Radio 1 is upping sticks (glowsticks, naturally) this weekend and relocating to Ibiza. It will broadcast live from the White Isle and is putting on a free party for 7,000 at the vast Ushuaïa Beach Hotel at Playa D’en Bossa this evening, before rocking Privilege club tomorrow and presumably sitting still, head in hands, on Sunday.
Leading the army of guest DJs (including Benga, Danny Howard, Rudimental and Chase and Status) is rising star B. Traits, who’s fairly new to Ibiza but sure to be a regular. The purple-haired 27-year-old, also known as Brianna Price, landed her first broadcasting gig in a monthly Radio 1 slot in March last year, quickly moved on to her own late-night Sunday show and now has a higher Friday profile as Annie Mac’s maternity cover.
She came to London from Vancouver three years ago to DJ and produce her own music on drum ’n’ bass veteran Shy FX’s Digital Soundboy label.
“The US was not an option. I didn’t want to go there and play headache dubstep,” she tells me. “I’m all about music that has a groove to it.”
She likes her basslines as deep as possible, and is frustrated with the limitations of the speakers in Radio 1’s shiny new studios when we meet to play and chat about the biggest tunes of this Ibiza season. I want to know what’s going to be big on the dancefloor this summer, and subsequently big in the UK charts when the clubbers return home, and she’s the one to ask. “I’m going to play you some things that you’ve never heard before but I guarantee will hear again.”
Get ahead of the game and check out her Balearic sounds of the summer. Click on each title to listen to the tune.
Shy FX feat. Liam Bailey
Old-school reggae from the drum ’n’ bass don, with a sunburned vocal from Liam Bailey.
“I used to put on a drum ’n’ bass night in Whistler, British Columbia, and that’s how I met Shy FX. Now he’s doing a whole album of authentic reggae. I play this to switch the style in my DJ sets. It’s a moment for a breather and everyone sings along.”
Awkward synth stabs and a high, sweet vocal make for an odd, instantly memorable pop track.
“This is really different, really retro. There’s not even a real beat in it but it’s still so catchy. I can imagine riding my bike to this. It’s another transitioning track for the DJ set — it really stands out.”
Forget Me Not feat. the Get Along Gang
Over a house beat and a spooky synth riff, a female voice intones “this is my bassline” before low notes finally appear.
“This Bristol duo are so new I think they’re changing their name to Gorsky and Holmes. Every time I play it people ask me what it is. If you hear it in a club, you’re just like, ‘Oh my God’. It’s so simple.”
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs & Eats Everything
Big-name producers Orlando Higginbottom and Dan Pearce unite for a minimal tech house track with growling bass.
“This is something different from two heavyweights of the scene, a bit darker. It has one of my favourite things — bass you can feel rather than just hear. Because the bass is so low it doesn’t translate so well on the radio but in a club in Ibiza it’ll be really, really wicked.”
Lazune feat. Katy Shotter
Fuzzy electronic chords and a leisurely pace allow Katy Shotter’s emotional vocals to shine.
“This sounds very Ibiza to me. I’ll definitely be playing it there. She’s got an amazing voice and that bass will be great in a club.”
Hannah Wants & Chris Lorenzo feat. Janai
Janai’s soulful vocals dominate this melodic house number with restrained synths that become distorted as the chorus approaches.
“Hannah Wants is from Birmingham, she’s pretty new to producing but has been DJ-ing for quite a while and I think she’s going to be really big this year. She’s been making lots of really great, bassline-heavy house. This is her best track yet.”
Jazzy electronica from Nottingham producer Matt Cutler, rolling along on a ticking hi-hat and funky beats.
“I tried to choose summer tracks and this is definitely one for the sun. It’s really feelgood, with a great swing to it. It’s similar to [influential jazz/digital producer] Flying Lotus but there’s a bit of a hip-hop feel in there too.”
Cyril Hahn feat. Shy Girls
Relaxed house music from Canada with a soft vocal from Shy Girls (who is actually a guy).
“Cyril Hahn is a new signing on PMR Records, who are also responsible for Jessie Ware and Disclosure, so they’re on fire right now. He’s a fellow Canadian, who was catapulted to attention with a bootleg mix of Destiny’s Child’s Say My Name. This is his first official single, it’s a beautiful track and he’s going to be huge.”
London DJ originally from Sheffield makes a slow-building beauty, with big piano chords and tingling female vocal.
“He’s been the DJ on Rudimental’s tour so he can reach a lot of people. He’s got this really crisp, clean sound, nice warm bass. When it gets to the key bit here it makes my hair stick up on my arms.”
A digital ballad to come home to, from a new LA singer-songwriter and produced by Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs.
“This is one of my favourite tracks. Not one to play in a club but I play it all the time on my show. It’s really beautiful, soulful chill-out music.”
B. Traits is a part of BBC Radio 1 in Ibiza, Aug 2-4. Watch live tonight from 7pm at bbc.co.uk/radio1