Born and raised in Detroit, Dru Ruiz was surrounded by a rich music culture from the start. As a young lad, his family would take him to Mexican festivals in downtown’s Hart Plaza, where he became immersed in live music and the art of dance through rap battles and break dancing showcases. His love for music continued to grow, and by 1993, he dove into Detroit’s techno scene and experienced his first underground party at the Packard Plant, a staple in the city’s early ‘90s rave culture.
Ruiz was instantly hooked on the developing techno sound, spending an entire summer doing odd gigs to pay for his first Technics 1200 turntables. After locking himself in his bedroom to learn the art of mixing and scratching under the guidance of techno pioneer Mike Huckaby, Ruiz landed his 1995 debut performance at the Burns Room in Saint Andrews Hall. Steadily developing his career, he closed out the very first Detroit Electronic Music Festival (now Movement) in 2000 with a three-hour set on the C-Pop stage.
Fast forward 15 years and Ruiz—who has now played dozens of events and festivals all over North America—is a versatile turntablist, having developed a distinct style of mixing through an ear for exceptional track selection and a knack to create novel sounds. With a style that ranges from techno to electro to hip-hop, Ruiz has distinguished himself as a multitalented DJ and an important part of Detroit’s electronic music culture, joining Bang Tech 12 as one of the collective’s original members and holding residencies at Eastown Theatre and Buddha Lounge.
Ruiz currently runs Cultured Citizens, his own music-releasing platform, label, and production company. He’s also the mastermind behind the Old Miami’s celebrated Sunday day parties, a summer favorite in Detroit for the past five years. Recently joining the Modified Artists roster, Ruiz continues to explore new ventures and give back to Detroit, building his career and sound around the city that shaped his passion for live music.