Sophia Clayton, known professionally as DJ Sophia Rocks, hails from Dover, Delaware, and continues to make a name for herself in the music industry. At 16, she has become the youngest DJ to perform full mixes on radio shows and at major events. With her extraordinary talent and dynamic performances, Sophia is breaking records and inspiring a new generation of music enthusiasts.

Clayton began mixing music at a young age. She later became a professional DJ, performing at high-profile events and games for the New York Knicks, the WNBA All-Star Game, Usher’s New Look Foundation, the NY Rangers, the Atlanta Hawks, the Baltimore Ravens and the MET Museum. Adding to her impressive resume, Clayton became the youngest DJ in history to perform a full mix on Sirius XM Satellite Radio’s Sway in the Morning. She is also the youngest DJ recognized for her mixes on LL Cool J’s Rock the Bells station on SiriusXM.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the teen prodigy had a significant breakthrough. In 2020, Clayton DJed for Erykah Badu’s official after-party following the Jill Scott Verzuz event. Later that year, her skills impressed DJ D-Nice, who featured her on his IG platform Club Quarantine, earning her the nickname “Club Quarantine Princess” from fans. Since then, Clayton has collaborated with various celebrities and performed at high-profile events, advancing her DJing career.

Clayton recently made history as the youngest DJ for the seventh time, performing at the Blavity House Party Music Festival in Nashville, Tennessee.

In an interview with Blavity, she candidly shared her experience at the event, discussed her path to becoming a professional DJ, reflected on her musical influences, and more.

Can you share with us how you first got into DJing and what inspired you to pursue it at such a young age?

I got into DJing at a very young age. I started when I was two years old. My dad used to be a DJ himself, so I was in the room where he always messed around on the equipment. I heard the music playing & he played my favorite songs. I danced around and had fun. When I was three, my parents realized I had rhythm; not many people have rhythm, so by three or four, they started letting me experiment on the equipment a little more because I was more mature and had the self-control not to break it or mess it up. At age 6, my dad asked me if I wanted him to work with me more. I told him yes, and then I did my first professional event and have never stopped.

As the youngest person and a female DJ in the music industry, what challenges have you faced, and how have you overcome them?

I’ve had many people not believe in me and take me seriously. Many people don’t think I know what I’m doing, and they downplay my skills just because I’m a young female DJ doing my thing in a male-dominated “sport.” I’ve overcome them by proving them wrong! Showing up and showing out whenever it’s time for me to DJ and demonstrating and showing my skills…now they take me a little more seriously.

How did it feel to DJ at the Firefly Festival in 2022, and what was that experience like for you?

It felt amazing!! It was in my hometown, and all my best friends and family finally watched me perform live, not on video. I only do a little at local events, but the Firefly Festival was one to remember. I hope it comes back to Delaware! Also, the crazy thing is that as long as Firefly has been around and right in my backyard, I have never been there before. It was truly amazing to perform at the super cool festival and go back home to sleep in my own bed and to my dogs all night without traveling for hours or spending the night in a hotel.

Being honored at the Philadelphia 76ers game on International Women’s Day in March must have been a significant moment. Can you tell us more about what that recognition meant to you?

I was truly honored, and it felt wonderful to be recognized. It was my first time performing with the 76ers at their home arena, and it was a great experience! Performing in the 76ers arena on that day was super monumental for not just me but for all the female DJs. I know how important it was to represent all the female DJs that day, as I do every day I DJ! 

What was it like DJing at the inaugural Blavity House Party Music Festival, and how did that event compare to other performances you’ve done?

The Blavity House Party Music Festival was super dope. Down to the atmosphere, the decor, the performers, and especially the crowd. The crowd was super chill. They knew the bangers and hits of every genre and period. I loved performing in front of the background; the stage effects were super cool, and I loved the production stage crew’s energy. They were super helpful and energetic. I had a great set that the crowd vibe out. I enjoyed it, and I’m so glad the fans did.

Where do you see yourself in five years, both personally and professionally?

I still see myself working on getting more significant events and doing festivals such as Coachella or Essence Fest. I also want to work with brands like Nike, Pepsi, and McDonald’s, to name a few, in the future. Personally, I see myself growing and adapting to the business on a different level. I will be in college by then, so I’ll be focusing on school as well and becoming a real adult with an established successful career.

If you could work with any celebrity, who would it be and why?

I would loooooove work with Oprah Winfrey. She is THE super connector and knows many people who could help me advance my career and grow my business. I would love to meet her and work with her. I aspire to be as influential as she is and build my resume to look like hers.

Who are some of your biggest influences in the music industry, and how have they shaped your style and approach to DJing?

Some of my biggest influences in DJing are DJ Jazzy Jeff, DJ Diamond Kuts, and Uncle Waffles. They all have a unique style that fits their personality, and they let it shine while DJing. I want to have a successful career like them and a recognizable household name as a global brand.

How do you balance your school commitments with your career as a DJ, and what advice would you give to other young people trying to juggle multiple responsibilities?

I balance out my school life and my DJ life with a lot of time management. My teachers and classmates help me out as well. I let my teachers know what days of school I will miss; they give me the work for the days I will miss, and I do it while I’m gone. If I can’t do it while I’m away, such as a test, I do it the first day I get back, so I stay caught up on my work. Some advice I would give to others my age would be to have a schedule and write things down so you remember. I have a hectic schedule, so it’s easy to forget simple things, especially schoolwork, that I don’t feel like doing. When it needs to be my first priority, sometimes I want it to be my last, but if I stay caught up in my schoolwork, it’ll be hard to catch back up. So make sure you have a schedule and write your responsibilities down.

What message would you like to share with your fans and young girls who look up to you as a role model? Also, what advice would you give them if they want to follow in your footsteps?

I would tell them to keep pushing, going, and trying even when it’s hard and they don’t feel like doing it anymore. Just keep going because it gets better. That struggle that’s happening comes to an end, and all the hard work you did and the time you put into it will pay off in the long run.