I had the chance to talk to Toronto’s very own Ruben “HYDEE” Reyes, one of Embrace‘s long time residents who’s opened for artists like Skrillex, Nero, Flux Pavillion and many more. He’s played at WEMF and Digital Dreams and soon to play again at the Hoxton this August 22nd alongside Kill Paris, Dr. Ozi and Decibel. This expert in drum & bass as well as dubstep has again and again proved to be a leader in the scene with his skills, experience, and motivation. I’ve seen him play a countless number of times in Toronto and he always knows how to set people off and get the good vibes goin’ for the night. Get to know another artist in your city who loves music just as much as you do.
1. How did you get started in Toronto’s Bass scene?
I started going to Bassmentality and checked out Zeds Dead and the Killabits. I got hooked up with Embrace and they started booking me for shows and for Bassmentality. That’s basically how it started.
2. Do you still play the drums and have you ever considered recording drums for production purposes?
I haven’t played the drums in probably, 5 years now. Although I did start almost 20 years ago, but I just don’t have any of the space or equipment to record the drums, otherwise that would definitely be a cool thing to do.
3. Would you say you have your own style of mixing or that you have many influences from other DJs?
I feel like I’ve been influenced by other DJs, but also at the same time, I do throw in my own style where I just like to keep it heavy and flowing, keep you guessing a little bit with some surprises, keep the vibes going and have a good time.
4. How does it feel to see the Bass scene grow over the past few years, let alone be seen as a leader?
I love it. Toronto’s got a huge bass scene. There’s so much talent comes out of here, and so much talent comes through here. We got huge festivals like Digital Dreams and Veld, as well as big powerhouse promotional companies like Embrace, Destiny, Live Nation, INK… you know the talent is endless and the scene is amazing. It just keeps growing and growing and I love it.
5. Who do you think is reinventing the bass scene right now?
Well there’s a lot of big influences right now like Tantrum Desire, Metrik, Shockone. As for dubstep, Zomboy is fucking amazing, Cookie Monsta crushes it… there’s too many names to specify but there’s a lot of good heads out there.
6. Drum and Bass has always seemed to bring in the best crowds. Do you think DnB will ever become commercialized EDM, especially after being featured on Z103.5’s Drive at 5 Street Mix?
Z103.5 was doing a promotional feature for local artists in the Digital Dreams festival lineup. I don’t think it’ll ever become commercialized, but it was good to get it out there as good exposure. But Drum and Bass will forever be a part of the underground scene, it’ll always be there. I don’t think it’ll ever be commercialized though, I hope not anyways.
7. Which artists are still on our bucket list to open for/ play with/ collab with?
Sub Focus would be amazing to play with. Metrik, I really love him. I would love to play with him one day. Barely Alive, those guys are amazing. Bear Grillz… there’s tons! But I have already played with a lot, so that’s actually a hard questions for me to choose.
8. The Dubstep scene in thriving in the US compared to Canada. Do you think the Dubstep scene is dying over here like people say?
Hell no, I mean look at tonight (Zomboy The Outbreak Tour, June 20) ; it’s pretty slammed in there and its not even 12 o’clock yet. I think Dubstep just kind of grew really fast and artists are just getting paid a ridiculous amount of money because it grew that fast until it plateaued a bit. I think it’s a little bit in hibernation, but I don’t think it’s dead by any means. Skrillex just came through Toronto and there were 10,000 people there. Digital Dreams has a bunch of huge artists, and now Zomboy and Cookie Monsta are here. Definetly not dead.
How stoked are you for the Kill Paris and Dr. Ozi show at the Hoxton in August? Have you played with locals Dr. Ozi before? What do you think of their tracks?
I’m actually really excited. I believe this is their first show at the Hoxton. Nix and Christian are really good guys. I’ve seen them grow from the beginning. They make solid tracks, they’re dedicated, they love what they do. I love their attitude and I can’t wait to share the stage with them and have a really good night.
Do you see a strong alliance forming among local Toronto Djs?
There’s some DJs who work together. I think strength in numbers is key. If you have people working against each other then it really doesn’t help anyone. Everyone should be working in the same direction full force, working together to make the scene that much better.
What inspires you to keep pushing yourself every day?
Basically just for the love of music. I’ve had a passion for music ever since I was a kid. My dad was a musician, my brother is a musician, my sister is a singer. Music is in my blood and I just love playing it and making people dance. I love seeing people go off and seeing the positive energy that music brings.
What kind of original material can we expect from you in the near-future? Any collabs?
To be honest, I haven’t produced in a couple years and it’s only being due to being crazy busy with work and Djing, but I’d love to get back into it. Hopefully sooner than later and hopefully I can perfect my own craft in time to collaborate with some other artists.
Serafina Thoma – EDM TOR