Damion Young better known as Damizza is the biggest name in the West coast's hip-hop game. For a young man of thirty-something, he's probably the best producer of his generation. Damizza showed his talents on his first release, the all-star featured compilation "Damizza Presents…Where I Wanna Be”.
He has worked with artists like Ja Rule, Bone Thugs N Harmony and Nate Dogg and Mariah Carey. Damizza owns Baby Ree Entertainment, which is named after Damizza's grandmother and has released a number of hits through the label.
What have you been working on lately Mizza?
Damizza: It’s been a busy year! I’m proud of the team. Two albums released through Fontana/Universal and singles including, Back Before You’re Lonely, What A Life, Cruzin’ Party On, 805 Worldwide, Not Me, Swagger, House Shoes, Butterfly Effect, Power Drop, Patron, and Rise. Also mix tapes, Hot Box 2, Ni**er Noize, Audio Hustalaz and No Contest.
There’s a new group from the 805 Guilty (Silas, Los, Sly and Dopey) who released their first street single Cuz I’m Guilty featuring myself. A new producer ‘Jedi’ Jared Moore who has spent the year making radio singles (Swagger and Patron). Diocese / Baby Ree / Tov filmed the infamous “Detox / Reformation” announcement from Dr. Dre & Bishop Lamont that received over 250,000 views and spawned an international press frenzy (Dr. Dre had not been seen in years).
I have also started my memoirs book with noted author Marshall Craig (Eric Burden of The Animals and Chuck Lavelle of the Rolling Stones).
That’s a lot! I’m a huge fan of the tracks you've done with Mariah. What's a day in the studio with her like?
Damizza: Busy! She is a workaholic. She is the most gifted writer, producer and singer I’ve ever worked with. She is a very nice lady.
How is the Baby Ree label doing?
Damizza: Great. We’re going to put a record out every month next year. There will be lots of surprises.
Jan 27th the ‘Unreeleased’ album is coming out. I have 500 or so records in the vault. I am sifting through them now. The single is by a new producer “Jedi” Jared Moore and it’s called “Girlfriend”. It’s a fun record. Look out for Guilty by Becca Solodon (who opened for Mariah) and Jared Moore.
What kind of music did you listen to when you were growing up?
Damizza: Everything. Judy Garland to Run DMC. 2Pac to Frank Sinatra. I’m a music lover.
How do you know when you have a hit record?
Damizza: The feeling in the room when everybody just goes ‘Dammmmmmmmnn! That’s crazy.’ I guess you just know.
What do you think of producers like Danja (Britney Spears) and The Dream (J.Holiday, Rihanna)?
Damizza: I haven’t heard them. Maybe you can send me some stuff. I always love to hear new music.
What makes you different from everyone else out there?
Damizza: I don’t know, I just try different stuff. I just do music and hopefully people like it!
How do you keep your music fresh?
Damizza: By working with different people and trying new things.
Where do you think hip-hop stands at the moment?
Damizza: It’s not as fresh as it has been in the past but it all goes through changes and hopefully a new wave of talent isn’t far off. Labels don’t really give a lot of new artists chances so the landscape is all similar. That’s why I went independent. I work in mainstream as a producer, but I enjoy indie music myself.
Tell me something that the public doesn't know about you?
Damizza: I’m just like anybody else. I love spending time with my family and friends. I like to help new artists achieve their musical goals and people all over the world have been bugging me to start a music school after what they have seen with new artists that I’ve worked with. I’ve had artists from all over the world offer crazy money to teach them. This year I’m going to take a couple artists or producers from different places and start a school with some of my mentors. I love to share knowledge of music and help people get started.
Thanks for your time! Hope to see you in the UK soon.
Damizza: Me too! I’ve has a great time in the UK and performing on Top Of The Pops was a dream come true. Thank you to all the fans for supporting me and our team for so long! Shout out to everybody.