Barbara Tucker: House Music Is Spiritual

Posted on August 16, 2018

Words: Jason Eybe

Barbara Tucker has gained the moniker ‘Queen Of House’ thanks to a reign of over 30 years dominating house music dancefloors, as well as a string of seminal releases on Strictly Rhythm including ‘Stop Playing With My Mind’ and ‘Everybody Dance’ as well as ‘Most Precious Love’ with Blaze on Defected. A long time visitor to Ibiza, Barbara Tucker is back in 2018 with a weekly residency at Tantra Ibiza for her W.A.H. (WeAreHouse) party with Sarah Main and DJQ – so we thought it was high time Essential Ibiza caught up with this legendary house music artist!

You’ve been a regular visitor to Ibiza over the years. What is it that you think makes this island special?
My first time on the island was in ‘96, and then in ’98 DJ Pippi, who used to have a residency at Pacha and was very influential in bringing American DJs to Ibiza, helped to arrange a Strictly Rhythm tour. This was when ‘Stop Playing With My Mind’ was out, so we had Erick Morillo, myself, Ted Patterson, Ricky Morrisson from the UK, Duane Harden and, I think, Ultra Nate. Then in 2001, I received a call asking if I would be interested in hosting a party at El Divino on Sundays! So I came to Ibiza for almost five months and hosted ‘Barbara Tucker’s Summer Soulful Jams’. It was the first time I’d really been away from home for that long; but I did that for two years and then I was the face of ‘In Bed With Space’ for six or seven years, before my next residency at Blue Marlin Ibiza. I’ve been working with them for what must be ten years now! I love those guys – you become part of their family and so it’s my honour to make sure that people who come there on vacation and have a great time. I’ve also just completed my fifth year with Glitterbox. I had a big record out on Defected, ‘Most Precious Love’ with Blaze, and so Simon Dunmore invited me and I’ve been lucky enough to become a face for this party too!

BMI Ibiza Anniversary 003

You have a weekly residency this year at Tantra Ibiza for your W.A.H (WeAreHouse) night. What is the concept and what can guests expect?
W.A.H is about the DJ, the singer, and the MC – we are all house! We wanted to present a party that was just all ‘go’. It’s the party before the party – a perfect way to kick-start the night with great people, great music and great vibes. Sarah Main and I have worked together in the past and I’ve got a lot of respect for her as a female DJ – she can play anything. DJQ is my artist – we first met in Jersey, New York, and we’ve worked together for eight years. He’s also a producer and an MC, so I love his roundedness as an entertainer. And together Sarah and DJQ are like ‘café con leche’ – the perfect combination!

You’ve collaborated with some wonderful artists in the past. Who is there you would still love to work with?
I’d like to work with Erick Morillo – he has an amazing brain for music and can drop it just like that. I also like David Morales and, I would love to work with those guys!

Your collaborations with Masters At Work have produced some of house music’s most iconic tracks. What’s it like working with Little Louie Vega and Kenny Dope?
Working with Louie Vega was great – he gives you the freedom to be creative as an artist and he also had great ideas. It’s cool – it’s fast and I really enjoyed it. If I’m familiar with a producer and it comes about that we meet, I’ll open up the conversation and make the suggestion.

Barbara Tucker releases have appeared on such seminal labels as Defected, Strictly Rhythm and King St Sounds. What would you say is the secret to your success?
God is the one that blesses and opens the doors of favour. I feel him moving through me when I do what I do. I do it very spiritedly and there’s a lot of fire within me. I am so grateful and honoured to do what I do. Giving thanks and giving it back to God – he over-delivers for me. So I really can say that’s the secret to my success.

Your night is called WeAreHouse, but what does this special genre mean to you?
House music is ageless; it’s timeless and it’s non-judgmental. You can enjoy it as long as you have what the dancefloor requires. For me, house music is a ministry, a place within me, that I have a mandate to live, to move, to touch, to inspire other people to be great to each other and to love God. House music is a spiritual thing; it’s a ‘spirit of God’ thing to me. And I’m glad that house music chose me. There’s a reason for the music and there are lessons in every song.

Further Information

TantraIbiza 2018