Gig Seeker Pro


Fayetteville, North Carolina, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014

Fayetteville, North Carolina, United States
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Alternative Fusion




"Over the Edge with Dizi Johnson"

As I sit waiting for his car to pull into the parking lot of the café, I’m listening to the songs that I’d downloaded earlier in the day, trying to see the connection between the lyrics I hear and the voice that I had spoken with earlier in the afternoon. Suddenly, a young man with a friendly face appears, guitar in hand. He doesn’t look like the stereotypical guitarist. In his hometown of Fayetteville, North Carolina, southern rock rules. Second and third generation Led Zepplin and Skynard fans dominate the music scene and music shops. Despite this, his cult following in Fayetteville seems to be growing steadily. Dizi has already made a name for himself in the New York area. He has won many open mic nights and battle of the bands and has managed to fill clubs with fans of all ages and ethnicities. We exchange greetings and smiles. Then, I ask the question that I have been wondering all day:

Who is Dizi Johnson?

The nitty gritty truth…everything that I started doing was in prison. You may have seen on another interview…I didn’t do music before then. I got sentenced to 36 months. While I was in there I basically turned to the music scene. I taught myself to play the guitar. I taught myself everything. I did my first concert in the prison yard. That is where it comes from. The grittiness of it, whatever it is. Uhm…you know it’s not like it’s all street, all this—it’s from everywhere, my emotions, my experience, my life, I put into my music. It’s everything I’ve seen and experienced. Nothing is far fetched. It’s everything I have seen. My music reflects me. You can hear some of my songs and kind of get a feeling of where I am coming from.

KC: So, what were some of your influences? Who did you listen to?

DJ: That’s the whole thing. I don’t’ know if I had just one influence. I listened to a lot of bands… from your Nirvanas to Nases to your Pink Floyds. Everything! Rock, rap…It was never like, one particular thing that I saw and was like “I wanna do music.” It kind of just hit me…one day in prison. Like I said, growing up, I listened to pretty much everything. In the household with my mother… it was never like a hip-hop and R&B household. We listened to everything…from Madonna to Prince to Tupac. Really just everything.

KC: That, to me is like, very interesting because I know, growing up in Fayetteville, you have those divides. To be a Black kid that’s into Rock and Roll and plays the guitar…well you are looked at as if you are an alien.

DJ: Well, Fayetteville is kind of like it is in a box. It has the potential to open up but right now it’s still like “Blacks do this. Whites do this.” I don’t fill up any box. There’s no limitation. I don’t see colors in people. I am just me. I can’t live in a box and think in a stereotypical way. Unfortunately, that is how the general population thinks. Not everyone thinks like I think or do what I do. Some people like it, some people love it, some people may hate it. Whatever.

KC: What was the first song that you learned on your guitar?

DJ: The first song that I did was called “Why Trip”. It was acoustic. I picked up a guitar and this dude in prison told me that I basically started too late…that it would take me too long to learn. I wrote that song, “Why Trip”. I learned how to play it in four months. It took me four months to learn the guitar. It went from there. I saw the reaction that it got. Everybody was like “Woah, what the hell are you doing?” It rocked. The CO’s, the MA’s and convicts were all bobbing their heads like they were rocking it. I fell in love with it. I got obsessed with it.

KC: So, what do you think about the music scene now? Especially with the mainstream media. Do you think that hip hop is dead? Do you think that people are just doing things for the money or…

DJ: I wouldn’t say it’s dead. I would say that it’s going through a state of trying to find itself again. It’s pretty much open right now to anything—substance or not. It seems like the general population is leaning towards stuff that is just not talking about anything. That is what everyone seems to be bumping right now. It’s not what I’m doing but that’s where the state of Hip Hop is right now. I can make a song about brushing my teeth. I’m brushing my teeth brushing my teeth, wiping my head. That will be a hit. You know what I’m saying? A lot of this seems “popcornish” to me. I’m not feeling a lot of it but at the same time I’m not knocking it either. If a guy is coming from the street and make a way for his family off of “Laffy Tafffy” or whatever, who are you to knock that? I’m not going to say oh I don’t like what they are doing because they are making money off of that. I’m just going to say that’s not what I do. I’m not going to convert or change my music to fit what is going on. I’m going to try to “stay me” and hopefully the world will listen.

