Blind Chicago DJ shares skills, inspires others

February 24, 2011 10:05:05 AM PST
A DJ does a lot more than spin one record. Depending on the setup, it's a fast-paced and visually active job that can be done even when you have no sight.

It's not just about putting on records or CDs; a good DJ has to have talent, skills and a great ear for music. One Chicago DJ is making a name for himself even though he is blind.

"I play everything from jazz, from hip-hop, reggae, house music everything pop, soul, blues, gospel," said DJ James Brown.

Brown is a professional DJ. He has been playing since he was 13 years old.

In 1995 he became blind.

"Gunshot wound to the head," said Brown. "I was coming out of a liquor store, and I got caught in the crossfire, and I lost my sight.

"But when I lost my sight I didn't wanna go into depression. And I was 21 when I lost my sight, so I said man I gotta do something so I won't-- I can't go into depression or something like that, so I started back DJing."

Brown practices in his home.

"I know how to find the music...down here in the basement, everything I hook up, I hook up my own equipment."

Because of his skills, Brown hopes others with disabilities will follow.

"I wanna to teach kids with disabilities, you know, let them know you can you can still go on," Brown said. "Young kids, just because you're blind or whatever, you can still do whatever you wanna do. You just gotta have the dream, you gotta have the drive, you just can't give up."

If you want to get in touch with DJ James Brown, e-mail him: