San Diego’s DJ Bamboozle: the unofficial DJ of the L.A. Lakers?
San Diego native Jeremy Adams answers to a few different names: his mom calls him Jeremy; his friends, like NBA players LeBron James and Jared Dudley, call him Bam; and most everyone else knows him as DJ Bamboozle, a sought-after DJ who plays gigs around the world.
Adams grew up in Clairemont — his dad was in the Navy and his mom was a scholar and educator who pushed him to succeed in all areas of his life, from playing sports to studying.
“(As a kid), I was into everything. I was into sports. I was into music. I played the drums every day ... My mom kept me in a lot of activities, just to keep me out of trouble. It helped me learn and it provided meaning in my life,” Adams said during a phone interview.
In high school, Adams attended Horizon Christian Academy in Clairemont. It was there that a fortuitous friendship was formed with Jared Dudley, a fellow classmate who would go on to be drafted in the NBA and win a championship with the Los Angeles Lakers.But more on that later.
After high school, Adams decided to pursue becoming a kindergarten teacher — something his mom would surely approve of. He attended a year and a half at San Diego Mesa College, and then enrolled in the education program at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
But a few months before graduation, Adams had had a chance encounter at school that would change the trajectory of his life.
It was the last day of the semester when he spotted DJ equipment in a fellow student’s dorm room. He was intrigued enough that when he arrived back home in California for the summer, he headed straight to Best Buy to buy the same equipment.
He never went back to school.
“It was the craziest story because everybody wanted me to get my education, everybody wanted me to get my degree. I decided I wanted to drop out because I found my love and passion in music, in deejaying. Everybody was upset at the time. My mom was very mad. Being that she had a Ph.D., a Bachelors and a Masters. She has so many degrees, and she really wanted me to pursue excellence in education, but that just wasn’t for me,” he said.
Instead, he had a new goal: to become a DJ who writes and produces his own music and plays in the hottest nightclubs around the world. Adams kept this vision as motivation, practicing on his equipment for six or seven months, not sharing his plan with anyone.
“I knew they would say don’t do this. So I kept it to myself and practiced,” he said. “I knew that if I didn’t go back to school, I’d have to work extra hard because I didn’t want to have a plan B. I just wanted to have a plan A. I wanted it to be right. It gave me extra motivation to keep working.”
Adams’ mom was less enthused about his choice to drop out of school and pursue a music career.
“She said, ‘Jeremy, you cannot stay in my house unless you have a job.’ I said, ‘Mom, I have a job. I’m going to DJ.’ She did not like that at all,” he said with a laugh.
While Adams began practicing and taking deejaying more seriously, his childhood best friend was making a name for himself in basketball.
In 2007, Jared Dudley was drafted by the Charlotte Bobcats. He would go on to play for the Phoenix Suns, the Los Angeles Clippers and the Milwaukee Bucks, among other teams. And in 2019, he landed a spot on the Lakers.
Throughout it all, Dudley and Adams remained close friends, with Dudley always supporting Adams’ aspirations.
“He’s been the most loyal friend of them all,” Adams said. “He (Dudley) would say, ‘Hey, wherever we go out, Bam has to DJ here. If not, we’re not coming.’”
Adams said his friend’s initial support for his career was welcomed, but it didn’t automatically make him a great DJ.
“At first … I was a really bad DJ,” Adams said with a laugh. “I was getting these big gigs, but my skill level didn’t meet the requirements of how it should be. But the loyalty began to take over and I began to work so hard because I felt like if somebody was putting their name on the line for me, the least I could do is meet them halfway.”
The NBA connection may have given him a push in the beginning of his career, but his perseverance helped him climb to new heights and remain there.
Today, DJ Bamboozle is a sought-after DJ with residencies in Las Vegas and San Diego and who dreams of collaborating with artists like Beyoncé, Rihanna and Bruno Mars.
When asked where deejaying has taken him, Adams rattles off a list of places: “Bali, Australia, Poland, Brazil, Tel Aviv, Israel, obviously Miami, New York, Paris.”
In fact, for a few years, both Adams’ and Dudley’s careers were so hot, they didn’t get to see each other as much. Adams was deejaying around the world and Dudley was becoming a star basketball player.
Enter: the year 2020.
Adams’ DJ gigs stopped. And while the world shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic, the NBA made the decision to continue the season with player “bubbles” that could enable them to play without spreading the disease. Adams, as a close friend to Dudley and other players, was included in that bubble.
He was front and center for the team’s historic NBA championship win that year, even providing a song that played on ESPN and Sportsnet during coverage of the Lakers’ win. The song was called “Show Me Your Heart” and featured singer Hope.
Adams reflected on that time, saying that not only was it important because it was an NBA championship, but because of the state of the world at that time.
“It was a special, surreal event. It’s an historical event, not just in sports, but in American history,” he said. “Here you have the whole world shut down and sports are a gateway for us to be entertained. It was going through a lot of people’s minds: should we be playing, should we not be playing? There’s a lot going on with racism in America and here you have these people gunning for a championship. And then they win the championship, so that’s the loudest voice you can have when you play — to win.”
Now that things are starting to open back up, Adams has various gigs and residencies lined up, including one at the Oxford Social Club at the Pendry San Diego in September.
He spun there a few months back and had a special guest show up to support him.
“(Lebron James) is always supporting me. We’ve been on vacation and we’ve done all these things, we’ve developed a really great friendship. And so then, I was deejaying at the Pendry, I said, ‘Hey, Lebron, you want to come down to San Diego?’ And he loves it. He loves San Diego. He was married here. So he was like, ‘Yeah, I would love to come down.’”
Adams said the response to his success from his hometown has been gratifying.
“I come to San Diego every month. My family still lives here. My mom still lives here. We still have the same house we grew up in that’s across the street from Horizon. It’s been a joy for me because when you go back home, it’s about accomplishing something. It feels like there’s so much extra love. You feel validated because its your home. A lot of people look at San Diego as America’s Finest City, so when you’re here and you get to do the things you love and have a job like this, it just feels so special,” he said.
Adams added that his mom has also fully embraced his career, despite her initial misgivings.
“She’s so happy, she’s elated,” he said with a laugh. “She says all the time, ‘I knew the whole time that you were going to be something.’”
For more information on DJ Bamboozle, follow him on social media @DJBamboozle. For more information on Oxford Social Club, visit theoxfordsd.com.
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