In Conversation With: Dana Ruh
We spent some time catching up with Berliner and Cocoon affiliate Dana Ruh, to talk about her album, how she goes about carving out a unique sound, and Cocoon – for whom she’ll be appearing this Saturday at Greenwich’s Studio 338.
Hi Dana. How are you, how has summer been, what’s good, what’s bad?
Hey, thank you for having me. I’m really good. I had an amazing summer so far and I’m sad its coming to the end. Only good things happened, nothing bad!
How did you first hook up with Cocoon? What’s it like working with them?
I’ve been with Cocoon since the beginning of 2013. They knew me because I was working together with Galluzzi on some music. We produced some records. They first heard me at the Zoo Project Festival, where Cocoon hosted a stage. I was a resident, and played a lot for Zoo Project, so I played the first set of the day on the Cocoon stage. The tent filled up immediately, and the event managers were quite impressed. After that a booker from Cocoon contacted me and thing went from there. Working with them is very good as they are a lovely and very professional team. They have experience and are really on-point when it comes to work. Also my booker always has good advice for me, and I trust them.
Do you produce with the label in mind?
I never produce with a label in mind… I make music how I feel. I can only work like this. I make the music that I like and if I play it and somebody likes it too, and we share the same feeling about it, it makes me happy. I’m not really sending out demos… I make the music for myself and maybe it comes out as a release.
“As an artist I have no limits because everything is connected to my feelings and my heart.”
For your debut album do you feel your sound changed? What did you do differently?
My sound did not change at all. If you listen back to some releases I did, you can clearly hear influences – i.e. the EP on Work Them records, Opuntia on Brouqade, or Sulidae on Brouqade, or a track i did for Channel Zoo records…
I have a wide range of sounds. I consider myself an artist and as an artist I have no limits because everything is connected to my feelings and my heart. I have tons of music that is ready on my computer. The album showed one side of me.
“Whatever you do make sure you don’t owe anything to somebody.”
How do you feel about it now you look back, was it what you aimed for? Would you change anything about it?
I’m very happy with what I achieved. And I’m even more happy that I achieved everything by myself. Somebody said once to me: ‘Whatever you do make sure you don’t owe anything to somebody.’ It’s exactly how I think. I am responsible for myself and I work to achieve my goals.
You play Studio 338 soon, what should people expect, what will you pack for a London gig?
I can’t really say what I will do because I never make plans for a set. It depends on the people, on the room. I always play how I feel and how the energy is.
What’s it like playing in London compared with Berlin? How do crowds and vibes differ?
I can’t really answer that. We are all connected through the music and it doesn’t matter where we are.
What have been the biggest barriers you have faced in getting yourself to where you are?
I think being not so social networking can be a barrier. I was in the studio nearly all the time to make my music. I am shy and I think if you know more people it helps, but I wasn’t really good at that.
What do you like to do outside of music? How do you like to spend your hard-earned?
I love to travel, to read books, to drive around with a car, meet friends, watch movies, have nice food.
What else have you got coming up?
I will play some more gigs, which I’m looking forward to. And also some more music will come out. I always keep myself busy 🙂
You can see Dana alongside Sven Vath, Carola Pisaturo and Seb Zito this Saturday at Studio 338. Tickets & info here.