Ruff Avalon (NL): “Wanted to devote life to music”

DJ ruff with record bag
In 2017 I had a chat with the Dutch DJ Ruff, who lives in the USA. We met at a bar in Zaandam, where he was playing.

This post is also available in: Nederlands (Dutch)

In 2017 I had a chat with the Dutch DJ Ruff, who resides in the United States. Many months after that, he video-called me from LA, directly from Marco Carola's house, where a huge beach party was going on. That was my first virtual meet with Marco.

dj ruff behind the decks nu  - Ruff Avalon (NL): "Wanted to devote life to music"

“I 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 jaar 768x1024 - Ruff Avalon (NL): "Wanted to devote life to music"


“In those days my mom took me at least twice a week to a roller-disco in Amsterdam. It was situated below the Bijenkorf on the Dam. The name of the disco was Het Nijlpaard (The Hippopotamus). 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, where I sometimes was allowed to play at parties that my father used to throw. Around my fifteenth I moved to Barcelona. Not after arriving there,  I acquired a DJ-residency in a club called Bali. My first big gig was at a beach party, where the line-up included Sonique (S-Express) and Funk D Void. I had just turned sixteen.”

dj ruff als tiener - Ruff Avalon (NL): "Wanted to devote life to music"

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 met dimitri - Ruff Avalon (NL): "Wanted to devote life to music"

Beach club

“Luckily I was supported by many people. Everyone who knew me from my residency-bar was present. Ik was ready for it! The gig itself went great. I even became the new resident-DJ of the beach club. Luckily I didn’t make many mistakes. On the contrary, the set went better than I had expected.”

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 met platentas vroeger - Ruff Avalon (NL): "Wanted to devote life to music"


“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 (NL).”

“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)

This article is originally published on February 23d 2017 on

Who is Ruff?

DJ Ruff from Avalon in Hollywood and many more clubs all over the world. Listen to his amazing sets at Bardot Room upstairs of Avalon where he plays almost every Saturday when he’s in Los Angeles. His sets never fail to get the dance floors crowded and pumped with energy. During his many years working as a professional DJ, his music is constantly evolving and expanding. DJ Ruff is very versatile and unique when it comes to different styles of house music, whether it’s techhouse, deephouse, techno or Ibiza partyhouse.

Amsterdam native DJ Ruff began his dj career at the age of 12. His twenty plus years as a professional DJ brings a sound that is driven to get you moving and shaking. His dedication, passion, and energy for the music continues to exceed all expectations. Later he moved to Spain where he won the ‘Best International house DJ’, joining the ranks of previous winners, Erick Morillo and Danny Tenaglia. DJ Ruff’s releases include Keep Grooving, Tribangles, Something for your mind, Flow, Work it Out, ‘LA Girls’, and many more…

DJ Ruff plays weekly with the cream of world DJs such as Tenaglia, Carl Cox, Dirty South, Roger Sanchez, Steve Lawler, Deep Dish, Tiesto and E. Morillo, just to name a few. His long-standing residency at Avalon Hollywood is still going strong. In addition, he was also a resident dj at Bora Bora, Matinee and at Space Ibiza for 3 years, as well as at Club Escape in Amsterdam.

DJ Ruff spends every summer performing in in Ibiza and Barcelona’s finest clubs. Besides this he spends most of his time in the studio. DJ Ruff hosted his own radio shows Something for your Mind and Element Radio. His dedication, passion, and energy for the music continues to exceed all expectations.

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