USC graduate Justin Jay spent four years studying music industry at the Thornton School of Music. During his time at the University, he cultivated his passion by being a DJ and collaborating with other aspiring artists in the USC music scene. Now, he is about to perform at the HARD Summer Music Festival for the third time.
The two-day festival boasts a talented lineup of artists. Headliners include rap legend Ice Cube, electronic dance group Major Lazer, producer DJ Khaled and DJs Madeon, Porter Robinson and Dillon Francis. With more than 80 performers across multiple music genres, HARD Summer will be a spectacle for many music fans.
In years past, HARD has acted as a springboard for up-and-coming electronic music producers and artists. Among those include USC alumnus Jay, who quickly rose to fame in the EDM community during his undergraduate years. The musician has performed at major events since then, including his first HARD Summer in 2014.
After graduating in May 2015, Justin Jay has continued his passion for music. This year, he produced multiple EP’s, released his latest work Fantastic Voyage (The Album!) and headlined at various music events such as Splash House. In addition, he has collaborated with artists Josh Taylor and Benny Bridges. Amidst his busy schedule, the L.A.-based musician will be returning to the HARD stage on Saturday, July 30.
“I’m very lucky to say that this is my third time, that’s pretty surreal. HARD is such a staple of L.A.’s music festival culture,” Jay said. “Playing in L.A. in general is always really fun because I don’t get to do it too often, and whenever I do it’s an amazing experience, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Justin Jay also spoke about his performance and what to expect from this year’s music festival. However, he wanted to keep most of the details a surprise.
“A large part of DJing is knowing how to improvise. The people who are familiar with my music might have expectations, but I don’t know,” he said. “People tend to come to my shows with an open mind and to have fun, and that’s all you really need.”
HARD returns for its 10th annual music festival July 30 and July 31. This year, the event will be moving to its new home at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. The venue will be host to more than 65,000 attendees and campers each day, as a response to the growing popularity of HARD Summer over the past several years.
Following the deaths of two women at last year’s festival, L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis urged the public to consider a temporary ban on raves hosted on government-owned properties, including HARD’s previous venue, the Pomona Fairplex. Despite this call, the county did not impose any strict laws on raves and music events. As a precautionary measure, HARD decided to move its event to the city of Fontana in San Bernardino County.