Over the phone the next day, his voice was hoarse as he explained that he gets "two extra cuts every day" and is is now on his fourth broken CDJ -- all of these, the perils of touring. Nearing the end of his "College Tour," Rusko is still animated while he explains that the reason his CDJs keep breaking is only partly due to a design flaw; the other issue is that he sweats so much that sweat gets inside the CD player and kills it. Talk about a party: Rusko held the Pageant crowd in a frenzy almost his entire show, despite the very basic stage setup.
"My whole show's about communication," he says. "Everybody feeling like we're all on the same level, and we're all having one big party together. I'm exactly the same as the crowd and that's what the show's all about."
Rusko has been gaining fans at a rapid rate due to his success performing with Caspa, as well as producing tracks of his own like "Da Cali Anthem," "Woo Boost," and new single, "Somebody to Love." His new album, "Songs," will be released in the U.S. on March 26 via Mad Decent. His last album was written on the road, while he took to the studio for just seven weeks to make "Songs." He explains, "Because the album has so many different styles on it ... I figured if I made the whole thing in the same headspace, if I was physically in the same room, feeling in the same headspace, using exactly the same equipment, then there would be a continuation, and it would sound like a whole album, even though there's like five or six different genres on there."
With his recent productions rooted in dub and dubstep, Rusko can trace heavy influence back to growing up in Leeds (UK): "I'd been very lucky in Leeds with Iration Steppas, and King Earthquake and High Pressure, those three separate reggae sound systems in one city that used to battle, sometimes even they used to do outside ones like in the park in the middle of Leeds. Just old reggae dudes with gigantic wooden homemade speakers battling it out in the park like a Jamaican sound clash in the middle of Leeds, in the rain. It was amazing."
In addition to "Songs" in March, Rusko is releasing an EP with Cypress Hill, simply called "Cypress X Rusko," in April. His excitement for the project will likely burst when they perform together for the first time, this Saturday at the Smokeout Festival in California.
"What a way to end a tour," he says. "That is gonna be phenomenal. There's gonna be tears in my eyes, it's gonna be so much fun. Then the next day, I'll get to go home and see my doggie."
Listen to the full interview (with additional discussion about how he finished his music degree from home and plans to work on dubstep aerobics):