TJ’s career in DJing started at the end of 1989 during his sophomore year in high school. TJ experimented with making mix-tapes from cuts he would record from his favorite radio station B94 (WBZZ) in Pittsburgh. TJ was always fascinated with radio. The music, the personalities, the stars that were interviewed. Little did he know how personal B94 would become to his life and career and the road to come.
In 1993, TJ entered Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania with an undecided major. TJ took one semester to realize that the Art of Communication and all that comes with it would become his meal ticket to success later in life. Throughout his college career, TJ not only DJed to put himself through school, but had his own radio show on WRSK in Slippery Rock piggy-backed next to the Slippery Rock Sports show. TJ’s last semester was to include an internship in some field of his major.
TJ was lucky to be chosen to intern with his boyhood favorite station, B94 in Pittsburgh. in 1997 TJ went literally from passing out Mt. Dew one day at a B94 promotional event to producing the night show for B94 personality, Bender in the Summer of 1997. This launched TJ’s personal career not only in Pittsburgh locally, but throughout the tri-state area where B94 was heard in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Maryland and parts of West Virginia. TJ’s favorite segment of the B94 programming was, ‘Mixed Reality’. This feature was heard every Friday from 9 till 1am and featured the hottest hits mixed beat-to-beat and back-to-back by the night show DJ; Bender, or so TJ thought. ‘Mixed Reality’, actually was a Hot Mix Radio Network program. Hot Mix Radio Network was located in Scottsdale, Arizona and featured several flavors of mix show programming for different radio format bases. Hot Mix Mainstream and Hot Mix Modern were both featured in B94 in the mid to late 90’s. TJ felt like he did when he found out there was no Santa at Christmas when that first Friday on the air with Bender showed up and he didn’t bring his vinyl to the station. I was shocked. Bender went on to tell TJ how this show evolved and where it came from and I started to research the origins of The Hot Mix Radio Network.
TJ went on to play a role at several radio stations in Pittsburgh from 1997 through 1999 including not only B94 (WBZZ), but the Point 100.7 (WZPT) both CBS/Infinity/American Radio and whatever else it was named back then, but also for present Clear Channel frequencies 96.1 The River which is now KISS FM. TJ continued to keep in touch with the innovator of the Hot Mix Radio Network, Andrew Starr throughout this time. On Valentines Day of 1999. The entire air staff of the River was blown out for a format and station re-branding know as Mix which lasted about a minute. TJ was asked to produce the morning show for Bender and Jackie at B103 in Richmond, Virginia. but declined due to a GUT feeling and nothing more.
That choice paid off a month later when TJ was offered the Operations Manager position for Hot Mix in Scottsdale, Arizona shortly after. TJ moved to Arizona and took the position on August 23, 1999. and spend a few years in Scottsdale as OM for the company he loved the most. Hot Mix was at present owned by Premiere Radio Network until it was bought by Clear Channel in 2001. Clear Channel made several deep changes to Premiere, one which cost the Hot Mix staff there jobs in Feb 2001. The fallout from the demise of Hot Mix would lead to several career opportunities ahead.
TJ moved back to Pittsburgh in September of 2001, prior to 9/11. TJ went to work for Infinity Broadcasting as a sales exec for about 6 months while still DJing at Pittsburgh’s largest venues and bringing with him the knowledge he acquired during his stint in Arizona. TJ was approached in early March 2002 about the formation of a new radio network evolving in Denver, Colorado. The Zeo Radio Network was looking for syndicated mix show industry veterans to help bring some credibility to the new endeavor. TJ signed on as Affiliate Relations Director and Mix Show specialty mixer and stayed in that position for nearly 2 years growing the network to well over 300 domestic stations airing several of the over a dozen mix show versions Zeo had to offer. During this time TJ teamed up with B94 night show jock Adam Bomb and produced the very first every party show heard on heritage B94, including several custom made mix show segments by TJ. This was a first for Pittsburgh and a long time dream of TJ’s to produce, mix, air, and host his own material with his roommate Adam Bomb no less.
‘The Saturday Night Shout Out Party’ aired for nearly 16 months Saturday nights from 7 till midnight and broke several dance tracks into the Pittsburgh radio market where previously there were no outlets for this genre of music. The ‘Shower Session’ kicked off the show with heart-pounding House Music and finished with the #1 Dance track that week. Other segments including the Top 8 @ 8 weekly wrap-up complimented the show.
In March of 2004 TJ brought to the directors of Zeo Mix the idea of an internal REMIX division to help strengthen its own brand of mix shows. TJ was given the green light to put together the staff and resources to start the Select Mix REMIX division of Zeo Radio Network. TJ brought on mix show veteran Marcus McBride from California and DJ Ben McMillen from Southwestern Pennsylvania to produce a series of remix releases that covered three formats of today’s CHR radio. TJ became the first ever disc jockey from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to pioneer the founding of a professional Remix Label (Select Mix). As executive producer and President of Select Mix, TJ also released the first professional remix by a Pittsburgh DJ (Select Mix Essentials: Volume 06). TJ the DJ became not only the first DJ entrepreneur from Pittsburgh to found a Remix label but also the first from Pittsburgh to release his own remix on his own label no less. Ironically, now other DJs from Western Pennsylvania, Ohio and other parts of the East Coast now contribute to the label TJ founded.
