Dana Ruh is one of our favourite DJs and someone we’ve been friends with for a long time, so it’s a real pleasure to catch up with her just after her second full length, the brilliant Time Out of Mind, has dropped on her Cave Recordings imprint. As many of you will know, Dana is also the lady behind Berlin’s KMA60 store and the Brouqade label, so she more than most has been severely affected by the Covid 19 pandemic. That said, if you are looking for some respite from all this, we strongly recommend you check out the album, one that in many quarters is already being hailed as an early contender for record of the year. We caught up for a brief chat with Dana recently as she talked us through her last few months…
What was your initial reaction to the coronavirus pandemic? And when did it start to feel serious for you?
At first I didn’t really believe what was going on. I mean, of you are not really close to what was happening in China, it’s hard to get a grasp of it. But then it started to feel surreal… and very real too. but I admit that I did not know what to believe at first. I even went to Thailand at the beginning of February and was not taking it seriously.
I started to take it seriously in the middle of March as the father of my friend was diagnosed with Covid 19. I was so close to the situation and when I heard he had to go to the hospital, i was in tears. He had issues with breathing, but he always stayed positive. I was so afraid what will happen as he lives in Bergamo, Italy which has been one of the worst hit areas in Europe. It hit me hard.
Naturally, everyone is worried about their finances now. Have you looked at any more creative ways to make money?
Of course, it makes me worry a lot. Just one year ago we opened our shop, KMA60. Now it is all is on hold. We also have the distribution. and if you know a bit about economics, this is all a circle. Also, it is not just about me, there are more people involved in the business who I feel responsible for. I just want it to keep going no matter what. This is my main priority. In fact, we just joined forces with a Berlin company that provides CBD products and they wanted to support us. So yeah, I am very creative about keeping it going!
Overall, how have you found the isolation period? Have you found it a good time to be creative?
Well, isolation is not a real problem for me. I am not so social in the first place! I have enough things i can do. But getting creative, that’s a bit of a problem. I need a certain state of mind, a certain movement, a certain environment to do so. But with all the sadness around us right now, I’m finding it hard to be super creative. I am always doing something but i also would like to take this time to work on myself, understand myself and just calm down a bit.
Have you helped out with charity during this time? Are there any causes particularly close to your heart who you think deserve a shout out right now?
Yes, I have. Not with an official charity but with friends that need help. Friends that got sick. I have so many people around me that need support and I have been trying to do my best. I don’t even know where to start … so many shout outs!
Has working out been an important part of your routine? If so, how have you adapted to working out at home?
Working out, well… i am a bit of a lazy person. I try to follow a routine but then… lets not talk about it. I have a trainer but now that we can’t meet i only do some walks, skate and that’s it. I can’t watch a youtube video to do a work out. Maybe I should!
Do you think the electronic music industry (and the world in general) should take lessons from all this? What do you think those lessons are?
Lessons… that’s a big thing to say and i am not the right person to say what lessons. What we definitely can do is appreciate the little things. We take so many things for granted, don’t we? We miss being together, just having a dance, going for a haircut, just meeting up with friends and family. A lot of things don’t have money involved but make us happy. We should appreciate how blessed we are to have each other. Especially in Germany where we have support from the state.
So are you a politically-minded individual? What’s been your take on how the government where you are has adapted to the pandemic?
I don’t agree with all but still I feel I have support. I was very impressed with how fast I got financial support from the government but I also know there are no presents and we will see what will happen after all of this. I have my opinions, but i would not say that I am a politically active person.
Do you think humanity will emerge better from all of this?
I hope so, yes.
Can you provide us with a piece of music that you feel best sum ups your current situation?
I find myself more attached to songs that go in a jazzy and soulful direction right now. It just get more into my emotions and describes the mood. Plus it makes me even more emotional and allows me to deal with all the feelings that come up. The time is a rollercoaster and I have massive mood swings. I miss the energy from the dancefloor, i miss so many things that give me energy. So I’ve picked a song I really love: Alfa Mist’s ‘Door’, featuring Jordan Rakei. A beautiful piece of music.
Keep up with Dana Ruh on Facebook and check out KMA60 online here. Dana Ruh’s Time Out of Mind is out now via Cave Recordings. Listen/buy the release here.