Madrid-born Wally Lopez has established himself as one of the best-loved (and most travelled) Spanish DJs and producers of the past couple of decades, with residencies at the likes of Space and Pacha in Ibiza, as well as London’s Ministry of Sound and The End, as well as through his The Factoria (part of the larger Factomania Group, which he also runs) and Weekend Records labels.
909originals caught up with him.
Hi Wally, thanks for talking to us. What are you up to at the moment?
Just finished a new tour in the States, which I’ve been visiting a lot lately – I’m packing up my stuff to get back home.
Recent releases of yours include Arabic Nights on Adesso Music and Bogota on The Factoria. How would you describe them?
There’s quite a lot that’s different between them, but I always love to have a groovy and danceable touch. Arabic Nights is somewhere between afro house and tech house and works on every single floor. Bogota is more techy.
Your Factomania business has been around for more than two decades now. What current projects of note is Factomania involved with?
Well, it has been a roller coaster, but I’m trying to get it on the way up again! Mainly releasing my own projects now, but in 2024 I’ll begin to add artists to our roster again.
You’ve held residencies in Ibiza over the years, at clubs such as Space and Pacha. How did you first come to play there?
It’s funny, around 1999/2000, when my records started to get played by everyone, the label who released the El Divino Ibiza compilations asked me to record one for them.
I had never been to Ibiza so I told them I’d do it, but said that I needed to play in the club first – that ended up being the very first time!
To be honest, from my first impression I hated Ibiza, ha ha, but that December Danny Whittle called me to play at Pacha and my view of the island changed and made me love it forever.
In your eyes, how has Ibiza changed over the years since you first started playing there, both positively and negatively?
Positively, Ibiza is a huge ‘brand’ now, so people can work without being limited to just the four big clubs, like it was before. Negatively, there is no room for medium level DJs to play – I mean, you are either a super mega star or a warm up DJ resident. For the rest, it is almost impossible to find work.
Also, it is getting ridiculously expensive and the professional class don’t go any more, as they don’t earn enough money. Now, a trip to Ibiza can be very expensive for (sometimes) not a very good experience, which gives people a bad opinion.
Middle class people, who were the real economic engine of the island, are not coming anymore. I think, one day, they will be really missed.
You’ve been making music since the mid 90s – how has your approach to production changed over the years?
It’s so different. I never had money to buy a sampler or synths so I was always doing tricky things to make my music. Now, on my laptop I’ve got everything – just switch it on and go!
What inspires you when making music?
Life, absolutely. This is my life, and I’m very focused on reaching the place I deserve again. That is where I get the energy and inspiration from.
You hail from Madrid, which has been the home of many notable DJs over the years. Are there any up and coming Madrileño DJs or producers we should look out for?
We have some new talents in Madrid, like Th3 Oth3r that you should really check out.
Also from Spain, artists such as Yamil, Richard Ulh, Piem or German Brigante are doing an amazing job.
We came across an interview from all the way back in 2005 in which you state, ‘DJs should always remember that it’s all about fun and music culture, not just about wanting to be famous’. Does that still ring true for you – particularly in this era of superstar DJs?
I think it still rings true, but no one listened to me as I see haha! Now, it’s all about TikTok influencer DJs, who are not producers – they don’t produce even when they release music.
This is actually super sad but I think if you have real talent, you shouldn’t feel bad for this! Just make what you love. Happiness and satisfaction with your love is the real success.