Jonathan Ballard (better known to fans as “DJ YOLO” or sometimes, simply “YOLO”) was headed down a dark path when music shifted his perspective and focus. A chronic battle with depression and ADHD left the artist at rock bottom. Expulsions from multiple schools and run-ins with the law followed the budding star; with everything from accusations of grand theft to drug and weapon possession. One particularly frightening accusation – of human trafficking – awakened YOLO. He knew his life needed to make a change for the better, and set himself on a better – and legal – path which has led him here today, debuting his music to the eager ears of many. With music, DJ YOLO wouldn’t need to “be paranoid, or worried about making enemies,” explains the artist, “I’d never have that feeling, because music will always be legitimate.” And legitimate is just how one would describe young YOLO.
DJ YOLO’s music is, put simply, “turnt.” He elaborates, “I make music for people to turn up to.” Consistency and authenticity are key to the artist’s eclectic sound. “I write about personal experiences and how I feel,” he says, “but I also aim to write music people can relate to.”
His latest project, a single entitled “VIDEOS.” The song chronicles a modern problem: When you’re out with friends – girls in particular – and someone takes a video you’re not prepared to be in. The song is fun, bound to be a club hit, and is relevant to practically anyone with a smart phone (which is just about everyone) who has ever landed on SnapChat, Instagram, Facebook, or one of the internet’s many social platforms, when they didn’t intend to.
The artist has come a long way, and is prepared to conquer mountains in order to be a musical success. One thing is certain: YOLO is not afraid of failure. “I’m always learning something new. Whatever it is, if I fail at something, I learn from it.”