ONE-ON-ONE With Dillin Hoox
When you think of Canada and Hip Hop the first name that comes to mind is Drake. But Canada music scene has a lot of creative artists that need to be recognized on a world stage. Dillin Hoox is one of those artists that the world needs to know about and he's one of Canada’s best-kept secrets. Born into a family who’s gifted with putting words together, made it easy for him to become an MC.
ONETEN MAG: What is your background? I’m Kurdish but I grew up in Canada.
ONETEN MAG: When did you first write your first rap? I was 15 when I first started writing. I was a huge fan of Biggie Smalls and Method Man growing up. My early bars sounded like a blend of Method Man and B.I.G.
ONETEN MAG: Now you were born in Mahabad, Kurdistan during the Saddam Hussein’s era. At what age were you when your family left and what was it like to live there during that time?
I was 4 years old when we moved to Canada. I don’t remember much from back home… One of my only memories is finding bullet casings at the park and bringing them home to show my mom. She wasn’t thrilled, to say the least.
ONETEN MAG: What made you want to become a rapper? I started writing with my longtime friend Sir Jax. His brother Jason always saw us rapping along to Biggie, Method Man, and Eminem. He encouraged us to write our own songs. He basically put us on this path. Unfortunately, he passed away last year. I dedicated my last album ‘Valhalla’ to his memory.
ONETEN MAG: What sets your music apart? I always create music with a message. I don’t follow what everyone else is doing. I just try to stay true to myself and what I stand for.
ONETEN MAG: describe your sound? Melodic hooks mixed with intricate verses on Trap/Boom-Bap beats. I usually have a goal with each song. Whether it’s to teach or get the listener to look at something from a different perspective, there’s always a purpose behind every song.
ONETEN MAG: How long does it usually take you to write your songs? I wrote my song ‘EZ’ in a couple hours. It took me a week to write my song ‘Kurdistan’. It varies from track to track and of course my mind state has a lot to do with it as well.
ONETEN MAG: What are you most proud of to date? And, what keeps you making music?
I’m extremely proud of having a mainstream artist as big as Snoop Dogg promote a song that I made about private prisons, world banks, poverty, Fukushima, GMOs.. Snoop later previewed my song ‘Clarity’ during the weather segment in his interview with Jimmy Kimmel on GGN.
ONETEN MAG: What drew you to the music industry? The response from fans... One of the first songs I released on Myspace was called ‘Home Land’ and the feedback was insane. I was hooked. It was charting for months and so many people reached out telling me how my words affected them. It was amazing to see the impact music can have on people.
ONETEN MAG: Who are you inspired by? I’m inspired by self-sufficient artists like Russ… He writes, records, produces, mixes and masters his own tracks. I think that’s a beautiful thing. I’m also inspired by yogi’s like Sadhguru to billionaires like Ray Dalio. I’m inspired by people who push limits and break boundaries.
ONETEN MAG: What’s an average day like for you? I wake up and meditate first thing in the morning. That helps me get a hold of my day. I try to do 20 minutes of reading after my meditation. I then workout and have breakfast… After my workout, I tackle my to-do list. Before I go to bed, I create a new to-do list for the next day.
ONETEN MAG: What’s the biggest problem you’ve had to overcome so far? My mind and mind made problems… I read a book called ‘A New Earth’ by Eckhart Tolle and something just clicked. Every word in that book just rang true to me. Our minds tend to run on autopilot all day long. Same thoughts day after day. The more we become aware of our thoughts the more control we gain in our lives. That book completely changed my outlook on life… as crazy as that sounds.
ONETEN MAG: What are your top five favorite albums of all time to date? Oh damn… you hit me with a hard one… In no particular order... The Marshall Mathers LP, There’s Really A Wolf, Blueprint, The Chronic and Hunger For More.
ONETEN MAG: Who would you most like to collaborate with? Rihanna. Having a Rihanna hook on a song would be a dream.
ONETEN MAG: You just dropped a new track “PROBLEM” feat Rick Ross how did that collaborating come about? The track is being released on June 12th. I have some connections in the industry that helped make it happen. Ross is one of the most consistent rappers in the game. It’s humbling to be able to have a feature from him on ‘Problem’.
