“The most important lesson that I have learned along the way is to invest in yourself! That doesn’t mean go out and get some new gear to floss or go buy yourself a forty. Seriously invest in yourself.”

Check out the interview with Diz Dean exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.

Skilly: How were you able to start your journey in the entertainment business? Where did this all start?
Diz Dean:
The first time I ever stepped foot on a stage and had a microphone put in my hand I was 6 years old. My mother, Connie Fleener, ran a summer school program for Native Americans at the University of Idaho. As far as N8V hip hop goes, I would have to say that my first real break didn’t come until 2015 when I signed with my current label Culture Shock Original.

What are some of the creative ways you use to promote your music?
For social media promotion I’m on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, etc. and they all seem to be very bloated with material. I currently use Reverbnation for a lot of my promotion and fan reach because they have had the easiest, artist friendly tools to use to keep connected with my listeners.

What is the greatest challenge you face in today’s entertainment business? How do you overcome them?
The greatest challenge is that everyone’s trying to make it in the music industry with some get-rich-quick scheme. This dilutes the quality of the music and the messages behind lyrics are lost to real listeners. This makes it difficult for artists with positive messages and meaningful music to be given the opportunity to grow.

How is the music scene like in your hometown? What do you like about it and what don’t you like?
I grew up in a mid-sized college town in Moscow where the University of Idaho is located. The Nez Perce reservation has an abundance of musical talent and diversity. Powwow drum groups are born and raised with love and passion for music that’s unmatched. These groups captivated me and definitely influenced my choice in beats I use.

Where do you think the future of music is going to be? How do you feel artists can be more a part of it?
Honestly, I have no idea what the future of music is going to be. Day to day my own path and view on the music industry changes as I am graced with more opportunity. I will say this though, I will do everything in my power to bring meaningful messages back to hip hop and positively impact the elders, youth, and generations to come.

What advice can you give to other upcoming artists and musicians trying to achieve success?
The most important lesson that I have learned along the way is to invest in yourself! That doesn’t mean go out and get some new gear to floss or go buy yourself a forty. Seriously invest in yourself. Take classes on computers and social media, participate in courses that are available from artists that have already made it, and buy your beats.

What inspires you to write your next song?
Sometimes I’ll be laying down all but asleep in bed and spring up to right down lyrics. Other times I work the message for a song out in my head for months until it fits the way I feel it will best reach the listeners. A lot of my inspiration comes from events or trends currently affecting my family and friends on and around the reservations of the Northwest.

What are the steps you take to make a song?
In the past I would right lyrics and then wait until I constructed a beat that would do the words justice, but that was when I didn’t give much effort. Now it can happen a number of ways, but I do a lot more writing and off-the-top work with beats that I find while searching through different producers’ beat libraries.

What do you think makes a great song?
To me, being able to connect to the listeners makes the only great songs. When a person hears a song it should trigger a memory or thought and really captivate that person in the art. Having meaning and putting heart and true feeling into the artwork is what really makes a great song.

Where can we connect with you? Can you give us your social media links and where we can contact you?
Official website: www.dizdean.com | www.n8vhiphop.com
Soundcloud: www.soundcloud.com/diz-dean
Reverbnation: www.reverbnation.com/dizdean
YouTube: www.youtube.com/channel/UCQxzpCXHcSKaq5S9-gVM-pA
Facebook: www.facebook.com/musicdizdean
Twitter: @diz_dean
Instagram: @diz_dean