First, I want to apologize about the late release of this, family life & work has been taking up my time. As this is not the primary income for my family, it had to wait. Again, I apologize.
Wonderful News in the world of Moombahton. One of our leading artist in the sub-genre, Ricky Vaughn has signed to record label Babygrande out of NY. Out of celebration you'll get a custom made playlist complied by yours truly & an exclusive interview from Sir Ricky himself. Ricky has graced us with an amazing phone interview. Enjoy.
Me: First off, I believe it's an honor to be speaking to you & what your doing for Moombahton is great. Second, congratulations on getting signed to Babygrande, that's great. Hopfully that goes well. After releasing the info in signing to Babygrande, which has a whole bunch of wonderful artist, do you think you'll have longevity with the label or is a stepping stone to get to a bigger label like Dillion Francis did with Mad Decent & others?
Ricky: Everything is a stepping stone as a career, you never know where your going to end up. At the end of the day I chose to go with Babygrande. 1.) my background started in Hip Hop back in '97 & i've known of them when they first started, when they had acts like Canibus, Jedi Mind Tricks & artist like that so i'm familiar with them. So now that they're moving over to four on the floor music, i'm familiar with the history & I know their brand, they're a company that has been in the business for 14 plus years & they lived off record sales that had no commercial advertising at all. They thrived in the underground & been successful from that. It's important to me because I haven't made it to that level yet but i want to understand the underground & make it from that level up. I feel like it's a great partnership & I want to continue with it as long as I can.
“Babygrande Records is excited to welcome DJ/producer Ricky Vaughn to the company’s artist roster. Called the “Trap Lord”, “Moombahton King” and “Twerk Ambassador”, Ricky Vaughn is bridging the gap between Hip Hop and Electronic production.” –Babygrande
Me: You were saying that you started out in Hip Hop, what made you change your mind in switching to the “EDM” scene & taking up making Moombahton?
Ricky: The reason I got into electronic music because I had to stop making music for about three years. I did a lot of forms of hip hop from making beats to rapping. Then I got into producing for other people, making demo's for some of G-Unit's earlier stuff, some Bad Boy projects, The Biggie Duet's Album, Violator tracks when 50 Cent was trying to come up. I was one of those producers trying to get my foot in the door & after a while i noticed my sound was so much different then all others at that time. Now you hear it, you'll know yea he's make electronic beats but back then I never realized that I had an electronic influence. For a lot of the time people never understood what I was doing. It got to a point when I didn't want to conform & do what the mainstream was doing. So i put the breaks on it. Two years later in 2009, I had heard Justice's first album Cross & Boyz Noise‘s Record Oi Oi Oi. I was so amazed that their was no boundaries, that they made whatever they wanted to make & it was praised. So I tried to emulate what Justice was doing and i was trying to understand the structure of how they made those sounds & a few years after that I found Moombahton. At first I didn't like it, it sounded like slowed down house music. I was already getting used to what electronic music was at 128 BPM. I thought I would be taking a step back if I get involved in it but then the more I listened to it, the more i liked it. For the fact that I was already making music like this in the past. That's how I got into Moombahton.
Me: I know this certainly isn't true but in the past everyone was talking about Moombahton is dead, I know it's dying out by now but I know we hear different perception of what it could mean. What do you think of it's meaning & why do you think it was brought up.
Ricky: At first when people were talking about it, I was debating back & forth on the topic. At the end of the day everything is done for a purpose. Gangster Rap had its time, but you know it's not coming back. It didn't die, its not the fact that no one ever makes the music anymore, it gravitated to something else. The fan base is still there it's just not as it was before. People have the option to get their hands on so much stuff because technology is so easily accessible that you don't have to stick to one thing for a long period of time. Taste changes, it happens. Your not going to want to eat cheese burgers for the rest of your life, your going to want salad, steak, shrimp & if you go to a diner for a long time after a while there is something else you want to do. Too many people get caught up in to Moombahton is this. It's either you love music or you don't. It got the point that it doesn't even matter anymore, either you love it or you don't It's not going away, People think that one person stops making Moombahton tracks or gravitate to another genre that Moombahton is dead but that's not the case. At the end of the day were all producing, no one is king everyone has different backgrounds so things change. It never really died, it's all about the hype.
“In 2013, Ricky Vaughn released four EP’s to much critical acclaim from the blogosphere, and five singles from those EP’s reached Beatport’s Top 20 Singles chart. He’s received huge praise from Vibe Magazine, DJ Mag, White Raver Rafting, TrapMusic.net, Moombahton.Net, and YourEDM, all labeling him as an artist to watch.” – Babygrande
Me: I believe Munchi did that perfectly, the Moombahton is dead thing basically went viral & then soon after dropped his Moombahton is Dead EP. It was becoming the question like is Munchi dead? or is Moombahton.
Ricky: Yea, the saying puts too much power in their hands, after he comes out of hiding they say it's alive again. He's a regular person like you & I. Stop giving these people so much power of something that they don't have control over.
