FIT Radio flew DJ Ri (pronounced rye) and Craig Smoove to Atlanta back in December to spin at one of the Top 3 Nightclubs in the country, Opera Nightclub. A little bit during and after their set, FIT Radio’s Music Director, Chris Rimby, had a chance to hang out with them and said they were pretty cool dudes… we couldn’t agree more! With so much going on like iClub blowing up and a never ending schedule of events to spin, DJ Ri doesn’t let it all get to his head. He is your typical California boy who enjoys kickin’ it at the pier or surfing some waves. And after the interview we found he’s got a bit of an adventurous side to him as well! Read on to discover more about one of our favorite FIT Radio DJs, DJ Ri…
Where are you from?
Foothills outside Sacramento: Born and Raised, but the playground is where I spent most of my days.
Where do you live now?
San Diego, California. Came here for college (SDSU, just graduated in 2011 Woo!) and I currently do not have any intentions of leaving.
In brief, how did you start iClub?
In Brief… man this is going to be a bit hard. Originally started ‘iClub’ in the summer of 2009 and decided to invest some downtime into figuring out how to start a podcast on iTunes. In conjunction with having a large social network of friends in College to send to download the show, iClub ended up charting on the Music section. Fast-forward 3 years and we now have 9 channels and edging close to 3 million downloads.
What is your favorite movie?
Where is your favorite place to spin?
I love traveling/tourist-ing so anywhere outside San Diego. Last year Ireland and Switzerland were pretty big highlights. It’s awesome to see how different countries react to music styles.
What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Ben & Jerry’s – Oreo Mint or Apple Gelato.
Where is your favorite place in the world?
Costa Rica. I have driven just about everywhere you can drive there. Great Surf, and relatively cheap still if you stay on the outskirts of towns, however Stockholm, and Barcelona are pretty close to a 3-way tie.
Do you have an idol? If so, who?
When I first started DJing in clubs I was pretty star-struck whenever I played with nationally touring DJs or celebrity artists/rappers/singers, however overtime I’ve come to realize that everyone regardless of their title, fame, or fortune is a human being at the end of the day. Since I’ve bridged that mental gap I’ve found it better not to idolize anyone. There are people I respect more than others as really good DJs, but like any profession you begin to become friends with people in your work with, and I’m now friends with a lot of the guys that I used to get nervous being in the DJ booth with.
What made you get into music and DJing?
I’ve been involved with music since I was really young, but I got into DJing in college. SDSU used to be a notorious party school and had a great atmosphere to learn how to DJ. If you could come by some equipment there was always a party somewhere looking for a DJ. I started DJing at house and Fraternity parties and learned a lot from that scene. It was an invaluable experience to prepare for professionally DJing at Clubs.
What is the craziest thing you have ever done?
Probably paragliding. Got my paragliding license right after I graduated high school and flew for about a year till I had a couple downdraft scares and retired my wing. What can happen is since a paraglider is essentially a parachute, the wing can partially collapse when there’s a downdraft. When that happens you pretty much free fall for a few feet till it re-opens. Decided it was just a little bit too risky to be doing regularly at 18, haha.
What is your favorite thing about being a DJ?
It’s really cool to see the energy you can create with a crowd. When everything comes together, the venue, the promoters, the sound, the lighting, it’s awesome to be the guy in the cockpit creating the musical atmosphere.
What is your favorite track at this moment in time?
House: Digitalism – Circles (Eric Prydz Remix)
Dubstep: Xilent – Skyward II
Indie: Avalanche City
What type of equipment do you use?
(2) Technic Turntables
DJM 900 Mixer
MicroKorg Midi Controller
Ableton Live for PreProduction (Edits, Mashups)
What is the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
Hands-down: creating the iClub Podcast network. Most of my free time over the last 3 years has gone into creating, producing, and managing iClub and my (awesome) team of podcast producers.
Runner up: remodeling & managing a house I lived in while going to SDSU. To summarize it: repainting and re-flooring the interior and exterior of a 12 bedroom house myself for 2 months prior to move-in, and then managing 12 guys for a year, trying to keep everyone from being evicted. All bills were under my name: electricity bill alone averaged around $1,500 a month and the security deposit was $18,000. By the time the lease ended we lost nearly $9,000 of the security deposit to damages on the property. Was one helluva year though…
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Creative, Driven, & Determined
What is something no one knows about you?
I grew up in a rural town in the foothills, 1 hour outside of Sacramento, and didn’t have a TV or microwave till we moved to Sacramento when I was around 13.
What do you do when you aren’t spinning?
I work on various side projects: iClub (iTunes), iClub.fm (Website), and track edits. For leisure, I live on the boardwalk in Mission Beach and surf when the waves are good.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I’m pretty young (24) for my positioning in the DJ game right now, so hopefully in 10 years I am touring a bit more often. I would like to get more into music production as well.
What is one thing you’ve never done before, but plan on doing?
iClub DJ Tour of Asia, hopefully sometime in the 2nd half of 2012.
What do you eat for breakfast?
Eggs Benedict whenever its available on the menu.
What do you order at the bar?
Craft Beer. If I don’t recognize the name, I’ll typically order it.
What are your thoughts on FIT Radio?
Really stoked to be a part of FIT Radio. It is a great outlet to feature all the content we compile for iClub. We’ve never had any intentions on trying to launch a smartphone app because it is so expensive, so it’s a great relationship between FIT and iClub.