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Meet Kupah James of Klass Universal Entertainment in Southern California

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kupah James.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
A happy young boy who enjoyed taking things apart and putting them back together (says baby sis, Natasha), I was a pleasant child. Unfortunately, outside of the wonder I saw in the world, I had many lessons to learn and the world felt it necessary to teach me painfully and often. I was raised in a single parent home on common government aid programs such as Welfare, Section 8 and Food Stamps. I experienced racism, bullying and a large identity crises trying to figure out which group I belonged too. My mother is from Puerto Rico, my father (deceased) and African American, was from North Carolina. He was a heavy handed man and by the age of 6, mother felt it was time to go and raise us in a safer environment. I can never express my gratitude to her for the sacrifices she made raising two minority children as a Spanish speaking woman all by herself, my love for her knows no bounds. I struggled for awhile trying to figure out where I fit in the world and tried to make sense of “Man Hood” while not having a consistent one to learn from. Basic things like tying a tie or shaving, how to approach a female I may be interested in or how to properly chug a beer are some of the things I had to teach myself. High school brought on the bullying and the nickname “Mono” which in Spanish translates to “monkey”… awesome right? Fast forward to college, basketball, classes, freedom and new stomping grounds gave me an opportunity to rewrite the script. I took my undergraduate very seriously; taking advantage of the tools provided and professors who took the time to help me grow, develop and most importantly taught the importance of accountability and the power of thought. A dual major (Criminal Justice and Psychology) I graduated with more than acceptable marks. Although, all of college wasn’t ideal, I remember spending one winter break in my car for a week because campus had shut down and I had no where to go. Also, I never shared this publicly but the last three semesters of undergrad, I had to find creative ways to acquire the books I needed to attend classes. Not my proudest moment AT ALL. Now how does all of this lead to today…? During my time at Curry College, I joined the well known professional dance troupe “Phunk Phenomenon” it was there that I learned the arts of dancing, DJing and overall performing (in front of others) up to that point, I only played sports and yes, played in front of crowds but this was different. Different was good for me and I dove head first into the arts learning as much as I could about dancing, hosting and DJing. First thing I did when I graduated college was start a professional DJ Company, “Klass Universal Entertainment”. As a company, we have had many ups and downs like I assume many other individuals and business owners do. I wear my struggle and failures like an invisible cloak as it reminds me everyday of how bad things once were and could be again. My memories encourage me to push on and #MakeMoves. This has become my brand and not only to myself but hundreds of other people. You can here the shouting when I walk down the street, “MakeMoves with Kupah James” or ask me questions when they are having a particularly hard time. I believe it is my purpose while I’m here on this earth. Communicating with other humans is what makes me the happiest in life. If I have an opportunity to enhance the human experience then I believe I am doing my job. Of course, I need a couple of dollars to feed my tremendous appetite. However for me, I have never sought after any “fame” rather a sense of acceptance or simply access. Access to the wonders of life, its love, friendship and never ending journey of learning. I find my self incredibly lucky to bring happiness to people whom at times feel dismal by their day to day routine. I am something they look forward to, something they engage with and something they can be motivated by. Infectious with my energy and a stubborn refusal to accept poor attitudes, I use music as an outlet for my audience to travel deep down the rabbit hole. Nostalgia, current sounds and old school remixes take people on a trip and I humbly LOVE being a part of that. In case you want more information about me, currently, I’m helping Southern California’s Equinox members “MakeMoves” and teach two rockstar sold out formats each and every week. “The CUT” is 45-mins. consisting of 5 rounds. Each round takes you through a series of punches, kicks and overall conditioning increasing your speed, hand-eye coordination and endurance all while jamming out to an energetic playlists maintaining singular focus and your punches powerful. “Interval” is my version of Boot Camp, 3 rounds of work, each round broken into two parts; strength and conditioning. I program athletically challenging classes and I do not accept, “I can’t”, or “I won’t.” I encourage my members to take their limit a little further every exercise and they become better champions of their own universe because of it. My goal is to empower each one of them. My classes aren’t about how many reps you performed in a short amount of time; rather how successful did you feel when you executed your fist push-up, burpee, lateral lunch, squat etc? Between my class schedule, traveling for events and going to the movies, I keep myself pretty busy in the pursuit of a happy, well balanced life.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Most certainly not… I have had to make some pretty difficult decisions over the years and I have lost friends and even severed a few bridges along the way. Do I have regrets, absolutely. I personally do not believe in the popular notion of “live without regret” underestimating the damage it may have caused for the lesson learned. I definitely wish I didn’t date “that girl” or have “just one more shot” or “get behind the wheel while tired”. That said I am appreciative of the lessons I have learned from past some past experiences.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Klass Universal Entertainment/Kupah James INC. – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Klass Universal Entertainment services mostly the New England area but has provided DJ Entertainment in New York, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Florida, LA and more. We specialize in private parties, weddings, corporate, bar and Bat-Mitzvahs, school dances and non profit events. I would like to think we are most known for our bright energy and our selection of music. Reading a room takes a confidence, knowledge of music and a honest sense of humility to play for others. Many times crowds aren’t being respected while the entertainment is playing something they think works for all parties or even worse playing for themselves. Klass Universal Entertainment plays for our audiences first, understanding that there is still an art form in playing for crowds instead of the DJ Gods who are never attending your events. We take a dance-centric approach leaning towards remixes with re-drums, giving people a pattern and rhythm to dance to their favorites. Covering over 4 decades of musical genius we look for the perfect version of the perfect song then seamlessly beat mix it in at the perfect time creating that perfect moment! That’s the goal, that’s the job. My team executes this phenomenally and I couldn’t be more proud of my KlassMates. I’m most proud of our company for being in business for almost 15 years in the DJ Entertainment industry, it has of course, had its challenges but it has also been rewarding and equally fulfilling.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I relocated from Boston, MA to Southern California in the pursuit of “More”. Klass Universal Entertainment is in its teenage years which allows me (Owner, DJ) some mobility/freedom. I’m trying to take advantage of the mobility and exposure to meet new people and perform for new audiences. Not exclusively in LA either, I am certain ill DJ internationally any day now. Now here in Sunny California, I am building a new network of venues and clients, event planners and fitness junkies which is growing my mind and culture. Even the music I play has expanded just by being in LA. My dream is to DJ for in front of THOUSANDS, where and when, I don’t care. Large stadium, enormous venues and other countries. I want to drop “That Track” and watch the love and magic shared through all races, demographics, religious beliefs and back stories. In one place; in one space; harmony.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Beau Jones, Jesse DeYoung, Hamad Al-Zawawi, EVENTography, Tatiana Blanco Photography and Person Killian Photography

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Maryam

    March 14, 2018 at 16:00

    You were and are an amazing young man. To think you spent one day in your car hurts, I most definitely would have helped you out had you shared that with me while at College. We all have things we have done in life, that we regret, I personally choose to call them learn & Crow curves. You Make all the people at College who love you proud and definitely your mama is proud. Keep on making moves Kupah, you are on the right track to much success. I know when you get there you will never forget where you came from, you have heart. Kep on playing music as music soothes the soul~

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