While the new age generation of DJs is running behind the Digital Complexities, Dana Ruh has been consistently deliver the analogue perfection. Dana’s early Berlin influences and her constant hunger for better herself has fueled her career. An artist who believes firmly in dedication and passion to one’s art and adds these emotions into her music, Dana Ruh is one of our absolute favourites. We invited Dana to have a sit-down with us at Epizode in Phu Quoc, Vietnam. We spoke about her early career, her record label and their plans for 2019 and much more. Read the full interview below.
Hi Dana, great to have you at CME. Hope you are having a good time at Epizode.
I am having a lovely time, I am loving it here.
Its been almost a week since you are in phu quoc, what do you feel about the crowd and the energy of the festival?
For me episode its special because its open air and in the nature, and a good chance to escape the winter in Europe as the weather here is nice and warm.
The vibe and the people here are so friendly too, I have the best time here .
You recently had a massive 6 city Australia tour, how did that go ?
Australia has always been very good for me, I have been going there for the last 3 years in winters for 2 weeks tour. The scene there is growing a lot and I have lot of friends there now too.
Talking about your music career, what got you into the music scene?
My mother is the main reason who brought me into music, she had a lot of records and used to listen to a lot of music. Growing up I learnt to play the guitar and also got into a band but I did not find my way till I was 16-18 years old, and I was also influenced by friends. Then I also started collecting more records and that’s how I got into the whole scene.
People often say that techno has killed the house music scene but you have managed to hold the perfect blend of both, how do do managed that ?
Thank you for saying that, I really appreciate it. Well I think that if you want to be a good DJ you need to learn how to blend genres. As an artist you should never limit yourself and constantly try to find the track that fit your groove and your vibe and meld them together. There is so much new stuff going on in the techno music scene and you can always mix it together with house music to create something special and that’s what I really love to do.
Could you tell us more about your label ‘Brokuqade’ how did the idea come to launch a label and what challenges you face when you are on tour and simultaneously have to concentrate on the label music as well.
My label is doing really good, its been 11 years now I am running it and its been a lovely journey. Its always a learning experience running a label, you work with some people and then you part ways with them. The parts are always moving and all you need to do is keep moving forward. I was some really amazing artists signed on the label and this year is already shaping up well as we have some albums and a lot of new music in general, 2019 is going to be the next step for the label and I am really excited about it. Coming to managing both the parts DJing and handling the label, I have always been working hard as I used to work in a TV production company for almost 10 years and that thought me a lot of discipline which really helps me.
The Cocoon has been an integral part of your journey and is still there. Could you tell us how the cocoon family has helped to shape your career?
Working with Cocoon is really good, they are very professional and opened up new opportunities for me. But in the end I am the one who shaped my career, I do everything for myself. Its always good to have a platform that helps your career but if you need someone else to shape your career then you are doing something wrong. It always has to be a healthy exchange where they do something for you and you give them good music in return.
You come from the Mecca of techno ‘berlin’ how do you think Berlin has influenced the techno scene around the world, specially in smaller countries?
I think it helped a lot, when the east and west came together there was this movement that started which brought the two cultured together. There was a lot of club culture influence in east berlin which was made available to everybody. As an artist you could come and stay in east berlin where the rent was affordable and you could play gigs whilst working a day job. You also meet a lot of people from the scene and exchange ideas with them.
A little fun question, How many vinyls does danah own ? And If you have to keep just one record and give everything away, which one would that be.
Aahh i don’t really have an exact count, but I would say somewhere around 9000 and the collection only keeps growing. I have a lot of shelves in my home and also lot of records in the studio as well. If I ever had to keep just one record it would be The Beatles because it was the first record that I ever listen to and it belonged to my mother, so its special to me.
Any advice for the young and upcoming artists who want to start djing as their career?
Always keep working, be disciplined. Enjoy life but at the same time stay focused and find your own way. Do not try to be somebody else, have good network but don’t be complaisant by thinking that only a good network can help you because at some point you have to deliver as an artist which is very important.