RUBY – A BIOGRAPHY
DJ / Producer / Remixer / Promoter
In the comparatively insular yet highly active Maltese clubbing scene, the talents you find behind every pair of decks within this little but full-blooded archipelago of islands bang in the middle of the Mediterranean are nothing short of talented and promising. However, talent and promise are attributes that can only be judged properly by none other than Malta’s fervent Dance community. If you had to come over and ask these very same clubbers who is the first DJ that comes to mind, chances are that the monosyllabic reply ‘Ruby’ comes out without a nuance of hesitation. And why you may ask? Because simply put, DJ Ruby is the most ardently followed DJ in the Maltese islands. Regardless of any sub-genre of Dance music they listen to, many would admit that the delicate assumption of ‘No. 1 DJ’ over here is deservedly his, such is the consistency that this man has delivered to dancefloors nationwide and Europe-wide too. What follows leaves no stone unturned in stating that Ruby is not a name that has just been around for a smattering of months spreading himself as a current but temporary flavor, but an institution that has evolved over 15 years of hard work, forward-thinking attitude and equally advanced talent laced with a passionate and raw drive that none on this island have ever bettered. Fact.
From his humble beginnings in the game starting out with a mobile disco together with his brother, it was the latter’s untimely passing away that made him quit from the mobile disco business only to immediately return a much stronger and driven individual in tandem with a mission that carried a musical torch inherited by his singer-songwriter parents, albeit in a different format. The flame emanating from that torch was first noticed by one of the all-time greats of the nascent and present local dance movement, David Dee, who spirited out Ruby out of the first club he ever resided in (Swiss Chalet) to one of the biggest clubs there was at the time, namely Generator. That was followed by further residencies within every club that was pivotal to the Dance music explosion that took off in the Maltese islands in the early 90’s, namely Tremors, Miracles, and the still-influential Places in Malta’s main entertainment Mecca Paceville, wowing everyone with his dexterity as well with his innate, energetic grasp of dancefloor dynamics and party atmosphere. But Ruby wasn’t going to rest of his laurels (as if such a term can be applied to his hectic schedule!) – he transferred those very same qualities on the airwaves by simultaneously hosting a show on the late Live FM radio station, playing an instrumental part in bringing Dance music further into the mainstream in the process, as well as endearing him to a huge fan base that follows him passionately everywhere he plays to this very day.
Working With International Artists
It would take a heftily-sized book to name Ruby’s full list of achievements here but, as Malta’s dance scene moved on from strength to strength throughout the years right up until now, Ruby was, is, and will always be consistent and present with any superstar international DJ that visits Malta, and not to mention some of the leading lights he has shared decks with would be nothing short of a great inJustice. To mention a few, Sasha, Paul Oakenfold, Tiesto, Carl Cox, Paul Van Dyk, Pete Tong, Armin Van Buuren, Darren Emerson and Faithless visits to Malta were all accompanied by Ruby, as were a fair number of others found on DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs list such as Erick Morillo, Roger Sanchez, Dave Seaman DJ Chus, Nick Warren, X-Press 2, David Morales, Frankie Knuckles, DJ Sneak and the list goes on and on. When it comes to appearances with world-wide renowned dance music organizations the list is equally impressive: He is resident DJ at the regular Renaissance events which are held In Malta. Ministry of Sound, Pacha, Naughty but Nice, Cream, Godskitchen, Space, Progress, Miss Moneypennys, Bora Bora, Tribal Gathering and even MTV have all also taken Ruby onboard on their stops to this DJ’s native isles.
A special mention must also go out to the numerous lists of local awards that stem from his inspirational performances both for radio and clubs from 1997 to 2003 – the year that had seen Ruby win two awards: Best Club DJ at the Malta Music Awards, and Best House DJ at the Malta DJ Awards. But the most prestigious of all came in 2004, when Ruby won “Malta’s Most Popular DJ” by the notorious TV network – MTV. Most recently, Ruby even scored big in the local awards area, namely in the best remix category at the 2005 Bay Music Awards for his interpretation of Ira Losco’s ‘Love Me Or Hate Me’.
However, these aforementioned awards do not seem to be rewarded solely on Ruby’s local appearances alone. On the contrary, his hypnotic blend of grooves has taken him abroad many a time, and as you read this, he might be spinning in a European club right now. Ruby’s slew of European appearances took off back in January 1998 at Naughty But Nice in Hereford’s Crystal Rooms back in the UK, where he shared the booth with John ‘00’ Fleming, Judge Jules, Scott Bond, Lisa Lashes and the late, great, Tony De Vit, followed soon after by appearances across Germany and Eastern Europe for influential German label MFS. His visits to Poland in particular saw crowds hit the roof with his regular sets at Warsaw clubs together with the most prolific Progressive promoters in the country – Sentence. Those appearances are complimented further with regular visits to Plovdiv, Sofia and Varna in Bulgaria together with the Electrica DJ Team, the Balkan’s biggest promoters. Another international residency was his bi-monthly appearance with Eternity in Palermo, were his past gigs in the Sicilian Island already saw Ruby playing with Timo Maas, Paolo Martini (Bini & Martini), The Pasta Boys and Alex Benedetti amongst others. The MIllenium Club in Bournemouth (UK) and Nightlife Club in San Antonio (Ibiza) were other clubs that Ruby has played in.
