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My First Gig DJ Ruff (The Netherlands)

Dutch version published on February 23d 2017 on


Every DJ remembers it well: the first time playing outside of the safe walls of their own bedroom and suddenly finding themselves in front of an audience – however big or small. Did they prepare their set or not, and how about those nerves? Often started out with vinyl, many as well took possession of the digital world and are still going strong. This week we talked to the Dutch DJ Ruff.

DJ Ruff Avalon English Marcelineke

“I already fell in love with music and vinyl when I was three years old. My whole family was into music and I grew up with music all around me, every single day. By the time I was six years old, I knew that I wanted to devote my life to music and wanted to become a DJ when I grew up.”

DJ Ruff 3 years Marcelineke


“In those days my mom took me at least twice a week to a roller-disco in Amsterdam (The Netherlands). It was situated below the Bijenkorf on the Dam. The name of the disco was Het Nijlpaard (The Hippopotamus, red.). My mother was around thirty years of age and she was a DJ as well: every summer she went to the Spanish Lloret de Mar to play in the famous night club The Music Star.”


“Sadly my mother got caught up in a car-accident; she died when I was eleven. Not long after the accident, we moved to Paris (France), where I sometimes was allowed to play at house parties that my father used to throw. Around my fifteenth I moved to Barcelona (Spain). Not after arriving there,  I acquired a DJ-residency in a club called Bali. My first big gig was during a beach party, where the line-up also included Sonique (S-Express) and Funk D Void. I had just turned sixteen.”

DJ Ruff teenager Marcelineke

Imported records

“I was pretty nervous for that beach gig, but I managed. In retrospective though, I think I was actually more excited than nervous. In those days I spent all my money on imported records and I was really looking forward to finally being able to play my vinyl for a large audience.”

Gay capital of the world

“That audience was a mix of people and included many tourists from over the world, since the gig was in Sitges, one of the coolest spots in Barcelona and also the gay capital of the world. I hadn’t prepared anything on beforehand and just went along with the crowd. I felt their vibe. Music was and is my passion and this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.”

DJ Ruff & DImitri marcelineke

Eating less

“That first time I learned that it’s good to check out every ‘big’ DJ who was playing somewhere in the area, even if that meant that I would have less food to eat that same week. Observing and listening to other artists allowed me to get better as well.”


“After this, Chito, his brother Cesar de Melore – one of Ibiza’s legendary DJ’s – and myself, started the first independent DJ agency in Spain, named Triceratops. Sonar didn’t exist at that point. With this agency we brought artists as Paul van Dyk, Sven Väth, Erick Morillo, Green Velvet, DJ Sneak and many others to Spain. Other first bookings we arranged where for Masters At Work, Armand van Helden and Dave Angel. We also composed the line-ups for the best Spanish clubs, like La Terrazza, Fellini and Florida 135. Aside from that I was responsible for all Mar T’s bookings (Amnesia, Ibiza) for a party called Delicatessen. Sven Väth played several times at this event, but soon he started his own event with the name Cocoon.”

DJ ruff with record bag


“Sven was like a brother to us; he visited Spain three or four times a year. In those days I also did the bookings for Amnesia in Benidorm and brought all big Dutch DJ’s of those days to headline in Spain: Dimitri, Joost van Bellen, DJ Jean & Peran, etc. Usually I was the closing DJ. DJ Peran was very impressed when he heard me play and took me to Japan and Brasil. Also he arranged a residency for me at Hour Power, on Sundays in the Amsterdam based Club Escape and at After Hour Power in Club Lexion in Zaandam (The Netherlands).”


“But it didn’t stop here. One day Peran took me to Hollywood for the grand opening of After Hour Power in that city. After my set there, Steve Castro – the largest club promoter in Los Angeles – asked me to be the resident-DJ there. And so I have been, until today, almost seventeen years now. This is probably a world record.” (laughs)







  • Eef
    01/04/2017 - 8:40 pm | Permalink

    Love you

  • 01/04/2017 - 10:38 am | Permalink

    Dj Ruff _o_

  • Ruff
    01/04/2017 - 2:19 am | Permalink

    I love it

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