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Curator Convos: Jay*Clipp’s Doing it for the Culture

Our most recent collaborator isn’t just in the DJ game for himself. When he’s not on the road, Jay*Clipp’s pouring everything he’s got into Keep Spinning DJ Academy (KSDJA) and his latest project, Spin the Spectrum.

Wanna know more? We’ve got the skinny!

Clipp first had the idea for KSDJA in college, although it was initially envisioned as more a mentor/mentee program for DJs new to the scene. He shelved the business plan in favor of his DJ career, but every gig, somebody would say “Hey I wanna DJ, teach me how to DJ.” At a certain point, it became inevitable: he dusted off the business plan and spun it into KSDJA.

“Our motto is Learn to DJ the Right Way. And that’s been my motto since I started.” - Jay*Clipp

After more than a decade, KSDJA has seen well over a thousand students come through the door, from 8 years old to 80. Kids are a big part of the KSDJA mission, with about 20 percent of graduates under the age of 18. And through the academy’s Keep Caring Foundation, KSDJA brings DJ gear and workshops to kids in underfunded and underserved communities.

It was his first student, though, that really inspired Clipp to rethink how DJing could change lives. After posting some ads on Craigslist, he booked a session with a mom whose son wanted to learn to DJ. It wasn’t until he was driving to the studio for their first session that the mom called to let Clipp know her son had Down’s Syndrome.

“I thought, this is different, but OK. I literally taught him to DJ visually, because individuals with Down’s Syndrome often don’t have the ability to pattern think. So I couldn’t teach him how to count beats. And he got it, and went on to do a DJ gig for his school. And I realized I was onto something.” - Jay*Clipp

That first session led Jay down a path that culminated in the recent launch of Spin the Spectrum, a non-profit collaboration with Speech Wings Therapy that provides inclusive DJ classes for kids on the autism spectrum. Over the last five months, students have demonstrated improved speech and conversation skills following their enrollment in the program. It’s a project that feels full circle for Clipp.

“You know, we’re doing it all for the culture. That’s why we’re here.” -Jay*Clipp

Classes at Keep Spinning DJ Academy are available in person or virtually.

Give them a follow on Instagram @keepspinningdja



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