In June 2005 Ruby joined Czech DJ management ‘Krafty’, which now takes care of his international bookings. This renowned organization already granted Ruby regular gigs in Ukraine, Lithuania, India, Hong Kong as well as the Timewarp & Transmission festivals both held in the Czech capital Prague – previous editions of these festivals featured some of the world’s finest DJs including Sven Vath, Mauro Picotto, Marco V, ATB, Markus Schulz, Above & Beyond and MIKE. More bookings at other international destinations are to follow very soon.
Needless to say, publicity has been instrumental in elevating Ruby’s status. Besides the endless glut of interviews, mentions of constant high praise bestowed on him by a press that follows his every move as his fans do, even acclaimed European dance magazines seem to be fascinated with Ruby. DJ Mag (UK) even going so far as to knight him as ’Malta’s favourite DJ’ in three separate issues. Ruby also put his fair share of journalistic work via his ’Ruby’s Vital Grooves’ column, the staple yet avidly read column that used to appear on the groundbreaking yet defunct local music publication Dansezee. Nowadays, Ruby is contributing to Juice magazine
He also holds the distinction of being the first Maltese ever to host a MTV Europe show, a one-off edition of the hugely popular ‘Dancefloor Show’ back in July 2002. February 2005 also saw famous German news TV station N24 featuring DJ Ruby on one of its popular travel shows, showcasing Malta, its culture, its party scene and everything related to DJ Ruby, his work and projects. Lately, he also was the host to local reality TV show DJ Challenge.
As for promoting, this is where this multi-talented individual shines as brightly as he does in his sets and earns his high standing within the Maltese Dance community – say hello to Pure Promotions.
Co-owned and heavily driven by Ruby himself, Pure Promotions events have steadily risen, attained and maintained a standard which has many clubbers collect and trade memories from every event that he has promoted like kids trade Pokemon cards! The reasoning behind this surreal yet legitimate observation is simple – every Pure Promotions event is a night where the DJs within these events walk out of the DJ booth mightily impressed with the excellent organization, packed out venues, as well as the lively interaction between them and the eager and up-for-it local clubbers that are a staple feature of Pure Promotions events throughout.
Pure legendary parties already featured renowned DJ`s & promoters of the likes of Paul Van Dyk, John 00 Fleming, Dave Seaman, DJ Chus, Angello & Ingrosso, Nic Fanciulli, Dr. Kucho, Alex Neri, Wally Lopez, Luke Chable, Renaissance & Space amongst others. Together with an immense list of weekly clubnights all over the length and breadth of the islands, ‘Ruby & Friends’ bi-monthly nights are the big cherry on top of a very luscious cake that defines seven years of influential yet unforgettable clubbing given by the man himself.
The present sees Ruby streaming his local schedule to three DJ residencies; weekly at Places and Eyecon, both situated in the heart of Malta’s entertainment area Paceville, as well as at the spectacular open air club Numero Uno in Ta Qali with their ‘Sunset Sundays’ weekly throughout the summer months. Punctuated in between are guest appearances both in Malta and worldwide, whilst his much-followed ’Ruby’s Vital Grooves’ radio show on 89.7 Bay Radio is also a weekly must listen for any Dance fan out there.
As for the future, part of it is already here now… Ruby’s debut as an recording artist kick started brightly with his first release outing ‘Pure Stimulation’ on Czech label F2 Recordings, whilst his latest release on Dutch-based label Fektive (‘Modulation Error’) is picking up plaudits as you read this. Remixing work is also already looking bright for Ruby too, via two remixes for the island’s most renowned singer – Ira Losco, the latest for her being his version of ‘Accident Prone’.
How the rest of his career follows from here on is anybody’s positive guess, but rest assured that his army of admirers and followers can really tell you where Ruby will reach next, not in words and seductive hyperbole like this biography you’re reading, but in a globally recognized body language that hypnotically heaves in time to the beat of the drum-dancing. In every event where Ruby is seen behind the decks, the dancing doesn’t stop…
“I’ve played alongside Ruby a couple of times and each time he was burning up the floor! The crowd loves him, he always plays quality and groovy dance music… no wonder he’s considered Malta’s no1 DJ” — Dr Kucho (disc doctor records)
“I`ve played with Ruby for the first time back in 1995, I could already tell that he had a great talent when it comes to pleasing the crowd whilst keeping his own style. Now that he is also producing i’m sure that it won’t be long till he’s recognized all over the globe!” — John 00 Fleming (joof recordings)
“DJ Ruby kicked off his career back in the days when the Rhythm Masters were formed in Malta. We left the island for a better future in the UK, but Ruby stayed there working his ass off to make Malta what it is now – a true heaven for clubbers!” — Rob Tuesday Child (rhythm masters)
“3000 people dancing under the stars at a club night called Sunset Sundays in Malta. It’s the way Space terrace in Ibiza should be! One man is responsible for this – DJ Ruby a major player on the Maltese scene” — Tom Kihl (DJ magazine Aug 2004)
“…whilst in the other arena, packed with the thousands present, Malta’s no. 1 DJ Ruby (who has already a lot of experience in the international scene), has the crowd in the palm of his hand!” — Thomas H. Green (DJ Magazine March 1998)
“His performance was awesome! Terrific mixing and a unique sound! Ruby got on after my set at a Renaissance event in Malta. It is not surprising that one of the world’s most renowned dance music organizations like Renaissance have DJ Ruby as their resident and promoter in Malta.” — Luke Chable