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B-Side Music Awards Features: The Music of Dwayne Johnson Jr.
In times of mass produced Hip Hop and Pop music, it’s refreshing to see a young man dare to step outside the box and construct his own sound. This is what the world will witness with the twenty one year old saxophonist Dwayne Johnson Jr.(“DJ”).
By: Franklin Washington
At 7 years of age, after hearing a flute for the first time in music class, D.J. started performing in his father’s church. “One day he approached me and asked if he and the children can perform a musical selection”, says Bishop D.J.L. Johnson Sr. I thought nothing of it, however wanting to encourage him, I allowed it. Instead of purchasing snack at school, DJ bought plastic recorders for all the children of the church. The Sunday they performed his version of Mary Had a Little Lamb, I knew something special was happening. At 10 years of age, he approached his mother, Kerine Johnson to purchase him a flute. Prior to purchasing the flute, I had to make sure that this was something he was going to be serious about and not just a passing phase. However, his passionate response “It just does something to me,” as told to my wife, let me know that he truly desired to play, so we purchased the flute. He would practice all day and night. While other children played, he would lock himself in his room and compose music. Every Sunday the church would look forward to hearing him play.
As his musical talent increased, so did his knowledge of his instruments. One day while we were in Sam Ash music store in Tampa, Florida we went to purchase another flute. DJ was 13 years old. I had always envisioned him playing the sax however he said it was an unsophisticated instrument compared to the crisp, classical sound of the flute. So while in the store, I told him that if you don’t want to play the sax, then I will learn. So I asked the salesperson who was helping us to let me sample one of the saxophones. I blew into the horn and it sounded so bad that he was embarrassed and asked me to stop. The salesperson let him know that if he transferred the skills he has as a flute player to the saxophone, he would be able to make some great sounds and take his music to another level. He put the same passion and commitment into the sax as he did the flute, and the result is Soulfood Jazz. After one night of practice, he was able to come to church the next morning and bring down the house. At seven years of age, he fell in love with the flute, at 13 years of age, he married the sax.
D.J. now plays soprano, alto and tenor sax and has recruited some high school friends, young church members, and students of the Mother Geneva Johnson Preparatory Academy, where he teaches music to create his music company, D.J. Johnson Worldwide Entertainment, LLC.
A company he will use to develop young artist and release his own music to the world. D.J.’s first C.D., Soulfood Jazz-In the Groove was released in 2004. It features six original songs and remakes of Christmas classics. It has become a big seller during the holiday shopping season in the malls throughout South Carolina and Central Florida. D.J.’s live performances to promote his C.D., and charity events put on by his father’s ministry has got him recognition on morning T.V. shows and local radio in South Carolina as well as in New York, Florida and Washington, DC. His group has opened for Neena Freelon at the historical MOJA Jazz festival in Charleston, South Carolina in 2006 and will return to open for Smooth Jazz Great Najee in 2007. They were also the proud winners of the Carolina Scholarship’
D.J. teamed up with co-writer Otis Wright Jr. to produce his second C.D. Faith & Love, which was released in the Fall of 2007. Faith & love was his first release from D.J.’s label D.J. Johnson Worldwide Entertainment, LLC.
For a young man who was born with a severe lung ailment that prohibited him from breathing to now being able to win the hearts of everyone by playing a saxophone is truly a miracle. As D.J. says repeatedly to his students and band members, “if you put God first anything is possible”. He is proving this by the life he is living and the music he’s creating.
B-Side Music Awards selected Dwayne Johnson Jr because of his strong ties to community service. The reason why Dwayne wants to get known is to save a school & land that will house veterans & home for girls & much more from being lost. He need investors and donators now.
You can check out Dwayne Johnson Jr’s music here: http://www.bsidemusicawards.com/