Josh ‘J1′ Raiford’s Musical Career Was Aided By His Ability To Think Creatively

Joshua "J1" Raiford moved fast up the ranks at Radio One after starting out as one of Atlanta's best club DJs and on-air mixes.

Joshua “J1” Raiford moved fast up the ranks at Radio One after starting out as one of Atlanta’s best club DJs and on-air mixes. As the program director of hip-hop and Sirius XM Pandora Presently, he is now altering the urban scene by generating fresh and exclusive content series for Pandora (Channel 3).

Tell us a little about yourself and how you got started in the music business.
I started deejaying when I was around 15 years old. I grew up in New York City so I was influenced by people like Funkmaster Flex, DJ Clue, DJ Envy and DJ S & S. I always had a passion for music and it’s really what inspired me to get into deejaying. I always thought the DJ was the one that controls the party and influences the culture and the movement. So I wanted to be a part of that. I saved up [for] one record player and used my parent’s old-school record player and would practice on that and try to mimic what I heard on the radio at the time. I got down to Atlanta after I graduated [and] one of my older frat brothers taught me the art of deejaying [and] taught me the fundamentals [and] showed me what it was to really be a good DJ, mixing, style, and skills and song selection.

Tell us how you came to be in your current position.
I was fortunate enough to deejay so much that I got on Hot 107.9 around 2007 and from there, I became the MC show coordinator, then worked my way up to assistant program director. Currently, I am the director of hip-hop programming for Pandora music and I’m also a program director for Sirius XM Channel 3. At the apex of my DJ career, I knew from the get-go it wasn’t something long-term [and] I knew I wanted to continue to grow [and] also knew I wanted to get into streaming because it has rapidly become so big. I knew if I wanted to have a long career in music, that I would have to start thinking outside the box. They gave me the option of what market I wanted and I chose Atlanta because [it] is just the epicenter of Black culture and hip-hop music right now.

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