Doing Overtime: DijahSB Is Embracing The Hustle

Clash meets the Toronto rapper carving their own lane...

Toronto’s DijahSB has created the perfect blend with their music. The artist is able to mix old school hip-hops beats with personal and reflective lyrics, turning those vulnerabilities into strengths with an upbeat vibe to go with it.

10 years now in the music game, Dijah’s talent is starting to get the recognition it deserves. Their second album ‘Head Above The Water’ is dropping on April 23rd, and Dijah is making sure to put more artists on the map from Toronto and Canada as a whole.

Clash had the opportunity to speak with Dijah over the phone.

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How’s things going in Toronto?

It’s good man, but our government is fucking us. Here we’re seen as progressive, but how are they when they fuck it up so bad…? Other than COVID fatigue I can’t complain, you know.

You’ve been putting in the work recently with two albums in the past year. Do you feel you’re gaining the momentum right now?

Yeah, it’s been 10 years in the making so I'm glad that it’s finally getting some momentum. Otherwise it would be difficult to be in the same position I was in a few years ago, but I’m glad that I’m seeing change now.

You say it’s been 10 years in the game, has it been hard at times to keep it going and progress with the career?

Yeah, for me it’s kinda different because it’s something that I’m passionate about. So it's hard to give that up. Once you’re not seeing any kind of progression or seeing any money come in that you’ve been putting in come back to you. It’s kinda difficult and does get you down. But since it’s something I enjoy doing and would do regardless, it’s been easy for me to stay with it.

The vibe for your music are generally upbeat, even when talking about personal or deep subjects. Is this something you always want to get across from your tracks?

I think it correlates to my life in general. Even when I’m doing good or when I’m shitty, I always find a way to make fun of it, or just laugh to cope with what I’m going through. I feel like that translates to the music. So there’s an upbeat instrumental you want to dance to, but I’m also talking about some real deep shit too. I feel like a mixture of both keeps people on their toes as well.

Your new album is named ‘Head Above The Water’ – what made you choose that title?

I feel like it correlates a lot with what we’re going through now. Just trying to keep our heads above the water as a lot of things are bringing us down and trying to drown us. It’s about coming up and getting that fresh breath of air when you’ve been kind of low and feel like you can’t breath. That was the theme I wanted to get across, it doesn’t relate to just me but everyone in the world right now.

Harrison features on the album a lot – do you work well together?

That’s my homie, we know each other through social media and thought why not make some music together. He sent me a pack with three beats and I wrote songs to them immediately and put them on the album because they sound so good. We just align a lot in terms of our styles. I’m happy to work with him, he’s a staple in Canadian artist history.

You’ve also got a couple of other features on there too, how do you choose who to work?

Yeah more so with the artists that featured this time around. I just want to introduce them to the world. I know this album is going to be big and they deserve this bigger platform.

With some of your tracks, there’s a lot of homages to songs in the past. Is it important for you to pay that respect?

Oh 100%, because without those artists, there would be no DijahSB right? A lot of the things we do aren’t new, because a lot of things have already been done. So it’s not how it’s done, it’s about how you do it so for that reason I'm paying homage a lot in my songs.

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'Head Above The Water' drops is out April 23rd.

Words: Joe Hale

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