DJ J12 teaches Post Publisher Paul Cobb how to do his dance while visiting the Post Headquarters. Photo by Adam L. Turner.
When you first meet 19 year old Thomas Wheeler he comes off as a shy well-mannered young man. It is hard to believe that in 5 short months he has turned himself into a house hold name under his DJ alias, DJ J12. One can’t listen to a hip-hop radio station without hearing his name numerous times throughout the day. Any party that is thrown in the Bay seems to never be complete without an appearance by DJ J12. Even this weekend’s highly anticipated Summer Jam just had to have this young DJ “swag” out their stage. He is the Bay Area’s new up and comer and has proved himself to be a genius marketer.
It all started with a dance, a simple dance that has changed the course of Thomas’ life. Last January, Thomas and fellow collaborator Priceless Da Roc came across a song on YouTube called “Slow Down” by Clyde Carson and The Team. After the first play they were hooked on the song’s hard bass and catchy lyrics. Thomas can remember thinking, “This is a hit, why is this not on the radio?” Before they knew it they had choreographed a dance named after Thomas called the “J12”.
The young men uploaded a video of them doing the J12 onto YouTube and unknowingly started a phenomenon. People all over California started posting videos trying to add their personal style to the J12.Then people started phoning the radio stations requesting the “J12”, unaware of the song’s real title. It got to the point where the radio stations could not ignore the sensation anymore and before he knew it Thomas and Priceless became a part of the Summer Jam line-up. They are headlining with heavy hitters like Rick Ross, Wiz Khalifa, Tyga, J. Cole and many others. The YouTube video has almost 500,000 views and the official “Slow Down” music video in which the dance is featured will be released this summer.
But Oakland native, Thomas is more than a local celebrity he is smart too, “I want to become an audio engineer”. His future plans include releasing a compilation album called “We the West”, which he hopes will bridge the gap from the Bay to L.A.
Thomas talks the talk and walks the walk. He understands that education is vital and has visited many Bay Area schools using his fame and success to promote the power of education. Many doors have opened for this bright young man and he has shown no sign of slowing down.
You can follow Thomas (DJ J12) on twitter: @DJ_J12, on Instagram: DJXJ12, on Tumblr: DJXJ12.Tumblr.com and like his page at http://www.facebook.com/DJJ12.