From scoring independent horror films, providing thematic material for feature films, television and video game concepts to appearing on several underground mixtapes and rapping over remixes, to performing live in front of 15,000 strong, Mike has done it all. One of his greatest accomplishments to date is the 14 minute epic thematic recreation of The Transformers theme, a feat that garnered 10,000 hits on his website in a single day.
Currently, MikeyRukus has entrenched himself within the realm of Mixed Martial Arts. Providing Custom Entrance Themes for mma fighters, theme songs for mma tv shows, fight gear lines, gyms, dojos, and organizations, Mikey is simultaneously developing a fan base, creating another element of entertainment within the sport and actually saving organizations thousands of dollars yearly in licensing fees, and potentially millions in fines that would be levied on promotions who would be using music without the proper authorization.
The key here is that Mikey does this music for the mma world as work for hire, allowing purchasers to retain 100% of all copyrights of any song they purchase. In the long run, fighters looking to make extra money for gym fees, gear, etc. can set their songs up for download to their fans and retain the revenue.
While organizations can purchase 5 to 10 songs at a time from Mikey, and use them as compilation fight music dvds to sell at their merch tables. Not only has MikeyRukus created a RARE win-win situation in a "What's In It For Me" world of today, but he truly has found his niche in terms of songwriting and creativity. All of MikeyRukus' work can be found here: http://www.soundclick.com/mikerivera. Anyone looking to purchase music from MikeyRukus can contact him at the following:
Facebook (Mikey Rukus)
TEXT OR LEAVE MESSAGE 804.205.7681
If you're anything like me, you're probably tired of hearing the same old walk-out songs -- Guns N' Roses' "Welcome to the Jungle," Nas ft. Diddy "Hate Me Now," and Johnny Cash "Rusty Cage" (we all love Johnny but I still hear the song everytime I close my eyes, thanks Fitch).
But the ominous minds here at MMAHotwire have identified a cool solution to the walk-out song epidemic (you can thank us later). During one of my random web searches I stumbled upon a gentleman who goes by the name MikeyRukus. Mr. Rukus is a production artist, specializing in making music for everything mixed martial arts. He's produced songs for various promotions, internet radio shows, clothing brands, and fighters -- among them, popular Strikeforce middleweight Robbie Lawler. Rukus' website displays a list of his works, a variety of fight-based music ranging from hip hop to metal and everything in between.
Sample one of Rukus' tracks at the link below and release your savage inner beast! (Warning: the following clip may cause you hip toss Granny, throw random objects out of the window, or just do some crazy Junie Browning-type sh** ). Anyway, enjoy!
CLICK HERE FOR AUDIO SAMPLE.
VISIT MIKEY RUKUS' AUDIO PAGE.
If you're interested in ordering your own customized MMA-themed music, contact Mikey Rukus at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by VinRokk at Tuesday, January 11, 2011
MMA Blaster: What exactly can you do for an MMA fighter?
Mikey Rukus: I create custom entrance themes for fighters, much like the WWE Superstars who come out to their own music. I can perform all styles, including rock, hip hop, heavy metal, orchestral, electronic, punk. I specialize in the dramatics and high energy.
MMA Blaster: What fighters have you wrote songs for?
Mikey Rukus: The most notable introduction song I've done was for Robbie Lawler. I have several UFC fighters that want music, but the UFC will not allow custom music in the organization. My business has really picked up with MMA companies.
MMA Blaster: Where is your home base?
Mikey Rukus: I'm based in Richmond, Virginia. I have done work for The 10th Legion and Extreme Brawl MMA promotions in the United Kingdom. I perform live as well as a solo artist with a full back up band. I can go anywhere.
MMA Blaster: What is the creative process you go through?
Mikey Rukus: If a client approaches me for music, I gather all of their information, find exactly what they are looking for, then create three samples based on that information. The client chooses the sample that they feel best represents their brand. I specialize in brand identity. The key is when I create a song for a client, they retain all copyrights.
I can use any catch phrases or motto's they want people to hear within the lyrics. I can sing and/or rap with any style: rock, hip hop, heavy metal, orchestral, punk, or electronic. Everything is completely original. I create all music involved in the process. There are no stock beats, everything is from scratch for every client.
MMA Blaster: How did you get started in the music business?
Mikey Rukus: My older sister snuck me out to see Metallica when I was thirteen. After seeing that show I knew what I needed to do and taught myself to play guitar, bass then drums, then started using sequencers and small hard disc recorders to do small stuff.
I've been playing music for nearly twenty years, having done everything from rapping on underground mix tapes to scoring indie horror films. I write has always been adrenaline charged, high energy and dramatic, and my love for MMA has always been there, it just felt right to go after.
MMA Blaster: What do you do to get ready for a live show?
Mikey Rukus: Just prepare. Practice wise, I've learned to turn the switch on and go from Mike Rivera to Mikey Rukus rather quickly. I have the tendency to drive my wife crazy in the day leading up to a show, but I don't see it though, haha.
