About AJ Rios
AJ will be teaching on Tuesdays and Wednesdays
Coming from a musical family on both sides, Rios was born fully aware of his purpose and passion. By age 3, he was given his first shot at playing drum set at his family’s Pentecostal church, one of the 3 churches he plays at to this today. By age 7, he began to teach himself the piano by ear, covering songs on the radio until he felt it matched.
Rios continued his journey by picking up guitar at age 11, and eventually joining band in middle school as a percussionist. This venture would lead him to eventually placing top 5 in All-Virginia band/Orchestra, lead the drumline as captain, and receive the John Phillip Sousa Award. Naturally, he began a Percussion Performance degree at James Madison University, where he was a member of the Wind Symphony, Percussion Studio, & Drumline. He studied under Casey Cangelosi, a world-renowned marimbaist.
However, Rios’s passion for production and sampling took full form during college years, and eventually led to his early departure. Today, he hones his craft and carries the work ethic over into a new form, one that we can all take part in. His self-produced albums received high praise from the likes of Questlove, Knxwledge, Devin Morrison, & Okayplayer magazine. In 2021, he tied for first place in Ski Beatz SmackPack Beat battle, his first battle ever. Earning respect from notable producers 9th Wonder, Nottz, & Khrysis. With a catalog spanning over 40 projects, the best is yet to come.