Rickyxsan has been making waves recently with his massive tune with Dirty Audio, “Gettin’ That” as well as a brand new EP out on Never Say Die. We caught up with the man himself during the Perth leg of his first ever Australia/New Zealand tour to ask him some questions. Here’s is what he had to say…
So tell us what inspired the name Rickyxsan?
In middleschool I was being taught Japanese by my neighbour and “san” means “student” in Japanese, so he’d always call me “Ricky San”, and then that became my online screen-name.
When I first discovered you I always called you Ricky “x” San.
Hahaha I think everybody calls me that. The “x” is silent.
You’re still in the first few days of your Australian Tour having only played the Ferguson and Chinese Laundry so far. How have you found it so far?
Dude, the crowd…. Honestly it’s like bass central out here. I didn’t think trap was so big out here, because back in the day when I thought of Australia I thought of Bounce, you know, and I just thought Australia would never be the market for me.
Hahaha oh man. Melbourne Bounce. So how does Australia compare to the US?
I haven’t played too crazy in the US, mostly just in the West Coast where I’m from, but it’s been cool, you know, it’s different because it’s the other side of the world. I didn’t think there’d be such good turnouts, you know. It’s kind of like a surreal feeling. It’s pretty dope.
With Melbourne Bounce in mind when you came down under, what sort of stuff did you play at your first set?
Well now, I kind of know now that trap’s pretty big out here, because like, it’s Flume’s home out here, like What So Not. I knew bass music is bigger now, but like two years ago I was like, “aww Bounce music”. I didn’t think it was too much bass music. But the shows were super sick. Everybody was just out there raging, especially New Zealand. New Zealand was like this small venue but it was packed wall to wall, and everybody was just like going nuts and feeling it. And Chinese Laundry too, that was like a venue that I’ve like been looking at for years on social media, like everybody’s played there, so it’s kind of like another surreal feeling too. When I was playing in the moment it was pretty dope. The crowd was just there and they were feeling it and just going crazy. The crowd out here is definitely more energetic, more excited.
We know Chinese Laundry has a reputation for getting pretty naughty, all the bois up in the front like…
Yeah, Chinese Laundry was a sweat box. It was so low. I was just thinking like, “Wow, Shaq can’t even party here!”
Yeah, because Shaq dropped your tune didn’t he?
Yeah yeah that’s why I said it. Like what if I wanted to bring him as a special guest? He wouldn’t even fit in there.
Hahaha anyway, how’d you get into making music in general and how’d you get into the music scene?
I started DJing first because my older brother got this little mixer thing for Christmas one time when we were young, and eventually I took over it…. He was always the person that was so interested in the DJs at every party. He was just so interested in the system and the lights and I’d always follow his likings and I just kind of went that direction. And when I went into like middleschool/highschool, my neighbour, he was like this older dude, he was a Dj and he was using Serato, so the first ever legit software I ever used was Serato. Then from there, I tried Virtual DJ for like a year and then I went back to Serato, but the only reason I was in Virtual DJ was because I couldn’t afford a Serato Box and…so it was the only program I could DJ internally without tables, you know, because you can’t really do…you can do Serato internally – you need a Serato box – and it was like, I was already playing little local house parties in little warehouses and they didn’t have budgets to get Serato boxes and turntables… it was more like the homies broke into this warehouse, brought a table and brought PA speakers and a fuckin’ mixer…
What kind of music were you making before you broke out?
Well, I started doing fidget house, which is kind of like electro house but instead of having like complextro sounds, it’s more like a distorted bassline, distorted bass wobbles. Kind of like Crookers, you know…Crookers was kind of fidgety…So that was kind of like the first thing I ever… Jack Beats also … They were like the first generation of EDM that were coming up that made it really big.
You started off with the trap stuff with the bootlegs you were doing 2 years ago, how’d you end up getting to that wonky Rickyxsan flow dubstep shit, because there’s a really clear distinction between the two styles.
Well, one thing i kinda left off is that I sort of started producing dubstep as well too, like around the same time i was doing fidget.
Oh, so you were doing it way back then too?
Yeah, but it was nothing I like released and focused on, it was more like I done like five House tracks and then like one Dubstep. I would do Dubstep because at that time it was when Skrillex started coming out. Like I found out about him when he was playing under his name Sonny Moore, like at these little local Los Angeles parties. I think he played a show in like downtown Pomona, some city out there in Southern California, at The Glasshouse. It was like fifteen bucks and you saw Skrillex. He played in all the local events in LA, like he played in Compton, he’s played in Pomona, Downtown and like all those areas out there in Los Angeles.
Do you think the local scene helped you to shape your sound?
Yeah yeah definitely. All those LA based dudes like 12th Planet and like everybody else who was there, they were the guys who were like running the bass scene in Los Angeles, and that’s kinda where I wanted to be, and then like Skrill’s EP came out on Deadmau5’s label…and it just blew up, you know.
What artists are you digging right now? Who gets you inspired?
So right now, fave artist… Boombox Cartel, because they’re changing the game right now….uh…graves, graves is honestly been one of my favourites for like two years already…and I gotta pick a third one because I know them both…I gotta pick someone I haven’t met…umm…Flume. Flume was like a huge inspiration for me because he’s so different, he’s honestly like…. he’s not even from this generation, he’s like beyond. He time travelled here and decided to write music and freak people out.
If you could have one thing from another artist what would it be?
Oh man, the drive to do like three-hundred shows a year like Skrillex. Like I’ve only done like three shows and I’m drowsy right now, I’m tired. This dude does like three-hundred and thirty a year, you know, it’s crazy. Other than that, just the passion, the drive to keep writing music and not getting too comfortable and slowing down.. just like if someone is actually hungry and going and taking the next step further to improve, that’s what motivates me as well too, because that’s what I need to be doing, you know, that’s what I look for, and it’s like Skrill’s never lost that spark.
What lies in the future for Rickyxsan? Where would you like to see yourself in a couple of years?
Well, right now, I’m just thinking now, but hopefully in five years I would want to be maybe running a label, you know, bringing up other people as well, bringing out new styles. The people who are just pushing sound is the type of people i want to bring up, the people who are just changing the game, rather than just like any ordinary Trap or Dubstep producer. I want someone who can create something new.
Shit, it’s about time for your set. Thanks heaps for speaking with us man. Kill it out there.