[Interview] The Ritual Of Music With Anané & Louie Vega

Louie Vega’s multiple talents make him recognized worldwide as one of the finest purveyors of House Music in its history, while Anané has had music in her blood from her childhood in Cape Verde to her renowned NULU Movement events in New York City.

Now, two of New York City’s most diverse of underground representatives, the couple have translated the camaraderie and vibe of The Big Apple into The Ritual with Anané and Louie Vega over 10 weeks at HEART Ibiza. With their rich and personal history in New York, alongside the years of work creating an open, inclusive and diverse party atmosphere, The Ritual with Anané and Louie Vega presents audiences with art and music from close friends set against the backdrop of NYC Underground Club Culture.

Last week, Anané and Louie Vega were kind of enough to present a musical sampling of their time on the island in 2018, and here they dish out all the details of the concept, New York City’s evolving artistic landscape, the magic of Ibiza, and more. If you’re in Ibiza over the coming weeks, make sure to stop by HEART Ibiza for a very special edition of The Ritual with Anané and Louie Vega on 7 August. Centered around the concept “The Force is Female”, Anané will be joined by Nicole Moudaber & Cassy.

“The ritual is…our heart speaking to the people.”

We’re speaking here around your upcoming HEART Ibiza night – The Ritual. First off, what makes HEART the best location for the residency in terms of its concept and featured artists?
Louie Vega: The venue is perfect for us. We want to give you quality in all aspects, talent, sound, lighting, production, visuals, and the team is on point and we all share the same passion. The location is in Ibiza port so it is near everything and easy to get to no matter where you are on the island. It’s very central to all.

Anané: Heart is the best location for a residency because it is a place that brings an intimate vibe with state of the art everything while keeping the integrity of the music, an incredible team of professionals and visionaries who are interested in bringing artistic quality to the magic island.

Speaking of the concept, what aspects within this idea of ritual will the residency showcase? Why is the idea of ritual important enough to you to base a whole experience around?
Louie Vega: We want to give you the NYC underground culture experience. Visually you are seeing lots of the heart of New York City within art and music. From Keith Haring to punk rock to disco to the Fania all stars, to Grace Jones, we go around the whole scope of what made a lot of New York City in the 70s and 80s and even 90s. We take you on a journey visually and through our music as well. Feeling our culture as well with Anané’s Cape Verdian and African roots to my latin roots in the Caribbean. This all brings together the heart and core of what we are and we bring it to ibiza. The ritual is about that and more. It is our heart speaking to the people.

You’ve already featured the likes of Moodymann and Henrik Schwarz this summer, but what can you tell us about the overall curation of the lineup? What was your approach? What did you want each artists featured to represent?
Louie Vega: All the artists on our lineup have a special connection with us, they all are very talented and have unique individualism, there is only one of them in this world! It was never about getting the most popular, our goal was to bring DJs and artist that have the same passion for music as we do, they live it as we do and transcend into their audience. New York City underground culture was about that, self expression at its best. Each artist so far has come in and given an outstanding set.

Anané: We want to bring artists who have the same vision as we do, artists who bring their true authentic self in terms of musical expression

Can you specifically talk about NULU Movement and how the concept will be integrated within The Ritual?
Anané: The Ritual was the perfect way to bring Nulu Movement to the island of Ibiza. The concept of Nulu Movement is bringing the sounds of my two labels Nulu & Nulu Electronic in a one night party, allowing artists from both labels to feel free to express themselves musically. It’s a journey through sounds, whether live or through dj sets.

NULU Movement was (and is) a seminal destination for the discovery and ultimate rise of the Afro House genre. What are your impressions on its popularity now?
Anané: Being that Nulu Music will celebrate 10 years in 2019, it is amazing to be a pioneer of the Afro Sound from the beginning. Having helped launch various careers of artists on an international level and bringing this genre to the masses before it was a category on any digital platform. It’s truly exciting for what more is to come.

What about the atmosphere on Ibiza. How does it aid in your creative process?
Louie Vega: Ibiza definitely adds to our creative process, especially when we go out and explore the island’s beaches, and landscapes. You really feel the energy of the island and it’s very inspiring.

Anané: Ibiza is the Mecca of club culture and going out on any given night you are able to find an array of styles and parties, therefore it’s always an inspiration.

How do you see ibiza in 2018 vs. When you first traveled there? In fact, what was your very first professional gig on the island?
Louie Vega: My very first gig was long ago. I played at pacha, and the DJ before me whom I first met was DJ Pippi. It was 94 I believe (need to check that year). I do remember the DJ booth being on the floor level with the crowd.

do you find yourself prepping your DJ sets differently for an Ibiza crowd then elsewhere (say, New York City, for instance)?
Louie Vega: I have a huge repertoire of music, I like to make if feel different each time, we have 10 weeks here so we have so many nights to play with, but it’s really based on the crowd, our aim is to make them dance, smile and have a good time. We also collect more music while here, lots of our friends are music producers and we also meet new music producers, as well as buying music online or in stores. Going to other parties too is good for your musical Ibiza pallet, we go out to hear our peers rock a club. Keeping your mind open to the new sounds too.

Anané: Honestly, I’m not one for prepping DJ sets when I play, I love to feel the crowd and feed off the energy with total freedom of selecting music that keeps feeding the energy of the dance floor.

I also would like to ask a similar question to your impressions on Ibiza, only about New York City. The ritual was born out of the city, which is also where you hold an extensive musical legacy. How are you seeing the house music atmosphere in Te Big Apple these days?
Louie Vega: House Music in The Big Apple is more in Brooklyn now these days. At least 30 clubs just in one region shows you how fast it has grown in the past then years. The club where I have my roots NYC party is at Cielo in New York City. We’ve been there 14 years now. My party is based on the dancers, European, House heads from NYC, and we are in a busy area of New York City in the Meatpacking District. The atmosphere at our club is wonderful. In that area there are also other clubs one being Le Bain in the standard hotel on the 18th floor with stunning views of NYC (that’s where Anané holds her NULU movement events).

The big super clubs in NYC for dance music are rare these days but if you go out to Brooklyn you can have nights with 1,000 to even 4,000 people depending on the venue. From clubs to warehouses to outdoor venues, you’ve got it all in Brooklyn. Wherever you go you are guaranteed a fun time, there are many great DJs in New York City, Brooklyn and the rest of the boroughs.

Anané: New York like any major city experiences shifts and changes, it is called evolution. What is important is to be open minded while remaining authentic.

speaking of rituals, perhaps one of a different kind but do you have any rituals (or processes) that help you maintain a sense of mindfulness when touring or in the midst of travel? How do you stay grounded?
Louie Vega: My wife, son, family and close friends keep me grounded. Other rituals and processes are personal :) Try to rest as much as possible and eat well, which is always a challenge, but I try my best. Having a super healthy wife who works out every single day and eats proper helps me a lot!!! I want to be like her when I grow up :)

Anané: I’m a certified yoga teacher and a huge advocate of a healthy life style via working out…mind, body and soul. It is important to care for our temple, to be present, to know when to go for it all but also when to stop and breathe. It is finding harmony in life not balance as we hearr so often, balance is equal parts (which is almost impossible) harmony is making all things work given the proper attention and intention.

Artist Page – Louie Vega Artist Page – Anané