It was 7 years ago in 2008 when several Christian deejays and radio announcers decided to support one-another in servicing music to the lesser known outlets for Christian Hip Hop. Ray GP, who produces the Donnie McClurkin Show in San Diego, CA, saw the need to support the Christian Hip Hop scene by making sure each deejay was up to date with the latest hits. With the help of Shawn Greene [FUDGE], William Newbill [DJ WILL], and Lawrence Stroman [DJ LACE], deejays from around the world were gathered together under one group to build friendships, discuss music and break records. This group not only had experienced deejays and Radio Announcers, it had promoters, graphic designers, program directors, music directors, and label reps.
A lot has been accomplished since the first email sent by Ray GP. Soon after the list got to big, FUDGE, started a yahoo group called Christian Rhythmic to help manage the information better. Later FUDGE started the first deejay conference call with J Blaze, DJ Pdogg, DJ Sean Blu, and Man-At-Arms, aka, Benny Calloway. DJ Will from Jacksonville started calling everyone to be on the next call to get some conversations started. In the beginning, the focus on the group was very loose, as the very first conference calls were more about how dissatisfied everyone was with how the Christian and Gospel markets treat DJs. Most wanted to know why servicing to non-commercial radio, such as internet radio or mixshows, was a problem. Record pools were the only source for the common man, but some DJs had good working relationships with labels and artists.
Eventually the complaints slowed down and the group began to get organized. In the summer of 2008, the group of over 30 DJs agreed to the naming of the fellowship “The One Accord DJ Alliance” or OADA for short. DJ Will, DJ Lace, and later Brother Edwin and DJ Eternal, took the lead on getting artists and DJs on the calls. FUDGE administrated the database, social media, merchandise, and websites. Jodie Walton, aka, JBeatz, created the classic OADA logo with the red turntable.
As a couple months went on, the 200 plus DJs in the network were given their opportunities to prove they had power to influence the outcome of the music scene as music began servicing OADA with music from Richie Righteous, Flame, and Lecrae, just to name a few. All had different levels of success, in part because of a broader reach to the general public, with each DJ, Announcer, etc, receiving the latest music simultaneously, creating a bigger impact. Some may disagree, but it is possible, because the DJs got together and promoted Lecrae’s REBEL album all at once, OADA contributed to his success.
A year into our network of DJs working together to increase productivity, our first ever Christian DJ Conference was hosted in Queens, NY, in Sep 2009, with the help of DJ Lace and Dr D of Higher Ground Record Pool. The conference brought together every DJ possible from every market to promote the Gospel through the new Urban music coming from Christian artists. From that conference the tag line “We Are The Industry” was adapted as our motto, indicating our potential influence in the music industry as a whole. OADA has used other tag lines used since, like, “We Don’t Play Music, We Break Music” and “Respect The Power of The DJ”. Two more conferences in Chicago, IL in the summers of 2013 and 2014, with the themes #ShineOnDJ and #TheBridge set the pace for all in attendance. And because of social media, our network has gone global in over 13 countries in The Americas, Asia, Africa, and Europe with over 1500 Christian/Gospel DJs.
Seven years, and we have just scratched the surface as to what OADA will become. Tragedy came a few times as one of our key brothers DJ Lace died suddenly, in April 2011 and brought many things to a standstill. A year later another of our brothers DJ Primo committed suicide. These events shook the Christian DJ network and brought many to think more seriously of what they are doing with their gifts and talents. Many deejays had overcome some very difficult times of their lives because of our network. Some have experience divorce, death of a loved one, or even sickness within themselves. Nevertheless, OADA has been a “home-base” for many Christian deejays to go to when needed. Just like DJ Wade-O says, “It’s More Than Music, It’s Ministry”.