Sounds of Sonica: Sonica Radio Presenters
Five female DJs from the seminal Sonica radio affirm their faith in music and the revolutionary Ibiza airwaves.
Radio show: Dream Box, 13:00-14:00, Monday to Friday
Signature sound: Funk, indie, nu-disco, cosmic, Balearic.
Show style: Relaxed and informative – reflecting her anchor/journalist background – Testa eases into afternoons with leisurely tunes at around 100-110bpm.
Started DJing: 1998
Time at Sonica: Nine months
Influences: Philly Sound, Billy Paul, Earth Wind & Fire, Motown, Klaus Schulze, Bauhaus, cosmic music from the
‘70s, acid house from the ‘80s.
Career highlight: “A lot. It’s an amazing job what I do, the radio. When I started on national radio [in Italy] they invited me, as an anchor, to listen to the new showcase of Destiny’s Child in London, then three days in LA to do an interview with Red Hot Chili Peppers before going out for dinner with them. I think this was the most amazing part because the stars of pop and rock music have a life that’s like a movie, and when you’re invited to live with them for three or four hours or one night it’s, like, wow!”
Why I love Ibiza radio: “I love the music and the fact that it’s not always the same sound all day long. There is a definite culture because it comprises many different DJs and everybody’s different. All the people working at Sonica are so lovely, and this is very important when you work with people who are smiling and calm. It’s a nice environment.”
Buzz for the summer: “Tiësto. He’s one of my favourite DJs but he is totally different from what I do. Maybe I like him because of that.”
Radio show: Ibizarre Music, 20:00-21:00 Thursday, 17:00-19:00 Friday
Signature sound: Deep house, minimal, Balearic, funk and lounge with ethnic and African influences.
Show style: Eclectic and completely improvised with a strong German influence.
Started DJing: 2001
Time at Sonica: Five years
Influences: Depeche Mode, Kraftwerk, The Cure.
Career highlight: “Playing the terrace of Amnesia twice two years ago. There was a party organised with the Namaste crowd and it was called Colours of Tanit. I opened the room in August and there were 4,000 people there and I was like, ‘wow’. For two days I was floating on a cloud. After that it was like I’d won the Olympics.”
Why I love Ibiza radio: “I like that I can play all kinds of styles. At Sonica we have a lot of freedom and not every radio station can be so flexible. You don’t see the people but you know they’re there so you’re talking to potential friends and you’re very relaxed and connected without really having to confront anything. It’s very natural for me to do the radio and people feel it. I’m always smiling and I’m happy when I can transmit that.”
Buzz for the summer: “I love to play Namaste with my friends from the north. We open on June 15 in Las Dalias, and there is live music in the garden and lots of exotic kinds of shows. I like to play in Ibiza. I feel like my music is really related to the island.”
Radio show: Freestyle World, 15:00-16:00 Friday
Signature sound: Eclectic dance with Brazilian influences.
Show style: Funk, jazz or Brazilian beginnings, working up the tempo to techno and minimal sounds and the odd guest interview.
Started DJing: 1999
Time at Sonica: Five years
Influences: DJ Krush, DJ Ease, Luciano, Pete Herbert, Moodymann,
Fat Freddy´s Drop, Boozoo Bajou, Zuco 103, P Brothers, Guy Gerber, Glimpse and Nina Kraviz.
Childhood influences from her father include Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Donna Summer, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Gilberto Gil, Maria Bethania and Sergio Mendes.
Career highlight: “When [DJ] Jose Padilla listened to me on the radio in the car and called [Sonica director] Igor and
said ‘who is this guy Tsunami?’. I did a party with Padilla after that in 2007, called Brazil. He is a fanatic of Brazilian
music and he had a project that he wanted to share with me. After that I worked with him for one year, and that was
a highlight too.”
Why I love Ibiza radio: “We transmit the feeling of the culture of Ibiza music. It’s not only commercial and it’s not only discotheque. There are a lot of producers on the island and a lot of very special musicians. There are many people around the world that are listening to us to hear what the future of music in their countries is.”
Buzz for the summer: “I’m playing in Las Dalias on Sundays in June, at an event called Expressions, and also at private parties.”
Radio show: Jack’s House, 20:00-21:00 Friday
Signature sound: Pure house music with a very driven funky baseline.
Show style: A combination of fresh promos, such as Jamie Jones or Maya Jane Coles, with a few classics thrown in for good measure.
Started DJing: 1989
Time at Sonica: 18 months
Influences: DJ Cookie, Todd Terry, DJ Sneak.
Career highlight: “When I got my residency at Es Paradis where I was resident for ten years. The first night playing there on the opening was just amazing. I just couldn’t believe I was in there. My hand was shaking as I was putting the needle on the record deck. I just felt like I was dreaming. That was a huge highlight.”
Why I love Ibiza radio: “The radio stations are really important for breaking tracks from all over the world. It’s really, really nice to be in a position where you can get sent a promo and be in a position to play it to the whole world, and be inspired by it or excited about it and be able to share it. That’s what I love about Ibiza radio. If you love music it’s about sharing it, and with radio you’re in that really amazing position to be able to share music.”
Buzz for the summer: “I’ll be at Es Vive weekly again, continuing with the radio stuff, the live broadcasts, helping out with the new Es Vive radio as well as some gigs at Space. And some hopefully for Andy Baxter at Pacha. He’s definitely one to look out for at the moment. He’s brilliant, so fresh, very in tune with his music and very cool.”
Radio show: Ciudad Pacifico, 16:00-17:00 Tuesday
Signature sound: Reggae, ska, salsa, hip hop, blues, Latin jazz, disco and rocksteady fused with electronic influences.
Show style: A mix of music from disco to movie soundtracks with African and Caribbean vibes, predominantly reggae.
Started DJing: February 2011
Time at Sonica: Four months
Influences: Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Skatalites, The Jolly Boys, Deadmau5, Buena Vista Social Club.
Career highlight: “This started as a hobby in the first place in February this year, I’m new this year, and I was really looking for what I wanted to do with my life. It is a dream.”
Why I love Ibiza radio: “It’s cultural music. It’s not about partying. It’s about music. It’s nice because it’s for everyone, very global, very international and they listen in Colombia, Miami, Costa Rica – everywhere.”
Buzz for the summer: “Blue Marlin Ibiza radio – it’s going to be my residency, they’ll put my radio show on Sonica in
Blue Marlin, only my music, not my voice. I’m going to bring artists from Costa Rica to play in Blue Marlin and also from Jamaica. I think the Jolly Boys are going to come – amazing and very cool. And I have friends – five girls – who play disco, rock‘n’roll and electronic music and they have invited me to play with them.”
First published in Pacha Magazine, Ibiza, July 2011.
© Abbey Stirling