Time Out Bahrain catches up with one of the country’s most enigmatic mood providers, Damian D’Costa, to talk about the Ibiza brand he has managed to bag for Bahrain
Time Out Bahrain staff
Salvacion is an Ibiza brand. Why did you choose to link up with it? Ibiza is the highest quality product of anyone’s clubbing anywhere in the world, be it [from the perspective of] DJs, promoters or whatever. If you have done Ibiza, you have done it all.
Is that still the case? Ibiza was big in the nineties, does it still garner the same reputation? It is well established. Sure, people have moved to islands like Mykonos and Ayia Napa, but Ibiza is still Ibiza. It has the highest class of clubbers in the world, and all nationalities go there. It is an organised island for clubbing and nightlife. So whenever anyone says, ‘I have played in Ibiza,’ or ‘I have promoted in Ibiza,’ or has just been to Ibiza, it is something. There are a lot of spin offs that have come out of Ibiza, and lot of people use the Ibiza brand and bring a DJ to a little beach party somewhere who has got nothing to do with the island. Salvacion has been there for years and years, they are the true resident DJs of Ibiza.
Describe the evolution of Salvacion. How did it start, and what has it become? Salvacion is a night that they started, called Salvacion Ibiza. Since they have been branching out around the world, to Germany, Italy, Portugal, Paris and London. And now, through me, they have teamed up with Bahrain. And this is the first one outside of Europe, the first in the Middle East, and the first official regular tie up with an Ibiza night. It is not even in Dubai yet, they came here first. The brand is called Salvacion, the night is called republik.
How do you sum up Slavacion as a night? Why is it unique in terms of clubbing in Bahrain? It is an official tie up with Ibiza, which is a big thing, so you are getting DJs playing the most upfront dance music. It’s a very people-friendly brand. It is not hardcore underground, it is clubbing brand that is quite commercial.
What sort of people do you hope to attract? The quality clubber, people who know their music and actually follow house music as opposed to people who just go there because they follow the masses. They know what a good brand is. We are bringing the most upfront house, and a lot of the music is made by the DJs, so they have promos that no one else will have.
You’re a fan of Ibiza. How far behind Ibiza is Bahrain, and is the clubbing scene evolving here? I am not a big admirer of Ibiza. If I had a choice I would actually play in Germany or Barcelona. But everybody knows Ibiza, it is a product. It has been sold well. The reason we are backwards is because no one has ever tied up with anyone. They make up what the club life should be like. Cocoon is one of the few clubs to bring international DJs to the country , and the reason I bring them is because I want people to get a feeling for what is out there. It is no good saying. ‘Oh, I’ve seen the video, and Tiesto is playing this sort of music so we will.’ There is a lot more depth to a DJ set, but people don’t get that.
Does Bahrain sit in the shadow of its neighbour Dubai? Not at all, and I am not just saying that because I live here and not in Dubai. Dubai is a very shiny happy place. But a lot of DJs come out here and do a gig in Dubai and Bahrain. They do Dubai first and then Bahrain as a side gig. In Dubai they might have 500 people at their event, Bahrain might have 100 people. But the DJ always walks away saying the gig in Bahrain was better, because the few people that do gather round are really into that DJ, whereas in Dubai they just want to be there because that is the place to be seen and they don’t even care who’s in the DJ box.
How would you like to see Bahrain’s clubbing scene evolve? You go out not because you don’t want to hear what you hear on the radio all day. You go out to dance to something that someone has researched and that you will only here there. Commercial clubs are all over the world and we need them, but that’s for the very young crowd that like sing-along songs. But the mature audience is not going out to listen to something that they already know. The whole point of clubbing is that it’s a night out, and you don’t know what is going to happen. Salvacion republik is exclusive to Cocoon Lounge. For more information, call 17 827 600.