Welcome to Music For Life, the reggae record label run by producer, R.J. Johnson aka @DJRJ.
RJ’s mission is to help as many artistes as he can to create a great life by living their passion in the music industry.
RJ is a visionary songwriter, music producer and engineer who believes in the power of music as a common language that unites us all. RJ loves a deep grooving bassline especially if there is a conscious uplifting message with it—from Roots Rasta Reggae and Dancehall to 80s Funk and Soul, from old-school hip-hop to Jungle/Drum & Bass, from Latin to African-based International Music.
RJ’s passion for beats and recording started in the 80s after returning home from a 30-day stint in the U.S. Navy when he bought a Roland TR-808 and TR-909 and started making hip-hop beats. He bought a Tascam 4-track cassette recorder and started having fun making demos with his roommates.
While working in fast food, one of his co-workers was fired and had to sell his drums to pay the rent. RJ took the opportunity and bought those Tama drums for $400 when he was around 20 years old, even though he didn’t know how to play them. Within a year, he was playing in Austin at places like Continental Club, Mercado Caribe and Liberty Lunch. In 1989, he joined a new reggae group that was forming in Austin, Root 1. RJ toured all over Texas with them and helped co-produce and engineer their first 3 albums. They were recorded on 2” analog tape with Roots Trade being picked up by a label in Brazil.
It was while on the road with Root 1 that RJ got curious about one of his bandmates, Ras Jorge, a Cuban bassie who was a Vegan. This was a totally new concept to RJ at the time and he got curious and started asking questions and read many books on the topic from ethical, spiritual and ecological perspectives and soon figured out that supporting the abuse and exploitation of animals didn’t really fit with his values of kindness.
RJ has been recognized for his 35+ years on the air at Austin Community Radio, KAZI 88.7 FM, where he has been responsible for writing and producing 100s of radio spots and interviewing many Artistes on his programs from Damian Marley and Dennis Brown, to Sparrow to Lakeside and more. RJ’s trip to Reggae Sunsplash in 1989 really changed his life. That trip inspired him to switch genres on the radio and led to the creation of his bi-weekly program, Reggae Evolution, which has been on the air continuously since then.
From 2005 to 2018, RJ ran Music4Life DJs and Austin Bridal Secrets podcast and provided entertainment for 100s of couples at their weddings. He closed them both in 2018 to focus on songwriting, recording and producing music.
He lives with his partner Jessica and they are raising two boys, Xander and Jaxon together along with Princess Sofia (our 4-legged baby). RJ also has a daughter, Alexandra and two granddaughters, Evelyn and Annabella, that he adores.
RJ believes in the power of education and is a lifelong learner and recently finished up his Degree in Music Business, Performance and Technology–Audio Engineering Specialization at the end of Covid-19 at Austin Community College.
You can reach R.J. via iMessage/text/WhatsApp on 512-297-3575.