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San Fernando Resident 'Thrives' in Life and Music Industry PDF Print E-mail
Written by Alex Garcia Sun Contributing Writer   
Thursday, 04 October 2012 03:13

Local DJ in Tune with Success

ALEX GARCIA/SFVS

Jose Ramos


San Fernando resident Jose Ramos is better known in the music industry as "DJ Thrive", an appropiate name given the hard episodes in life he's had to endure and overcome.

"Follow your dream and don't let anybody discourage you," he says to others who face obstacles. "If you fall, just get back up."

Growing up in the San Fernando Valley, it's a lesson he learned first hand growing up, when he and his family were homeless for a time after his parents' separation.

"After my mom and dad separated, I was in elementary school, we didn't have a lot of money and we lost our apartment. My mom worked at a nursing home and we used to sleep there sometimes, others in my mom's friend's house or in a van," recalled Ramos.

"I was bullied in school because I wore cheap shoes and didn't have a lot of clothes," he added. During that time, food was also in short supply.

"I remember eating one egg with like 10 tortillas just to get full," he remembered.

Eventually, his mom was able to get an apartment and the situation improved, but Ramos never forgot those difficulties.

"Experiencing all that are my motivators because I learned a lot and hard to grow faster," he said. "To go from that to buying my first home, from being homeless to a homeowner, that's when you know you've done something right," he added.

After graduating from James Monroe High School in North Hills, Ramos attended California State University Northridge (CSUN), majoring in Information Systems and Systems and Operations Management.

Tinkering with computers was a nice addition to another of his passions, music. Before finishing high school, Ramos fell in love with Djing after his younger brother, Miguel, started playing with turntables. "I started learning from him," said Ramos, who bought his own equipment and started doing house parties. He was hooked.

"I'm very passionate about music. I love being able to express myself and making sure people are having a good time." His 9-5 job is in information technology, but "after 5 p.m. it's all about the DJ," he said.

He provides regular DJ services for radio station Exitos 93.9 FM and Universal CityWalk 5 Towers, as well as guest spots at clubs and college events throughout Los Angeles. He's also opened for such artists as Prince Royce, Elvis Crespo, Ricardo Arjona, Reyli Barba, Mariachi Divas, The Cab and Metalachi.

"I get paid to do something I love," said Ramos.

But becoming an active part of the local music scene wasn't easy.

In 2007, life threw a curveball at Ramos when his mother, Irma Chavarin suffered a stroke. "After graduating in 2006, I dedicated all my time to her," said the oldest of three, two sons and a daughter, who stopped DJing for a year and a half while his mother was in the hospital.

"I went to visit her at lunchtime and spent every night with her," Ramos said. After his mother recuperated somewhat, he decided to continue with his dream.

He started mixing and put together his first mix CD, "Thrive Time Volume 1." He invested nearly $2,000 to make 12,000 copies and he started visiting clubs and any music venue passing them out.

That got his foot in the door and the rest, as they say, is history. All of his accomplishments landed him the CSUN Latino Business Association's (LBA) Alumni of the Year award earlier this year.

In 2009, Ramos returned to the LBA, this time as an alumni and started DJing for their events. So far, he's performed at three Turkeybowls, the organization's main fundraising event.

This year, he's not only performing, but helping to put it together as well. The event will be held on Nov 21, the day of his birthday.

"The award really hit home. I feel they appreciate my hard work, my dedication, the way I've been able to help out," said Ramos, who will be the main speaker at the organization's next meeting.

Life is certainly going well for Ramos. When asked what's next, his reply is immediate and confident, "The sky's the limit."

He's already recorded another CD, "Thrive Time Volume II" and next year will work on putting out "Thrive Time Volume III."

He can't complain and says that work and dedication do pay off in the end.

"Dreams do come true and it has for me," Ramos said.

For more information about Ramos, visit www.djthrive.com.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 04 October 2012 03:17