Growing up as the youngest of four siblings, CJ learned the importance of understanding different perspectives at a very young age. He was born to a strong-willed father and a mother who led with patience over bravado, a combination that taught him to move with his heart and treat people with respect. These principles have been the foundation of his career as a DJ and performer for the past 20 years.
CJ began DJing as a teenager in the mid-90s, drawn in by the rise of hip-hop and its emphasis on unity and self expression. Being from Chicago, he looked up to DJs in the local scene for their ability to establish mood and create momentum, learning the language of a crowd and cradling those impulses for hours at a time. CJ quickly realized that DJing could be a platform to translate the values of his community into a collective experience, an idea that became the leading motive behind his practice.
Through his willingness to learn from his colleagues as well as his peers, CJ has carved out a career that underlines the importance of empowering those around you for the greater growth of us all. Over two decades, he’s worked alongside renowned creatives such as Questlove, Kool Herc, Ali Shaheed Muhammed of A Tribe Called Quest, Nas, and many others that carry on in a lineage rooted in meaningful experience and devoid of ego. To CJ, art is most importantly a method for self-reflection and sharing information. Beyond rocking a party, his commitment to DJing is lined with the responsibility to positively contribute to an industry, and world, in constant flux.
CJ is a father, a friend, a mentor, and a dynamic creative focused on uplifting his community. His latest mission is to share his experience through programs that encourage underprivileged Chicago youth to pursue media arts, providing more efficient access to the ideas that have helped him unlock his fullest potential. He believes photography, film, recording music, beatmaking, and of course DJing should be introduced early on as viable career options. With an unrelenting desire to improve, CJ’s message will outlive him because his lifework is to contribute to the growth of others.
"I’ve collaborated with CJ on many different events, and he’s proven time and time again that he thoroughly understands the importance of keeping the music consistent with the vibe and overall message of the production. His confidence in reading a room is reinforced by his professionalism when dealing with venue staff and his ability to adapt under pressure, trouble-shooting unpredictable issues on-the-fly in order to keep an event on schedule. His knowledge of music spans genres, and his open-minded nature makes him an easy choice among an increasingly saturated industry. Not to mention, he’s an incredible turntablist, a fleeting skill among his competitors."
– Dan Kozerski