Inside The Lucky Life Of Mike Parry

Posted on September 21, 2019

Words: Iain Thomson

Mike Parry has had an interesting journey so far, from his home in South Africa to his spiritual home In Ibiza, he has literally had a Lucky Life! As the driving force of multi-layered media/ events/ music platform Lucky Life, he has been at the heart of some of the island’s best events, either as promoter and planner or behind the camera capturing these moments for all of us to share.

Never one to sit and procrastinate, Mike has had an especially busy 2019 so far on the island. He launched Africasa, a brand new concept that showcases the very best of his homeland in the stunning surroundings of Pau Brazil, with the launch event featuring DJs, performers, food and culture from South Africa. Sharing the date with his birthday celebration meant a huge crowd turned out to immerse itself in the vibrant and colourful lucky life of Mike Parry. Look out for more Africasa events in 2020.

As if planning and launching a major new social concept was not enough, and believe me it was, Mike and the Lucky Life crew have also been active, both in the studio where a selection of nuggets from the Lucky Life label dominated dancefloors this summer and at sea, where the Lucky Life collaboration with Cirque de la Nuit entertained thousands of party goers from all over the world. There was also just enough time to plan and execute another fantastic concept – Eat Sleep Rave Retreat – combining the experience and knowledge Mike has gathered during his time on the island with a desire to showcase Ibiza’s dual personality in a unique and exciting format. We managed to grab a minute, in amongst this hectic schedule, to talk to Mike and get the skinny on the summer and beyond…

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August saw you celebrate your birthday with Africasa at Pau Brasil, what can you tell us about that concept?
Over the last 10 years I have given many South African artists a space to introduce themselves and their music on our TV, radio and event platforms, including Mimi Kesaris from Gagasi FM, DJ Fresh from 5FM, Lady Lea, Goldfish and Euphonik aka Themba now playing at Black Coffee’s nights at Hï Ibiza. After hosting the ‘Midsummer Mike’s Dream’ dinner party at Pau Brasil last year with dancers and live shows, I was invited by Enzo and the team at Pau to bring a new event concept back to the venue in 2019. I took this as an opportunity to bring a dream to life which I’d been holding in for a while, Africasa, wherein I get to showcase South African music, art, food, photography, dance and culture right in the heart of Ibiza.

What was the highlight of this party for you?
Other than having my favourite childhood desert ‘Milktart’ made by Mitch the Cakelady as my birthday cake, which I could share with my guests from around the world, I would say it was the moment when the dancers got some of the guests, myself included, up from the dinner table and involved in the final dance of their show. I always love to see the entertainer and the entertained becoming one at our events.

Do you have plans for future Africasa events on or off the island that you can share?
Yes for sure. We are preparing our dates for next year’s events already and looking forward to announcing the artists and shows for these early 2020. Once we have a full season announced in Ibiza, I would love to take this event across the seas to new destinations.

2019 has been a busy summer for you, how was your sea bound CDLN residency?
Wow, this was just epic. Lucky Life Music label boss Ben Fhurst, plus one of our label artists on each boat. 300 party people out in the sunshine arriving pumped and ready to rave. The perfect environment for us to showcase our music and the good vibes our parties are renowned for. We get to test out some of the new tracks before they come out on the label, and generally, have a hell of a good time on a Friday afternoon in Ibiza. Thanks to Trevor O’Neil, Dazzla, Rufus White and Horatio for the quality sets throughout the season.

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The boat party offers a more intimate space and a captive audience, is that what makes these such special gatherings?
I have worked closely with CDLN since they were first born and watched this family rapidly grow to dominate as the best Ibiza boat party with amazing organisation and service. For me though, it’s just amazing to have such a completely international crowd, from Germany to India, Russia to Australia and so many more, all arriving on the boat as strangers, yet leaving as best friends who’ve just shared a sunset party experience they will never forget. It even includes a swim stop in the middle of the deep blue sea, where the DJs kick back with some reggae & hip hop, until the party kicks back into full action. I mean really, as Marco Bailey said in one of my CDLN interviews years ago – what more do you want?

What do you look forward to most about the boat party?
My favourite moment is after the swim stop, a few tracks in, when myself and my bro Stevo get the fancy dress out, consisting of masks, wigs, costumes, hats, glasses, umbrellas, funky ties and all sorts of crazy styles and share it out for free amongst the crowd. It’s at this moment when the party really comes to life. Any remaining boundaries are broken, the last of the inhibitions are removed and everyone just lets loose, in the most positive, colourful and uplifting way I’ve ever seen it, as we set sail into the sunset with our DJs providing guests the perfect soundtrack to their Lucky Life.

Back on dry land, you launched Eat Sleep Rave Retreat, tell us about that idea?
My life in Ibiza, and in general, is a constant journey of learning to balance the extremes on offer all around us. From the wild parties and sleepless nights, to the alternative healing and wellness world, Ibiza is definitely an island of extremes and at times I found myself getting lost, out of balance, mostly due to my addiction to my work more than anything else, but nonetheless, constantly searching for balance, in my life, and in what I offer to my holiday clients on their Ibiza experiences.

