7 Famous Producers/DJ’s with College Degrees
The University of California, Santa Barbara
Before being nominated for a Grammy in 2013, Steve Aioki attended the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he completed 2 bachelor degrees; sociology and feminist studies. While in college, Aioki would throw shows from his apartment known as “The Pickle Patch.” He would later go on to have tremendous success in the music industry, starting his own record label called Dim Mak, collaborating with several huge artists like Lincoln Park, will.i.am, Fall Out Boy, etc, and becoming the highest grossing artist in 2012 from touring.
The University of Central Florida, Temple University
If you haven’t heard of Diplo before then you have been probably living under a rock. His real name is Thomas Wesly Pentz Jr. and he has collaborated with pretty much everyone; Beyonce, Madonna, Britney Spears, Justin Bieber, Usher, Snoop Dogg, Gwen Stefani, Sia…you get the picture. The first college he went to was The University of Central Florida. Just like Steve Aioki he threw and DJ’ed popular parties to gain a following. He also DJ’ed at a local radio station. He then moved to Philadelphia to go to Temple University. His big break into the mainstream happened when he helped the rapper M.I.A. produce the smash hit Paper Planes which was nominated for a Grammy and peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. The rest is history.
Brigham Young University, University of Utah
Kaskade’s real name is Ryan Gary Raddon. He is from Chicago, Illinois and is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He attended Brigham Young University in Utah where he practiced and mastered his DJ’ing skills in his dorm room. After his time at Brigham he traveled to Japan to serve a 2 year full time mission where he provided humanitarian aid to people living in poverty. When he got back to the states he decided to further his studies at the University of Utah, where he received a bachelor’s degree in communications. After graduating he and his wife moved to San Francisco because he got a job at a house and electronic label called Om Records. He continued producing music and in 2004 he had his first top 10 single in 2004 titled “Steppin’ Out.” He has been continuing to kill it the last 15 years.
The University of Central Florida
Henry Fong discovered his passion for DJ’ing and producing while he attended the University of Central Florida. When he wasn’t studying he played at local clubs and held residencies in Orlando, Florida. After he graduated with a double major in communications and criminal justice, he moved out to LA to pursue music full time. He released his music through big EDM labels like Diplo’s Mad Decent, Skrillex’s OWSLA and Steve Aioki’s Dim Mak, along with many more. By 2015 Henry Fong was a major player in the scene, he was able to start his own record imprint titled Banzai Recs.
University of Leeds
Matt Relton (aka Kidnap Kid) chose his stage name after he went to court for jokingly kidnapping one of his friends at a KFC when he was 17. He is from South Yorkshire, England and got a politics and crime degree at the University of Leeds. In 2012, he was awarded with iTunes US’s “Best Electronic Song” for his track “Vehl.” Since 2016 he has been releasing his music through his own label titled Birds That Fly. In 2017, his album ABA was nominated at the Electronic Music awards for Record of the Year.
University of Illinois
J. Phlip’s real name is Jessica Phillippe. She graduated with an engineering degree at the University of Illinois. This is extremely impressive because while she was getting straight A’s in all her classes she was also a very talented DJ/producer. In 2005, she won a DJ competition then started touring the United States. She moved to San Francisco and hooked up with the EDM label Dirtybird Records, which won Underground Label of the Year in 2013. Her first release through Dirtybird “j” was a smash hit and put her on the map. She started in the clubs in SF but soon started touring again extensively in the US and Europe. She stayed in Berlin for 3 years because she loved it so much. She’s back touring again, so if you want to have an awesome time go check her out.
University of Warwick
Being born into a very musically talented family, Gareth Emery was trained in classical piano as a kid and played guitar in a punk band before he became a DJ/trance producer. His sister is Roxanne Emery, who is a singer/song-writer, who’s songs have been featured in tv shows like Cougar Town, Awkward and Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Emery was born is Southhampton, England and earned a degree in politics from the University of Warwick in Manchester, England. In early 2002, he became an overnight success with his remix of The Shrink’s “Nervous Breakdown.” Emery has been featured on DJ Mag’s Top 50 DJs In the World from 2006 all the way through 2014. He peaked at #7 in 2010, when he released his first album Northern Lights, which climbed to #1 on the US iTunes Dance Chart. From 2006-2012, Emery hosted a very popular podcast which was nominated for "Best Podcast” 3 times. Since 2009, Emery releases all of his music through his own label called Garuda, named after a Hindu mythological bird creature.