Ice cream and haircuts might be associated with his name, but over the past 12 months, it was his music and shows that defined his game. 2019 was the year that Shizz Lo went from a DJ well known in the city of brotherly love to internationally known EDM producer traveling the world and playing to thousands of fans while sharing the stage with the world’s biggest artists.
Shizz Lo’s career went from cruise control to insanity arguably overnight, and while he has been applying his professional audio engineering education to good use in different aspects of the EDM world, he has earned his own spotlight – and the festival stages, headlining tours and a fan base that not only loves his music, but shares his passion for the his favorite frozen treats.
He didn’t get to this point in his career without the hard work that comes with it. Networking, social media and being a brand ambassador for Ethik Worldwide, Shizz Lo has been consistent in his presence online, which fostered a seamless trajectory that he is in the midst of. His collaboration with Bok Nero lead to coining the hashtag #HoodEDM after their track Hood Anthem, which lives on.
COVID-19 postponed a number of cities on his tour, but he has been keeping active with new music, livestreams and fan interactions. Shizz Lo is on the lineup for IWANTEDM’s Instagram takeover with an exclusive one-hour set on May 12th, (6PM Pacific/9PM Eastern) so we sat down with Shizz Lo to share his story.
Shizz Lo … What does it mean and how did you decide to use that as your DJ name?
That’s always a fun question to answer…. So I’d like to think I’m a bit different from other producers/DJs when it comes to this one. I didn’t think of my name or give it to myself or anything like that. Back when I first started producing I ran with a group of rappers in West Philadelphia called Top Notch Inc. These guys kinda took me under their wing and I got dug into the Philly hip hop scene. The CEO of Tone Trump (who later signed with Young Jeezy) gave me the name Shizz Lo and it stuck ever since. It’s almost just as much of a nickname as it is an artist’s name. A lot of my friends just call me Shizz, which is also a common nickname we call anyone in Philly with the name of Shaun. So yeah, nice to meet you, my name is Shaun. 🙂
How would you describe your sound to someone who hasn’t heard your music yet?
I’d say you can hear Philadelphia hip-hop in most if not all of my songs. That Meek Mill, Jahlil Beats, “I’m a boss lets get ratchet” type sound. But times change, artists grow, and I’m excited to dig deeper. Actually this quarantine thing has really helped me big time because I’ve been able to explore so many new genres & sounds while keeping my vibe within each new song I make. I’m super excited to share all these new tunes with everyone!
When did you decide that you would pursue a full time career producing and DJing?
2016 is when I decided to quit my day job and pursue producing full time. It’s funny because I remember walking up to my boss and putting in my two weeks before I stepped down. This dude kinda just looked at me and arrogantly said “Oh isn’t that a hobby of yours or something?” Needless to say that was all I needed to hear to really give me that extra push I needed at the time.
You’ve been pretty busy over this past year. What are your favorite moments/projects/shows? What are you most proud of?
Moonrise Festival in Baltimore was absolutely my favorite fest that I played over this past year. Being someone who at the time was considered rising talent you don’t always get the best slots. I just remember walking up to the Solar Tent and thinking ok, it’s early in the day, lets see who shows up. Before the set was even half over the field was packed with thousands of people dancing. It’s such an amazing experience when you finally feel like some of your hard work paid off. As far as favorite moments within my project It felt really dope to see Hood Anthem with me and Bok Nero hit 3 million plays on Spotify last month. But, I’m just getting started.
In addition to being a producer/DJ, the Shizz Lo brand is not complete without ice cream and haircuts. How has this resonated with fans?
That is a fact. Ice Cream and haircuts are part of my daily life, it’s more than a brand haha. I think fans are way smarter than what anyone gives them credit for. I usually try to hit the barbershop once a week. Now if I miss anything longer than a week I’ll get a bunch of messages like “are you ok I didn’t see you get your haircut this week.” The ice cream thing has been super dope as well. I’ve been able to work that into my merch and collab pieces with Ethik Clothing Company which have all sold out really fast. It’s funny because I’ve had a sweet tooth since I was a kid, I posted one video of me chasing after an ice cream truck on Instagram and now I’m the ice cream guy. The internet is a wild place.
What are some of the labels you have released your music on?
I’ve recently released on Capitol Records & Dim Mak. I have some new songs coming out on other labels as well which I can’t really discuss but I’m super hype about it.
What do you seek to accomplish when you make music or play shows?
Honestly I’ve learned to really try to make music that resonates within myself as an artist. I’ve noticed that if you love what you’re doing or if you’re having fun while playing it the fans will automatically connect and reciprocate that same exact energy. I love it. It’s honestly just being yourself that works better than anything. Energy is everything.
Do you do any pre or post show rituals?
Depending on the show sometimes I’ll do an Eat & Greet where we pick 4-6 fans and we all hang out and eat ice cream for a while before my set. Also, before I go on stage I always shoot up a prayer to the big guy upstairs for always looking out.
What do you love about your fans?
Honestly what’s not to love? The fact that anyone supports the music that I make on my laptop in my bedroom is huge! I really love that on any release day I have so many people supporting the music and tagging me in their stories on Instagram or tweeting about the songs. Things like that really mean more than anyone knows. It’s not always the easiest thing to accomplish as an independent artist. Also what’s not to love about getting tagged in miscellaneous ice cream stuff everyday?
Where do you want to go from here?
My biggest goal right now is to just make really great music. I’m also looking at possibly signing to a booking agency but I’m in no rush. We don’t know when shows are coming back and when they do come back who knows what that is even going to look like. I have faith in the music industry though. I know so many people are working around the clock to put together really dope live streams and things like that for the time being. But once the world is healthy enough I think it’s going to be such an amazing thing for everyone to experience shows together. I mean can you imagine what that first festival is going to feel like. Ahhh ok I could keep going about this but thanks so much for having me! I’m super stoked for that @iwantedm Instagram story takeover on May 12th. I’ll be playing a ton of new stuff I’ve been working on in quarantine and whatnot, see you there.