In recent months, I’ve become hooked on the illuminating YouTube channel of Dwayne Muffin. I’m not the only one. Videos on the channel regularly get well over 20,000 views. Intrigued by the phenomenon, I reached out to the mysterious Dwayne Muffin, the man behind the channel.
Dwayne is originally from Enniskillen, Ireland. Before he escaped to Ibiza, he was working in the social media sector for British Telecom. For BT, his job was to monitor Twitter and correspond with people who mentioned the company.
To build his social media presence, Dwayne Muffin used the knowledge he’d absorbed at BT. He began by monitoring people talking about Ibiza on Twitter and built a fanbase on the platform of over 150,000 people.
When and why did you come to Ibiza, Dwayne?
It’s funny, my friends booked a holiday to Ibiza. I insisted it wasn’t for me and decided not to go with them. But, just before the holiday, one of my friends crashed his car. He didn’t want to pay for repairs and the holiday so he dropped out. I had a change of heart and paid for his place. The rest is history.
What made you decide you wanted to stay?
For me, it was the vibe of freedom and hedonism I felt when I landed on the island. I was 18 and had grown up in the North of Ireland during the 1990s when it was a troubled place, and you didn’t really meet people of other nationalities, religions and races. Just being in Ibiza was a real eye opener and I immediately wanted to come back to this place where no-one cared about the meaningless things in life.
How would you describe your work in Ibiza?
It’s probably best described as content creation and marketing. Together with some of the island’s leading film and media professionals, I’ve just launched a production team called Visualliez. We create content for the world’s leading music festivals, hotels and TV channels. No job is too big or small for us.
Why did you start your YouTube channel?
I’ve always been obsessed with YouTube and YouTubers. I guess it’s that sense of freedom, being able to do what you want whenever you like. Year one was a building phase for me, about understanding the platform. It’s much more difficult to grow an audience on YouTube than on Twitter. Featuring myself in my videos made it much harder for people to steal the content I was creating – a real problem online.
What are your guiding principles when it comes to making content?
Have fun. Don’t overthink. See what works and do more of that! Put yourself in your audience’s shoes. Understand them, their motivations and social activities. Engage their emotions. I tap into people’s love for Ibiza.
Why do you think your channel has been so successful?
I’d say it’s because I’ve spent the last 10 years building my online presence and interacting with millions of people. This has given me a real insight into what works and what doesn’t.
I also moved beyond simply showing the clubbing scene in San Antonio or Playa D’En Bossa. Watch my channel and you could see me feeding alpacas in San Carlos or hiking a mountain by Es Vedra and then enjoying a cold beer at Cala Vadella.
My content is pretty random because I really don’t know what I’m doing from one day to the next.
Which films would you suggest people watch as representative of what you’re all about?
I’d suggest people check out the trailer for This Is Ibiza on YouTube, created by my business partner and great friend Jody Hall. I helped Jody create This Is Ibiza so I think it’s fair to say it’s a great example of what we do. The full film is available to view on Amazon Prime right now.
What’s your honest perspective on the situation in Ibiza right now?
I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t enjoyed the downtime over the last 12 months. But I’d prefer to see all my friends’ businesses thriving. It’s been really tough for a lot of us and we had to say goodbye to many, many good friends who simply couldn’t survive here in the face of so much uncertainty. I struggled but I’ve managed to hang in there. I’m a single lad with not many ties or overheads to worry about.
But it’s April now and it’s great to see the island’s heartbeat getting stronger. Beach clubs and restaurants are beginning to open. The odd tourist is appearing.
How positive are you for the summer?
I’m sure it will be a better summer than last year. I don’t expect packed out venues and clubs just yet, but let’s see. I think it’ll be another summer of beach clubs, outdoor venues and good food. But things can change very quickly. Look at what’s happening in places like Tulum and Miami where nightclubs are already open.
What form do you think the music/club scene will take this summer?
I really don’t know how this one will play out. I don’t think it’ll be a summer of headline DJ’s and big acts but that will be great for island residents who need the work more than anyone. Those guys are the lifeblood of the island and they’ve been somewhat pushed out of their daily residences at clubs in previous year. This could be a perfect opportunity for them.
What do you think the future is for Ibiza, especially in relation to tourism?
Look at the skyline of any town on the island and you’ll find cranes dotted everywhere. You’ll hear jackhammers drilling all over Es Cubells, Ibiza Town, Talamanca, Portinatx and San Antonio. I’ve never known the island to have so much construction.
Bigger brands are appearing everywhere – your W Hotels, Rolexes, Hiltons, Virgin and so on. So, to answer your question, I think tourism is well and truly on the rise but it’s a very different kind of tourism to what I’ve experienced in the last 11 years.
For a real insight into what’s happening in Ibiza right now, subscribe to Dwayne’s YouTube channel. You can also follow him on Insta @DwayneMuffin