Last summer The Big Chill got a lot of attention as something fresh and new on the evening scene. Editor Tina Stevenson chills out with DJ Felix Tod and finds out what he is doing this summer to build on last year’s success.
1. Last year was your first year doing The Big Chill at Dockyard, Elbow Beach and on Sunday afternoons at Cambridge Beaches. How did it go?
It was a long hot summer. We soon discovered that launching a chill-out event was not at all chilled. We spent all summer watching other people relaxing…
2. Did anything surprise you last year about your new venture?
Yes. Not all of it printable. We made a lot of new friends and blew a few speakers. Good times were had!
3. Many people I talked to thought the vibe was fresh, fun and something unlike anything else to happen in Bermuda before. A welcome newness in entertainment! Did you hear that a lot?
I had to do it because I felt like there was nowhere where I could go! Luckily a lot of people seemed to like the idea. So now we get to do it again! So The Big Chill is all of us now.
4. Where did the inspiration for The Big Chill come from?
Ibiza and Miami. Both places that have strong outdoor nighttime club scenes. I want to go somewhere that feels modern and of the moment. I’m not down for fish chowder and cedar…I want sushi and beats!
5. What’s up for this year?
I am hearing a lot of things, like you’re into calypso. When do you start and where and when will you be playing? We’re going hard as you can see…we’re on a mission.
Wednesdays—Big Chill at Bonefish from 8:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.
Thursdays—Glass Onion Band from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m. at Bonefish
Fridays—Big Chill from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. at Lido
Saturdays—Big Calypso from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. at The Reefs
Saturdays—DJ Felix Tod at Red from 11.30 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Sundays—Big Chill at Cambridge Beaches from 2:00 p.m to 6:00 p.m.
Sundays—Big Calypso at The Frog and Onion from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
6. Other than the beat, how is the Big Calypso different from The Big Chill?
Big Calypso is taking the old calypsos, remixing them and adding live musicians to the beats. We go right from the earliest calypsos to the latest tunes from Trinidad. We even play Bermuda’s Talbot Brothers, it’s a five-piece live band. We’re looking for a way to update calypso and give it a fresh twist. It’s Saturday nights at The Reefs with great West Indian food and cocktails. At The Big Chill I play deep house and chill-out tunes, and Joy T. Barnum and Tony Brannon join in again this year for more live music. I’m remixing tunes from Rhianna, Tom Odell, Erykah Badu, Frank Ocean and OneRepublic amongst others into our signature deep house sound, as well as playing my own original material.
7. You are both legends in your own right, though I venture to say that more people know your partner’s name, Tony Brannon. So what role does each of you play in The Big Chill?
There’s no master plan other than “Let’s think of something we would like to do or see.” We come up with ideas together for projects—I am a record producer and a DJ, so I do the remixing and choose the tunes, and Tony is a musician who plays guitar and oversees marketing and PR.
8. Is there a certain age-group that The Big Chill appeals to mostly?
People old enough to know better and people too young to care.
9. Can we expect some guest appearances this summer?
Yes, I’m hoping to make some new friends this summer and invite some old ones back. I’d like to find some more talented players if we get the chance to grow the Big Calypso. Last year I said I wanted people to fall in love with Bermuda again, and The Big Chill would be the sound track to that. I think it kind of happened!
Well, Bermuda loves you for bringing us great tunes and a great vibe. Good luck on a very successful summer season! We’ll be there to chill with you!