So, after shooting with Fatboy Slim for the Electric Gardens Festival in Sydney, Australia 2018, I spent a few days alone on Waiheke Island off the coast of New Zealand. As I sat there in silence with his song ‘Eat Sleep Rave Repeat’ going round and round in my head, wondering about life in the party scene and my place in it, suddenly, the idea came to me. I scribbled it all down as fast and in as much detail as I could and a few days later, when I got back to Auckland, I bought the domain, registered all the social media names, trademarked the brand and spent the next 15 months in quiet talks and plans as I prepared the new Eat Sleep Rave Retreat brand, which you will be seeing a lot more of in the coming months. And it’s so much more than just a retreat.

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As you mentioned, Ibiza is an island of yin and yang, balancing its hedonistic party side with its deeply connected spiritual side, is Eat Sleep Rave Retreat the embodiment of this balance?
Absolutely. There are many options when it comes to wild clubbing tours offering you to get loose on your first epic hedonistic journey to the party capital of the globe where you get to dance and be free in the world’s best clubs and parties. There are also many retreats for the new found yoga and meditation lovers to delve deeper within themselves during a week of body balancing and inner healing, while tucked away in a beautiful villa on the north of the island. But, until now, there haven’t been any which offer you and honour a healthy balance of both. Eat Sleep Rave Retreat is a flow of perfectly curated experiences, made with You in heart and mind, that are designed to allow you to entertain and fulfill both of these cravings within, encouraging you to feed your need to dance, to safely let go and rediscover what it really means to ‘rave’, while also nourishing & replenishing your mind, body and soul.

Is there such a thing as a typical retreat, if not, can you give us an idea of what one would look like?
Yeah of course. We have already hosted the first 24-hour retreat this year for some island and industry people, and it went down a treat. And we are soon to announce the 2020 dates. But to give you an idea, it’s a new way to nourish your body, empower your mind and restore your soul, all while experiencing a completely balanced, beautifully curated selection of the best of what Ibiza, one of the most magical and dynamic places in the world, has to offer YOU. On this one week retreat, you’ll be guided on journeys to the cathedrals and castles of a world heritage Unesco site, driven to breathtaking view spots accessible only by jeep, floated to secret hidden caves accessible only by boat and invited to exclusive, uplifting parties accessible only by your personal host, while being catered for, fed, healed and loved by your food, wellness, yoga and sound healing specialists back at the villa. That’s it in a nutshell, but you can check out more at www.eatsleepraveretreat.com.

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When you guys are not partying on land or at sea, you have been locked in the studio, what has been working the dancefloor from the Luck Life stable this summer?
Indeed, from the film and design studio to the label crew, our team has been creating some amazing new content this summer which we are proud to put our name to. We have some new belters already out on the label and new ones due for release through the winter, including some daytime hits like ‘Kooka’ by Ben Fhurst and Dazzla, ‘Don’t Preach Me’ by our newest addition to the label, The German and what I’d say to be the biggest release of the summer; ‘In The Club (Techno Minds)’ by Joey Vasquez. Big room techno bomb.

Our label boss Ben Fhurst has done us proud again this year as he steps it up another level with several gigs over in Amsterdam, his incredible sets at sea for the CDLN residency, some killer private villa parties across the island and his upcoming gig at the Berlin Peace Parade next weekend. As far as our label artists go, right now Horatio is the one to watch out for. His productions are being played by some of the biggest DJs in the industry, from Roger Sanchez, Luciano and Hernan Catteneo, to the big man Carl Cox who has played Horatio’s tracks ‘Acid State of Mind’ and ‘La Tortuga’ at Tomorrowland in Belgium, Resistance Ibiza, and recently at the Resistance closing party, played five of his tracks with Adam Beyer, included ‘Nasty’ coming out soon on a big EP on Lucky Life Music. He was also the star of our Sunset Live Stream recently in Ibiza with Chilean vocalist Katy Prado alongside him for a beautiful 2 hour sunset session:

Horatio and Katy Prado Ibiza Live Stream:

More Info Joey Vasquez:
SOUNDCLOUD
Joey Vasquez ‘In The Club (Techno Minds)’ Lucky Life Music

What does winter look like for Mike Parry?
The last few winters have been adventurous, filmmaking travels across the globe, from Russia with Alexander Popov, Nice Music Academy and Above & Beyond, Amsterdam with the World Unplugged family, to Australia for Electric Gardens and London for our winter reunion label parties. For this winter ahead, Ben Fhurst and I are most excited about fitting some surfing in and around our events and shoots, with some talks of Indonesia, South African and Fortufentura… So, as much as we love our winters in Ibiza, not that much Ibiza winter planned this winter. Big thanks to Essential Ibiza for checking in with us for this interview. It’s been a while since we’ve collaborated on something, maybe it’s time we get together on a catamaran together again? Lucky Life & Essential Ibiza 2014 Boat Party Memory!

More Info:
luckylifeibiza.com
eatsleepraveretreat.com
soundcloud.com/luckylifemusic

Check out Ben Fhurst & Dazzla ‘Kooka’ – Lucky Life Music