Hampton University

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HU Alum Deejaying for Teen Sensation Justin Bieber

Tay James

Tay James

Hampton University Alumnus Taylor James, also known as DJ Tay James or The Boy Wonder, is continuing to decorate his already illustrious career as a DJ. In addition to his repertoire of more than 100 mixtapes, James has been the official DJ for teen sensation Justin Bieber since June.

“I got a call from DJ Boogie who had referred me to Justin. I dropped everything I was doing and flew to Oklahoma, and I’ve been with him ever since,” said James.

James’ success comes as no surprise. James, a Baltimore, Md. native, has been DJing since he was 12 and has been self-employed since he was 16. James also interned for Unruly Production and Communication when he was 16. There he learned the business aspect of the music industry.

James also credits HU for some of his knowledge of entrepreneurship. “My accounting, international business and marketing classes have definitely helped prepare me,” said James.

In addition to touring with Bieber, James has a blog, a website that gets over 10,000 views daily and he continues to produce mix tapes, the most recent of which, College Radio 14, has over 1,000 downloads.

Justin Beiber Concert

James touring with Bieber in London

Despite his success, James says that he’s “not really in yet” and he plans to move on to bigger projects. However, he has accomplished one of his goals. “I wanted to be ‘googleable,’” he joked.

For the mean time, James has been busy touring with Bieber in London and is currently preparing for appearances on Saturday Night Live, Nickelodeon and American Idol. Of Bieber, James said, “He’s like a little brother. I signed with him because I saw his potential.”

“Mr. Grade A” has come a long way from his days as HU’s go-to DJ, but he still associates with his fellow Hamptonians such as up-and-coming rapper Blake Kelly who’s first mixtape generated over 11,000 downloads. To his peers looking to break into the industry, James said, “Don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t be self-employed. If you want it bad enough; grind, hustle and make it happen.”

-Krystan Hitchcock