Throwback Interview: Ricky Vaughn

As seen in DJ Mag

Wax Lyrical: Ricky Vaughn

The certified “Twerk Ambassador” of Brooklyn waxes lyrical.

Ricky Vaughn is a unique talent in his ability to produce a completely fresh sound through his use of standout drum patterns laced with a plethora of musical genres. This is evident in his former work as half of underground sensation duo Sazon Booya, who single-handedly pioneered a little thing called moombahton, when he went by the alias Mr Vega.

The affectionately dubbed “Trap Lord” has grown in leaps and bounds since then and manages to blend not just genres, but cultures too, through his aural mash up of multilingual sound bites and multi-ethnic rhythms. Careful not to be put in a box sonically, Ricky describes his music as something “that makes people dance” and after fans hear his latest release ‘Art of Moombahton Vol. 5’ dance they will for 47mins straight.

This mix marks the end of an era for the NY based artist, as the final instalment of the critically acclaimed series that began back in 2013. It features fourteen unreleased productions and collaborations from the likes of Maxx & EJ, Otis Clapp and Ackeejuice Rockers among others. Thus far the previous four chapters have racked up five Top 20 singles on the Beatport Chart and scored famous fans in the shape of Diplo, Doctor P and Bassnectar to name a few.

Ricky Vaughn has since been busy in the studio cooking up a storm for his debut solo album and fans can expect a new untitled EP to drop in late spring via Babygrande Records.

First-ever rave experience?

“My first rave experience was actually my first gig as well. I was spinning at an abandoned warehouse in Brooklyn, NY, with Codes, who was known as The American Dream Team, and Mixpak’s Jubilee. I had no idea what a rave was, besides what I saw on TV or in the movies, [which] were pretty accurate lol. From the furry boots and neon colors, to the cops shutting down the party three times and us still continuing. I was nervous as hell playing my music in a smoke-filled room with tons of sweaty ravers, [with] no clue whether they liked it or not, and [I] ended up totally dehydrated by the time my set was over.”

What is the most crucial record of all time?

“This is a hard question lol. For me there’s a bunch that really shaped me as an artist. I would say from the beginning of my career it would be Special ED’s ‘I Got It Made’, Big Daddy Kane’s ‘Ain’t No Half Steppin’ & Eminem’s ‘Slim Shady’ LP. Then as I explored electronic music, it would definitely be Radiohead’s ‘OK Computer’ [and] Justice Cross & Boys Noize’s ‘Oi Oi Oi’.”

Name three tunes that never leave your bag?

“Ricky Vaughn – ‘Mal De Ojo’, Ricky Vaughn x Paul Lee – ‘Original Kings’ and Ricky Vaughn ft Michele Wylen – ‘Heroin’.”

What’s your lights-up, end of night tune? And why?

“My end of night tune’s really very dependent on the crowd. One night I might end on Outkast – ‘Bombs Over Baghdad’, the next it could be Collie Buddz – ‘Come Around’ or even, my favourite, some of DJ Rashad’s footwork stuff. I like to feed off the crowd’s energy and I never play the same set.”

If you could meet anyone, alive or dead, who would it be?


Imagine that the world is going to end tomorrow. What are you going to do tonight?

“Wow this is tough. Probably dinner with my circle and family, spending the remaining time with my five-year-old son.”

Please give us three words to describe your life?

“Underestimated, evolving [and] exciting.”

Like this interview? Check out my interview with fellow New York native DJ Tony Touch and my album review for another New Yorker, Troy Ave.


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