KC: So what do you think about Miley Cyrus and twerking? Did she start the twerk?

DJ: I see she twerked her little ass. I’m not mad at her. She got on stage, she was feeling herself, and she was working it. A lot of people talked trash about her but I’m like, if that’s how she felt, do it! Do what you feel, man. You can’t just be like “I don’t want do do this because they might think negatively of me”. I feel she got on stage and just wiled out, and I’m all for it.

KC:So,one question that ask people, and I know most musicians hate it because they tend to think of themselves as individuals: If you had to compare yourself to somebody in the mainstream, who would you compare yourself to?

DJ: Wow. That’s a hard question

KC: Is there anybody? Are you comparable?

I don’t feel I am comparable. That’s a hard question to answer as an artist. Who do you compare yourself to? I really compare myself to…nah, I don’t think I compare myself to anyone. I’m trying to open up new doors and trying to do new things. There are a lot of people that I am listening to that I really like. For instance, MGK. I think it would be a good collaboration with him. There are a lot of artists that I think I’d work well with on one track but I don’t think that there is anyone really that you can compare me with.

KC: Do you like to do a lot of collaborations or do you like to do a lot of solo work?

DJ: I haven’t done a lot of collaborations. I’ve done one track called “Take the Crown” with a female singer. I’m up for collaborations but I’ve just been focusing on me. If an opportunity presented itself and it was hot, then yes, I’d do it.

KC: Ok, ok. Out of all of the songs that you have written so far, which one do you think describes you the most?

DJ: Describes me the most? That would have to be…damn! That would have to be “Why Trip”. It describes me very well. “Bastard of Flaws describes me well too. It is speaking about how we are the products of our environment. The things that we see growing up, good or bad, that makes us who be become as an adult. The way you observe things and view life comes straight from what you observe as a child growing up.

KC: Do you have any regrets in your life?

DJ: Of course I’ve got some things that I want to change. But, at the same time I couldn’t change them because if I didn’t get in trouble with the law at 19 then I wouldn’t have gone to prison at 24. Therefore, I would never have learned the guitar. Everything played out how it was supposed to play out so, I can’t really say I would take it back. I made a lot of mistakes growing up but I wouldn’t change any of them because they made me who I am—good or bad.

KC: So, are you pretty well known with the musicians in Fayetteville. Is there anybody you would recommend or look forward to seeing, or say, “Hey, go see them play?”

DJ: The artist named SBX. He is a phenomenal guitarist. HE does R&B and is a great soloist. Then there is 40-Cal. He sings and raps. Snipes, Tony Blazen, Rider…there are quite a few.

KC: Many musicians have messages and agendas. Do you think that you have one?

DJ: My message is to be yourself. Have no “would have, should have” moments. Don’t live by other people’s standards. Don’t feel like you have to act a certain way around certain people. Just do you. That is my overall message. I’m doing me. You do you. Love yourself. If you don’t, no one else would.

::End of Interview::

Dizi Johnson can be seen touring the East Coast of the US. When he is not on stage performing the songs that he wrote, Dizi also plays lead guitar for the band Butterfly Benjamin. His next performances will be at Club Hellas in Hope Mills, North Carolina as well as the Rock Shop in Fayetteville, North Carolina. - Kisha Chismar


Still working on that hot first release.



L.O.U.D (Lessons of understanding divinity) is an alternative Rap/Rock band based out of NC.  The band consist of 4 members Front man and lead guitarist Dizi Johnson, Earl Nailz on the keys plus vocalist, Twon killing the drums and guitarist and vocalist Pat Quinn and rthym guitarist Kevin . Long story short theres 3 different dope song writers in this band thus producing 3 different flavors in 1‌ Shake it up mix up swallow it whole then throw it up and there you have it ladies and gentleman L.O.U.D.

Band Members