This spirited being was our Emcee and DJ on the Peace Love Tacos food truck that I worked with during the past couple summers at music festivals all over the country. I swear he could just sense my energy levels drop to a dangerously low level that was perhaps the mark of a ten hour shift with no quitting time in sight and all of a sudden one of my favorite mixes that gave me this shock of energy would be playing per his doing.
Ben Ramos, or B-Ray is very much from Los Angeles. You can tell by his empassioned commitment to the LA music and arts community, his steazy scarves, and a bit from the way he prepares for cold weather and still manages to be so stylish.
Last summer, while driving a Uhaul full of taco making supplies from Firefly Music Festival in Deleware to Electric Forest Music Festival in Michigan, we made a stop at Nelson Ledges Quarry Park in Ohio. We parked the Uhaul in a row of camper vans and next to a purple school bus that ran alongside the quiet lake. After wandering through tall, shady trees around the lake, we found a place to cliff jump. B-Ray said he’d never cliff jumped before and with basiclly zero hesitation more than just soaking up the moments of thrill leading up to free falling before hitting the fresh, chilly water, he lept off the side with that carefree enthusiasm of a 12 year old boy before the other two of us could even get down to our swimsuits. His excitement for new experiences and to embrace other people’s lifestyles as well as his ability to maintain his own flair in the process is both endearing and so inspiring.
These are the people that are most important for me, personally, to encounter in life, and particularly when traveling, as a reminder to throw caution to the wind sometimes and just see what’s waiting at the end of a free fall.
I watched B-Ray transform our taco truck into a late night stage with a rowdy DJ set on Shakedown Street at Bonaroo 2014. He got the go ahead from our boss, spent his off hours promoting and raged it until the sun was nearly up. Our elevated prep station was his stage and the rather spacious gap between that and the assembly line was our dance floor with people spilling out on either side. That was the first time I saw him perform and although the festival discontinued our late night stage for the rest of the weekend, it didn’t matter, he crushed it. He seized an opportunity while he had the chance, because sometimes, it’s just better to ask for forgiveness than for permission.
His resilience isn’t just reserved for himself either; he’s just as ready to be a spokesperson for and to learn from any one around him that he sees doing what they’re passionate about. When I asked him to do a Lindsey Stirling remix for me (because shes my favorite artist to spin fire to), there was no hesitation, I could instantly feel how stoked he was to collaborate with me in that way. Secondary to music, he has a serious love for conspiring with others. Which to me, elludes to his humbleness and speaks from his serious passion for people and for coming together to make things more divine and more impacting than we can do on our own. – Much love to you B-Ray