Local Rockstars: How Tom Ruijg went from hardcore and hardstyle to house

Local Rockstars: How Tom Ruijg went from hardcore and hardstyle to house

Nov 21, 2012 |  by  |  Music
About the author
Born and raised in Amsterdam, lives to dance and dances to live on electronic music, has a small vinyl addiction, appreciates a little sarcasm now and then, thinks musicals are annoying and loves those moments where you lose track of time completely.

Whether you went out last weekend to check out an uber-geeky beat magician or a depressingly awesome indie rock band, we all know there’s always some serious musical talents rocking around the Dam. You might not recognize them all yet, but don’t worry, you will soon. In this series of interviews we talk to remarkable artists about their music and their inspirations.

Tom Ruijg is no rookie. He has been DJing since 2007 and by the looks of it, he’s not going anywhere soon. With gigs at Studio 80 and big festivals such as Time Warp Holland Tom is on top of the Dutch house scene. Although it looks like we’re going to have to share him with other countries more and more, since he has some releases coming up at a French label.

I like to get to know the DJs I talk to a little bit first. And what’s a better way to do this than some fun and quick ultimatums?

Intimate club vs big ass festival
Performing vs producing
Indoor festival vs outdoor festival
Remixing or being remixed
Drugs vs alcohol
Commercial club vs illegal rave

In 2004 you first came into contact with electronic music. Seems logical since you grew up in Amsterdam. Can you remember your first party?
“When I was 16 years old, you could find me at the big hardcore and hardstyle parties. My first house party was 24hourpartypeople in the Powerzone with Eric de Man. Later in that same year I first went to Awakenings Festival. I initially went there for their hard techno tent, but they couldn’t drag me away from the mainstage where Melon and Villalobos were playing. That was the moment I fell in love, or as they say in Dutch ‘ik was verkocht’.”

Three years later you decided to start DJing yourself. How did this happen?
“I once played one record at the home of Olf en Jorn, my booker. That didn’t go really well, which gave me the drive to really succeed. When I finally got it I started to buy records myself and developed an interest in a certain style. I did this together with Tommy Kornuijt. After a lot of long night sessions at his place I finally bought my own turntables (which were the most rotten technics that exist). My first gig followed and then things just started rolling.”

What would your perfect setting for a set be?
“That’s simple. A great sound system, proper working turntables and an audience that’s there just for the music.”

What’s the best club in Amsterdam?
“This is a hard one. I think Studio 80 when it comes to atmosphere, and Trouw location-wise.”

What’s your latest genius discovery, artist or track?
“The Stalactite mix from Need Ur Love by Callisto. This is actually a rediscovery, since I played this track a couple of years ago as well. It just stays damn fine. “

What music do you listen to yourself, apart from electronic music?
“I have to confess that I almost listen to electronic music only. When it’s not electronic it’s soul, funk and disco most of the time. The music I got from my parents.”

Some exciting releases are coming up for you. Tell me more.
“Yes I know! At the end of this month my EP will be released on Karat Records. This is a really cool French label where Guilliame & The Coutu Dumonts, Cabanne and Sonja Moonear release. I’m also happy that after Space Frase another track is being released on the new Hot Waves compilation in the beginning of 2013. But I’m keeping that one a secret for now.”

Tomorrow night you play in Studio 80 at WKND. What can we expect?
“A constructive openingset, so that my good friend Boris Werner is able to completely burn the house down.”


When: 22nd of November, 23:00-03:00
Where: Studio 80
Tickets: €6,- (free before midnight)

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