out? What about two beaches?
That’s a toughy! All the parties are all so different and beautiful in there own magic. Depending on what musical preference one holds, Ibiza can cater to any musical tastes. Personally I dig the underground vibes, so you will find me either at Music On (Amnesia) dancing until dawn to Marco Corola, who is a genius; or if not there my Thursdays would be spent at Enter (Space) watching the techno king Richie Hawtin.
As for the beaches, The Balearics is definitely home to some of the most mind blowing beautiful beaches you will find! Aqua blue waters and golden sands all the way. Two beaches that are a must to visit are Cala Conta and Benirras. When the sun sets on Benirras the local hippies come together to do a drumming ceremony, very spiritual. Definitely a must!
Aside from music, what is another obsession of yours?
Other than food? Jokes! Believe it or not I’m a huge reader–I love books. I also love watching documentaries–trippy stuff about life and the universe.
What’s on the horizon for you the remainder of 2015 and beyond?
I’ve been very blessed this year and I’m truly grateful as I’ve meet some amazing people and things are starting to come together nicely. I’m playing at Amsterdam Dance Event for Krafted Music & Decoded Magazine; I’ll also be playing on AMW.fm so tune in!
I’ve just recently been offered a new residency in the Middle East–I fly to Muscat in Oman the end of October; I’ve also been Invited to play at Ministry of Sound in London; and I have some new productions due for release on some amazing labels.
It’s always been a dream of mine to pass the decks over to Carl Cox, and to play for Drum Code. Who Knows!
What’s one track that’s lighting up dance floors for you right now?
This is cliché but Lee Walker’s Garage Rework of DJ Deeon’s – Freak Like Me. Going since 1996 and its still a groover!
Tell us about your mix…
My mix is basically a collaboration of every funky track I’m digging right now and have loved and played mostly over the summer. Nothing more than top tunes in one place. Ibiza inspired so enjoy the best bits.
Also Includes my latest release Emma Jai – Cosmosis
Drink of choice…
Straight Malibu! Yum!