If you are unaware of Abode and SolidGrooves, you must have been living under a rock in London for the last year. Built on a foundation of supporting local talent, giving the up and coming guys a chance to share mainstage and pushing back against the super star DJ is part of their DNA. Vocal about the scene, the music and who can experience the vibe are all something missing in the homogeneous UK clubbing scene these days.
I have been following Kai from Abode and Bibi at SolidGrooves now for a good part of the year; some call it stalking, some call it being on the pulse. What I did see though is 2 guys dive head first into the murky world of London promoting, no easy task for even the seasoned promoter. So when I was approached to ask the pair a few questions, I felt the time was right, they earned their stripes, they built a following and took what they learnt to one of the harshest places in the world to make a name – Ibiza.
Hi guys, thanks for finding time in your busy schedule to chat with us at Decoded Magazine. Congratulations on Abode recently just turning one, you must be enjoying that Ibiza sun. So how are things on the White Isle?
Bibi – Things are great! We are loving our first full season on the island.
For those unaware of Abode, how did you get started and what is the vision for your parties?
Kai – ABODE was launched in September 2014 at Studio 338 , I had wanted for many years to be able to chuck an outdoor party in London but found it very difficult to find the right venue . I have been promoting for 3 years with another event I started called Fortay which was an over 21 event launched at cable in 2012 and went on to do 10 sell out parties across London . The aim of Abode was to concentrate on building a party based around friends and like minded people.
During 2013/2014 I started to notice that a lot of my older friends had stopped going out clubbing due to this new younger crowd that were from this new generation of shufflers etc which came with attitude and 90% of them didn’t know who they were going to see on the line-up, it was just a new movement straight out of college. After visiting 338 many times, I noticed they ran a firm door policy and managed to keep the right crowd crowd in and the wrong crowd out. In July 2014 I approached the club with a business plan and they were really impressed and thus Abode was launched and has grown to become a sell out party
It is no secret that Solid Grooves have played an important part of your success on the island, how did this come about and how do you find working together?
Kai – I’ve been watching Solid Grooves grow over the last few years in London and was always impressed with the quality of the line-ups and marketing so when Bibi approached me in the winter to look at joining up on dates it was an opportunity to good to miss. Working with Bibi is a pleasure; he’s a real down to earth guy, passionate about his brand and music. I can see us working on many projects in the future if things carry on go well in Ibiza
Abode is a monumental Sunday party at 338 in London. How do you think the vibe differs to a regular weekend night out?
Kai – The good thing with Abode is that it finishes at 2 am, so many people like to come and party knowing they can be in bed by 3am and up for work for 8am. The crowd and following we have built are loyal , fresh and seem to be very happy with the vibe at Abode. I often here from people on the dance floor that Abode is the only party they go to now and save themselves all month which is great to hear. I work very closely with the security and door pickers to make sure the wrong crowd are kept out of the club, and it 100% makes Abode in my eyes, one of the best crowds in London. We opened the car park from May until September this year which will give us 2 stages of music, street food and great drinks at reasonable prices which is almost like a little festival with the amazing Void sound system in both areas.
And for Solid Grooves, what’s your next movements when you’re back from The White Isle?
Bibi – We are launching Solid Grooves Records and have a big end of year party in the pipeline for London to celebrate an amazing year!
You started out in London running parties, which is no mean feat, and now you have moved to Ibiza with your family for the season and to host Abode. What has been some of the challenges you have faced in terms of logistics, politics and planning on the White Isle compared to London?
Kai – I moved here in April 2015 as the Operations Manager of Exodus Super Yacht party which was going to be Abodes home for 2015. This was a 20 million euro super yacht / nightclub that would of held 400 people. After months of planning and working hard on the island, unfortunately the boat was stopped from ever sailing due to politics and licensing issues out of the owner’s control. I believe it would of gone on to be as a big as Ocean Beach but hey this Ibiza and nothing is easy when it comes to launching new parties. Abode has been welcomed with open arms with several large offers coming in for 2016 from clubs so next summer is looking exciting.
Did you find you had to adjust the music policy at all to fit in with the vibe of the Island?
Bibi – No, our mix of Solid Grooves tough/ underground sound combined with Abode’s high energy vocals has worked perfectly.
Ibiza really is a melting pot of clubbers and industry from all over the world, but who in your mind (DJs, Promoters or Clubs) have really stood out this year?
It is fair to say that clubland can attract the undesirables to an event, you have been pretty vocal about this in the past, but how do you stop them coming to your nights?
Kai – 100% I am known to be very outspoken when it comes to quality of crowds at events which has got me in to trouble, but I refuse to let my party go down that route of making lots of money and putting any Tom or Harry in the club. In 2014 I attended 2 different warehouse parties in London where our crowd left after 2 hours due to the amount of groups of boys that looked like they were going kill anyone that walked past, girls were being grabbed as they went to the toilet and if you bumped into somebody they would start giving you shit for something so minor.
I want the vibe at Abode to be like an 90’s warehouse rave, where everybody is smiling, cuddling and making memories for a life time. This new breed of clubbers that have jumped on this shuffling craze with their shit attitude are not welcome in our party and most of them know that.
Lets change to about you for a moment and talk about some of your influences. Which parties or DJs stood out for you as a punter?
Kai – For me, Fuse back in the day at 93 Feet East dominated the scene and was definitely a party I looked up to and respected. I’m quite open minded with music and like all genres so the list of DJs is to long to list. I’m definitely a day party person.
Finding the right venue can be a nightmare or the feeling like all your Christmases have come at once. Talk us through how you scout out a new venue. What are some important tips for any new promoter starting out?
Bibi – We work extremely hard sourcing exciting and unique venues for SolidGrooves. We like to keep thing interesting….plus, we can’t all be as lucky as Abode, having the amazing 338 terrace every Sunday! Important tip if your sourcing your own venue’s I would say make sure you have the right licence in place!
So what is next for Abode and SG once the summer season draws to a close?
Michael – We will be returning to London doing what we do best…..Partying!