Sam Totolee is one of the most sought after private events DJ, having forged his talent on the decks at the cutting edge of the Ibiza scene, where he plays at some of the islands coolest clubs and private parties. His client list is a who’s who of the world’s top venues and brands and celebrities including Prince Albert of Monaco, James Corden, Rod Stewart & Penny Lancaster, P Diddy and Uma Thurman.
When it comes to choosing the perfect playlist for any event and working a crowd, Sam is simply without rival. He’s a genuine all-rounder, equally at home playing pop, motown and disco, as well as house and techno, with a playlist numbering the tens of thousands.
In awe of his DJ skills, fascinated by the celeb anecdotes he must have under his belt and slightly fazed by the incredible reputation that precedes him, Absolute Ibiza met with Sam Totolee to hear, in his own words, the story behind his success.
“I started out playing US house and UK garage at underground warehouse clubs in the early 90s, and had a lucky break one night after someone heard me play a set and asked if I could play at a film premiere after party which she was organizing, of which I jumped at the chance! The company she worked for took me on board thereafter and made me their resident DJ, introducing me to a new world of super high end luxury parties. The rest is history and 21 years later and over 1000 private parties for high end clients in over 27 countries, I’m still here (and top of my game).
It’s allowed me to travel the world and see some beautiful locations and venues (Castles, private islands, stately homes, yachts, clubs, chateaus , villas, you name it) and every year it just gets better and better.
Highlights have included: Monaco Grand prix after parties, weddings of UK royalty, Hollywood actress Uma Thurman, James Corden and Elon Musk. I’ve even DJed at the world premiere after parties of James Bond, Harry Potter, private parties for Quentin Tarantino, plus weddings and parties at super exclusive retreats like Cuixmala in Mexico, Sandy Lane in Barbados and Skibo castle in Scotland.
In 2004 me and a group of friends (Steven Dobson, Gary Diamond, John Moser and Christofa) decided to create a crazy party like they used to have at Pikes in the early hazy daze of the island, dancing under the sun and the moon totally immersed in the energy of Ibiza.
We totally produced the party to be a one off spectacular themed event for 500 personally invited guests (mainly creative and colourful characters who lived on the island) to a beautiful villa on the top of Can Furnet with stunning views of the island.
The party went on for 2 days and 2 nights and set the standard for every villa party that has graced the island since!
Over the next few years we put on the party at different stunning locations around the island and It soon became the highlight of the summer with people flying in especially for the party as it just kept growing, every time filling up with the coolest people from the international world of film fashion and music all partying with alongside the islanders who came to every party.
The production just got bigger and better with the finest prototype Funktion One sound system at the helm and the best lighting and artistic visuals transforming an already super villa into something out of a film set we decided to finish with a spectacular swan song in 2006 (alongside
new partner Aldrick Wout).
With 3000 guests the party was a celebration of the very best of Ibiza! Naked body painted fashion models walking around with trays of artificial diamonds which you redeemed for drinks cocktails at the bar, hippies hanging out with the rich kids, famous rock musicians on the
dance floor (with their hands in the air totally absorbed in the house music provided by 4 resident DJs from the island (Dj Samir, Angelique Gianluca and Bruno from Cafe del Mar) on rotation throughout the entire event playing the very best music you’ve ever heard back then.
The party was called Dirty Diamonds and Pacha magazine described it as the best parties the island has ever seen!
I have been coming to Ibiza for 25 years and decided to live here around 15 years ago and now live between my house in Sa Carocca on the top of the mountain and my apartment on the beach in Playa den Bossa. This allows me to fly to any destination quite easily, including London which is where I grew up, and is my 2nd home.
Living in Ibiza allows me to be inspired by the music that is constantly around me 24/7 all year round and also have the constant mediterranean sunshine. Ibiza also has its incredible spiritual side as well as the party side, and this allows me to develop my self awareness and yogic practice. I feel blessed. As my mother said to me when she visited for the first time “Son, this is the closest you will get to home” (my family are from Gujarat, India and I was born in Kenya, Africa).
There are very few places that I feel a tingling in my body when I land (India is the only other place). Ibiza is a magical playground for everyone; it small enough to get around in one day and large enough to get lost in (as I’ve done many times!). It’s gone from a budget tourist haven to an international playground, mainly due to its attraction to its huge club and electronic scene and also as it’s evolving in all other aspects.
I live in Ibiza mainly in the winter these days as I am touring quite a bit in the summer.
I love this time of the year as it’s when the real Ibiza comes to life and the freak comes out! Very few tourists, gorgeous weather, a time to hit the markets for fresh fish and vegetables come and live like a local. The old town is buzzing 7 days a week, 24 hours a day and when the weekends arrive it’s time to shut down your laptops and hit the small beach bar restaurants in Talamanca Marina Botafoc. Saturday nights are no different to the summer; great parties, interesting people, and amazing music.
Sunday’s time to chill and feast on incredible Bullit De Peix and Rioja wine with friends and head up north for some inspiration and spiritual connection and watch the sunset in San Juan or Es Cubells. It’s a time to appreciate the majestically positioned Es Vedra (one of the most magnetic points on earth) before an early night to start another week of work, exercise, music and mindfulness.
As often as I can I will hike with friends around Santa Agnes watching the incredible nature blend into the magnificent Mediterranean ocean, go swimming at the unspoilt Punta Galera or just walk and talk along Salinas beach and appreciate the Islands Unesco World Heritage zone.
I’m now working on (or have created Kaleidisico) my immersive DJ show synchronising light and HD motion graphics and video to the sound of my music all being manipulated live through the DJ mixer. Letting light, visuals and video bring the music to life as opposed to the other way around as we are used to when we go to a cinema or watch a film!