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DJ Jazzy Jeff ‘bubble-wrapped’ Dover teen who deejayed parties for Dwyane Wade, Chris Brown

DJ Jazzy Jeff ‘bubble-wrapped’ Dover teen who deejayed parties for Dwyane Wade, Chris Brown

Sophia Clayton has some of the most harmful fingers in the nation. And she’s only 13.

This lawn-mowing Dover teenager is far better acknowledged as DJ Sophia Rocks, an eighth grader at Postlethwait Middle Faculty with 70,000-furthermore followers on social media.

Given that 2020, she’s performed at the earth-famous Madison Sq. Backyard garden a few periods. And she’ll pump up the crowd for a fourth time when the New York Knicks host the Cleveland Cavaliers at MSG on Saturday afternoon.

DJ Jazzy Jeff ‘bubble-wrapped’ Dover teen who deejayed parties for Dwyane Wade, Chris Brown

Sophia Clayton is not even 14 still, but is currently nicely on her way in her career as a deejay. The Dover-space teen performs from her family’s living space for distant deejay periods when not working on spot – these types of as at Madison Square Back garden, wherever she will shortly make her fourth overall look Saturday.

The prodigy turntablist, who is expert at DJ tactics these types of as scratching and juggling beats, will accomplish through Knicks video game warm-ups, Tv timeouts and at halftime.

“The very last time was tremendous exciting,” the 13-12 months-aged DJ explained, recalling her hottest MSG look in December. “It’s amazing to see myself on the Jumbotron and hear the announcers announce my name. Hearing the echo in the course of the entire stadium is extremely amazing.”

She was blessed with the mic for the 1st time at her final stop by at MSG.

“I was hyping the crowd up and acquiring them thrilled and warmed up for the gamers to appear on,” she stated. “They beloved it they all reacted to it. It’s incredibly New York, so they actually like to interact.”

Blooming in the Garden

If you tune in to enjoy a Knicks house match, you will hear random organ melodies.

Individuals are not prerecorded seems. They’re played live by organist Ray Castoldi, who has been with the Knicks for 3 a long time.

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DJ Sophia’s journey to the Garden has a ton to do with Castoldi, whom she linked up with right after networking with legendary producer/DJ Keith Shocklee of hip-hop group Public Enemy, reported the teen’s father, Dave Clayton, a veteran DJ of more than 20 yrs.

Castoldi achieved out to the Clayton relatives. The rest has been heritage.

“We just kind of strike it off. We had fantastic discussions and then they invited Sophia,” Dave explained.

DJ Sophia Clayton rehearses at least two hours per day perfecting her craft. She's pictured in front of her equipment in her home on March 24.

DJ Sophia Clayton rehearses at the very least two hrs for every working day perfecting her craft. She’s pictured in entrance of her machines in her dwelling on March 24.

The teen’s initial game at the Backyard garden was in late February 2020, just a number of times right before the pandemic started out. She labored the celebration from the ground wherever she stood actually near to the court docket. The arena was filled with 19,500 screaming followers.

The eighth grader stated she did not know what to anticipate her 1st time at MSG.

“I realized the stadium was huge. But when I 1st walked in, it was ‘really’ major,” she recalled. “I bought to check out the basketball gamers and listen to the crowd, and all people was having fun with themselves.”

Because her Madison Square debut, DJ Sophia has accomplished digital functions for the Knicks, far too.

Meeting DJ Jazzy Jeff

As if that was not plenty of for the teenage DJ, in March 2021 she was invited to DJ Jazzy Jeff’s house in Bear to celebrate an function for Women’s History Thirty day period.

The celebration showcased gals DJs handpicked by DJ Jazzy Jeff to do at least an hourlong established.

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Although the other DJs performed remotely, DJ Sophia stated she was the only a person who produced it to Jazzy Jeff’s residence for the reason that she life in Delaware.

“I did not even know he lived down here,” she claimed. “I bought to satisfy his spouse and children and his doggy. I consider his name was Champ. He was tremendous sweet.”

DJ Jazzy Jeff, who has a home in Bear, has given high praise to DJ Sophia, 13, of Dover. Jazzy Jeff is pictured working the stage at Firefly Music Festival in Dover in 2017.

DJ Jazzy Jeff, who has a property in Bear, has supplied significant praise to DJ Sophia, 13, of Dover. Jazzy Jeff is pictured doing the job the phase at Firefly Audio Pageant in Dover in 2017.

Even in advance of likely to his residence, DJ Jazzy Jeff was someone the teenager regarded a mentor. He has a famous “Peter Piper” program that she (and a great number of deejays) have used to make improvements to their craft.

DJ Jazzy Jeff and his spouse had been really down to earth when the Claytons achieved them, the teen said. But immediately after she performed her established, Jazzy Jeff did some thing unexpected to her.

“He bubble-wrapped me,” she claimed. “He basically will take bubble wrap and wraps you in it.”

As her mother viewed a puzzled Sophia get wrapped in plastic, Nicole Clayton couldn’t assistance but crack up. “I was laughing because I understood she didn’t fairly get it.”

The bubble wrap was DJ Jazzy Jeff’s way of symbolizing guarding and preserving DJ Sophia’s talent.

Jazzy Jeff has wrapped only a several artists, Dave Clayton reported, like famous singers Stevie Marvel and Chaka Khan.

“[DJ Jazzy Jeff] mentioned, ‘Thank you, Mother and Dad. You fellas have accomplished a wonderful work. I consider she’s wonderful,’” DJ Sophia’s dad described.

