1909, then sixteen-years-old Ray Newby used a small spark transmitter to play records. Newby was a California resident and college student who shared news and information and played records. So t makes perfect sense a college student is regarded as the radio pioneer for disk-jockeys. College students understand the importance of lively events! 107 years later, it seems that DJs are only getting better.
From securing contracts with popular recording artists, to DJing events for Fortune 500 companies and even hosting events with tens of thousands of attendees the life of an college DJ can be exciting, rewarding, and even a bit competitive, especially when more than one DJ vie for campus favor. In college, in particular at HBCUs thriving with minority culture which heavily celebrates music, parties and sporting events are valued as tradition. As a social marketplace, the feng shui, atmosphere, and mood of the entire event heavily relies on the music played, and the person behind the playlist. If the DJ gets it right, the crowd is in the palm of his or her hand–and if they mess up, the party doesn’t go down in history.
We want to know: which HBCU DJ delivers amazing mixes every single time? Is there an on-campus DJ that is responsible for hosting some of the best parties of your collegiate career? When you think about your freshman year memories, which DJ was on the 1s and 2s, helping you have the best night of your life?
In last year’s competition, FAMU’s DJ Loosekid swept the polls with almost 25,000 votes. The year before, in 2014’s competition, UAPB’s DJ Bruce Bruce won by a record-setting 39% of all votes collected. This year’s winner tops the polls with the most votes ever – nearly 13,000! The votes are in, here are the DJs representing HBCUs’ cream of the crop this year.
DJ Swerve – Howard University
Last but certainly not least is our last 2016 TOP 5 HBCU DJ, hailing from Howard University. Howard University, affectionately known as “The Mecca” amongst the HBCU community, breeds and attracts moguls in the music industry including the likes of P. Diddy, Yandy Smith-Harris, Drake, and Christopher “Biggie Smalls” Wallace. Conquering the Howard University crowd is no small victory and 21-year-old Courtney Beazer should be proud. The Atlanta native is rising senior, Sports Management major. With over 3,000 votes, more than 8 % of the poll alone, DJ Swerve is that last of this years TOP HBCU DJs.
DJ Trellz – Winston-Salem State University
Next on the TOP HBCU DJ list is a DJ that can certainly manage a lively, large crowd. DJ Trellz, Winston-Salem State University Ram makes the TOP 5 HBCU DJ list collecting over 8% of the entire voting poll alone – nearly 4,000 votes. Born Montrell Davis, the once marketing major jokingly admits that he is “every girls favorite DJ”. The 24-year-old is the official DJ for DJ Luke Nasty. Davis affirms the saying “Stay humble and always remember where you came from.”
DJ Will Aye – Prairie View A&M University
PV Nation amongst the HBCU community– is the stomping ground for the next top HBCU DJ. DJ Will Aye, born Willie Charles Arnold III is a junior studying Civil Engineering. With a 3.74 GPA, this DJ has a pretty solid backup plan if he decides to step away from the 1s and 2s of disk-jockeying. Representing PVAMU well, DJ Will Aye is responsible for nearly 15% of the votes alone.
DJ Will Aye says, “I aspire to inspire because DJing changed my life for the better. The influence and power you hold over a mass number of people through the sense of hearing is a thrill unmatched. This humbling recognition is going to push me to be even better, more active, and more dedicated to truly perfecting this craft of mine with DJing.”
DJ Bo Weezy – Florida A&M University
Rattlers are known to be prideful and the “FAMU-ly” bond couldn’t be any stronger. Studying Secondary and Physical Education, he knows how to liven up classrooms, gymnasiums, and parties! Born Ryan Jackson, this rattler collected 10,982 votes, nearly 25% of the entire poll. Bo Weezy, who is a 33-year-old and Miami native, is often called “The Crowd Pleaser.” He embraces the saying, “Make your next move, your best move. Don’t wait, don’t hesitate because it just might be too late.”
DJ KGrady – North Carolina A&T State University
DJ K Grady, born Kenneth Grady, is 2016’s #1 HBCU DJ. This North Carolina A&T State University student swept the polls. Over 45,000 votes were collected, 12,775 were for this Aggie.
With nearly 28% of the poll, DJ Kgrady is not only number one, he is number one by a landslide! On campus, if DJ KGrady is not there, the party hasn’t official begun. Can you imagine the mix played during GHOE (gee-hoe) Greatest Homecoming On Earth?
This Aggie is a Journalism and Mass Communication major from Wilmington, NC. If a career in the media doesn’t seem to work, he has an amazing talent for his plan B. This 22-year-old has much to be excited for and it started at a young age. Growing up he watched his dad DJ and knew he wanted to follow in his foot steps. He’s always had a passion for music and knew he had to do something with that passion.
DJ Kgrady began his DJ career 2 years ago and has been on a constant journey to refine his craft since that time.What really motivated him to keep going was the passing of his twin sister Jasmin. In her honor, he started the #DrakeSingForJasmin and the JasCity movement, which were trending in 2014. Grady has performed in several different clubs, several campus events, and in several different cities in NC. He also has done several segments on his hometown’s radio station – Wilmington’s Coast 97.3.
As he continues to make strides in his career and toward building his brand, he would like to thank everyone for the support, but he especially wants to thank his mom, his dad, his twin sister Jasmin who is watching over him from heaven, his girlfriend Kadavsha and his bros Desrick, DJ Got 1, DJ Trellz, and DPtheMC for keeping him grounded and always having his back. Knowing that he’s making his angel Jasmin proud means more than anything. Congratulations.