Every Monday GibLad publish an article on Llanitos who are travelling or living away from home; chasing a dream and living an adventure or vice versa. This is now our 4th article on #LlanitosAbroad and it’s proved quite popular so thanks to all our followers for reading.
This week we talk to Pedro Vila, who’s been a Promoter, Club Booker, Videographer, Presenter, Blogger, Touring Agent & Occasional DJ over the years. He’s currently a Tour Manager for Drumcode and Adam Beyer; the biggest techno label in the world and one of the biggest techno DJs in the world voted number 6 overall DJ in the world on Resident Adviser Poll 2016.
Living between London and Sydney since 2014, Pedro used to spend every summer in Ibiza and has also lived in London and Leeds. This was quite an interesting catch up we had with Pedro he told us a few good stories including getting to know the late Howard Marks, Mr Nice himself!
GL: Why did you leave Gib?
After I completed my A-Levels way back in 2000 I completed the rite of passage so many Llanitos of going over to the UK to go to Uni. I decided to go to Leeds and spread my wings. When I turned 15 Gibraltar suddenly felt very small. I knew there was a massive world out there and literally counted the days until I could leave and go explore what was beyond Gibraltar. I haven’t moved back for more than 6 months at a time since then so I’ve been away for a pretty long time! I realised the other day I’ve lived away from Gib for almost half my time on this planet.
GL: What do you miss?
I miss the sense of community I guess, I miss the fact everyone knows each other (a bad thing at times as well as good), I miss home cooked food, I miss the Rock; it has to be one of my favourite places to hang out in the world. I love going up the rock, chilling and taking in the views and enjoying the wind and the smell of the fresh air at the very top. I also miss hanging out with friends that I have known since I was 4/5 years of age, I meet so many different people in my line of work and changing where I live so often, therefore hanging with people that have known you since you were a kid is something irreplaceable. I feel it helps ground you, no airs and graces allowed at all!
GL: Where have you been since you left?
Since I left I have moved around and lived in quite a few places; Leeds, London, Bilbao, Barcelona, Ibiza, Sydney, London again. Working as a Tour Manager for 2 top level international artists since 2013 have seen me rack up some serious air miles. I’ve been lucky enough to see so many different corners of the planet, from iconic cities to far flung locations. The nature of the job means you really are often at some of the best parties on the planet, I literally have to pinch myself sometimes! We are usually taking in 6/8 cities a month so I’m really lucky to have seen so many different locations around the world.
Since I left I have moved around and lived in quite a few places; Leeds, London, Bilbao, Barcelona, Ibiza, Sydney, London again.
GL: What has been hardest to adjust to?
I guess seeing as its been quite a long time since I left Gibraltar I have become very adaptable in different cultures and surroundings.
If I think back to when I first moved to the UK in 2000 I sometimes found it hard to relate to Brits culturally. I found the fact they didn’t tend to open up about their feelings as much, they were more reserved and didn’t wear their hearts on their sleeves as much as people from Gibraltar. People in Gib tend to be more honest and open about things. After I kind of got my head round it out the first time I learned to be adaptable. I feel if you are observant and receptive of how things work in different countries, cities and cultures and be open to things being different then you will enjoy things more. Variety is the spice of life and experiencing new cultures and all the things that come with them is amazing.
GL: What are the most notable cultural differences?
Cultural differences in Sydney are quite a few when compared to Gib, more so than the UK. I guess the fact it is on the other side of the world has a lot to do with it. Australian culture and their major cities are kind of like a mixture of UK and US influences, with some unique Aussie Charm thrown in there. Australians are friendly and warm people, I guess sometime certain elements of their culture can be a little closed-minded over there, especially when it comes to progressive & multi-cultural principals that are upheld strongly in Europe.
The food is amazing in Australia, especially Sydney and Melbourne, coffee is also right up there with the best in the world, the beaches and the landscape is beautiful and exotic They do really like BBQs in Australia and loads of people surf, sometimes there are sharks in the water and the spiders are massive, like fucking huge!
GL: What is the best thing about being a GibLad/Llanito abroad?
Explaining to people where Gibraltar is, making people aware of our identity, why we are so proud of The Rock. You would be surprised the amount of people that either A. Haven’t heard of it at all, B. Presume it is part of Spain. I’m definitely proud of where I’m from and take delight in educating people and explaining a little about Gibraltar. I’ve also had conversations with a lot of random people that have passed through Gibraltar at some point over their lives, from octogenarian ex sailors in Sydney to Mr Howard Marks. His stories about Gib were interesting. (Look him up if you haven’t heard of him).
GL: What has been your proudest achievement since your move?
My proudest moment has to be being myself, not trying to be someone else, what other people or society expect me to be.
My proudest moment has to be being myself, not trying to be someone else, what other people or society expect me to be. I am proud of the fact that I have followed what I wanted to do, never given up, even when I thought it may be easier to go along with the system and get a “normal job”. Now I get paid (well) to travel the world over and go to parties, although it is hard and not as glamorous as some may think. I love what I live and I live what I love, this makes me proud.
GL: What are you goals for the year?
I guess the short answer would be to be happy, smile, build positive relationships and have fun everyday.
If I had to speak about some stuff I’ve got going on this year;
Work wise, getting the summer travel and show schedule looking tight and everything planned out. It is by far the busiest time of the year and requires an awful lot of careful planning and other boring stuff that makes the magic at the party happen right. We are expanding the Drumcode Brand further globally this year and intend to capitalise on its success.
I am an avid vedic meditator so me and an industry PR Manager are looking to set up an organisation called “Mindfulness in Music”. People in general are opening up and talking about mental health and its link to mindfulness and the music industry has followed suite. Artists have started to come out and speak about the pressures and what can be a gruelling industry music can be. Mindfulness and meditation is an excellent way to evolve as a person and also helps people to really develop. We want to promote that.
GL: Do you see yourself staying there, or eventually coming back?
I don’t see myself settling in London to be honest, the weather is too grey for me. I could definitely go back to Australia and settle there one day, weather is great and the outdoor lifestyle is very appealing to me. The only downside is the distance; it is pretty far away from Europe and family. Ibiza could be an option, it has to be one of, if not my favourite spots on the planet. People think its is just a party spot, its not. The party side is maybe 10/15% of the island from May to October, the rest of the island is rural and rustic and is so laid back and chilled off season. Coming back to Gibraltar isn’t necessarily on the cards for now, but it’s my home so never say never.
GL: What would you say to any GibLads/Llanitos who are thinking of making a move abroad to travel or chase a dream or experience something new?
Do it, it will be the best decision you will make. Gibraltar will always be there. As lucky as we are to call such a unique and comfortable place home we do sometimes forget there is a whole world out there. Travelling, experiencing other cultures teaches you a lot about yourself and can make you appreciate what you have at home. If you have a dream, don’t give up on it, if you’re positive, thankful and hardworking you can do what you want. It’s better to regret something you have done than something you haven’t in life.
Are you a Llanito abroad or travelling or do you know someone that we should hear about? To get GibLad to feature you or your friend and get involved e-mail us on firstname.lastname@example.org!