Erick Morillo has enjoyed a career spanning decades, but that's not to say he hasn't experienced turmoil. In fact, he's struggled with drug and alcohol addiction in the past, which almost cost him his career. He recently sat down with Pete Tong at the International Music Summit in Ibiza to open up about his struggles, describing how handling the pressure was never an easy task.
One of the most startling facts he revealed is that he nearly lost his arm due to ketamine addiction. When Tong asked him about it, Morillo responded, "I did actually. I have a nice scar that, funnily enough, looks like my company logo.
"At one point, I couldn't even urinate. Every time I tried, it would be stuck and the pain meant I had to go to hospital where they put me to sleep. When I woke up, they had slashed some of my arm off because it was so infected from putting ketamine in it."
It all began when the dance music industry began to shift. Morillo went on to say that he felt an increased amount of pressure when younger artists started breaking into the spotlight. "When all these young DJs were all of a sudden blowing up and eclipsing me - my ego couldn’t take it."
"My ego couldn’t take that I wasn’t the top dog anymore. That’s when things started to unravel."
His addiction got worse after that and he started to conform due to the added pressure from the evolving industry. "Then I started making music and playing music I didn’t love," Morillo said. "That’s when things started to get really bad."
Still, at this point it wasn't clear to him that he needed to get help. He was arrested three times, was banned from British Airways, and got divorced after a short marriage. It wasn't until three trips to rehab that Morillo finally was able to bounce back. "The first rehab, I went for someone else. Second rehab, I went for court. The third, I finally went for myself."
Morillo's story turned from a dark and depressing tale to one filled with resilience as he is now back to making the music he loves. "I’m just doing it for love - literally. I used to say that, but now I fucking mean it."
Find more from Erick Morillo's talk with Pete Tong via IMS on Twitter.