Music & Food For The Soul At Wax Da Jam

Posted on July 23, 2019

Words: Olivia Ebeling

Images: La Skimal

From the early days of rocking what was then a magical garden restaurant called Aura on the San Juan road to filling the sprawling grounds of the Las Dalias Hippy Market, Wax Da Jam has had a different vibe to most parties from the word go. Combining open-air mini gigs with dancefloor tear-ups, and bringing in a variety of alternative sounds and international live artists from spoken word poetry to deliciously funky house music sets, Wax Da Jam stood out thanks to its welcoming and relaxed atmosphere, intimate surroundings and daringly different cultural programming. Celebrating its tenth anniversary this summer, the popular concept by Nightmares On Wax frontman George Evelyn has captivated the ears – and hearts – of island residents and visitors alike.

Celebrating with ten very special events at the iconic Pikes Ibiza – with now only two nights left to go at the boutique hotel and a special season finale at Las Dalias on August 29th – this year the Wax Da Jam experience has once again evolved and now begins with potent cocktails and a mouth-watering BBQ on Pikes’ sunset terrace where revellers can socialise and fuel up for the dancefloor action ahead. With George himself on deck duties in the garden space until midnight, its an inimitable and laid-back setting that captures the essence of what Ibiza nights should be like: unpretentious, unexpected and unmissable! We popped along to have a catch-up with George on ten years of Wax Da Jam, try the jerk chicken we have heard people raving about and have a bit of a boogie in Freddie’s Suite.

Wax Da Jam Pikes Essentialibiza 2019 By La Skimal003

Wax Da Jam Pikes Essentialibiza 2019 By La Skimal004

Wax Da Jam Pikes Essentialibiza 2019 By La Skimal005

When we arrived just after 22.00, the newly revamped Pikes backyard was already filling up nicely, with music lovers perching on the comfy beds scattered on the terrace, propping up against Toni’s Bar – a new addition and sentimental tribute to the late Mr Pikes – or toasting the night ahead with one of the two cocktails George had created himself; a light and fruity WDJ Watermelon Mojito or a zesty WDJ Coconut Rum Punch. George was spinning the finest in chilled, soulful beats, mixing some all-time Nightmares On Wax classics such as Soul Purpose and Easy Thing To Do (with the legendary Dame Shirley Bassey on vocals) with eclectic tracks including a steel drum remix of 50 Cent’s P.I.M.P. and vintage gems like Turned You On by Eighties Ladies.

Wax Da Jam Pikes Essentialibiza 2019 By La Skimal006

Wax Da Jam Pikes Essentialibiza 2019 By La Skimal007

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Wax Da Jam Pikes Essentialibiza 2019 By La Skimal009

Watching the queue at the sizzling BBQ grill grow longer, we wasted no time in putting our own orders in for the tantalisingly scented jerk chicken with rice and grilled corn on the cob. Oh. My. God. We were not disappointed. With Pikes head chef Lee Milne and his team working their magic on this Jamaican classic, we were positively stuffing our faces and swooning over every last bite. Just as we scraped the last bites from our plates, George finished his garden set and led us to a ‘secret’ room revellers may or may not stumble across during their visit for a catch up. He told us, “We’ve kind of come full circle being here at Pikes because Wax Da Jam has a very similar ethos. It’s intimate, it’s got that house party vibe and it’s free. We wanted to add a pre-club element to our night here at Pikes, something warm and welcoming, and having that soul food, jerk chicken is connected to my upbringing too. Starting with the cocktails and BBQ on the terrace, which leads into Freddie’s, has a nice social aspect and flow to it.”

Wax Da Jam Pikes Essentialibiza 2019 By La Skimal010

Wax Da Jam Pikes Essentialibiza 2019 By La Skimal012
Reminiscing very ten years of Wax Da Jam, we couldn’t resist asking if we could hope for a repeat of a rare live show George performed with the Nightmares On Wax band in 2018 – and in doing so stumbled across some very juicy music news! “I would love to do another Nightmares On Wax live performance on the island, but at the moment it’s hard to say because we are working on a big project for next year. It’s a dream of mine, but organising the logistics for a live production out here is very challenging. But if I had my way, it would 100% happen, so never say never, “ he teased us. “Next year, it’s the 25thanniversary of Smoker’s Delight so we’re going to do a tour and perform the entire album live in a few bespoke places.”

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Wax Da Jam Pikes Essentialibiza 2019 By La Skimal015

Celebrating 30 years since the first ever Nightmares On Wax release only last week, George revealed he is also currently working on a new album, expected to be out by the end of 2020. Talking about what keeps him inspired, he said, “Life, in general, inspires me. Being able to travel and the way we connect with the world is very different from when I released Smokers Delight. Back then, we didn’t have the Internet and that has opened up whole new territories and ways to discover and share music. I’m really into the vibe of working internationally with my creativity – whether that’s through collaborations or taking inspiration from different cultures. I’m very open to broadening the spectrum of my music. Travel to me is the greatest educator and the bet way to expand your consciousness.”

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Wax Da Jam Pikes Essentialibiza 2019 By La Skimal017

With island favourite Buckley warming up the iconic Freddie’s Suite before George’s second set of the night, before he left for the booth, he told us, “Last week I had some time to reflect about that 30-year milestone and I was thinking, ‘Oh my God, what a movie!” I feel super blessed and grateful, and I still have so much more to give. I think it’s an absolute fairy tale that I’m here talking about my music still. I never ever thought about it not happening, but I never thought about it happening like this!”

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Wax Da Jam Pikes Essentialibiza 2019 By La Skimal016

Just a few moments later, we found ourselves on the packed dancefloor underneath Pikes’ huge discoball and bouncing along with the rest of the crowd to George’s chunky, energetic house beats. One of the many special surprises of the 10thanniversary season, he was joined by a live percussionist who effortlessly switched between the drums and tambourine to fire on the floor! Watching the duo – by now with towels on their heads but still cool as two cucumbers – dance along behind the decks, smiling at the sea of faces in front of them while everyone was enjoying the music like one big, happy family, the magic of Wax Da Jam was not lost on a single soul in the building. Here’s to many happy returns!

There are only two more dates of Wax Da Jam 2019 at Pikes Ibiza, and one special one-off event at Las Dalias on August 29th, so make sure you don’t miss them by keeping your eye on the Wax Da Jam Facebook Page and head to www.pikesibiza.com to register for guestlist!

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Wax Da Jam Pikes Essentialibiza 2019 By La Skimal021

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