Interview: DJ Ruckus
In the short span of a few years, DJ Ruckus has accomplished more than what some artists strive to in their entire career. He’s a regular at the world’s top nightclubs with countless residencies spanning from Hakkasan (Las Vegas), LIV (Miami), to MIXX (Atlantic City), Marquee (New York), and across the pond to Tape (London) and VIP Room (Paris, Cannes, St. Tropez). He’s hailed by the coveted GQ as "the most sought after DJ in the world," and his passport stamps and accumulated flyer miles are enough to leave anyone green with envy. Ruckus is also a fixture at high-profile events for fashion icons such as Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Calvin Klein to name a few, which no doubt rubbed off on this musical fashionister, proven by his own unisex jewelry line for Roxhouse that launched in June 2015.
Out of breath? Not us - we can’t get enough! Luckily, we had the chance to host a Q&A with Ruckus to discuss everything from music to fashion to his upcoming performance at Brent Bolthouse’s exclusive Neon Carnival event held during the first weekend of the infamous Coachella Music Festival. Here's how it all went down:
1. Thanks for taking the time out to talk with us, Ruckus! First question, and it's 100% real... Do you sleep? Your accomplishments are inspiring not only to your fans and music lovers alike, but also to philanthropists and entrepreneurs. How do you divide your time to tackle everything on your plate?
In my opinion I sleep too much! Haha! Sleep definitely becomes an issue especially times like this past weekend, I flew to after a late studio night to DJ Hakkasan 's 3rd anniversary party Friday, then played a pool party during the day Saturday, then flew to LA Saturday night to play a party. I sleep most on airplanes.
2. Playing upwards of 200 shows per year, what do you keep in your travel survival bag? Does that bag include any extra special add-ons for your Neon Carnival set this year that we can look forward to? Any peeks into your set that you can share with us?
Of course the essentials: computers, SD cards, cables, passport etc. a weird one is I always travel with Neosporin, it's always needed, we get beat up on the road...little scrapes, cuts etc.
I'm probably gonna have a pretty nasty Guns N' Roses edit for Neon Carnival! It's probably my favorite party of the year, whether I'm performing or not.
3. Speaking of Neon Carnival, will you be attending this year's Coachella Music Festival? If so, what artist(s) are you most looking forward to seeing front row center?
I go every year, it's an LA kids "sandlot." We have so much fun out there, my whole crew in the desert jamming. It's just such good times. Ice Cube! Flume! A$AP Rocky, Black Coffee, Guns N' Roses! Major Lazer!!
4. For someone who has traveled the world and graced the stage of so many incredible venues, was there a particular moment along the way when you had to pinch yourself to make sure it wasn't all a dream? And is there still a venue out there that's on your bucket list to play?
There is still so much territory to cover! I feel like I have been to so few places and played so few shows, that's just my outlook. Of course, that's not the truth, I just have a thirst for travel and will never stop exploring the planet we live on. I have several dream scenarios, some I'm going after, some are just dreams out of respect for the music integrity of the venue. I would have to say DC-10 in Ibiza, Circoloco Monday at sundown is my #1 then to headline main stage at Glastonbury or Coachella would be amazing.
I've had to pinch myself at so many star-studded events like Diddy's birthday, Naomi Campbell's birthday in India and Egypt. Places I just would have never imagined I would set foot on, much less perform.
5. I'm sure there are many, but who was your all-time favorite pop act growing up? Why were they everything to you? Would you say they were your biggest influence to date? If not, who holds that crown and why?
I would have to say Michael Jackson, he was an influence for sure, otherwise as much as I like pop music and respect how great the production is from song to video there isn't a pop band that I can say I was soooo influenced by I'm more of an alternative underground, rock and rap.
6. Congratulations are your jewelry line launch with Roxhouse. Can you tell our readers how that came to fruition and where the inspiration was derived from? Was there a "holy shit x was wearing a piece from the collection" moment?
I say that about every piece anyone wears because I'm flattered people like what it is. The line came about from a need to find a somewhat bohemian style way to add a little pizazz, that isn't too expensive, not gaudy or flashy but carries a natural energy along with solid necklaces. I happened to run into the Roxhouse founder Alexis Geller, at a restaurant and she was wearing exactly what I was looking for. It was a newly started company called Roxhouse and she gifted me a piece and then we decided we should do a collaboration.
7. Lastly, the obligatory question of What can we expect from you in the coming months/year ahead? Anything exciting on the horizon we should know about and share with the universe? Do you promise to tell KKS next time you play in LA? Pinky promise?
I played 1OAK this past Saturday to get warmed up for Coachella, next time you have to come rock with me. The rest of 2016 is going to be very exciting. I am featured in the Under Armour #TightForTomorrow campaign, lots of new music on the way, and some great brand partnerships to announce!