“It was chilling to me simply because it essentially validated the simple fact that he seriously appreciates you and is aware of that you have a serious ability established and sees you and knows that we have acquired to continue to keep the upcoming technology coming alongside,” he additional.

His daughter appreciates the knowledge now. “That was super neat,” she said.

Celeb birthday functions

Correct before the pandemic, DJ Sophia was on speed to choose her business to yet another level.

The minor woman who fell in love with taking part in on her dad’s turntables at age 2, who worked her 1st expert gig at age 6 in Dover, played the main stage at NY DJ Con in Time Sq. in 2019.

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DJ Con has highlighted large names these types of as DJ Funkmaster Flex and Wyclef Jean of The Fugees.

In 2020, the thirty day period right after her Madison Sq. debut, DJ Sophia was slated to do a set in North Carolina as an opener for emcee Rapsody. But the pandemic had other programs.

Right after COVID-19 strike, DJ Sophia pivoted and began carrying out a variety of virtual gigs. Occasionally she’d have numerous gigs on the exact same working day and would juggle them in in between accomplishing her schoolwork nearly, her mom recalled.

The young artist posted videos on social media and eventually related with the crew of R&B singer Chris Brown.

In 2021, the DJ flew to Los Angeles for the to start with time. It was to deejay a jungle-themed birthday social gathering for Chris Brown’s daughter.

“There ended up large snakes … like eight persons carrying a huge snake, and then they dropped it on the ground and I was like, ‘Oh God,’” she remembered.

There also was a chatting chook, “which was my most loved,” and other neat animals. “I acquired to fulfill Chris Brown, which was even cooler. I bought to satisfy his daughter and she was super wonderful.”

She had enjoyable even even though they did not get to shell out significantly time with Chris Brown, the younger DJ explained, mainly because she was doing work and the singer was consistently shifting all over the bash.

“Overall it was a 10-out-of-10 working day,” the soaring star mentioned.

That very same year Sophia found herself likely back to Los Angeles due to the fact former Miami Warmth celebrity Dwayne Wade, and his actress wife, Gabrielle Union, were being fascinated in acquiring her deejay a birthday party for their daughter.

“We have been in his garage, but his garage is definitely huge and it’s major plenty of to hold a get together down there,” DJ Sophia stated. “I experienced a truly pleasurable time conference Dwayne Wade and Gabrielle Union.”

She had a possibility to chat with Wade for a little bit.

“[Wade] was like, ‘I attempted to be a DJ.’ And I was like, ‘I tried using to participate in basketball. You see how that labored out for the the two of us?’” she joked. “He was just tremendous interesting. He really seemed like a authentic person.”

The 13-year-outdated explained it was society shock when she initially frequented Los Angeles since the vehicles are fancier and there are much more celebs floating all around than you are very likely to location in Delaware.

The website traffic is also diverse. “We have been driving and some woman ran across the freeway, which was six lanes, and I was like, ‘Oh God.’”

A thirty day period later on she worked one more celeb bash. This time it was a birthday in New Jersey for rapper Lil Kim’s daughter, Royal Reign.

Nicole stated her teenager daughter was anxious about mixing up the name of Lil Kim’s daughter with Chris Brown’s kid, who is named Royalty.

“Every one time before I said it, I produced positive I explained, ‘Roy-al,’” DJ Sophia explained slowly and gradually.

Keeping her standard

Deejaying is an daily factor for DJ Sophia. In addition to going to university and currently being on the observe staff, she even now manages to rehearse on her turntables for two hours just about every day.

In her home, you are going to locate a space where by she deejays in entrance of a enormous environmentally friendly display screen when she’s generating new video clips for social media.

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Her mother explained they bought the furniture to make space for her turntables and the environmentally friendly display.

Sophia Clayton stands with her parents, Nicole and David Clayton, at the DJ station where she can perform remotely from her Dover-area family home's living room.

Sophia Clayton stands with her dad and mom, Nicole and David Clayton, at the DJ station wherever she can complete remotely from her Dover-area family members home’s living place.

When she’s making ready for an occasion, DJ Sophia claimed she’ll shell out weekend days rehearsing from morning to evening.

In warmer seasons, it’s a small hard because the audio from the ice product truck temps her.

“My favorites are strawberry shortcake,” she confided.

Her mother and father stated they try to keep their daughter as humble and normal as feasible, even although she life an unconventional lifetime.

So she however has chores this kind of as cutting the grass. But the DJ’s moms and dads also inspire her to get out of the household and spend time with mates, as well.

Her mom and father said they want DJ Sophia to do the job a frequent occupation when she’s of age for the reason that they want her to be grounded in the actuality of how difficult the regular individual has to work to make a residing.

As a final result, they’d like that to inspire her to develop her personal business enterprise if that is what she needs to do.

Meanwhile, the youthful DJ is searching ahead to her fourth gig at Madison Square on Saturday. Having performed there so a lot of situations, she’s lastly receiving the dangle of the format of the developing.

“I can get the job done my way all over a minor little bit far more,” she said.

The turntable prodigy also is seeking forward to seeing her buddy Castoldi, and other people folks from the Knicks business.

“They constantly deal with you with so much regard and they address you like loved ones.”

The New York Knicks will host the Cleveland Cavaliers at Madison Square Backyard at 1 p.m. Saturday. For far more data, pay a visit to nba.com.

DJ Sophia is on Instagram and Facebook as @DJSophiaRocks.

Andre Lamar is the functions/way of life reporter. If you have an interesting story plan, email Andre Lamar at [email protected]

This report originally appeared on Delaware Information Journal: DJ Sophia has spun for NY Knicks, DJ Jazzy Jeff and Chris Brown gigs