Dizzy III is a Houston-based DJ and dubstep producer who has stopped by to talk about some of his background, most memorable shows, and the tradeoffs of being heavily involved in the local EDM scene.
What's your musical background beyond production and DJing?
I first got inspired to play music after I saw this band playing at my high school. I went to the store, picked up a guitar, and learned how to play over the course of several years. I tried starting a few bands with some of my friends, but I couldn’t really find anyone who fit the style that I was going for. There was also the issue of transportation, so we couldn’t meet as much as we needed to in order to succeed. I still play a little guitar now and then but I’m definitely not as good as I was back then.
How did you get roped into the EDM scene from there?
When I was in my strictly metal-only phase, I referred to all EDM as “techno” and thought the whole genre was unoriginal. All of this changed when I was watching YouTube back in like 2009 and I accidentally clicked on a dance battle video called “Shuffling vs Tektonik” the music playing in the background was hardstyle and when the guys were shuffling to it. I was so fascinated by this and I thought it was just the coolest thing ever. I absolutely had to learn how to do it so from there I would practice shuffling to hardstyle for weeks and weeks until I nailed it down. Also, in this period, I started to gain an appreciation for the energetic melodies and interesting sound of hardstyle. While at first it was just music to dance to, now I was starting to fall in love with the music itself. I began looking up hardstyle artists and putting their songs on my playlist; that music became an integral part of my life.
At the time, I thought there was no way I could get into production, but he inspired me to go and get a trial version of FL. I tried making my own dubstep songs, but I kept getting frustrated because my tracks weren’t sounding the way I wanted. Over time, it's become a lot easier to translate what I’m hearing in my head. It’s been a really rewarding experience. I’ve always loved the sound design of dubstep and so being able to mess around with those sounds on my own has been great.
What have been some of the most memorable shows that you’ve played or been to in Houston?
There’s definitely a few that come to mind! Back in 2015, I played at the annual Mad Hatter Tea Party in Austin. I got booked for an early slot from 9-10PM on the side stage which I wasn’t all too happy about but that’s just how it goes sometimes. However, fast forward to later that night, I get this phone call from a friend of mine who’s an MC and was scheduled to perform later that night. He usually gets another DJ to play and he picks them sort of last minute. Anyway, he didn’t know I was playing but when he found out, he gave me a call to ask if I had my USBs. I told him yes and next thing I knew, I was playing on the main stage from 12-1! It was a really exciting moment for me because I got to play twice in one night and the second slot was at prime time on the main! I It was so nerve wrecking at first, but as soon as I got up there and played my first track, everything went fine.
Playing at Stereo Live was a New Year’s resolution of mine and I actually got to play there twice this year although the first time was certainly not a normal experience. They were doing a Riddim edition of A State of Bass and there was starting to be a lot of controversy surrounding the fact that there was a guy on the lineup who wasn’t really a riddim DJ. The guy ended up calling me and told me about all of the controversy around his spot, so he offered it to me saying that it should go to someone who’s a true fan of the genre. I went to the show and it went well and all but the best show of them all was when I played Stereo Live again just recently.
I was nervous the first time I played there, but this time, I was having anxiety all day about whether or not I’d be good enough and worrying that I would let down the crowd and all of the people who had ever supported me if I bombed this show. Unlike the first time, my name was on the flyer for this show, so everyone knew that I was going to be playing that night; it was a totally different mindset and stakes. Fortunately, when the time came, I was greeted by multiple friends that I had met over the years of being a DJ and they were so pumped and happy to see I got booked to play a show at Stereo Live. Having that support really helped me ease into that night. One of my friends who was also playing even walked me up on stage and introduced me. When I plugged in my USB and starting play, I was in my own zone like nothing else really even mattered. I was so into just the art of mixing and in the moment, I'd forgotten there was a huge group of people in front of me! As my set is about to end, I backspin out of my last track to let the next DJ get on an everyone started cheering really loudly for me and they shouted for an encore! I'd never seen anything like that happen before! Usually the last DJ of the night is one who gets the encore but here I am passing off the decks to the next guy and the crowd is all chanting "One more song!" The next DJ was kind enough to let me play another track, so I put on one of my originals that hadn’t been released yet and the crowd went nuts! Mixing is fun and all, but there's nothing like seeing people go completely off to a track that you put countless hours into making.
In my honest opinion, I think that you can take your career much further by staying home to work on music and talking with other producers via social media. Having some decent releases and those nationwide and international relationships will be the difference between opening for the headliner and being the headliner. It’s an edgy subject to bring up and the local scene can be fulfilling for some. I've truly had a lot of fun experiences going out to events for shows, supporting friends, playing locally, and meeting people who like your unique style. I think the difference is that music is just a hobby for some people, so they just do this stuff on the side, which is totally fine. Personally, I feel like my days of being just a local DJ are done. I'm trying to take this whole project to the next level. I don’t want to have spent all of this time and effort only to be stuck in the same spot for years.
Where are you hoping to take your music and your career next?
As far as I can honestly. At the end of the day, as long as I can make enough from making music and playing shows to live off of comfortably, that's good enough for me.
A huge thanks to Dizzy III for taking the time to answer our questions in this Exclusive Interview. Be sure to check out his social media pages for upcoming shows and new music!
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Chris W. Lao
DJ, Writer, and Student
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