Interview: Diztortion talks Sound Bwoy, success with Lethal Bizzle, the booming Dutch DJ scene and more!
Hailing from Amsterdam, Diztortion is one of the most exciting artists to have made his mark on the UK scene over the past two years. Best known for his hits with Stylo G (Sound Bwoy, Badd) and Lethal Bizzle (Rari Work Out, Fester Skank) he has also made big hits with Ms Dynamite, and Tinie Tempah.
We spoke to him backstage at the GRM Daily Awards, where he (deservedly) won Best Producer (check the full winners’ list here), to discuss all things around his whirlwind career thus far!
NICK: So how would you sum up your last two years in the game because obviously it’s been a pretty hectic couple of years
Diztortion: Wow, unexpected, it’s hard man – It was very unexpected, I was hoping for it, I was working for it but I didn’t know how quick it was going to happen because you don’t control what’s happening, you can only do your best and be the best producer you are and see how far you can push it. I’m grateful, as It was a struggle to get there. Obviously you just have to put in all the hours and you’re not getting paid for the hours, it’s not like a 40 hour job, It’s not a nine to five, end of the month paycheck you just work, work, work till one goes.
NICK: And what do you reckon was the turning point for you?
Diztortion: The switch happened when Sound Bwoy from Stylo G popped off – that’s when it went everywhere in the country because it got on the radio play lists and that’s when people started hearing about the music and that’s when other artists got interested in me like, “Yo, what’s that?”
NICK: And were you signed on at that point?
Diztortion: No, it took a while before I was signed.
NICK: So how did you link up with Stylo G at that point?
Diztortion: It was through my manager, he said “oh there’s this guy he’s doing bashment, he’s sick but I think you can give him another sound – you can give him a bit more of an accessible sound for Europe or something. We both were searching for a new sound and I remember we were at the studio, it was mad – I played him the first beats and he was like, “Yo that’s sick, what’ that? Make me something like that.”
And I think like an hour later ‘Sound Bwoy’ was recorded – I sent it to my manager and then he got it signed and then the rest is history.
NICK: So you and Lethal Bizzle have had a string of hits together – it’s literally like you’ve got a Midas touch – what do you think it is about his sound and your sound that works so well?
Diztortion: I think Biz is the most open minded artist that I have worked with ever. It doesn’t matter what I try, he will always listen and, he will never say, “that’s not me,” and that’s why the sound is so different all the time, like every time he comes with something it’s new. Actually we are not even taking it too serious, we just joking around – the studio is just jokes, laughing, eating and stuff and then we have a little moment it’s like, yo let’s do this, what do you think?
NICK: So it’s like an organic process when you guy are working together?
Diztortion: Yeah, definitely, there’s no brief, we are not trying to create hit music with purpose, we just do what we love…
NICK: You’re from Holland, right from Amsterdam? The only other name from Holland that I can think of is Mr Probz
Diztortion: Yeah, big shout out to Mr. Probs, I’ve known him a long time, back in the days there were only a few people rapping in in English … he was one of them. So we would just always see each other, that’s my boy, big up Mr. Probz.
NICK: Anyone from Holland that you’re looking out for that’s coming through or is it not really on your scope at the moment?
Diztortion: From Holland? There’s a lot of talent from Holland, there’s a lot of talent they just don’t smash it over here, they’re just everywhere else in the world – look at the dance and electro DJ’s, they’re killing it –
NICK: Okay, so any top tip for a producer coming through to be the next Distortion?
Diztortion: Just make what you like, make what you like, don’t try and make stuff that someone else is doing, don’t try and change the hype, don’t try be like other people – create your own sound. Create it and be the best you can be…