Whoever said the music industry is dead, obviously hasn’t met 24-year old DJ Tay James, who serves as pop star Justin Bieber’s personal DJ. Aside from having over five million channel views on his YouTube page and 200,000 Twitter followers, James’ rise to success in an era where the music scene reports of consistent decline, is the quintessentially American dream. “My life is something that I’ve watched on a TV screen before, it’s a come-up story,” says the 2009 Hampton University Business School graduate. “I really wasn’t expecting to DJ for Bieber, while I was watching him on YouTube. I never thought that my life was going to take that change and it did.”
James’ breakthrough arrived in 2009 when he received a call from Atlanta’s own DJ Boogie, who asked the young turntablist if he was interested in touring with a new singer named Justin Bieber. “The Bieber job came out of nowhere and it came at the perfect time because I was at that stage when my parents were getting on me like, ‘What are you going to do? You can’t really be a DJ for the rest of your life,’” he recalls. “I guess they considered my being a DJ a hobby, but I just kept on at it. I just kept doing what I was doing.”
To date, James has released over 77 mixtapes, resulting in more than 150,000 copies distributed in the mid-Atlantic region alone, and he has his own popular web portal WeKnowTheDJ.com. Not bad for a kid out of Baltimore who learned that setting himself apart from his competition to become a top-earner was simply a matter of fine-tuning his spinning/blending/mixing skills and mastering the art of effective branding. Currently on the Latin America leg of Bieber’s My World tour, DJ Tay James lends his advice to those looking to break bank in the music industry with his top six money-making solutions for new jocks.