Q&A: Battle of the DJs winner Dane Rucker


Source: Dane Rucker

Dane Rucker, who goes by his DJ name RUCKU5 when performing, spins his set at Dance Marathon’s Battle of the DJs. The Weinberg junior will pump up the crowd at DM next weekend.

Rachel Yang, Reporter


Between dancing, trying to stay awake and resisting the urge to crawl back into bed, Northwestern students taking part in Dance Marathon starting March 6 will also get the chance to hear RUCKU5, who is known as Weinberg junior Dane Rucker when he is not on stage. Rucker, the winner of the Battle of the DJs, will play an 80-minute set at DM. He competed against three other DJs at 27 Live on Feb. 19, and sat down with The Daily to talk about his pre-DM excitement and what originally drew him to DJing.

On what it was like to win the Battle of the DJs:

It feels great. I mean, obviously, it’s something when you start DJing, you do it because you really enjoy it and one day you hope that you’ll be able to play the music that you like for other people. So it’s a perfect opportunity to do that.

On what the experience was like:

I know I can DJ, so I definitely wasn’t nervous and I was pretty excited because there’s a lot of music recently that I was just excited to play out … a lot of my friends got really hyped for it and about 30 of them showed up and they were just going crazy, it was awesome. The best part of the competition, most exciting part, I think, was just when I was opening up, because everyone was just so excited and I was pumped up, and the intro was cool because I was the first person to play at the competition. So that was just an exciting moment.

On the tracks he played:

I played a lot of progressive house. … I really like the drops but obviously you want to play lyrics that a lot of people know, too. So, what I like to do generally, is just play a lot of lyrics that people know. And put it over a lot of songs that I like, personally.

On what made him want to be a DJ:

I’ve always been super interested in music my whole life. I used to be really into rap and stuff like that. And then I’d only listen to rap and some alternative stuff, but then senior year of high school, my friends had an extra Swedish House Mafia ticket … I was like, ‘Oh, yeah sure, why not? I’m sure it will be pretty fun.’ … So I just went and I knew it was house music, and it was the best concert I ever went to. And then after that I was like, ‘All right, I’m getting my own DJ stuff. I’m going to try this out,’ and then ever since then, I’ve just been doing it for fun.

On what inspires his work:

My inspiration is just listening to the DJs that I like. … And if you’ve been to an EDM concert, you know it’s pretty crazy and a lot of fun. And just when I hear new songs, for some reason I just picture that song playing at a music festival or really loud speakers, and it just gets me pumped up.

On getting to play at DM:

I’m so excited. I think it’s probably going to be the biggest thing I’ve ever played. … It’s a ton of fun. And it’s for a good cause. (I’m excited to) see all of my friends’ faces and just being excited and hopefully getting pumped up to see me on stage. And then, hopefully getting the crowd to start dancing, because I’m going on at such a brutal time, it’s like 4 a.m. I’m sure everyone’s going to be exhausted. Hopefully my music doesn’t annoy people and gets them to dance.

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