DJ 23 moves toward success

Photo courtesy Ralph Russell

Music became a way of life for Ralph Russell at an early age.

Russell, better known at Florida A&M as “DJ 23,” knew he wanted to pursue a career in music by the fifth grade.

Russell, a music industry major, began to DJ when he was in the fifth grade. His passion for skating and loyal attendance at Cascade attracted him to the DJ during mixing sessions. Russell was encouraged to own his own equipment to jump-start his career. He asked his father to buy him turntables and a laptop to DJ at his middle school’s events.

Russell’s father, Gregg Russell, saw his son’s passion for music and purchased the equipment. “I finally purchased them both as I saw his passion for music and dancing grow tremendously,” Gregg Russell said. “He makes his family very proud and we know his DJ future is very bright.”

Russell became known as the go-to DJ in his local area.

Throughout his career, Russell has had the opportunity to DJ for celebrities and venues in Atlanta. He was a DJ for Cee-Lo Green, Cascade skating rink, and The Art Institute of Atlanta.

Russell works with many local artists in his hometown of Atlanta, helping promote their music. To promote his own business, he started a promotion company called DJ 23 Movez. Russell’s team of over 500 people assist him in promoting parties and hosting events in the Tallahassee area.

Freshman information technology major Makalah Kellogg enjoys being part of the promotion team. “I like being a part of the promotion team because it is fun, and everyone is nice to each other,” Kellogg said. “It is like a big family.”

Being a DJ is not the only musical entity Russell is involved in. He has been a trumpet player since the fourth grade, and always dreamed of becoming a trumpet player in an HBCU band. That dream came true after attending Florida A&M as a second generation Rattler and joining the Marching 100.

“I used to watch the ‘100’ every year at the Honda Battle of the Bands in Atlanta,” said Russell. “I knew I would be in that number.”

Being part of the band and a music industry student has influenced his career as a DJ. It has expanded his knowledge as a musician and his musical tastes.

For booking information contact Russell at or 678-308-1921.