Taylor Austin James, better known as DJ Tay James, is an American DJ and MC. He was signed to Unruly Records in 2005, and after several years playing clubs in the Washington D.C. and Baltimore area began touring as Justin Bieber’s DJ and MC in 2009. He recently embarked on what will be a two year stint for Justin Bieber’s “Purpose World Tour”. Tay is also launching season nine of his hugely popular web-series WeKnowTheDJ.com, which follows Tay on his globetrotting experiences as a celebrity DJ. Along with re-launching WeKnowTheDJ.com, he continues to release his own music, headline nightclubs, venues, and corporate/celebrity events around the globe and is working on a project with AwesomenessTV which will highlight his ability for spotting and developing new talent.
Check our exclusive interview next!
Hi Tay, please tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a DJ and producer from Baltimore, Maryland, founder of WeKnowTheDJ.com and currently on tour as the official tour DJ for Justin Bieber.
When and how did you start DJing?
When I was twelve years old I saw DJ Scribble on MTV and was so inspired by him that my dad bought me my first pair of turntables for Christmas. My brother taught me the ropes and I started to DJ at parties for my sister and her friends. At 15 I began interning at Unruly Records and once I started getting paid for gigs I quit my job at Burger King and made making music my main focus. I got signed by Unruly Records after graduation and began spinning at CD listening parties and nightclubs.
Which artists and styles inspired and influenced you?
What advice do you live by?
Go against the grain, always ask for forgiveness instead of permission.
Best stage/party/club you have ever played?
So many good ones, hard to say which one is best.
Describe your sound in 3 words?
Energetic, innovative and sensational 🙂
Top 3 songs to play?
Justin Bieber – Sorry, Justin Bieber – Company, Kanye – Father Stretch My Hands.
Any future plans you want to share with us?
My project WeKnowTheDJ.com recently entered into a collaboration with Diamond Supply Co. to create a capsule collection, “Diamond Knows the DJ”. We wanted to create fashion forward clothing and gear for DJs and I’m also working on an EP.
Tell us about how you got to be the official tour DJ for Justin Bieber?
I started working with Justin early in his career. It was his third performance ever. It was at a water park in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was a small act, just Justin and I and two dancers. Sean Kingston was supposed to headline the show but ended up pulling out last minute so we got to headline the show. After that I continued to work with him; opening concerts, contributing to his song “Right Here” and DJ’ing and MC’ing on his “Believe Tour”.
How is Justin outside the cameras and paparazzi?
The most loyal person I know and a great guy
Now tell us about your successful web-series WeKnowTheDJ.com?
WeKnowTheDJ.com started out as an online publication that featured music from up-and-coming artists and big names. In 2009 I posted the first video of my first show with Justin and then not long after WeKnowTheDJ web-series was launched, it features an inside look from my sets and residences at nightclubs and touring with Justin. This year I’ll be launching the ninth season of the web-series and I’ve teamed up with DJ Mo Beatz and DJ Bonics and we’re turning the focus on all things DJ. There will be interviews, video tutorials, news and behind the scenes footage.
Funniest thing that ever happened at an event?
Once in Norway fans attacked our vehicle and ripped the doors open, it was pandemonium!
What advice would you give to up and coming DJs?
Make sure you evolve. The game is constantly changing. Be up on the new and next trends
What do you do in your spare time if any?
Listen to new music, buy shoes, work on ideas for WeKnowTheDJ.com
What music we can find in your iPod?
NERD, Mos Def, Kanye, Justin Bieber
Idea of a perfect Sunday?
Hanging out with my closest friends and family
How important is Social Media for you?
It’s a huge tool for sure. I went to school for business so I know the importance of marketing etc.
Where can we follow you?
@DJTayJames on Twitter, FB, IG and DJTayJames.com
Food: Chicken fingers and fries
Travel destination: Australia
Favorite song: Kanye – I Wonder
Actress/Actor: Denzel Washington & Leo DiCaprio
Tv Series: Mad Men, Breaking Bad
Sports Team: Cavaliers
Photo Credit: Michael Lerner