Dizzie Hites -Archive Interview -From PEOM

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dizzie hites zani 1In the winter of 1989, Rap, was not seen as mainstream music and was  still low on radio play lists. However artists like Bomb the Bass with Neneh Cherry with the evocative Buffalo Stance ,  and Mark Moore of S-express were helping to develop the UK urban sound.
In 1988, obscure records were surfacing and doing the rounds on the decks in Acid House/Balearic clubs. Would I find Love by Dizzie Hites was one such record, which  was being played on a regular basis at the clubs which I was frequenting.

The crowd would go mad, and sing in unison to the catchy chorus. I was toying with the idea of a fanzine, and I knew of Dizzie Hites’ from his days with the Style Council. I was temping at a publishing company in Esher and during the course of a tedious day at the office,  I thought wouldn’t be great  to  interview Dizzie Hites and start that fanzine. So I phoned a few record companies, pretending to be a journalist to arrange an interview with Dizzie Hites. A young man called Phil Howl (who still is a friend to this day) gave me a break, and as the say the rest is history. The interview may be naive, and poorly written,  However I am still proud of it. I had an idea amongst the photo copiers and coffee breaks and followed it through.      
   
With the sudden rise of young black singers, singing songs with regard to social change and awareness of the environment in the UK today, soulful music as Sydney Youngblood and Dizzie Hites. I decided to investigate the man involved, with a handful of questions, a packet of fags, a camera (no flash) and an unreliable cassette recorder, I went in search of Dizzie. Only to find him in bed at the time of the appointment! Eventually the man arose.
 
PEOM: A lot of your songs are very political, such as "Would I find Love" and "A Gospel" (The Style Council) Do you think songs can educate or philosophise them or are just artist laying down a point of their personal view?
 
Dizzie: "Would I Find Love" is about me, it's about trees being cut down, everyone being after fucking money all the time, people housed in shit holes, people becoming concerned with themselves, and you ask yourself "Would I find Love" in this fucked-up mess. "A Gospel", was Paul Weller's idea aimed at capitalism and greed. I turned it into rap. Rap is an art form, a form of communication, not just sexual boasting. Some people will listen and learn, but it's starts from the artist expressing his mood.

PEOM: The song "Would I find Love" comes across as a love song, but when you listen to the lyrics "Another day dawns and I can't take the strain" It paints a disturbing picture of the UK, why didn't it come straight to the point?

Dizzie: Cos record companies have such a strong hold over the artist and it's hard to make a point without making a "pop" song. I agree it does sound like a love song, but it's cleverly hidden, which I think shows imagination. To be successful in the business you've got to sell out a little , otherwise no fucker wants to know, I don't like it. But the music business is a business.

PEOM: Your record has gained a great deal of success in the clubs, how do you feel about the club scene?

Dizzie: Clubs are just fun, where people are meant to have a boogie and a few drinks, but some people forget that, and just go out to make money and don't care for the people. Fifteen pounds for a ticket, a pound for a can, a pound on a ride on the fair, so where does your fifteen quid go? Someone else's pocket. The media blows it all out of proportion, evil drug barons, orgies. I see no evil drug barons. If you want to have a go at someone who's killing people. Have a go at Benson and Hedges. They're fucking killers and legal. If you want to do drugs, do them but don't let them control you and don't go round saying "I've done 3 E's, 2 tabs, 1 bomber, a bottle of gin and a whole lot of spliff." I don't want to know! Drugs are meant to expand your mind, if they are fucking you up. Give it up man.

I ran a club called "Language Lab" at the Titanic back in the early 80's aimed at fun and it was fun, live rap, blue movies, weird and wonderful people and it worked. Clubs are aimed at fun and not just at drug taking and money grabbing. Clubs are not drugs.

PEOM: Do you feel that first time friendships in clubs are genuine or just plain bullshit?

Dizzie: Your going to find bullshit in a club, cos you are going out to express yourself and going to be half smashed. So it's not bad, but just going with the party.

PEOM: What do you think people should do and aim for?
 
Dizzie: Be yourself, be different. I used to go out with an Afro with a centre parting and bright green trousers, people would stop and stare, but it was fun. I don't think you should try and be above yourself, that's why I moved back home. Parents are your leveller man! I come home and me mum says, "Tidy your room. It's a pig sty!" I say "Mum, I'm Dizzie Hites" and she gives me a clout.

PEOM: Do you think that live music and other forms will come back?

Dizzie: I feel that this is a chill-out period, no-one knows what's going on, but I feel that live music and other things will suddenly erupt, like you guys with this fanzine. A creative urge will come back and it will be exciting. I say be yourself do your own thing and enjoy it.
 
With those words of wisdom, the interview ended. I could have written a book the things that were discussed, but I could only include a few (Sorry Dizzie), I found Dizzie to be a man with strong beliefs and values and not obsessed with himself like many performers, for he's a believer in the better things. Thank you Dizzie, It was a gas.

Dizzie likes to ride BMX's and has a dog called Dread.

(c) Words Matteo Sedazzari/ZANI Media

Read 1638 times Last modified on Friday, 08 May 2015 15:46

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