October, 2015
Artist: DZ
Plainfield, NJ


Hello and welcome to One on One in 10, where we pick the brains of some of the most talented Indie artists in the Tri state area with 10 questions. It’s your girl Mai Mazzi reporting live on the scene, bringing you the real with todays’ movers and shakers and allowing you to meet them, one on one.


It is October, the month of ghosts and goblins and a whole of scary movies accompanied with popcorn and snacks that are bad for your teeth! As we get older, I mean as I get older, the excitement still exists…. What should I be this year for Halloween? (LOL)


Our One on One in 10 for this month is a very talented and intellectual artist representing Plainfiled NJ named DZ. He is on the scene to literally revive the “dead” circumstances that plague the music industry as well as the communities.


Mazzi: Thank you so much for taking the time out to sit and speak with me.


DZ: Thank you for having me!


Mazzi: So for our first question, what made you first realize that you wanted to pursue a career in music?


DZ: The first thing that made me want to pursue a career in music was how I was introduced to it and just finding out that I could do something I love. I have been involved with music since I was six. It is an amazing art of being able to tell stories and people listening and making a difference, so I really fell in love with the craft of it. As I began to get older and more mature in my craft, learning the business side of it, as   another one of my passions is to be a strong business person, I found out that I could actually make a sustainable career and be successful in it. So with all of those things, plus the love and being able to be a voice for the people, are some of the things that drive my pursuit in this industry.


Mazzi: How would you describe your music for the public audience if they have never seen or heard you before?


DZ: I describe my music as life giving and life changing. The music that I do is targeted towards the soul and the up building of an individual being held down by the shackles of life, being held down by everything that they go through. We are speaking to put life back into those “dead” areas; bringing life to “dead” communities and “dead” souls. If I could say something to the hood, or say something to a large mass of people feeling “dead”, my goal is to motivate whoever hears it so that they can begin to feel good about themselves again. That’s what we intend to do with every project that we put out.


Mazzi: If you had to categorize your music, what genre would it best fit?


DZ: It would best fit the hip hop genre. If we had to categorize it, it would be hip hop rap. In this project, I am introducing a piece to music that was never there before. The upcoming project is entitled, “The Missing Piece”; I have had an incredible life journey up to this point and I have been able to mix in some of the old, some of the new, some of the never been heard before, and implant an element and trend that just hasn’t been in the music game. Until me; I want to shift the game and be a trendsetter with my introduction of something new.


Mazzi: How does your style differ from other artists in the same genre?


DZ:  Outside of experience and timing, my flow is based on the fundamentals of hip hop. One of the things that I have learned from some of the people who are considered great is to write to the beat. I listen to the track first and listen to the instruments and the base line and Im like man what is the beat saying. I add to the beat; my goal is to become the next instrument that’s over the track to bring everything to a beautiful harmony.   From what I see, that’s the difference between myself and a lot of the artists you hear today.  A lot of people who are out just have the same repetitive flow and they ride the beat well, but they are not taking the time to be that added instrument to the beat to make the listener have a musical experience they are just rapping on a track.


Mazzi: Are you familiar with the term “starving artist”?


DZ: Absolutely.


Mazzi: How do you cope with major obstacles as they relate to the term?


DZ: I have come to cope with the term by actually getting my focuses and priorities in line. I have been in the game long enough to realize that this game is dirty. The game that we are in, you either compromise or stick to your guns. I also understand from a business perspective that it can be a costly investment if you don’t humble yourself and get under the right tutelage, and have a team of people who can really push you. With those challenges and the work ethic I understand the starvation, but my one goal in being able to cope with that is understanding what the end means are and being content with that, and what I mean by that is understanding what my mission is.  My mission is not to just make a successful career and be a great artist and everybody knows me. My main mission is to make a difference because I realize the power that I have as an artist that people tend to listen. So if I want to see a difference in my hood, or a difference in a few towns over from me or even a different city, that’s my focus. That’s my main and only priority.  Being focused and priority driven allows for everything else to fall in place.


Mazzi: What do you think your “biggest break” or “greatest opportunity” has been so far in your musical career?


DZ: One of my biggest moments, which was also very humbling, was when they spun our new single, “You,” on WBLS during the Labor Day morning mix. That was very, very huge. Growing up with WBLS, Hot 97, and when KISS FM was popping, being from the Tri State hearing that was like whoa. That was one of the milestones that we hit and there are many more to come.


Mazzi: What image do you think your music conveys and why did you choose this type of image for your music?


DZ: The image that I convey with my music is who I am inside. I didn’t choose anything. I was a kid that, before I gave my life to Christ, I was that grimey dude spitting bars on the block putting that in and out work in just to get paid. I had an experience with life and I realized the gift that was in me, I had to sit down for a minute and go through life and come to terms with my maker. I had stopped rapping, I quit and was going to be a regular family man. It was something about what the Lord put in me I couldn’t stay away from the mic. I didn’t go back on my own terms, I only went back because he told me to because I was ready. I’m on record saying that I didn’t choose anything, and that’s why we are experiencing the success that he is having through us being representatives. Just stepping up to the plate with a story to tell and people are listening motivates me every day.  


Mazzi: Art and music has an impact on both the young and the old; sometimes the older generation loses respect for the music we listen to today because they cannot comprehend the value of it. What advice can you give to the youth of today looking to enter the industry in regards to being able to stay relevant for every generation and for any audience?


DZ: In my opinion how we can continue to bridge the gap between the miscommunication between the generations is to understand where the younger generation is at and look back at the mistakes the older generation has made. And when we begin to acknowledge that and come to the table on humble terms, the communication between the generations will lead to better understanding. How do we convey the moralistic message that the older generation was brought up on? How do we communicate that to a generation that has missed so much because the older generation dropped the ball in a lot of areas because they just didn’t know how to communicate certain things in artistry? An older artist living a life of humility shouldn’t feel challenged to pour into the young artist coming up if they have something to say; regardless of whether you have success according to the world’s terms or not shouldn’t stop you from pouring a little bit of wisdom into someone who is willing to listen. The younger generation has to open their ears a little more and listen because what the older generation is trying to give them, when it is communicated properly, they can marinate on it and cultivate it and take it to an entirely different level. What I am learning is that there is always going to be a generation who does something better than you, but that generation is only going to be as good as you prep it to be.


Mazzi: What are your immediate music career goals (1 to 3 years)?


DZ: My goals are to continue to generate a fan base of solid supporters that believe in the message that I am conveying and begin to take that message and spread it around the world and begin to touch people. I want the message to touch people in ways that I have no control over; I want to have a strong solid base behind us so that we can begin to make noise and see extravagant changes begin to take place in the industry, which in my opinion, has fallen so far in the dark.


Mazzi: Do you have other interests or talents that you would like to share with us? How do you like to enjoy your relaxation time away from the music?


DZ: I am a big football fan (Eagles)! I like spending time with my wife and doing things as a couple. We love doing outreaches and getting involved with the communities. We have an organization called HOPE (healing oppression with pure entertainment) where we link with leaders of different communities and we bring in different resources to throw dope concerts.


For more information on DZ’s upcoming shows and projects, please visit his website www.yaboydz.com.


And to you, the readers thank you for tuning in. Make sure you stay tuned for more NMNJ One on One in 10!



Mai Mazzi
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