Chan Dizzy, as he's been called since high school, started off his career as a rapper, but eventually made the switch to dancehall."Hip hop wasn't working!" he said laughed. "It's kinda hard to be a rapper from Jamaica. I know many Jamaican rappers out there that are really talented, but it's been a struggle." Dizzy credits his producer Tariq Johnston, more popularly known as Russian, for convincing him to crossover. At this point, he already had a foot in the door acting as ghost-writer for several other artistes, which made his transition seamless. Though he is now a full time deejay, Dizzy attributes his unique flow and style to his Hip Hop background which sets him apart from his counterparts. "When I'm at home, I might listen to some tracks because I love hip hop and everyone can hear the rap influence in my music, but I'm not a rapper anymore. I might spit a one verse here and there, but that's about it," he said.
Despite the smooth shift between the two genres, he does face several challenges, those typical of a fresh face or voice in the music business. He expressed the difficulty of getting his songs played by selectors in the dancehall due to the concentration of already established artistes. However, he highlighted, "I've been blessed to be the artiste of a producer that is one of the
leading producers in Jamaica," in reference to Russian. This has afforded him heavy rotation on the radio which helps to popularize his songs and eventually have them played in the dancehall. This perhaps is best demonstrated in the success of "Nuh Strange Face", which he noted has made things a bit easier for him.
To keep the momentum going from this achievement, he vows to deliver consistency in his music, avoiding gimmicks and being true to himself by not doing anything just for the sake of being popular. He lives by the philosophy "eat like a king, work like a slave", for how can you go wrong when you eat right and work even harder?
His latest project, Dizzyness, a mixed tape produced by Eccentrix Sound and Head Concussion, features his two most recently released songs, "Hello Badmind" and "Nicest Feeling" featuring J. Capri among 20 tracks. To date, the artiste has worked with producers Jeremy Harding, Jamie
Roberts (Young Vibez Production), Chimney Records, Sajay Records and Stephen 'Di Genius' McGregor (Big Ship). His has collaborated with several artistes including Suhverto, Versatile and J. Capri. He also hopes to collaborate with Aidonia is the near future, an artiste he described as being very instrumental to his own craft.
These are just a part of the foundation Dizzy is laying for career. "In five years, I should be one of the top five artistes with a couple tours under my belt and hopefully an album or two through hard work. Most of all, I should still be relevant," he said. "Who doesn't want to win a Grammy, who doesn't want to stand on that stage and thank God and their mother? Probably even a platinum plaque on my wall." He summed up his aspirations by quoting a line from "Notorious" by Biggie Smalls: "chilling, sitting on 'bout half a million...next two years I should see bout a billion."
He is also gearing up for his first set of tours. "In March, I'm supposed to be embarking on a European tour of France, Amsterdam, Germany and some other places. Later down in the year I'm supposed to be going South Africa and Japan," he said. Dizzy is no longer a 'strange face' to the dancehall scene. Indeed, 2011 seems to be a promising year for the rapper-turneddeejay.
His positive energy, drive, creativity and most of all his humility are qualities that will indefinitely take him a long way. He advised other aspiring artistes to "eat, sleep, breath and live music. It's not a nineto-five; it's 24/7-365, so if you don't work hard, then you won't get anything out of it.
Know that you have to be dedicated, persistent and hard working. It's not all about
what you see in videos. That's the simple part of it."