Throwing The Rap Game Off Balance: Dizzy (Q&A)
“I would define Hip-Hop as a style, a swag, and an attitude. It can be empowering, motivational, soothing, educational, and trendy all at the same time. In my opinion, it is the most important cultural influence of this generation as it has grown to become a part of so many aspects of society and culture world-wide.” – Dizzy (On His Definition Of Hip-Hop) / Dizzy is an artist on the rise from the Canadian region. He initially leaned on music as a coping mechanism but the art form grew into a passion as the budding rapper got older. Encouraged by the positive feedback from those around him, he worked hard to perfect his craft and has accomplished quite a bit during his musical journey. This includes: securing a couple of different projects under his belt, experience being in a group, mentoring from industry names, and sharing the stage with major mainstream acts. He took a moment to give The Illixer a little bit of the 411 on his life & career via a brief Q&A. Check it out after the break.
The Illixer: Where did your stage moniker originate from?
Dizzy: It’s actually a funny story. I was recording in a group at the time and I was going by my nickname JD. The dudes I was recording with though, either called me JD, J Dizz or just Dizz. So we were down at a studio run by some Jamaican cats and when my homie called out to me “Yo Dizz,” to let me know I could hop in the booth, this older Rasta type dude, who had been quiet all session, just kinda piped up and said “Eh, you should call him Dizzy.” Everyone kinda just stopped what they were doing to turn and look at him. My homie was like “Why?” And the Rasta hit him back with “Cuz’ he make the girls’ heads spin.” I’ve gone by Dizzy ever since.
TI: When did you first know that you wanted to pick up the microphone and pursue Rap as a career?
Dizzy: I think it was a two part realization for me. The first notion was when I went into a real studio to record some tracks and heard myself for the first time … that was a real dope experience. What iced it for me, though, was when I performed at my first real show. I had done some smaller stuff like house parties and hole in the wall clubs, but, it was at this gig opening for Common. I think there was like close to 1,500 – 2,000 people in this event center. I was so f–king nervous before I went out on that stage man. I remember my DJ Grizz and I said a prayer before we went on…and we killed it. The vibe and energy from the crowd was live! It’s funny; I went from being so nervous and wanting to get it over with to wanting to be out there longer. And I remember thinking “people get paid to do this?” … I need to make that happen! We still say a prayer before every show too; it kinda became our ritual.
TI: Who were some of your musical influences growing up?
Dizzy: Man I grew up listening to everything! Oldies Rock, Country, Motown, Easy Listening, R&B, and eventually Rap. Over time my interests have varied though for sure. As far as Rap goes I loved old school West Coast Hip-Hop (Tupac, Snoop, Dre, Dogg Pound, Xzibit, Nate Dogg, Warren G, Westside Connection, etc) I’m also a big fan of Bone Thugs –N- Harmony and T.I.
TI: How would you describe the Hip-Hop scene in Canada?
Dizzy: The Hip-Hop scene here is small but its growing. We seem to make strides in certain areas while we remain behind in others. For instance we have KOTD, which is one of the biggest battle Rap platforms in the world, but on that same note, outside of Toronto, we don’t have any all Hip-Hop (land) radio stations. We just need to grow. Everyone looks at Drake and makes assumptions but the truth is much, if not all, of Drake’s success is due to his contacts in the US. Which is exactly why I reach out to markets outside of Canada. It seems the trend is in order to make it here, you need to make it elsewhere. I’m not saying there aren’t exceptions to that rule (and there has been a few) but for the most part that’s just how it is.
TI: Live performances seem to be a significant factor in your career. What elements do you feel constitute a successful stage show?
Dizzy: For me, it’s all about the energy in the room. Different cities and crowds give off that vibe in different ways but I can just feel when a crowd is f–king with me or when they could care less if I’m there at all. Some crowds wild out and participate when you ask them to and make noise and some just sit back and nod with you but give you their undivided. It’s all love though.
TI: Word is that you are working on a release for the Fall of this year. What can you share with us about the upcoming project?
Dizzy: Yeah I’ve been working hard in the studio with the homie Nato on Still Dizzy. I’m hoping to release it in the Fall but might push it back to the Winter … we’ll see. Still Dizzy is a continuation of my last release U Feelin Dizzy Yet? and I’m really excited to get it out. It’s a very honest, versatile and polished project with some crazy production and my best songs to date. It’ll have everything from club bangers to tracks you can just chill or ride to. I’m still unsure if I wanna release it as a full length album or just stick to an EP. The tracks that don’t get used on Still Dizzy though, will be coming out on my Been Dizzy mixtape series which I’ll be releasing the first installment of sometime early August.
TI: What are some things that you would like to accomplish within the next five years of your career?
Dizzy: At this stage in the game I don’t really have any specifics like a to-do list or anything but I know what I need to do is keep putting out good music and pushing it to the people. It’s also important for me to keep networking and trying to assemble a solid team around me to help take Dizzy to the next level. After all team work makes the dream work.
**My Two Cents: Dizzy seems like a cool dude with a great head on his shoulders. His perspective on the music game is realistic as well as impressive. He’s done a lot so far in his career and I can definitely see him doing a whole lot more as time goes on. It was a pleasure conducting this interview. Readers should peruse his Sound Cloud (see above) when they get a chance. He’s got some valid tunes on there. Be sure to scope out his website (also see above) too. -MinM