After a sojourn of nearly a year, electronic-dance-music pioneer and Ibiza icon Erick Morillo has returned to Las Vegas. While he may have helped open SLS Las Vegas last month, he tells Vegas Seven, “That was an amazing party, but that was their celebration; September 27 marks the start of my residency.” And as one of Life Nightclub’s most notable residents, Morillo has garnered buzz. In advance of this weekend’s performance and his next one October 18, we caught up with Morillo to chat about his residency and all that he’s been up to.
It’s been awhile since you’ve been in Las Vegas. What have you been up to?
I have a couple of records coming out. One is a collaboration with Harry Romero called “Devotion,” and another with Carnage called “Let the Freak Out,” which is coming out next month. This winter I will have something a bit more underground called “Techno Bitches,” and I’ll be re-launching [my label] Subliminal in the spring.
People will see something that delves deeper than what’s out there. I like to play with vocals and use sexy vocalists. I’ll also be showcasing artists who are not necessarily in the club world.
Which vocalists are on your wish list?
Pharrell and Lenny Kravitz.
Will your residency at SLS mirror one of your Ibiza Subliminal Sessions sets?
DJing is always about creating a good energy and vibe, and in that sense, Vegas will be no different than Ibiza. Sure, I’ll make people put their hands up in air, but as far as the sound is concerned, I think I’ve matured and moved away from [mainstream] EDM. My sound has become deeper and more tribal, but the energy is the same with this new sound I’m championing at the moment.
With this residency, I want to incorporate lots of imaging and production. The party will definitely go late, and as people know I am not one to shy away from long sets. It’s really about building a chemistry in the room.
You once told us that, “Vegas is the Ibiza of the U.S.” What did you mean?
Ibiza is the center of the world [for dance music]. Any given day in the summer, people from all over the world come to Ibiza, and they have really built a global following and stage for our community to have a voice and to reach a lot of people. Vegas is now doing this as well.
Even with the mainstreaming of house music in America, is Las Vegas ready for a more intellectual, Ibiza sound?
You can’t educate people on that in just one night. I walk a fine line and experiment with many different sounds, but I can’t start the night by going off the deep end. I try to bring people in nice and slow, and create an energy so that [the crowd] can follow the music. If you start off too deep or dark, you can lose the crowd. So I read the room and take the audience on a journey. My goal is to make girls happy, because the guys follow along. This is my secret, but it really is no secret.