On Saturday night, a new chapter in the Buddy Ruski story was written. I was invited to host the first-ever live edition of The Buddy Ruski Show podcast! The live show was part of Super Secret Dance Party, a monthly dance party hosted by DJ Rang (and formerly DJ Forge) making its first appearance since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic at The Fruit in downtown Durham.
About a month ago, I met up with Rang for lunch so he could share an idea he had about bringing back SSDP in a fresh way. The timing couldn’t be better because I was also kicking around new ideas for the brand that I wanted feedback on. He pitched me on the dance party, and I asked him what he thought about a live podcast. We both agreed that our ideas were amazing and brilliant and that we were geniuses. Rang and I went our separate ways.
Days later, Rang and I reconnected. “What if we combined both our projects into one event?” he asked. In hindsight, I can’t totally remember how we landed on the final idea. I give 98% of the credit to Rang. He pulled me in. He pulled in the visual artists: Saleem (KidEthnic) and Michelle (BaconButtr). He helped me recruit our esteemed guests: Lord Fess, Jooselord, and Cierra Hinton. He organized the DJs, DJ Nevy and DJ Sunny, and coordinated with The Fruit, our venue. Rang was power lifting to make this event happen. There were a few hurdles along the way, including losing our headlining performer, but we made it to game day.
Emotions were running high for me last week. My Oma, Delores Stephens, passed away last Wednesday from complications with pancreatic cancer. We knew it was coming, but the cancer swiftly took its toll so it was hard to prepare. You can never really prepare for death. Losing Oma put some things in perspective for me. She was amazing at boosting your ego and making you feel like you could do anything. Initially, I was really nervous about the live podcast. By the time Saturday came around, I couldn’t wait to get started. I could feel her kind spirit and soft hand on my back, guiding me through the night.
The event wasn’t perfect, but I knew Oma would be proud. My mom and Opa were in attendance, along with lots of friends and familiar faces. The feedback we got afterwards was invigorating. Rang and I were concerned about the format but the overwhelming response was that it worked. Super Secret Dance Party was back! And the Buddy Ruski Show had new opportunities.
Thank you to everyone who was in attendance! The expectation is that we’ll do this again soon. An audio and video release of the podcast conversation will be available soon. Please tell your friends about Buddy Ruski and consider becoming a montly subscriber.