WKU student pursues passion in being a local disc jockey

Jared Watkins, WKU senior, has been DJ’ing since he was a senior in high school and plans to keep DJ’ing after he graduates with plans on moving to either Charolette or Austin as DJ 270. “I’ve been DJ’ing for seven years now, ever since I was in high school, what I enjoy most about DJ’ing is being able to control the mood of the atmosphere depending on the venue I am performing,” Watkins said.

Mark Webster Jr.

When he was a young kid living off Hanover Street in Bowling Green, WKU senior Jared Watkins knew his ultimate goal in life was to go to the NFL. Playing the game he loved all the way up until his last year of high school, he insisted it was NFL or bust. 

Watkins said his vision changed the Christmas of his senior year. After receiving turntables as a gift, he knew his drive was headed in a different direction.

Watkins, now known as DJ 270, is no stranger when it comes to hard work and determination.  Watkins’ mother is a WKU graduate, and he said he is aware of the importance of securing a bachelor’s degree.

“I’ve worked so hard,” Watkins said. “It’s going to mean everything to walk across that stage once May arrives.” 

Watkins is known for his newfoundcraft: being a disc jockey. Watkins’ first DJ name was “DJ Smooth” because it was his childhood nickname. As he became more familiar with the industry, he found out a lot of DJs used that name, so he decided to come up with something original that stuck out.

“I try to balance everything out because I know I can’t lose focus on my ultimate goal,” Watkins said. “Staying busy keeps me motivated.”

Watkins said he wants to give back to his community while pursuing his degree and still being heavily involved on campus. He’s the go-to campus DJ for Greek life and fundraising events.

Senior Cameron Brooks said he believes Watkins’ success can sometimes be overlooked just because people don’t stop and recognize it.

“He is a caring individual,” Brooks said in an email. “He is, in my opinion, is the life of the party.”

Junior Austin Hughes said the name DJ 270 is even well known in the Louisville area.

“I remember at the end of my freshman year talking to my friend who goes to University of Louisville, and he asked if DJ 270 was DJing the party,” Hughes said. “I knew then our school had one of the coolest DJ’s in Kentucky.”

Watkins said that though he contacted WKU’s athletic department several times to be the official DJ for Hilltopper football and basketball events, he didn’t get the answer he was looking for.

“I feel being born and raised in this great city of Bowling Green, I would love to be the official DJ for WKU Athletics,” he said. “A lot of schools find a way to have an official DJ. Why can’t we join the wave?”

After graduation, Watkins said he plans to get right on the road. Whether he ends up working as a DJ or another opportunity presents itself, he said he would be willing to travel and sacrifice.

“Whatever it takes to secure the bag is what I’m going to do,” Watkins said.

DJ 270 will host a canned goods drive party called “270’s Give Back Party” the Tuesday of finals week. It’s a time where students and the community can come together to end the semester as well as support a good cause, Watkins said. By bringing a canned good, or $2, anyone may be admitted into the party.

Watkins stressed the importance of the party and how it was never intended to generate a profit for himself but to give back.

“I was raised to give back,” Watkins said. “My mom taught me once you do good unto others, you will continue to receive the ultimate blessings.”

Although Watkins said that being the life of the party is cool, DJ 270 is versatile when it comes to his education and image. After being initiated into the business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi, Watkins felt enhanced on a business level. He said he was thankful for his brothers and for having the ability to be in an establishment that prepares students for the real world.

Junior Malik Reece, the president of Culturally Suited and a member of Alpha Kappa Psi, said he has built a relationship with Watkins.

“He is a hard-working, very determined young man that puts a lot of practice into his craft,” Reece said. “With him being a fraternity brother … he showed me that he would always put 110 percent in everything he does.”   

Features reporter Mark Webster Jr. can be reached at 317-874-8618 and @[email protected]