MMA Blaster: Who are your favorite fighters right now?
Mikey Rukus: I have several, I like watching Jon Jones and BJ Penn. Ovince St. Preux is set to have a breakout year. I would like to see more of Alistair Overeem in the states, which I know with the upcoming tournament in Strikeforce will be great. In the lightweight division, I'd have to say Anthony Pettis and Clay Guida just because of the high energy. In the welterweight division, I gotta go with Georges St. Pierre. I love to watch Cyborg Santos in the women's division.
Mikey Rukus music can be found here: www.soundclick.com/mikerivera.
Mikey Rukus has combined his love of MMA and music and is providing a very unique service for fighters. His passion and energy is intense and can be felt and heard in everything he produces.
If you are a fighter looking for that perfect theme song, or maybe you have a radio show or an MMA clothing brand, or even something outside the MMA world that needs a kick ass balls to the wall soundtrack, check out Mikey Rukus, he might just be what you are looking for.
PRO MMA NOW: How long have you been into music Mikey and how did you get involved with doing the MMA stuff?
MIKEY RUKUS: As a kid I was a straight up hip hop head, all through elementary school, I was into the break dancing and everything, used to have little contests outside my house on cardboard, the winners of the contest got to come in the house for the REAL break dance battles. Of course all of this went down when my parents were at work. I started getting into rock music when I heard Run DMC and Aerosmith perform Walk this Way. When I was 13 my big sister took me to my first concert, Metallica during their And Justice For All tour with The Cult. That did it for me. I have been playing music ever since then. I started out playing guitar, learned to play from listening to Metallica, then began studying other groups like Megadeth, and Dream Theater to learn a more technical style. My high school years I would teach myself to play drums, bass and other percussion. My synthesizers came later on in my early 20s when I realized I couldnt find anyone serious enough to play with, so I began doing my own thing. To this day I cannot read a spec of music. Having hip hop roots was something I would come back to later down the line, just because I realized that I would have too much to write about in one song, and singing a few words for each verse was not enough. I have followed MMA since the mid 90s, and it was always something I loved. I love the strategy, the unpredictability, the energy. A lot of the music I write is in that vein. My shows are adrenaline charged, I leave it all each time I perform. they just seemed to go hand and hand. Honestly I dont know how I didnt think of it sooner. I decided I was going to do it and I was very surprised at the overwhelming response that I was receiving right out of the gate.
PRO MMA NOW: I have checked out a lot of your work and you are definitely passionate about what you are doing. What inspired you to want to do this?
MIKEY RUKUS: I was always a fan of the WWE, and their music producer has a knack for capturing not only the identity of a superstar, but the spirit, the essence of that character. As I moved into composing feature film and scoring video game/movie trailers I realized that telling the story was the most important thing. But the way it was done in WWE, in a live setting, you summon the emotions of a fan in an instant. Thats what makes the build up, the entrances so magical. In MMA, the build up is always there to a fight, and some fighters and promoters use so many different ways to build, promote or create a drama, the music will always play a part, and I want to be the guy that does that for MMA.
PRO MMA NOW: Why do you feel its important for fighters to have good walkout music?
MIKEY RUKUS: Having a walkout theme that identifies a fighter is an amazing way to connect with a fan base. Even when that fighter is not in the public eye, if the fan base knows their music, they see that person in their mind instantly. How often, and this may seem off track, do you hear a song on a radio that makes you recall an old girlfriend or a situation and youre caught up even for a few seconds? And in the same sense, look at how a pro wrestler, such as Stone Cold Steve Austin, has an arena of 15,000 people rise to their feet when they would hear the glass break, or the Undertakers bell toll at the beginning of his theme. This is what will connect fighters and fans. And if the fans recognize you, love you, and that fighter puts on a great show every time, that sticks in the fans minds, its part of the entire package. And the more fans want you, the more fights you will get.
PRO MMA NOW: Who are some of the fighters out there that have the best entrances and walk out music right now?
MIKEY RUKUS: As of right now, there are a lot of fighters that change it up every time, something like this is still relatively new to the MMA scene, even though some may have been doing this kind of thing for years, it hasnt hit a national scale and the importance of having it has not quite been fully established within the community, but brand identity is essential and is trending now, not just with merch groups, but fighters, and all MMA affiliates alike.
PRO MMA NOW: Who are some of the fighters currently using Mikey Rukus produced music? I liked that Robbie Lawler song, are you a big fan of Robbies and how was it working with him?
MIKEY RUKUS:I am a huge fan of Robbie Lawler, I have followed his work along with the rest of the HIT Squad for several years. While I did not work with Robbie directly on it, I worked with one of his sponsorship managers who communicated with him regarding it. Im hoping he gets to use his theme for his fight on Jan. 29. As for others, I have teetered between pro fighters just starting out. One interesting thing I should mention is that I have several fighters that I communicate with in the UFC who want their own Custom Entrance Themes but as a policy UFC only allows popular music. Those fighters will remain nameless but there are several that arent particularly happy about it. I have others in Strikeforce that will have theme music coming down the pike, one of which made his Strikeforce debut on Dec 4, Coltin The Truth Cole. Several other fighters will be getting theme music from me within the next couple of months for several promotions to include Strikeforce.
