The Music of RUBiX and the Resistance
By Jaron Ikner
Photography by Jimi Giannatti
One of the best things about the Tucson community is how much diversity is packed in the small city, especially when compared to other large metropolitan areas. From the excellent food to the burgeoning art district, Tucson manages to pack a lot of culture into its city life. When applied to the music scene, artists like RUBiX aka John Ruiz are the perfect template to represent the variety the city has to offer. With a wide spectrum of styles that ranges from Glam Rock to Hip Hop trap music, it makes it difficult to put the 26 year old into any one category and that’s exactly how he wants it. His upcoming project, Space Elevator, is just another testimony to his “outside the box approach” to music.
“Basically, it’s like a guy who has an elevator that takes him to any dimension or universe,” Ruiz states. “It kind of represents how musically I’ve never really fit in anywhere.”
Ruiz prides himself on his wide pallet of musical influence and it clearly shows in his work. His popular single, “This Trees”, has the singer/producer crooning over trap beats while “Name Droppin’ Sucka” from his album, Marcus Chambers: A Modern Rock Opera falls more in line with a Queen song. RUBiX has also produced for local hip hop artists such as Marley B, whose bouncy song “Wild For the Likes”, acted as the lead single for his well-received album, Grow. Ruiz likes to chalk up his vast scope of sounds to his musical upbringing.
“Musically, I would say that Beck is my biggest influence overall,” Ruiz proudly claims. “Queen is also a huge influence. Also weird folk stuff like Gordon Lightfoot because my dad was a hippy.”
However, it was when Ruiz encountered Felix Da Housecat that he decided to dive into the world of the DJ. After witnessing his set, Ruiz knew that being a DJ was something he had to try.
“I saw him talking about some tractor DJ equipment,” RUBiX remembers. “And the way he was talking about it was so laid back and I thought it was cool as fuck.”
The experience inspired RUBiX to hop into the DJ life, leading to him have residencies at The Hut and O’Malley’s. The venture has had an eye opening effect on the young producer as he began to realize the importance of song selection and blends. Never one to follow trends, RUBiX does his best to keep the crowd on their toes with clever mixes of outlier songs that most wouldn’t think about.
With an arsenal of music, and more constantly in the works, RUBiX is looking to expand his brand to new horizons. Dreams of touring and publishing are on the artist’s mind but first he wants to build a solid fanbase.
“Right now, the goal is to expand our listenership and we have been doing very well with that through streaming and online efforts,” RUBiX ponders. “The theory is to increase our base listenership in hopes that it will convert some casual listeners into hard core fans that support all of efforts.”
Not one to squander opportunity, RUBiX is also currently scoring a movie for a local production, further showing us that he doesn’t really have a limit to what he can do. His versatility is sure to be sought after by major players in the music industry but the singer/songwriter/producer isn’t sure if going major is something he wants to experience.
“I have had a very, very small taste of that,” RUBiX states. “And I don’t know those values are necessarily my values. It is very Hollywood and weird. It can be super fake, and that makes it really hard to trust people.”
Nevertheless, RUBiX stands by his brand and unique sound. His name, bestowed upon him by his friend Matt, acts a testimony to what the man has to offer to the world. During a studio session the name came to light.
“We were mixing a project down at this studio and I was describing something about the flow of the song,” RUBiX reflects. “And Matt was like ‘Damn, you are all complex and shit…like a RUBiX cube. I’m going to call you ‘RUBiX’. I thought it was the stupidest thing I ever heard.”
Even though Ruiz thought the name was silly, it didn’t stop his friend Matt from introducing him as RUBiX everywhere they went. Eventually the name grew on Ruiz and he decided to run with it. However, because of the saturation of artists named “RUBiX”, he decided to add “The Resistance” to the moniker as not only a way to separate himself from the pack but to also recognize his backing band members as well.
With multiple projects already released and many more on the way, it is clear that RUBiX has no plans on slowing down as his continues to push the threshold of his artistic abilities. As a result, RUBiX is a clear representative of what makes the beautiful city of Tucson so unique.
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You can catch RUBiX and the Resistance on September 16, at Rogue Bar in Phoenix for Sock It To ‘Em 2, or catch a DJ set by John Ruiz at Friday, September 8 at The Hut, or Saturday, September 9 at O’Malley’s.