Trendsetters at Work, DJ Ruckus

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Playboy

Life is pretty good when you're DJ Ruckus.

The well-traveled DJ spends his time lighting up the nightlife scene in cities like Las Vegas, Los Angeles and New York City with his custom mixes. However, when he's not working on his sound, the part-time jewelry designer (and the cousin of Lenny Kravitz) is busy planning a wedding with his fianceé, Victoria's Secret model Shanina Shaik.

The man about town rarely stays put for long, but we were able to catch up with him to get all the details on his blossoming career.

How did you get started in your career? What was your first DJ gig?
As a DJ my first professional gig was at Crobar in Miami in 1999 when I was just 15 years old. It was in the VIP lounge on the top floor, which was bigger than most clubs at the time. I only had an idea of what to do and definitely was in over my head. Business picked up from there thanks to the business cards I made myself at Kinkos.

Trendsetters at Work, DJ Ruckus

Jennifer Cooper, E! Entertainment

What is a typical day like for you?
Things haven't been consistent or typical in a long time. What I do ranges from staying on top of a ridiculously large amount of music that is released every day, being in shape for a random photo shoot or having to be on a plane to somewhere far away. It's a lot to keep up with but it makes me smile. I also have a unisex jewelry line called Ruckus for Roxhouse so I am also constantly working on that as well, thinking of new designs and finding the perfect stones.

Tell us about your office.
Well, due to technology my office is very often where I make it. I love to work in spacious or pretty environments. If I'm in Miami playing at Liv, I'll sneak next door to Soho House's rooftop and setup to go over my set for the evening. A surrounding like that with the water and sunshine keeps me relaxed and focused. As for at my house in LA, I have two studio setups and three DJ setups in different rooms with different vibes.

Trendsetters at Work, DJ Ruckus

What are the most-requested songs on your playlist?
That changes so often, in fact, almost every week. My location on the map also has a lot to do with it. Usually it happens when a sort of underground artist (such as Bryson Tiller right now or Tove Lo when she was just coming out) is in their early stages of blowing up.

What inspires you when coming up with mixes?
Girls! And one in particular, first and foremost, is my fianceé. She has an unbiased music selection and she chooses what makes her move. That is most important in this business. The whole thing is about emotion: We are hired to make a group of people feel a certain way. When you can pinpoint that feeling for a whole night you are a master.

Where are your favorite places to perform? Any favorite memories?
In my eyes, I carry the best residencies in the United States. Liv in Miami is the city where it all started for me. Marquee in New York City is the best venue to DJ in NYC: It's pretty and so are the people. Mur Mur in Atlantic City is my longest running residency and truly one of my favorite trips to make from NYC to throw down a set and bring a fun crew crowd. Studio Paris in Chicago has raised a talented group of artists. 1 OAK, although from NYC, has a bigger Los Angeles venue and is bad ass. Las Vegas Hakkasan and Omnia San Diego are also the best in the business.

Trendsetters at Work, DJ Ruckus

Jennifer Cooper, E! Entertainment

Any celebrities you want to work with?
I like working with genius minds on DJ sets. Diddy is amazing. Alexander Wang is a favorite: He is so smart and knowledgeable about the music he loves. Also, Leonardo DiCaprio knows so much about music. One time I played a private dinner and he was there and was calling out songs from the table.

What's on your own personal playlist?
My playlist goes like this: Alessia Cara's "Here," Stacy Barthe's "Lose My Mind" (soundcloud), Bryson Tiller's Trapsoul album, Coldplay's "A Head Full of Dreams," and Drake & Future's "What A Time To Be Alive."

Trendsetters at Work, DJ Ruckus

Jennifer Cooper, E! Entertainment

What's the best part about your job?
The travel, seeing the world and new places, the community of people I have accumulated as friends and making people dance. Rapper Mystikal looked at me one night while I was deejaying and said, 'Man you are saving people's lives out here.' While I think that's a bit exaggerated, I understood what he was saying. Getting away from whatever is stressing you out for an hour or two and being lost in music is soothing, more than I understand sometimes.

Who are some of your career heroes?
Very simple goes like this: Jam Master JayJazzy JeffMark Ronson and DJ AM.

What is the best piece of advice you've ever received?
I have two pieces of advice that I live by. "Meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two imposters just the same," by Rudyard Kipling (via my father) and "be the CEO of your own company," by Dave Grutman. Both of these have helped me get through tough times and to remember who's boss.

Today for lunch I had...Sugarfish Sushi.

The first website I log onto every day

If I wasn't doing this job, I a shrink. I think the human mind is the most fascinating thing.

My favorite place to visit is...Miami.

Pick one: Spotify or Pandora...Pandora all day, hands down.

The book I'm reading right now is...Trigger Point by Marshall Goldsmith.

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