Upcoming artists on The Hill


(From left to right) Davin Jackson, Cameron Davis, James Barbour & Jordan Kelly. Contributed photo.

Alika Benjamin-Elliott, Staff Writer

Virginia State is no stranger to talent. From talent shows, karaoke, freestyle battles, and the P.R.E.P Apollo, the student body is always amazed and entertained by their classmates and friends.

Many of these artists have gone past the stage in Anderson Auditorium and have made music videos, uploaded their songs on streaming platforms, and produced for well-known musicians off campus.

Davin Jackson, professionally known as JDonThaBeat, is a music producer here at VSU. He has producing credits with artists such as Luh.Fam, Lil Lo, Q Da Fool, BRM Honcho, and many more. Jackson got into music early in life.

“Most of my family members are the reason why [I got into music],” Jackson said. “I started playing the drums when I was three, then got into producing when I was a junior in high school. In 10 years, I see myself financially stable and traveling the world, producing for even bigger artists.”

Jackson has also produced for another student on campus, Jordan Kelly. Kelly, professionally known as JeytheVillain, is a junior from Woodbridge, VA. He has performed on campus at Black82 performances, Center Stage shows, and the SGA Talent Show. He is a singer, rapper, and engineer and can be found on Apple Music and Spotify. In 10 years, he hopes to perform at the BET awards, and he credits all his inspiration to his little brother and his love for music from growing up in the church.

“Balancing school and music is very difficult but it’s all about consistency,” Kelly said.

Another student that has collaborated with both Kelly and Jackson as well is James Barbour.

Barbour, also known as  Mixedby007, is a junior from PG County, Maryland and is both an engineer and producer.

He has produced for P.A.N.I.C 2000, RunitupTahj, Luh.Fam and many independent artists off campus. He started making music around December 2019 with one of his closest friends and by 2021 he started taking his skill seriously.

He attributes all his success to his friend who sadly passed away not long after they started their new career together. In 10 years he sees himself working in the music industry as an A&R  and becoming a Grammy award-winning audio mixing engineer.

“I only have myself. I didn’t have anyone to look up to or push me to get myself out there when making music, so I’m my biggest inspiration currently,” Barbour said. “It’s very hard to balance work life and school life. I’m very active on  campus and super busy off campus so I find it difficult to deal with time management but I’m making it.”

All three of these students can be found on Instagram @JDonthatbeat, @JeytheVillain and  @Mixedby007. They also can be found on all streaming platforms under the same name.