(NNPA)–While most students are looking forward to a summer break that may include barbecues, a trip to the beach or a family vacation, one local high school standout is preparing to go on tour with music superstar Chris Brown.
Bernard Brooks III – better known as DJ Young Music – has created quite the brand for himself and a loyal following of fans who listen to him spin the latest tunes every Wednesday at 10 p.m. for District radio station WPGC 95.5 FM. Others know him as the official DJ for singer Ginuwine.
The 18-year-old wunderkind, who graduated from high school on May 22, recently became the youngest artist to sign a distribution deal with eOne Entertainment, an international company with offices across the globe.
DJ Young Music has also been called upon to spin music for rap mogul Diddy and superstar Nicki Minaj’s Super Bowl after-party.
What’s more, with all of the immediate success, he’s maintained a spot on his high school’s honor roll.
If the accomplishments sound surprising for someone as young as him, it’s certainly not to DJ Young Music.
“Some things you know are going to come and some things you don’t know are going to come,” he said.
“Since I was 9 and 10 years old, I’ve been telling people what I was going to do and what I would accomplish. This isn’t a surprise to me because if you put in enough hard work and have the heart, things will start coming,” the young DJ said.
A good portion of his success can be attributed to a focus that’s rare for most teens.
In what may have been an unintentional nod to a Snoop Dogg song, DJ Young Music said he keeps his mind on his music and on earning money.
“The way I’m working, right now music is my friend. Music and money and, at the end of the day, if you’re not helping me then I don’t need you around,” he said. “The majority of my time is spent doing radio mixes and the radio stuff is really serious.”
In addition to his WPGC gig, DJ Young Music also spins for other stations in other markets.
He also noted that he has a project in the works featuring members of his own independent label.
“We have a compilation mix tape with me, my artists Frank Benz, Da-Rai and other musicians,” DJ Young Music said.
In December, he became the youngest artist to sign a full development deal that allows him to release music, films and soundtracks of new artists through his own label.
His “Something for the Streets, Vol. 2,” mix tape has garnered more than 250,000 downloads. He says it’s just the beginning.
“I’m in phase two of my life and right now I’m the youngest in history to touch the airwaves in Washington, D.C., with music and film deals and I have the number three independent song in the country,” he said.
Despite the bravado, DJ Young Music said he realizes the importance of an education and not getting involved with the wrong crowd.
Simply put, he doesn’t have the time or the inclination for that, he said.
His handlers also aren’t surprised by his focus and dedication to his craft.
They said when most six-year-olds were mastering the art of ramp jumping on their BMX’s, DJ Young Music was taking notes from Grammy-nominated producers such as Kevin “Khao” Cates who shared with him the importance of learning beat counts.
By 11, DJ Young Music had become seasoned enough to earn a tour invite from Ginuwine. He was promoted from roadie to official national tour DJ at age 16.
Recently, DJ Young Music earned the crown of being Live Nation/Scream Nation Mad DJ of the DMV.
And, the recent high school graduate who will perform with Chris Brown this summer isn’t bashful when giving career advice to other young aspiring musicians.
“Just look at me,” he said. “Pick your path and become the best you can be because that’s what I did. I’m trying to be myself, so you too be yourself.”
Special to the NNPA from The Washington Informer