DJs are known for a lot of things—headphone endorsements, gigantic mouse heads—but rarely their rock-hard abs. DJ Ruckus (né Greg Andrews) is in a different league. He may very well be the busiest deejay in the world. There’s rarely a night when he’s not spinning somewhere, from the hottest nightclubs in Miami, New York and Paris, to private parties hosted by Jay-Z, Steven Spielberg, and Oprah, to name just a few. (One of Ruckus’ first big breaks, when he was just 17, was deejaying Diddy’s birthday bash in Morocco.) The fashion world loves Ruckus—he’s deejayed runway shows and after parties for Alexander Wang, Calvin Klein, and Louis Vuitton—and he also moonlights as a music producer, doing behind-the-scenes mixing for Janet Jackson, Outkast, and Kelis. His nonstop schedule—while you’re recovering from Friday night’s hangover, he’s on his way to Moscow to play a fundraiser for Naomi Campbell—means Ruckus is always one step ahead of the cultural curve. He sees every trend in fashion and music as it’s on the way up and, just as often, on the way out. If it’s gonna be cool tomorrow, Ruckus knows about it today.
Who throws a wilder party: Kanye West or Steven Spielberg?
Spielberg, definitely. I did a bar mitzvah for one of Spielberg’s kids. They had a breakdance battle where Steven Spielberg came out with a clapboard and Tom Hanks was doing an open-heart surgery robot dance. It was crazy and funny. Kanye’s parties can get wild, but everybody is way too cool for school.
What’s hot in music we don’t know about yet?
There’s a group called Tale of Us that you should probably be checking out. They’re a group of DJs and producers, and they’re so far ahead of everything else. If you’re into alternative hip-hop, a guy named Childish Gambino put out an album that’s absolutely amazing. He’s very new and young and edgy music-wise.
What’s the biggest fashion blunder you see at clubs?
Ed Hardy and Christian Audigier clothes. Some people just haven’t gotten the memo. I guess they still think shiny things are cool. Also, no disrespect to Jay-Z, but I think the combination of cotton and leather has got to stop. You either go all the way leather or all the way cotton. The mixture doesn’t work.
What’s your personal style?
I love anything that combines comfort and luxury. Those are two of my favorite things. And I’m starting to see a lot of that at the clubs. There’s a trend that’s been cropping up lately that I think is kinda amazing. High-end pajamas. [Laughs.] I’m not even kidding. It’s a thing. And I love it. If you can look semi-formal and be comfortable at the same time, that’s about as good as it gets.
A DJ essentially has a desk job. How do you stay in shape?
The trick is keeping everything high energy. You could just stand there and spin records, or you can get active. Sometimes before a show I’ll watch the first fight scene in The Matrix, the one between Neo and Morpheus, to get myself amped. By the end of a show, if I’m not covered in sweat, I didn’t do it right. Lil Jon said to me once, “You are the most working-out DJ I’ve ever seen in my life.”
Between gigs, how do you find time to work out?
I don’t think of it as working out. It’s about finding active things to do that I love doing. I love snowboarding and hiking and anything outdoors. That’s why I need to live in California. I need all of those things to be close to my home.
How do you avoid making terrible food choices after shows?
You have to be vigilant. I never eat fast food. Even if I’m running to the airport for a 10 hour flight and I haven’t eaten, I’ll get trail mix from a newsstand before I’ll go to Taco Bell. You can find a salad almost anywhere, if you look for it. But you just have to want to look for it.
(This story originally appeared, in a slightly different form, in the April 2014 issue of Men’s Fitness.)