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Vex Ruffin: 10 Influences for LiteAce Frequency LP

Vex Ruffin portait by Danny Scott Lane

Vex Ruffin’s third LP for Stones Throw – LiteAce Frequency –  goes back to his roots.  Seventies Manila sound and Pinoy soul influences flirt with Japanese funk, Brazilian vibes, and hip-hop.

“At my age, you start to reflect,” Vex says, “I’m going back to my roots, channelling that time, mixing nostalgia with how I am right now.

“If you don’t believe in yourself, that’s a fear. I think everyone is good at something. Everyone has a dream. Sometimes there’s a voice inside you that’s guiding you, and you don’t follow it because of fear. This album is about going with your heart. Follow your heart. Self-love. Positive things. Believe in yourself. Going for it.”

Enjoy the latest single, What Matters The Most, and peruse Vex’s top 10 influences for the new album while you do.

LiteAce Frequency is out 21 August 2020


The Juan de la Cruz Band – Palengke

This song is Pinoy rock to the max.

Pepe Smith sings about buying vegetables in the palengkes, which are outdoor markets in the Philippines. This is music from my dad’s era. My dad told me that they used to see him in the palengke in our province in Lipa Batangas buying food.

VST & Company – Ayos Ba

They’re the Pinoy Bee Gees. I really love their music.

This was my mom’s generation. This song is more jazz and soul than the other disco sounding ones they’ve put out. They’re always in my rotation.

Eraserheads – Overdrive

When I lived in Manila in the nineties they had just come out and their music was played everywhere. Especially Pare Ko.

I remember being in the fourth grade and we‘d all sing it in class. It’s Pinoy pop-rock that takes me back. The vibe is a major influence on LiteAce.

Joe Bataan – Ordinary Guy

This is a beautiful song by Joe Bataan. He is one of my idols. His style and his history inspires me. This is my favorite song from him.

He’s humble, a simple guy from the streets and a tough guy that happens to make incredible music. The king of Latin soul but he’s half black and half Filipino and one of the first artists to record a rap song.


Haruomi Hosono – Shimendoka

Hosono is a legend. I admire that he always switches it up, every album sounds different and that’s what I aspire to do as an artist.

This song is a classic and all his music puts me in a good mood.

Gil Gilberto – Palco

Brazilian music is always an influence of mine. Gil is one of my favorite Brazilian artists. A huge influence on LiteAce.

Roc Marciano – Choosin’ Fees

My favorite artist in the last 8 years. He always manages to find the best samples and loops and leaves the tracks simple. I do that too. He’s got the best bars in my opinion. I love all his projects.

Bad Brains – Attitude

Their overall attitude, more specifically their positive mental attitude, is a huge influence on where my head is at right now and hope everyone can hear it in my music.

PMA all day!

Steve Arrington – Nobody Can Be You

Steve is the king. This song is so positive and funky and it’s a crowd favorite. He really is the best in my opinion and a great guy.

I met him a few times and we were talking boxing for like an hour. Shout out to Steve Arrington! GOAT.

Sampaguita- Easy Pare

She is an amazing Pinay woman and very beautiful. She paved the way for OPM (Original Pilipino Music) artists. I think she’s very unique.

Definitely ahead of her time and a great performer. Rak en roll talaga!

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