Meet the Team
Engineer, producer, musician and songwriter.
Master of Barking
You will be warmly welcomed by Sofia.
Jessica has a passion for data, marketing and education.
RJ Johnson is a Music Producer who believes in the power of music as a common language that unites us all. RJ loves a deep grooving bassline especially if there is a conscious message with it—from Reggae to Funk and Soul, from old-school hip-hop to Drum & Bass, from Latin to African-based International Music.
RJ’s passion for beats and recording started in the 80s after a 30-day stint in the U.S. Navy when he bought a Roland TR-808 and TR-909 and started making hip-hop beats. He bought a Tascam 4-track cassette recorder and started having fun making demos with his roommates in East Austin.
While working in fast food, one of his co-workers was fired and had to sell his drums to pay the rent. RJ took the opportunity and bought those Tama drums for $400 when he was around 20 years old, even though he didn’t know how to play them. Within a year, he was playing in Austin at places like Continental Club, Mercado Caribe and Liberty Lunch. In 1989, he joined a new reggae group that was forming in Austin, Root 1. RJ was touring all over Texas with them and co-produced and engineered their first 3 albums. All of them were recorded on 2” tape with Roots Trade being picked up by a label in Brazil. RJ really believed in Root 1’s amazing songs—American reggae with very catchy hooks and deep reggae grooves.
It was while on the road with Root 1 that RJ got curious about one of his bandmates, Ras Jorge, a Cuban who was a Vegan. This was a totally new concept to RJ at the time and he got curious and started asking questions about “Why Vegan?.” He read many books on the topic from ethical, spiritual and ecological perspectives and soon figured out that eating animals didn’t really fit with his values.
In 2005, RJ decided to start his DJ company after being laid off from the State of Texas. He asked his lifelong friend and former roommate, Gregory Stephens what it should be called to which he replied “Music For Life.” It was a perfect fit and RJ is still committed to living a compassionate vegetarian lifestyle over 30 years later.
RJ has worked with some of the best reggae talent in Texas including Alan “Moe” Monsarrat, Phillipidon, Sergeant Remo and other artists from the Caribbean like Ed Robinson, Thriller U and Devine Songz. In total, he has supported 23 Artistes and released more than 50 songs since he started the Music4Life label in 2014.
RJ has been recognized for his 35 years on the air at Austin Community Radio, KAZI 88.7 FM, where he has been responsible for writing and producing 100s of radio spots and interviewing many Artistes on his programs from Damian Marley and Dennis Brown, to Sparrow to Lakeside and more. RJ’s trip to Reggae Sunsplash in 1989 really changed his life. That trip inspired him to switch genres on the radio and led to the creation of his bi-weekly program, Reggae Evolution, which has been on the air continuously since then.
From 2005 to 2018, RJ ran Music4Life DJs and Austin Bridal Secrets podcast and provided entertainment for 100s of couples at their weddings. He closed the DJ business and podcast in 2018 to put more focus on his first passion, recording and producing music.
He lives with his partner Jessica and they are raising two amazing boys who are also musically curious. Xander is going to Gus Garcia Young Men’s Leadership Academy where he is in band playing French horn and taking robotics. His younger brother, Jaxon is in elementary school and loves playing with snails in the backyard. RJ also has a grown daughter, Alexandra and two granddaughters, Evelyn and Annabella, who he adores.
His big dream is that Music4Life Studio will one day have a commercial studio space for the bands to record together in one room, like the good old days AND that Music4Life, the label, will become a world-class label like Austin has never had before—supporting the artists who live in “The Live Music Capital Of The World.”
RJ believes in the power of education and is a lifelong learner and recently finished up his Degree in Music Performance–Audio Engineering at the end of Covid at Austin Community College. RJ is a proud voting member of the Texas Chapter of the Recording Academy and the Austin Federation of Musicians. He is currently finishing up production on several singles by Phillipidon, Alan Moe Monsarrat and Sgt. Remo for 2021.