Daniel Perez is what you would call a modern day Renaissance man. In other words, this homie has done and is doing many big things. But the start of it all came from Daniel's early days in lowriding. He owned a shop that did hydraulics and was an avid rider back in the day. For this reason, Daniel knows his way around a car and, more importantly, knows and appreciates what it takes to build an award-winning car. The video part came in when someone was supposed to show up at his shop to videotape a bunch of lowriders for a really popular video back on the West Coast.
The person never showed up, so Daniel and some friends just started taping themselves and came up with some hittin' footage and edited themselves. In that moment, the hustle called East Coast Ryders was born. The first DVD, How We Ryde In The Dirty South, was equal parts lowrider cars and "big rims." The big rim scene was already starting to happen and Daniel was in the right place at the right time. The success of the first video was based more on what the streets in the South were craving and, at the time, it was big rims.
After much discussion, they made the decision to focus on the big rim scene. The videos' main focus would be on the streets; no fronting and faking for these guys, because they know the streets won't have it. Besides, since they're doing it out of the trunk, they only have to worry about pleasing themselves and the streets that are buying it. The cars and owners became the stars, and with a soundtrack from up and coming hip-hop artists including Pitbull and Piccalo, it was bound to blow. Piccalo's "Vedo No-Shake" and "Des-Locke" created the East Coast Ryders anthem and anyone who has seen the videos knows the song.
And it seems that everyone these days knows about the ECR videos all over the country. What was born and bred in South Florida has grown into a national and international phenomenon. Daniel gets orders for his videos from all parts of the country and lands as far away as Asia and Europe. Riding big is hitting with a knockout punch and ECR is responsible for putting it on the map for all to see.
At one of their first shows in Augusta, Georgia, we had the chance to see first-hand the cars and faces of this movement. We had a chance to holla at Daniel over dinner and got a few insights into the man and his mission. Here you have it... the story behind East Coast Ryders and how they single-handedly brought light to "ridin' big."
Swrv: So the show looks like it was a success?
ECR: Yeah, we had more than 300 cars and we had a lot of support from the people at Clear Channel and just our people who support the DVDs and website.
Swrv: You had DVD #4 and some die-cast cars for sale. It looks like you're really doing big things right about now.
ECR: After SEMA last year, we went down to L.A. to speak with the people at Maisto. They were excited about the cars and wanted to partner with us and help us get our own line of cars out. So out of that came 12 East Coast Ryders "King of the Street" series cars and you can find them in major stores like Wal-Mart and K-Mart. It was hectic getting out the Volume 4 DVD with a couple of sleepless nights editing and a flight to L.A. to hand deliver the video for pressing to make it to this show. But that's what you do when you're on the grind. We plan on making this big! We're currently working on getting a video distribution deal and really branding the "East Coast Ryders" and "King of the Street" franchise.
Swrv: Well, if the past is any indication of the future, ECR should be good to go on all counts.