In the Summer of 2004, TJ the DJ is signed by Behringer International (www.Behringer.com) as one of there prestigious POWER USERS. It is TJ’s very first international sponsorship.
TJ and crew go onto capture the remix world with SELECT MIX taking the industry by storm. Select Mix Essentials Series, Select Mix Slow Jams and Select Mix Old School are produced over the next 2 years. Select Mix captivates club, mobile and radio DJs alike and shows up in Las Vegas and Atlantic City for the largest DJ Expos in the U.S. as well as being used in both Zeo Mix, Hot Mix, and several syndicated mixshows around the planet.
In February of 2005, TJ parts ways with Zeo Radio Network. TJ Hess and Marcus McBride (Superadio, XM’s BPM Channel Mixer) form a new partnership and renewed relationship with the formation of a new remix label. FULL TILT REMIX LLC. (www.FullTiltRemix.com) debuts in Las Vegas, Nevada during the Mobile Beat Expo in March 2006. As of March of 2007, Full Tilt Remix, with long time remixer, Ben McMillen, have produced 10 (Full Tilt 10 is on the way!) issues of our flagship series along with the instant classic Full Tilt Flashbacks: The Rock Edition Volume 01. The Rock Edition was so successful that it spend an entire 4 months in the Top 10 on the prestigious Source For Music website Top 50 list. This list is the industry version of the Billboard and was very gratifying and humbling to say the least. The issue took more than 5 months to complete and included the works of 5 DJ’s form all across the United States. Feedback was so overwhelming that a second edition of the Rock Flashback’s disc will go into production in April of 2007.
TJ forges ahead a relationship with one of radio’s most well know shows, John Garabedian’s, legendary weekend party show, OPEN HOUSE PARTY (www.OHP.com) signs on to obtain exclusive use of FULL TILT REMIX for there mix segments in this internationally syndicated program!
During the Major League All-Star Week in Pittsburgh July 7th thru July 11. TJ the DJ showcased his talents and skills for both MAXIM and Major League Baseball as we welcomed the world of baseball to Pittsburgh. TJ the DJ spun the MAXIM after-hours bash on July 10th from 11PM till 5 AM for the likes of ESPN’s Chris Berman and Meryll Hodge, New York Yankee’s Derek Jeter and AROD. TJ the DJ opened for MTV’s DJ Skribble at the Town Tavern during the Official Major League Baseball All-Star Game After-party at the Town Tavern in Pittsburgh’s Southside on Tuesday, July 11th.
TJ the DJ in August of 2006 submitted mix show sample’s to Sirius Satellite Radio. Format Manager and On-Air personality Howard Marcus has green-lighted TJ the DJ to produce his first mix set for The Beat 36 On Sirius.
TJ the DJ currently holds a 5 year combined residency in Pittsburgh’s historic, South Side. 4 years at the Tiki Lounge on 20th Street & East Carson lead to a residency literally next door at the Town Tavern where TJ currently resides each and every Friday night spinning cutting edge ‘mashups’, Full Tilt Remix work and the hottest hit’s from across the United States. TJ’s schedule of events and updates can be found on the corresponding pages right here at TJ the DJ dot com.
In July of 2007, DJ Sizzahandz approved the introduction of TJ the DJ’s mashup production to the archives of the Crooklyn Clan Vault (www.CrooklynClan.net). This is a tremendous honor to create mixes for the masses along with the likes of DJ Sizzahandz and DJ Riz (the mashup pioneers) from the Crooklyn Clan, DJ AM, DJ 2nd Nature, DJ John Farruggio, Rock-It! Scientists and more. This is one of TJ the DJs favorite accomplishments along with Full Tilt Remix..
At 5:00 PM on Friday, October 5th, 2007, The station that launched TJ the DJ’s career in the industry returned to the airwaves in Pittsburgh on frequency, 93.7. B94 was returned after 2, unsuccessful attempts at format changes to make room for Howard Stern in 2005 and the MAN STATION after that. The sign-on at 5PM that day was amazing. TJ the DJ programmed, produced and mixed the 3 Hour ‘IN DA CLUB’ mix show segment heard each and every FRIDAY & SATURDAY night from 10 PM till 1 AM for over 2 1/2 years until B94 was taken off the air the the 2nd time on Feb 15th 2010.
A new era of Pittsburgh mixshows began on STAR 100.7 – Friday night February 5th 2010. TJ the DJ programs, produces, mixes and hosts the STAR 100.7 ‘PARTY TO GO’ each and every Friday & Saturday night from 10pm till 1am. The show will also be broadcast live Friday’s from Carson Street Live in Station Square and Saturday’s from Diesel in Pittsburgh. Enjoy this new era of mixshows on Star 100.7 Pittsburgh.