Brian Jackson, aka “DJBJ 3525,” is the most recognizable DJ in Detroit. At 17, he decided to start DJing with the hopes of becoming one of the top power players in Detroit, and ever since he’s done just that, along with so many other amazing things. He’s a Rick Ross affiliated Black Bottle Boy via Luc Belaire. He has his own clothing line, 3525 Clothing, which is in Mr. Alans stores across Michigan, and he recently started a nonprofit organization titled 3525 World, which is geared toward helping the youth in Detroit. He wants the children of Detroit to realize that there are alternative methods to make money without having to encapsulate themselves into the street life that claims so many on a daily basis.
Talk about your upbringing in Detroit. Being that Detroit is known for its rich musical background, how did this influence you to start Djing?
Well actually, I grew up around music. My father actually owned a record shop as I was growing up, so music as always been in my life. It’s been in my life since I was born and watching him being around stars such as Michael Jackson and The Temptations, I told him one day that I was going to have a book of stars just like him, except my photo-book is now on social media and I’m pictured with artists like Jeezy, 2 Chainz, and T.I. So that was something that really kicked my career off and I always knew music and math. Math was the only class that I could pass in college but when you put the two together, you got deejaying and the rest is history.
How did you obtain your position at the Detroit radio station Hot 107.5?
I ran into Shorty da Prince around 2009 and it was a club full of DJ’s, but somehow me and him just clicked and he gave me his boss number. All of this was happening while I was still on the come up so he told me not to call her on a Sunday because he gave me the number on a Saturday. He wanted me to wait until he let her know that I was going to call that Monday but my dad told me to call her that night and tell her that I was the hottest DJ in the city so I called her phone and left voicemail’s and I never got a phone call back. So then they put a post-up on their website and said that they were looking for a new DJ and I submitted my mix and that’s how I actually got into the station. When I first started I was just a mixer so I wasn’t talking on air at all because I was shy. 106 & Park called and took Shorty away so then the station became wide open so my boss said that she wanted me to fill in and if I liked it, then I would receive a full-time position at the station and at that point I still wasn’t talking because I was shy. Then the station told me that you get paid to talk and that’s when my career catapulted because it exposed me to new opportunities and that’s why I use deejaying as my platform and from there came movies, endorsement deals, clothing, etc.
What’s one piece of advice you would tell any young person who’s trying to do the same thing that you’re doing for a living?
I always tell the youth that closed mouths don’t get fed and if I would have opened up my mouth earlier in my career, there’s no telling where I would be at right now.
How does it feel when you go into a Mr. Alans store and see your 3525 Clothing brand?
It really didn’t hit me until my birthday last Thursday. I walked into three different Mr. Alans stores and my stuff was right in the front so as soon as you walk in, it was sitting right there and that’s when it really hit me. Sometimes you really don’t [know] your moving while you’re moving because it’s you that’s moving but once you slow down and actually see the final product, it’s like wow, that’s something that I actually did. Mr. Alans really picked up on my new “Detroit” collection because they feel like the city embraces me on a new level and they like the concept behind the collection which is based around the youth, promoting positivity and nonviolence.
Talk about your nonprofit organization, 3525 Word, and the origins behind that.
Growing up, I saw a lot of people do school giveaways and go to the schools and talk to the kids so I told myself once I got into a certain position, I didn’t just want to do that. I wanted to be the person that was really going to make a difference and make a change so I saw how the kids embraced me during my school tour so the non-profit really came about because I was talking to my mother and she really wanted to help me just do something different that no DJ or artist has ever done before so that’s how 3525 World came about. My non-profit is catered toward child obesity and keeping the youth young and healthy. The other part of my non-profit is catered toward youth violence and kids with incarcerated parents. I just want to be that role model for the youth in the city of Detroit.