ONETEN MAG: Tell us about the album/EP/project. What’s it about? What was the process for writing and producing it? Is the track sequencing significant? Any features to look out for?
I’m currently working on releasing a series of big singles. ‘Problem’ with Rick Ross and ‘Mad Man’ with Lil Wayne and a few other tracks. I might release an EP at the end of the year but my focus is on singles right now.
ONETEN MAG: What is the best advice you have been given? Every negative emotion you experience is a signal to learn and evolve. That has really stuck with me…
ONETEN MAG: If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be? The focus on numbers… People are so focused on streaming numbers and views and likes. Even big record labels have been caught faking their numbers. We’re drawn to big numbers and good music can be overlooked.
ONETEN MAG: With the impact of the world’s healthy pandemic with CONVID-19, how are you keeping yourself busy and sane? I run a couple of online businesses and we’ve been focusing on helping our communities of artists and beatmakers take advantage of the unique time we’re living in. We’ve never experienced a time like this. People are looking for new music so there’s an opportunity there for artists and producers. We’re just trying to shine a light on the positive side of things.
ONETEN MAG: What’s next for you in the next year once we can get back on track with life again? I’m currently working on a song with Lil Wayne. I’m really excited about this track! Being able to work with living legends is unreal. The song is called ‘Mad Man’. It’s a crazy one! Be on the lookout for that.
Photos provided by Artist/ Dillin Hoox / Sasha Stoltz Publicity
More About Dillin
Dillin Hoox was born in Mahabad, Kurdistan, midway through the horrific Iran-Iraq war where his family barely avoided Saddam Hussein’s chemical attacks against his people. In the first few years of his life, Hoox’s family immigrated to Canada, leaving behind a hostile and oppressive environment and uncertain future. After moving from coast-to-coast, living in both Halifax and Vancouver, his family settled in Ottawa – the capital city he proudly represents today. In Ottawa, he earned his BA in Psychology from Carleton University.
Born into a family of poets, Hoox has a natural ability to paint a picture with words; expressing his thoughts and piecing together his emotions through his lyrics. As a young artist, he is determined, inspired, witty, and well-spoken. Through music, Hoox showcases his inner-thoughts regarding the struggles of Kurdistan and the plight of the Kurdish people.
Hoox began expanding the reach of his message through live performances, including a small multi-city tour in Romania. He has also made various television appearances, including Global TV’s ‘Everyday Heroes’ segment that featured HipHopCanada founder Jesse Plunkett, RapCity, MuchVibe, and a segment on Jupiter TV. Online, he has been featured on WorldStarHipHop, HipHopDX, Ballerstatus, HipHopGame, HipHopCanada, and various other reputable websites. With only a small catalogue of officially released music, Hoox has gained over 1,000,000 video views on YouTube, not to mention impressions received from other video outlets including Facebook and Dailymotion. Among his most popular songs is a large quantity of fan-made videos.
More recently, Hoox and Kurdish superstar Chopy Fatah collaborated on a song released by VinTV, a Kurdish major entertainment label. The song has gained global traction for its originality and resonated widely across the Kurdish region. In North America, Hoox caught the attention of one the most popular hip-hop artists of all-time when he earned the number 1 spot on Snoop Dogg’s Underground Heat web series. The song also aired on Snoop’s GGN network during the Doggfather’s interview with late-night host Jimmy Kimmel. The rap star and TV host later promoted Hoox’s music on Twitter and Facebook.
As an entrepreneur, Hoox is the co-owner of Modern Producers and multi-platinum production company: Anno Domini Beats. He is also the founder of CountryOnMyBack.com, a site that promotes and brings awareness to underground talent.
Follow Dillin Hoox:
★ FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/dillinhoox/
★ INSTAGRAM https://www.instagram.com/dillinhoox/
★ TWITTER https://twitter.com/DillinHoox
★ WEBSITE http://www.DillinHoox.com
★ SOUNDCLOUD https://soundcloud.com/dillinhoox/