Me: I know you love Hip Hop outside of Moombahton, What is your favorite genre to Produce or DJ?
Ricky: I like to work with a lot of experimental type stuff, IDM type stuff. I like to listen to a lot of wierd suff in the same format of dance music. I'm just looking for something different to gather influences since i'm still working on my album. The majority of what I take in has a Moombahton beat but i still look for abstract sounds to show what I listen too.
Me: What is the best show you have preformed or been too.
Ricky: I would say Mexico is my number one. Out of all the places i've been to, I love New York but Mexico showed so much love out there & ill be very excited to go back. It's all about the music & culture and they love what I bring. Paris was nuts too, “haha” they party longer than everyone else. I had a show at 3 AM, the club closed at 4 AM, I left the club at 8 AM & kept going from there. Mexico & Paris are one of my top on the list.
Me: You stated earlier that you've been producing since '97, if something altered your future or steered you away from music, where do you thing you'll be?
Ricky: Wow, you know what? I had gotten accepted to an art & design school in the city & I used to draw a lot of stuff, i'm not as good as I used to but I decided it was going to be my career at 15 but when I found out that there was a music program at my school it changed my life. I wanted to be a great artist & that's exactly where I would be right now. I still do all the art work on my own for my singles & it helps out.
“Ricky Vaughn is an extremely talented & versatile electronic producer who seamlessly blends Electro, Trap, Moombahton, Hip Hop, Dancehall, Cumbia & more into his sound, and we at Babygrande are looking forward to bringing his music to a much bigger audience” – Sean Roberts, President of Babygrande Records.
Me: Who do you hope to collab with in the near future? Do you have something planned?
Ricky: I have a fixed list of who i'm trying to reach out to, now that I have more of a resource from my label I can reach out to a lot more people. Besides all the people i've worked with in the past, I can't say for sure who ill be working with next. it will most likely be underground people or people on the come on up. I'm not striving for childhood dream collabs like Kanye or Jay-Z.
Me: I really wanted to stay away from this because out of respect for you & the whole situation that happened. Everyone loves Sazon Booya & what you guys brought was amazing. Do you see any type of future collab with Sav?
Ricky: I look at it like this, the main reason that him & I are no longer in the group is because he never produced anything. We had other issues then that definitely hurt the group but at the end of the day I am a producer, that's what I did since I was 15 years old & i'm 32 and He doesn't produce. I don't know of anything else that would of weaken what we had but he never produced. I personally couldn't work with him, I really don't think there could be a reunion. After everything that went down, i don't see that in our future. We haven't bumped heads since then.
“SHIETTT ANYTHING YOU TOUCH IS GOLD WTF” – Excalibur
Me: To what I see you were the producer & he was the Co-DJ?
Ricky: Well, I can't really say what's on my mind but you could say yea. It's not like he did nothing he did show a few things here & there with technology but as far as the music it was basically all me.
Me: Yea, his history was as a videographer & switching over to DJing isn't really a smooth transition, so I see what your coming from. But after you guys split I seen him producing his own stuff so maybe he had a change of heart?
Ricky: At the end of the day, i'm past the point of worrying about those issues of me bashing him & what not. We get nothing from it, so whats the point. The situation is pretty much is what it is. I don't wish him the worst but at the end of the day i'm not checking for him.
Me: Yea, when I first started listening to Moombahton & your group was at the top of my list of favorites among, Nadastrom, Munchi & the rest. After reading all the facts on the internet, it changed my perspective of how I should look at Moombahton. I left listening to Hip Hop/ Rap because of fightings & beef. All this is happening now so why get involved, you know. After seeing the “facts” & hearing what you just told me, I can clearly see that anything in the future won't be coming soon.
Ricky: If you ask anyone that knows me they'll say i'm a very proud person so that's why when everything went down I just packed up my stuff changed names & kept moving. At the end of the day i don't really care if you know my business & go back and forth with what you know. it is what it is. There was a lot of he said/ she said & I couldn't care for it. All I care about is the music & that's what it always have been about. All the other stuff? *huff* don't even care man.
“you made me love Moombahton!” –Bubbeats
Me: That's the whole reason why I left the hip hop scene, nothing but beef & drama. All I wanted was the music & I got that. Thank You
Ricky: Definitely, thank you.
Me: Thank you again for giving me the opportunity to interview you & again, congrats on getting signed to a wonderful label.
Ricky: Thank You
Needlessly to say, Ricky Vaughn has permanently put his footprints in the world of Moombahton, in music & in general. Signing a deal for Ricky opens up doors for him & his followers to more great music & more possibilities for those that are affiliated with him. Moombahton needs more wonderful artists like Ricky.
To sum this up, you need more artist to blossom like Ricky has & then Moombahton can truly be appreciated the way that it needs too.
Below is my personal top 10 favorite tracks from Ricky Vaughn in no particular order.