HandsOnHipHop recently sat down with producer, writer and former programmer at Power 106 Damizza for an EXCLUSIVE!!
Handsonhiphop: Growing up in Santa Barbara as a kid, what is it that really attracted you to radio?
Damizza: The music has and always will be my passion.
Handsonhiphop: Having been in that space at such a young age, in the era of such classic acts like Hootie and the Blowfish and others, what role do you feel that played into moulding you for your “future” radio FIREMAN role?
Damizza: Managing a eclectic group of DJ personalities while getting management to put up with "colorful" personalities - was prob at first.. but, the best learning tool. Digging Btwn egos and getting complex problems solved was and is the fulfilling part of the job.
Handsonhiphop: You were able to put out so many “fires” within the many radio stations you worked in, what jumps to the front of your mind at that “big challenge” where you stepped in, put your foot down and resolved the matter?
Damizza: I think when Suge Knight got out of jail and their was word he was coming to powerhouse. Anaheim PD wanted to shut us down. So I called and invited him. I felt by showing respect, he might return the favor. He was a pleasure to have. Perfect example of treat ppl like u want to be treated.
Handsonhiphop: Between LA and NY, when you worked between the two culturally diverse centres, what would you say were the differences you were able to spot in term of the hip hop culture and having these different experiences, what did you take from both into your production later on?
Damizza: I think all the experiences in life and music played its part. From old Adam Ant records to Michael Jackson to 2pac..
Handsonhiphop: It is no secret why you left radio, do you now feel, looking back that corporates really diluted the medium?
Damizza: And still are.
Handsonhiphop: The gaming industry, how big a market it is in terms of music production (for the games) and can one get a loyal following from that environment?
Damizza: Currently I don't hear much about about artist being brought to the market thru games.
Handsonhiphop: Let’s now talk Hip Hop, the state of the game, the level of EMCEE on TV and on radio, do you think the public listening to both media is getting the real message and quality of content?
Damizza: Quality? Where?
Handsonhiphop: Your production, you have worked with classic west coast acts, Cube & Mack 10, Nate Dogg (R.I.P). the work ethic of these and other O.Gs versus any new players in the game, what set those guys above the rest in your view?
Damizza: I think every talent has it's own spark. They all bring something unique to the table. Nate Dogg (rip) and Krayzie Bone were prob the most creative.. Layering and writing styles so complex but simple & melodic. The "New west" and now Bams, Skipps, Fresh and the rest of the BR camp are fun but, also a learning experience to understand the world thru their eyes.
Handsonhiphop: We cannot forget Damizza the author/best seller, give us an insight into your book, what message you are conveying in there and exactly what can someone expect when they open the book?
Damizza: A kid from a small town with a dream.. That never took no for an answer, made his dreams come true and did it his way. (With a Lil help from his grannie)
Handsonhiphop: What is in the pipeline for Damizza? What projectsdo you have in the short term and perhaps if you can, name the artist you are going to be working with and those you would love to work with.
Damizza: I'm thinking of Reviving the Baby Ree mixtape series... And coming July 4th wknd I should have a surprise!
Handsonhiphop: Finally, correct me if im wrong, but in your book apart from Eminem, you say bishop lamont was the only person who made you nervous? Quickly breakdown for the people who haven’t read your book why this was?
Damizza: When bishop signed with Dre i said that guy makes me "eminem nervous" he said with a confused face "why" i said you'll see.. when Bishop did the Ni**er noize mixtape .. I showed Dre the artwork and said "see why he makes me nervous.." He ran with it after that..
Handsonhiphop: Where can we find you? Twitter, facebook?
Handsonhiphop: Thank you Damizza for doing this interview exclusively for HandsOnHipHop.com
Damizza: You can always tell when the interviewer knows they did their research .. So thank u, Niro, TheKidJ and Akshay!
And make sure you get damizza's book at here