Music caught 18-year-old Barnard Brooks aka DJ Young Music's attention at a very young age. First and foremost, his uncle is R&B veteran and Grammy nominee, Ginuwine. Also, Kevin "Khao" Cates, one of the hottest producers in the industry, introduced him to the mechanical components of being a producer and DJ. Young Music's love and fascination for music allowed him to hone his craft as a DJ, producer, songwriter, and CEO of his own label. As a teenager, he toured with Ginuwine and TGT as their official DJ. Last December, he launched a development deal with E-One Distribution to release music on his own label, DJ Young Music Entertainment. The business deal that Young Music made with E-One demonstrates his savvy business skills and vision.
But as much DJ Young Music is dedicated to music, he still maintains a 4.0 GPA, which exemplifies his hard work and commitment to his studies. His life story will encourage young adults to still pursue their dreams and get an education at the same time. As you can see, knowledge is powerful and everyone is a student to life.
DJ Young Music took some time off from his busy schedule to converse with Singersroom about his career moves as an artist, his love for music, his uncle Ginuwine, and more. Check out our interview with the talented youngster!
Making the Decision to Become a Producer/DJ: Growing up, I looked up to producer, Kevin "Khao" Cates. He produced T.I.'s song "Why You Wanna," and worked with Beyonce, Young Jeezy, Snoop Dogg, Pharrell, Ludacris; I mean there's just a whole list of artists. Kevin was my mentor and I hung around him a lot since I was six. He taught me how to count my beats and showed me the ropes as a producer/DJ. So then, I started deejaying and really became good at it, and when I was 12, I bought a Technics SL-1200 turntable. When I turned 16, I started touring with my uncle Ginuwine and TGT because he really believed in my talent. He gave me my shot; I didn't know what to say, but I was living out my dreams.
Coming Up with the Stage Name, DJ Young Music: I came up with that name because I want to make music for the young people. All young people want to party and have a good time, so that's what I'm here to do as a DJ.
Concept Behind the Single, "Right Here": Actually, the song was a true story because I actually took a dude's chick and then my artists, Frank Benz, DA-RAI turned it into a song within the next hour or two. The beat to the song was perfect and when you listen to it, it's hot. It's a crazy hit and you can download it on iTunes, Google Music,and Amazon.
Mixtape, Something for the Streets Volume 2: This mixtape was from my very own catalog and it's straight up hip-hop on this mix-tape from various artists. This is a way for young hip-hop fans to listen to what's hot. It blends well with the younger crowd. Something for the Streets Volume 2 mixtape is a gateway for people to listen to my next mixtape, DYMG (DJ Young Music Group), and my first album, which will be released in summer 2015. But, on the DYMG mixtape, the music is original and it's released on my label. It's a way for me to show everyone my work as a DJ and producer.
Balancing School with Music: School is not overwhelming because I've been focusing on my music career and school for a while. I've been doing this since I was in the 9th grade. I am used to it, working until the wee hours of the morning, maybe get an hour or two of sleep and then go to school. I still get those A's on my report cards and exams because I know getting an education comes first. It is important for me to keep my grades up because I have to graduate from high school first (lol). Getting an education is a wonderful thing because no one can take that away from you and it's a valuable tool. You can't be a rapper or a DJ forever, so you need something to fall back on when you retire. With an education, you can get an office job, a government job, or any job because you have an education.
Career Influences: Diddy is my major influence because he is the perfect example of a businessman, who build his empire from the ground up. He is my favorite because as a young entrepreneur, he inspires me to launch my own label and have a career in music and film. Diddy has done it all and he continues to do it, he is someone I really respect in this business. I would also have to say Jay, Dre, and 50 Cent.
Feeling Pressured to Be Great Because Your Uncle is Ginuwine: I don't feel pressured. I just want to make him proud. My uncle encourages me to do great things, and I really enjoy making music. Yes, his words are encouraging and stern because he knows how cold the industry can be, especially when you're young. His words have allowed me to stay strong and focused. Like I said, he was the first person to give me a shot at deejaying and if it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be where I am today.
His Message to the Young People: I feel like since I made it, and I'm just getting started in the business, I want to give back to people who don't really have the same opportunities as me. People that have the talent and skills as musicians, but may not get the exposure. You can't forget about those that don't have because it could of easily been me at anytime. I want to help them, so they will be able to achieve greatness. That's my goal; I want to help people that are limited to achieving their careers in music because I know that will set me apart from other young artists.