PRO MMA NOW: Talk about some of the other services you offer other than just the walk out music.
MIKEY RUKUS: Aside from just Custom Entrance Themes for fighters, I create theme music for MMA websites, TV/radio shows, fight gear lines, and organizations looking for stock music at events, whether it be stock walkout music, or music to play in between fights. The key to all of this is any music done by me for a purchaser is a flat fee work for hire, meaning THE PURCHASER RETAINS 100% OF ALL COPYRIGHTS. That way there are no licensing fees, no royalties that need to be paid. These fighters, companies, etc. can actually build their brand through music, and can even set their music up for download on Itunes and Napster, or sell on Cds at their merchandise tables during their events. So the acquisition of the music is a two-fold investment, to create a brand identity and to create an additional flow of revenue, for fighters it could be extra gas money for an event, for an organization if could mean extra revenue to reinvest in the promotion for better production. I also perform live, MikeyRukus the band, where I am a solo artist with my own back up band, kinda like Kid Rock. We are a cover band in our local music scene, but look to perform at several MMA events in 2011 where I have provided music, not only for pre-fight festivities, but as live walk out music and even after parties!
PRO MMA NOW: When you are putting a walk out song together or making the music and producing some other product for a client, how much can they be involved in the creation process? What I mean is, say you put some lyrics down and they hear it and maybe want you to put in a girls voice instead of your own, or maybe they want a certain type of sound or a different instrument playing, how does that work and how involved can they get on the project?
MIKEY RUKUS: Its very simple, first is the agreement that the party must sign which basically states that any music I do for them is work for hire, and when the process is completed I relinquish all copyrights over to the client. In the music world, this is unheard of, but more on that later. A Paypal notification will follow. once the flat fee is paid the client and I either exchange emails or have a series of phone calls. They list every single thing they want said about their brand. For a fighter, it would basically chronicle their story, examples would be for The Outlaw Aaron Cobb, his story was how he served in the military and nearly died twice in Iraq, and him gaining the courage from that and used that as fuel to step in the cage. Or Coltin Cole, who actually died on a hospital operating table and was revived. I tell their hardships and their battles that they have conquered to get to where they are today. For brands or companies it could be catch-phrases that they want to be known for, or maybe they want their story told as well. I have them write all of that down, they let me know what style they are looking for, whether it be rock, hip hop, heavy metal, orchestral, whatever. My specialty is in the dramatics and high energy, I then create three small samples, completely original and all completely separate from each other. The client then chooses what they like the best and I complete it. The primary focus is on the music first, and the vocals usually come in later. They tell me if they want rapping or singing and I go with it. This is the clients song, and I give them what they are asking for all the way up until completion.
PRO MMA NOW: Im sure you are aware a lot of up-and-coming fighters dont make a lot of money. What about people who like what you do and would be interested but think something like this might be out of their budget, what would you say to them and what kind of cost are people looking at for this type of service?
MIKEY RUKUS: Many times in the case of a fighter on a smaller circuit looking for music, either myself or the fighter gets into contact with their fight manager and has them reinvest some of their sponsorship money to pay for the cost of the music. Some do typically pay out of their own pocket. As a policy I normally require full payment up front before work can begin, and I try to do everything through Paypal just because I have had issues with clients attempting to pay through money order and having it sent to the wrong address, etc. and it becomes a huge hassle. But again every client is a case by case basis. In some cases fighters can borrow the money from family members and when they receive their music they set it up on Itunes/Napster, and urge all of their friends and fans to download it. If an ammy fighter has 2,500 Facebook friends and 300 of them download the song at $1 then he has already made his investment back. There a ton of potential to not only make a return on the investment, but it connects with the fans, so when the build up in a fight takes place, it will be peaked when that fighter moves through the curtain, and there are hundreds, maybe thousands of fans singing back that song to a fighter, in essence, ushering him/her into battle.
PRO MMA NOW: What else would you like people know about Mikey Rukus?
MIKEY RUKUS: I am a happily re-married man with eight children, six of my own and my loving wife has two of her own. All range in age from 15-8. Also I have a great passion for the sport of MMA, and know without a doubt that what I am doing will help grow this sport. my goal is to become the go-to guy in the industry for any music needed! Also get ready to catch Mikey Rukus live in 2011, dates TBA!
PRO MMA NOW: Thanks for talking to us Mikey. I think you are providing a solid service. The production and quality sounds very professional and I wish you the best of luck. Tell people where they can learn more about you, check out some of your work and contact you if they want to get in touch.
MIKEY RUKUS: All of my work can be seen here: www.soundclick.com/mikerivera and I can be reached on Facebook: Mikey Rukus. All of the clients that I have done work for previously and all that will be releasing soon are on my Facebook page and I encourage others to contact them for references on my work