A teenager has won an award for being the best mobile DJ in West and South Wales in the SME News Awards 2023.
Rhys Jones, 13, from Devil’s Bridge set up his business, Life is a Disco productions, when he was just seven years old.
The Ysgol Penglais pupil has spent the last six years playing across the county and building his business in every sense, from teaching himself how to program and build a website, and an app, as well as marketing his business across social media platforms.
His mum, Rebecca Jones, said: “It all started when Rhys wanted to have a DJ come to his birthday party. We asked him if he would like to DJ himself and he jumped to the idea and it went from there. He started getting requests and taking bookings not long afterwards.”
Despite the years of work, the young entrepreneur’s business came to a grinding halt when the pandemic hit.
Unable to play at any events, and unable to use those events for content on his social media and websites, Rhys feared the end for his business. But that didn’t stop the teen from going back to work as soon as restrictions were lifted, spending over a year building his brand back to what it was before the pandemic.
Rhys said: “The pandemic hit my bookings immediately. Because of that, it was difficult to find things to put up on social media. The Facebook page essentially died, and people forgot about it. I had to rebuild that presence after the pandemic, it was a big challenge. It took about a year and a half just to get back to where I was.”
After six years of work, and reviving his business after the coronavirus pandemic, Rhys’ hard work earned him a nomination for best mobile DJ in west and south Wales, and later, earned him the award itself.
The winners of the award were announced publicly in November 2023, but Rhys found out he had won two months before in September, on what originally looked like another normal day at school.
Rhys said: “I found out that I won two months before the winners were announced publicly. I got a notification on my phone while I was in school. I had my phone behind the chair and when I saw that it was an email saying I had won, I thought I was going to cry.
“It was overwhelming at first, but it’s amazing to have the recognition. I don’t know how to describe it. The business has come a long way, and it’s a great feeling to know I’ve done it all myself. It’s great that I’ve turned a hobby into a business, and for that business to have such recognition.”
Not only has Rhys built a successful business DJ’ing, but he has also created and released his own music, which you can find on Spotify.
He released his first album, ‘From the Country’ in 2022, and has since released a number of singles.