Purveyor of: That needed pat on the back, late night car rides, getting sh*t done and feeling good about it.
File Next to: TRP.P, Elaquent, Cartel Madras
Playing: Saturday, August 15th 2020 at our 800th show/Mini-Fest on Facebook Live!
If you’re feeling a lack of inspiration during this pandemic, turn to DijahSB; who wrote an album, crowd-funded its release, and did it all independently. 2020 the Album is clever, witty, and addictive. Each verse is delivered with a confident flow and then moves into catchy choruses that anyone can repeat back. Having a blue day? Just remember the chorus to “Mama Said.” Feeling those empty pockets? Just repeat the chorus to “Broke Boi Anthem.” Anyway, the antidote to a time of isolation and uncertainty could quite possibly be 2020 the Album. Buy it, blare it, and share it. Wavelength’s Emma Bortolon-Vettor had a chance to ask DijahSB a few questions about being an independent artist in this current realm of music industry.
What’s it like releasing an album during a pandemic as an independent artist?
For me it was sort of a blessing in disguise. Only because my part time job was still paying me my regular wage. What it really exposed to me was that I really really really need music to work out for me, because it was the best thing ever to just be able to create 24/7 and not worry about money.
When did you start writing material for 2020 the Album?
I started writing material in December/January. I remember hearing the beats and actually replaying them over and over on a drive home from visiting my family in Keswick. I knew I was about to get home and write something special.
When you’re not working on your music, what are you doing in your free time?
Sleeping and mindlessly scrolling social media, which I have found to be a little depressing, so I started a new hobby; puzzles. Then I realized I suck at puzzles. But they’re really fun.
What types of skills does an independent artist need to have in order to survive this generation of music industry?
You actually have to enjoy making music. I know that sounds obvious, but a lot of people think they can achieve the lifestyle that’s glorified on social media by simply releasing music. You actually have to really love it or else you’re going to end up quitting. The success is magnified but nobody is shown the struggle of trying to actually make a career out of music. You need patience and you need to love not only music but business as well. It has to be a passion of yours versus a simple hobby if you actually want a sustainable career.
What immediate changes in infrastructure need to be made in Toronto to benefit artists, specifically hip-hop artists?
More money. There is no money to be found to support hip-hop artists in Toronto. Everybody is talented and releasing music, but it’s like grasping at air. The reality is that it takes money to make money. So if there ain’t no money there ain’t no infrastructure.
I have to know: what was going through your mind during those monumental 16 bars onstage at that Jay Electronica concert two years ago?
I honestly have never felt the thrill and anxiety as much as I felt it on stage that day, I really just wanted to make sure I had bars I knew would impress. After it clicked for me I blanked out.
Who are you listening to right now?
Flo Milli, Mick Jenkins, Clairmont the Second, chloexhall.
Don’t miss DijahSB at our Wavelength 800 livestream mini-fest on August 15 on Facebook Live.