11 Questions: Ryan I
Over the years I’ve known DJ Ryan I, first through Callaloo, then Glow and on to Wild Out Wednesdays at the Wild Buffalo, he’s always worked his ass off. I’ve been impressed by his passion and dedication to Blessed Coast and the venue he was working with. Musically, we couldn’t be more different, but he’s someone I have the utmost respect for. Thanks to Ryan for answering this month’s 11 Questions.
Who are you and where did you come from?
My name is Ryan-I. I am the founder and one of the DJs in Blessed Coast Sound. We were officially established in 2005 and are composed of myself, DJ Triple Crown, DJ Lionize and Governor Lee as well as an extended group of family including photographers, graphic designers, singers and producers and all around badasses. I am originally from Sonoma California and moved to Seattle in 2001 then Bellingham in 2006.
What did it feel like to cut your dreadlocks off? What inspired you to become so clean cut?
After having dreadlocks for over a decade and the entirety of my adult life I was simply ready to not have long hair. It was a decision that I went back and forth on for probably about a year and then decided it was time. It was a very odd feeling and now three years later still sometimes feels different and I still get people asking about it. I never really chose to be clean cut I just knew I was ready for a change and since my lady owns the best salon (Moirai Hair Studio) in Bellingham I just have her style me up however she wants.
It’s a Sunday morning in Bellingham, what are you doing?
On a Sunday morning after DJing at Poppes the night before you can usually find me in the kitchen cooking pancakes or some type of breakfast for me and the family. I love to cook.
What initially brought you up to Bellingham? And what has kept you here?
I moved to Bellingham to finish my Degree at WWU in Environmental Education, which I finished in 2008 while managing the Callaloo. I love working with kids and this degree was perfect to learn how to teach kids of all ages the importance of having an appreciation for your surroundings. After graduating and receiving most outstanding research andinternship awards I continued managing the Callaloo and DJing. Soon my degree got put on hold due to a full time career DJing that I have been doing now with no other work for about three years.
If you didn’t live in Bellingham, where would you live and why?
If I didn’t live in Bellingham I would probably live back in California because I have a lot of family there and there is a good scene for the music I like to play. I always said I would leave Bellingham after a couple years but now I have an amazing lady and 8-month-old son so I think I might be here for a while. I love how much Bellingham is community and children oriented so raising a child here is pretty perfect.
What is the craziest thing that’s ever happened at Wild Out Wednesdays?
Craziest thing that has ever happened at Wild Out Wednesday? Man, that’s a tough one because every week is pure mayhem. We were at capacity at the Wild Buffalo six months in a row (450+) so we’ve seen some insanity no doubt. Drinks thrown at us on stage, booties poppin’ off stage, 400 hands in the air partying with us, so many talented guests… The night is insane and if you’ve never been holler at me on Twitter @blessedcoast and we will put you on the guest list!
What will you be doing five years from now?
In five years I see us touring the world. I made a commitment about two years ago that we had gone to far down this path to ever look back so everything I do now is working towards being the best at what we do. I can’t say I will be here in Bellingham but Id say there is a good chance. Hopefully in five years you will be able to go anywhere in the world and hear Blessed Coast Music and see people wearing our shirts andsunglasses (Shout out Vicci Martinez recently seen rocking a pair).
What brought you into the world of reggae? When the sound first hit you?
I was born and raised on reggae music. My mother bought me my first reggae CDs and my best friend who I have known since birth, DJ Lionize, has been collecting reggae records since we were teenagers. The town I grew up in had a ton of people that loved reggae and a festival called Reggae On The River about three hours away that I first went to when I was 15 and went to for 11 years in a row. I got to learn a lot about reggae and became fascinated with it and the culture behind it. I stopped cutting and combing my hair when I was 16 in beliefs of the Rastafarian faith which I studied for years (would love to talk with anyone anytime about it). I was pretty strict on my beliefs and then after about a decade I started to just loosen up and be more open to the rest of the world and other types of music. Now I love a lot of different music and our DJ sets have evolved and we play a very diverse amount of everything when we party.
If you could spend time with any DJ, who would it be and what would you do?
If I could spend time with any DJs it would have to be David Rodigan and Diplo. David Rodigan is the OG classic reggae DJ / Selector. He is in his 60s now and still travels the world educating people on reggae music. He is famous for being able to set up a tune perfectly with his detailed stories on the mic and his stage energy is epic. His Dubplate box is untouchable. Diplo is a new age producer / DJ who simply murders just everything he touches. He travels the world playing music for 10,000 people regularly. To me doing that is amazing and is something I would love to do.
If you and Triple Crown got in a wrestling match, who would win? Why?
I would put Triple Crown in a triple headlock!!! Na just kidding he would F**K me up!!!
Who is in your iPod that would surprise people?
Well I don’t have an IPod but I love classical music and listen to it almost every morning with my son.
What is something about being a DJ that would surprise people?
It seems like when I tell people that I don’t plan sets it surprises them. I’ve never once planned a set and stuck to it. Sometimes I will get a folder of songs I think I might play but it never stays like that. Another thing I think that surprises people is that anyone can do it all you have to do is love music!! That said, I think it surprises people when they see us play a set of music that touches on everything from classic rock to brand new hip hop.
Any last thoughts?
I’d love to thank everyone who has supported us in doing what we love and everyone who hasn’t who has pushed us harder to be better at what we do! Huge thank you to The Wild Buffalo for letting us get insane every Wednesday and to Glow Nightclub for having us every Friday and Poppes for having us every Saturday. Thanks to our families who have supported us from day one and of course thanks to Brent and the What’s Up! Magazine for all their support over the years! Check www.blessedcoast.com for all you musical needs!
See you at Wild Out Wednesday!