Baltimore is an illusion sometimes. It's small enough to make you feel like you know everything that's going on--especially if you're a native to the city. For so long, I just assumed that, with club music, I knew who everyone was. Between the radio and parties, that used to be a good way to measure what was going on with the culture. Not anymore. I've recently (like, real recent) started to take it upon myself to approach Baltimore music discovery as an outsider; not assuming that I know everything that's going on and every artist "worth" knowing. That's impossible and really an ignorant and unwise approach to seeing what's really up. Since I've started randomly searching and clicking Sound Cloud links, I've found some truly interesting things coming out of the city.
My most prized find yet has been an 18-year-old club producer, DJ Dizzy. A couple months ago I started fishing through who some of my favorite local club DJ's (Matic808, Techniques, Booman, etc.) were following on Soundcloud and I came across his remix of Lor Scoota's local hit, "Bird Flu". From there, I found his remix of the Rugrats theme song (!!) and random spin-offs of popular vines and anything else that's gone viral online. I was hooked shortly after and reached out to him to play FLAT OUT (come through tomorrow!). Recently, I got the chance to pick his brain and learn how someone his age came across club music, what his fresh perspectives are and what could be expected from him in the near future. Read up!
True Laurels: Being so young, how were you first introduced to club music? Just the radio or did your parents play it?
DJ Dizzy: Well, I always heard it on 92Q but one of my dancer friends from around my way introduced me to the newer style of club music. Of course I knew the older stuff like Blaqstarr and K-Swift so when I heard new stuff I got interested in the scene and wanted to make it.
What new stuff were you hearing?
Dizzy: It was more of the battle style that you would hear at a shake off competition.
Are you a rare breed amongst friends when it comes to club music? Is it still big to people your age?
Dizzy: It's not necessarily an age thing but there is a big local underground network for people who are still really into club music. That ranges from like ages 13-25. It's also more for people who dance to it. There are still monthly dance competitions.
So did you start as a dancer?
Dizzy: I actually just started getting dances down but DJ'ing came first because it seemed easy to me with the music all being the same speed. My homie gave me the link to Fruity Loops and I started making stuff. I was about 15 or 16.
What was the first club mix you ever made and what inspired you if you can remember?
Dizzy: I still have it on my old computer. I sampled Waka's "Fuck This Industry". But what inspired me really was just that the song was hot, Waka was hot and I wanted to remix a song that nobody had done yet.
A lot of your mixes stem from popular online content like Vine or just a viral video. Is that what makes it fun for you? Just fishing online?
Dizzy: It's more of what's relevant for me. Industry songs are cool but how you get listeners is by finding something everybody can relate to and making it danceable. Make it familiar for everybody.