Text: MALLIKA CHAUDHURI
The man who is on top of everyone’s mind when you think about nightlife in Chennai is DJ Rudy who has been in the industry for over two and a half decades! I had the pleasure of interviewing him on his last gig before retiring from the scene at Gatsby where he has been a resident for a while now.
Starting off with cassettes back in the 90s when there were no schools to teach the art, Rudy was self taught and probably a pioneer in Chennai in many ways. He has always had the knack or ‘sixth sense’ as he puts it for selecting music that the crowd would love, I know this because I have witnessed several nights where he would play and suddenly everyone would start to dance. Of course Rudy is very polite and would not tell me much about his scandals but he is known to focus more on music and less on being popular which is probably why he is so loved. He always has a habit of pleasing his fans with his music and less with their requests. As quoted by a close friend “He doesn’t care about anything but the vibe he is putting out with his music!”
A lot of his fans who were inspired by him to become DJs themselves but had no idea how to go about it have approached him. Rudy always taught for passion and would encourage the youth to pick up their hobbies as full time professions. Needless to say many have become brilliant DJs in and around Chennai themselves! When I asked him about his personal life, I was shocked to find out that he is very different even in terms of the music he listens to at home. His passion for music is across all genres and even loves to listen to bands playing!
His farewell party which was a blast at Gatsby was attended by all genres of people – from his old friends, to all the current DJs in town, socialites including Sneha Nair and her circle of friends and of course just the regulars who wanted to hear him play one last time before he left for Australia. Each DJ played in honor of his long standing career and it was quite a surprise for him as he had genuinely thought he was going to be the one playing that night. In true ‘Rudy’ form he waited for them to play a bit before he wiggled his way behind the DJ console and took over to a roaring crowd. The most interesting part of my conversation with him was that he was not retiring just in Chennai but would be restarting his life in Australia and wanted to have a more laid back life after two and a half decades of ruling the party circuit in Chennai. It seems like the ‘Party Man’ himself wants a change in scenery and not just a little break.
Well here’s wishing him the very best of luck for his new chapter and of course all the love from Namma Chennai! Rudy, you will be sorely missed, your salt and pepper look and that bright sparkly smile is something I know a lot of Chennaities will truly relish when you come back for the holidays! Personally I don’t think music will ever fade from his life, it’s just in his veins! On a side note, the entire Ritz team and I are praying for the magnanimous crisis of Bushfires all over Australia and wish to extend our love and prayers for all the animals and people affected.