From working with big corporate brands to independent artists, Jash Jay isn’t your typical DJ. Learn how he got into the music industry, advice on becoming a DJ, and what we can look forward to.
How did you get started in the music industry?
During my college undergrad years (Louisiana State University) I was heavily involved in college radio and television. I moved to Atlanta in 2010 to complete my undergraduate degree at Georgia State University (B.A. in Journalism & Speech Communication) and landed a couple of cool internships and other media-related opportunities. After graduating, I worked a sales job that I hated. I ended up quitting…only to land another sales position. I was making decent money but I knew these jobs weren’t for me. I DJ’d part-time on weekends and would go into work on Monday completely exhausted. I knew I had to give up something and it for sure wasn’t going to be DJing. After being laid off twice (three corporate jobs in), I vowed to never step foot in an office again unless I was meeting someone about a dope gig to spin. I stepped out on faith.
Do you miss working in radio?
I love radio. I hosted a late night bi-weekly electronic radio show on Tuesday and Thursday nights. I was literally the only student in the studio until about 1:30 am. It was cool because I would have regular listeners who would call in during music breaks to keep me entertained throughout the night. I even had some listeners send over mix CDs from time to time just to share some new music with me. This was a few years before SoundCloud and other audio sharing/streaming platforms were popular. I ended up being promoted to Traffic Director and Electronic Music Programming Director. When I moved to Atlanta, I interned for a couple of stations. Hosted a radio show for Seacrest Studios (Ryan Seacrest Foundation) and interned for Ryan Cameron and Elle Duncan at V-103 for two semesters while wrapping up school at GSU. I was offered a position with V-103 following my internship, but turned it down. It seemed right at the time, which I still believe it was. More recently, I’ve wondered where I’d be had I taken it. I’ve been reconsidering it.
How did you start DJing Corporate Events?
Most of my corporate gigs resulted from people either hearing me play and approaching me during my set or referrals. I don’t have any representation (manager/agent), by the way, so all of these occurrences are beyond blessings. Corporate gigs are just a very small part of what I do. I spin lots of different events ranging from premier clubs, sponsored/curated/private events, corporate gigs, shows, you name it. More recently, I’ve been able to tap into the festival realm which has always been a dream of mine.
What advice would you give to someone who is interested in being a DJ?
First, ask yourself why you want to become a DJ. Is it your love for music? Are you intrigued by the technical aspect of the art? Or do you just want to look cool? It should never be the latter. Practice, practice, practice. I’d practice so much I’d forget to eat sometimes. I’d cancel outings with friends to practice. I never stop practicing. Don’t be afraid to ask other DJs for advice. In the past, I’ve never been one to ask for advice nor have I had a mentor, but I understand how crucial this may be to one’s success. I’ve always been very shy contrary to what people see when I spin. I’ve only recently warmed up to asking questions and picking people’s brains without feeling like I’m nagging, wasting their time, or being judged. Thank God I’ve started to do this. You can gain a wealth of knowledge. Build your music library of course. Get out and listen to other DJs. Hear what people are listening to; what makes the crowd move. As you continue to hone your skill set, you’ll be able to create your unique sound. You never want to sound exactly like someone else.
You also work with independent artists. Do you create music with them or play their music?
I enjoy working with artists. I’ve had the opportunity to spin for some pretty big acts over the years down to helping newer, indie artists curate performances. Whether it’s supporting them on stage or simply adding elements to their show tracks to create something fresh and unique, it’s always an enjoyable experience. I’d love to produce for artists eventually.
What can we look forward to from Jash Jay?
More cool events and original content. More storytelling through music. I’d like to hit up some new cities in the coming months…maybe spin a festival or two. I’m excited about expanding my reach and refining my craft. I just want to keep people dancing and inspired.
Make sure to follow Jash Jay on Instagram.
Photo Cred: Chelsea Patricia