DJs now have more new music to choose from than ever before, as the number of weekly releases grows exponentially, and knowledgeable crowds respond with equal positivity to tracks from the last five decades as to the box fresh numbers. For artists, trying to ensure your labours of love work their way into the maximum number of DJ sets and from there into the heads and hearts of clubbers worldwide is thus a bigger challenge than ever. It is a challenge that Roberto Surace has embraced: “When I first started producing, I definitely wanted to make something that was truly mine, so that the public would get to know my vibe.” As 2019 draws to a close, he has certainly achieved that goal.

The success story of ‘Joys’ really started when Roberto struck on an idea to kickstart its promotion. “I created this track at the beginning of 2019. I initially offered 4 months of exclusive play to Marco Carola and he supported me from the beginning, playing the track around the world.” Of course, every DJ loves an exclusive (especially a world exclusive) – but Carola would not have got behind ‘Joys’ with such gusto had he not sensed a winner.

As the likes and shares multiplied, Roberto and Marco were both acutely aware that ‘Joys’ was a monster; and that with the imminent start of the Ibiza season (with Marco’s much hyped Pacha residency), its upwards trajectory would continue. As social media was awash not only with praise for the track but also demands to know its release date, the record company interest began to ramp up, and other DJs got the opportunity to come on board: “After the 4 months of exclusive play given to Marco Carola, I was supported by lots of DJs such as Joseph Capriati, Ilario Alicante, Paco Osuna, Andrea Oliva, wAFF as well as many other international DJs.” 

Before its signing 'Joys' was also already catching the attention of the BBC Radio 1 tastemakers, achieving the Friday night hattrick as it was selected for Annie Mac's Hottest Record in the World, Pete Tong's Essential New Tune and Danny Howard's Friday Fire within a few weeks of eachother. Inevitably, 'Joys' went on to reach the #1 spot of Radio 1's Dance Chart too and was supported by Mistajam too.  

It was late June when Simon Dunmore was able to say:

“The hype on Roberto Surace’s ‘Joys’ reached hyperbole status last week. We offered early for the record but were continually gazumped by significantly larger offers from major labels. ‘Joys’ ticks all our boxes. It is already an anthem this summer in Ibiza and beyond. We believe it is the hottest club record since ‘Cola’. It’s a massive statement for us to have beaten off the competition and we are ecstatic to have secured the record.”

Roberto added: “I chose Defected because I think it is one of the most successful labels in the house and underground market... I feel this track is distinctive, as it is a mix between house and tech, with afro percussions and a strong melody, with a bassline that makes the track sound so special.”

Roberto was welcomed into the Defected family with a string of dates at Eden as well, of course, as an appearance at Croatia 2019 Within weeks ‘Joys’ was #1 on Beatport.

As the Ibiza summer drew to an end, it was no surprise when ‘Joys’ was crowned Track of the Season (it was also officially the island’s most Shazamed song, topping the Ibiza Dance chart for 11 consecutive weeks).

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With the eduring love for 'Joys' showing no signs of slowing down, a slew of high profile remixes kept the momentum going. German disco maestro Purple Disco Machine had teased eager crowds with his version at Defected Croatia and his gigs at Hï Ibiza. Then house legend Todd Terry revealed his thumping remix of the Ibiza anthem. Now two further remixes are in the pipe-line, one from Defected label mate OFFAIAH and one from future superstar Jonas Blue.

But it's not just Ibiza and the UK that have become enamoured with Roberto's track, with its international accolades including #1 in Australia's Aria chart and over 24k international radio plays. 

Roberto has found himself criss-crossing the globe as a result. “This really is one of the tracks that has given the greatest hype to my career; as well as all the DJs, I’d like to thank the public that is supporting me every day by sending lots of positive feedback about the track.”

The momentum has shown no signs of slowing down. In October, as Roberto undertook a series of DJ dates in South America, the official video was completed; and word then came through that in the UK, Joys had made the playlist at one of the nation’s most listened to radio stations, BBC Radio 1.

Clearly the ‘Joys’ story is far from over. Roberto is not resting on his laurels, but rather, is determined to build on the turbo boost the track has given his career: “As a result of ‘Joys’, I’ve definitely had the chance to make myself known in various places around the world, and to compare myself with many other people in this environment. I still have lots I want to do, I think this is every DJ’s dream and every producer’s aim. Thank you to everyone who believed in me!” 

But the success of 'Joys' go beyond its commercial accolades, and has become a record that has made an impact on many of its listeners, even inspiring a tattoo for one partiuclarly loyal fan...

Many thanks to Monica Siegel for English-Italian and Italian-English translation on this piece