He is being described as Northern Ireland’s hottest new export and now a young Coleraine DJ’s career is about to go stratospheric with the release of a major dance tune later this month.
Junior J’s ‘Keep On Comin’ is already being hailed as a house classic and is being tipped to burst into the UK top 40 at the very least.
The track has grabbed the attention of some of the industry’s leading tastemakers such as The Magician, Oliver Heldens, Bakermat, Don Diablo, Chocolate Puma, Klingande, Robin Schulz, Nore En Pure, Chris Lake and many others among its ever-growing list of high profile admirers.
However, the real payoff came when Danny Howard revealed on BBC Radio 1’s Dance Anthems show that the artist behind the hit to to be Junior J - Coleraine’s Jay Hamilton.
Now, with the hype building and the track due to be released by Spinnin Deep on January 25, Junior J’s world is about to be flipped upside down in his biggest career break to date.
A re-work C&C Music Factory’s 1992 classic ‘Music Is My Life’, Junior J has fused Deborah Cooper’s incredible vocals with bells and bass for one of the catchiest tracks of the year.
The DJ and producer - son of Lush! DJ Col Hamilton - has already carved an impressive niche in the music industry that many other 21-year-olds can only dream of.
He has gained a reputation for infectious house grooves, incorporating energetic, old school dance sounds on his records and sets.
And the mastermind behind the monster track has revealed that it was a stroke of luck that he stumbled across the vocal for the tune.
“I was working on the track in the studio at the end of April and needed a catchy vocal and I came across it by accident on an old 12 inch vinyl,” he laughs.
“Who would have thought it - an old track like that - but it was almost perfect key and it fitted the tune great.
“My dad sent it out to some of the industry heavyweights such as Calvin Harris’s manager and he came back to us straight away and the response has been amazing.
“The record company had to work with Sony for about eight or nine months to get clearance for us to use the vocal. To be honest I never thought the track would do as well as it has but I’m delighted, it’s great.”
There’s hopes that the tune will smash into the UK top 40, but he adds: “I’m not thinking too much about that but we’d hope that it will get into the top five on Beatport [the online music store specialising in electronic music].”
And catching the eyes and ears of the most influential figures in the industry like Pete Tong, Mark Knight and Danny Howard Jay is being tipped to be one of the new generation’s most exciting DJs and producers with his releases set to do business worldwide.
Jay grew up with dance music in his veins thanks to his DJ-ing dad Col, who took Lush! to national fame, with the Kelly’s venue winning a clutch of awards.
“Yeah, I was kinda born into that music with it always being played in the house but it was Eddie Halliwell who was a big inspiration to me.
“He took me on a couple of gigs and was a big supporter from the early days. And I always loved DJs like Sasha, John Digweed and Carl Cox who played in Lush! many times.”
It’s been a whirlwind four years for Manchester-based Jay, who has gone from an initial warm up act at Lush! to becoming a resident DJ at the club and making an impact on an international scale with mainroom sets at Cream Amnesia, Judgement Sundays, Ibiza Rocks, BCM Mallorca, Papaya Beach Festival in Croatia and Ku Portugal.
In the UK he’s played at Ministry of Sound, Sankeys, The Warehouse Project, Digital, Northern Lights Festival, Manchester Pride and many other venues up and down the country, as well as the Creamfields Festival for the third time.
When he’s not playing alongside industry heavyweights such as Calvin Harris, Oliver Heldens, Chocolate Puma, MK, Fatboy Slim, Danny Howard, DJ EZ, MNEK and Andrea Oliva to name just a few, he’s honing his fresh and unique sound in the studio.
As for the future Jay is keeping his feet firmly planted on the ground: “I’ll have a lot of gigs in the UK this year as well as the big ones like Creamfields and festivals etc and I’ll be going back to Ibiza in the summer, so am really looking forward to that.”