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Dora Lewis

St. John’s Student By Day, DJ By Night

Seventeen-year-old St. John’s High School student Josh Bernstein isn’t going to win any perfect attendance awards this year.
That’s not to say the Shrewsbury resident is lazy. Bernstein can chalk up late Monday morning appearances to long weekends of late night work, sometimes followed by red-eye flights from distant cities.

“Those are tough,” Bernstein said. “I think I’m going to reach a new records for ‘tardy’ at the school.”

Despite his age, Bernstein is making a name for himself as a club and tour DJ, showing up on bigger and farther-flung stages across the country several times this past year. He’s rubbed elbows with music executive RedOne, singer Samantha J., and the DJ he calls his mentor, DJ Pup Dawg. His jobs over the past year have included a tour with Samantha J over the summer to Las Vegas, Texas, and New York City; college-targeted “I’m Schmacked” parties, also in New York City; Virtuoso Fest in Los Angeles; and the paint-drenched “Life in Color” dance event at the DCU Center earlier this fall.

“If you were telling me I’d be where I am now a year, two years ago, I’d say ‘what, are you crazy?'” Bernstein laughed, then sobered. “I always wanted to go the next level and see how far I can go with something I loved.”

That attitude and his dedication to the DJ business had Bernstein networking whenever he went to a concert or other potential event venue, talking to people, emailing “millions” of job requests and music samples until he met someone with “I’m Schmacked” from New York City. Not long after, Bernstein was touring.

Occasionally, Bernstein’s age has caused him “hassle” he says, while on a job. Once, after setting up at a club in New York City, the 17-year-old stepped out for a bite to eat before he went on stage. When he got back, the bouncer wouldn’t let him in because he wasn’t 21. Fortunately, the situation sorted itself out in time for Bernstein’s scheduled appearance.

Bernstein has stayed modest, though, and will still DJ a few local gigs per month, he says. The St. John’s student says he doesn’t have much trouble adjusting between his school life and his life on red carpets, rubbing elbows with industry celebrities.

“I’m the type of guy where I would probably have the same type of conversation with Obama or Justin Bieber than with one of my best friends,” Bernstein said. “I just like to stay humble and respect that all these people are super hardworking and they want to achieve their dreams as well.”

Bernstein is booked for Winter Lights 3, an all-day music event of young performers in Santa Ana, CA before the end of the year. The concert is scheduled for Dec. 6 – a Sunday – and Bernstein plans to fly straight home afterwards, overnight, to try to make it to his Monday classes without another tardy mark on his record.

SOURCE: Wicked Local, Shrewsbury