Many people around town know who DJ Imminent is, but not many people know who Jawara Gordon is. Jawara, or Jay as he mainly goes by now, was born in the U.S, but has his roots in Jamaica. Growing up, he lived everywhere from Jamaica to California. His mother, a single mom of two, struggled to make ends meet. She did everything in her power to not only educate her boys, but to also immerse them into a multicultural life. While in the Bay Area, she would take them to Chinatown, Buddhist meditations and even enrolled Jay into a Montessori school to experience things that she herself had never experienced.
Jay caught the acting bug early on in life. To enable him to attend classes, his mother would clean the classrooms at night. When Jay was in the fourth grade, his family moved to Sarasota. Here he began to dabble in deejaying, played several instruments and even danced for the Sarasota Ballet. In order to pursue his dream of acting, he enrolled in the Booker High School Visual and Performing Arts Program. His goal changed early on however when he came to realize just how difficult it would be to maintain a career as a thespian. Wanting still to continue on in the entertainment industry, he transitioned into stage production. This path led him to the prestigious Full Sail University to pursue a degree in Recording and Sound Engineering.
After graduation, Jay quickly landed a job in a recording studio. It turned out that this particular company was involved with the Lou Pearlman scandal, so the company went out of business. Jay decided to return to Sarasota with his then fiancé. The couple married shortly after and had a son, Cairo, together. Jay was working at a music store to provide for his family when he decided to get back into deejaying. It had long been a hobby of his, but eventually he began to book more high profiled gigs. Business really started to pick up once he was being noticed by some big name local institutions. Booking events for Planned Parenthood and the Ringling Museum launched the upswing to his popularity.
Jay accredits his success as a deejay to simply saying yes. He has never had an ego about an event being too small and will always cater to his crowd musically. The day I interviewed Jay, he had deejayed a 5-year-old’s birthday party in the morning and was deejaying a fundraising event at a nightclub that evening. He said that though the events were vastly different, he had an equally great time at both. If you’ve ever watched Jay play, you know that he’s telling the truth. He puts his all into every performance, which is clearly visible to anyone in his typically overflowing crowd.
Jay quit his day job over five years ago and has never looked back. He now has a booking agent and spins up to eight events a week. He is a true professional, never once having cancelled a gig. He also makes time to give back to the community by donating his services to local nonprofits. He amazingly juggles all of this, as well as being a devoted single father to Cairo.
You can like his page on Facebook to see where you can catch him next. And be sure to check him out as he’s really come into his own as Sarasota’s premier DJ.