DropLabs Creator Series 03: Lainney Dizonby DropLabs Team | |
Creatives In Conversation: How Lainney Dizon Is Creating Her Own Lane As A Hip-Hop Dancer and Event Curator of The Drop Party
By KC Orcutt
Upon instantly meeting Lainney Dizon, it isn't hard to guess she's a Gemini. Social by nature and an expert at filling her days with all sorts of passion projects, Dizon often can be found on the dance floor, whether as a host of her own event or as someone who consistently brings the party to life. When she's not working on her craft as a dancer, she splits her time between her work as the Marketing Director for Rostrum Records, creating her own music as one-half of the duo Dos Dizon along her sister and curating one of L.A.'s most vibrant dance parties, aptly titled The Drop.
At the beginning of her career, Dizon worked with Duck Down Records and later Cornerstone Agency/The Fader, two experiences that led her to starting her own marketing agency, Dizon Dreams. Through her agency, she worked with an array of emerging artists, record labels and other various local business in Greater Los Angeles. Eventually, Dizon began consulting for Rostrum Records, who wisely decided to bring her on full-time.
As a diehard enthusiast of hip-hop first and foremost, Dizon is an absolute natural at finding ways to intersect her passion for music and her myriad of talents into her professional life. While she certainly wears multiple hats, she definitely wears each well, thanks to countless hours spent truly developing her business expertise and artistry alike. During a recent visit to the DropLabs HQ, Lainney took some time to try out EP 01 for the first time and share more about her story and what moves her.
Can you recall a moment of recognition where you felt clarity in your path or purpose as a creative?
This is when it really clicked for me. I think it's so important to have friends who are also crazy dreamers. If you don't have friends who are crazy dreamers, you're going to think something is wrong with you when you have these big ideas. I'm so blessed because all of my friends are crazy in that same way, so it really motivates me. I want everyone to be on 100.
Anyhow, I was in San Francisco visiting my friend--you're going to laugh at this story but you're going to love it--and you know how your friends sometimes can really push you and you really despise them for pushing you, but it turns out you needed that? So, we went to a hip-hop night and Missy Elliott comes on, and my friend Evelyn legitimately pushed me onto the dance floor. She pushed me into the middle of this dance battle and was like, "Go!" Because it was my song, I got into it and I ended up winning. I think that's when it clicked to me that I can be good at this. What I like the most [about dancing] is people don't expect me to go crazy, which I think the element of shock is there and makes it even better.
For me, I always took my dancing as a passion project. It was just something I was naturally good at. I don't know if it's being Filipino, you know, dancing is just in our blood. I remember in college, we would have dance battles and I would always be the one who won. It wasn't really a party until I was there. But once I started taking dancing very seriously, and really treating my body like an instrument, that’s when everything shifted. My sister actually was the one who pointed it out; she told me, “When you’re dancing, you become more you.” I was taken aback when she said that because I never really thought about it that way but she nailed it on the head.
What is an accomplishment you're really proud of?
Another big moment for me was bringing The Drop party to Japan, which we were able to do last year. I'm really big on writing down my goals and I remember spelling out how I wanted to have a party in Tokyo. I remember thinking I was crazy when I wrote that down, especially because I only gave myself a year to make it happen and this was when The Drop wasn't as poppin' as it is now. When it actually came to fruition, it was incredible and we had a perfect mix of American and Japanese people in attendance. I remember such a specific moment when we had Sisqó's “Thong Song” playing and all these Japanese people were singing along to it. I just remember thinking, this is the power of music. It really just made me realize how music, and hip-hop and R&B specifically, are so universal and so impactful on an international scale.
What do you do to get into your creative zone?
Meditation before I create anything is so important. If someone is creating from a space of not being on point mentally, that's just not going to work. Your heart needs to be on a certain wavelength for you to create your best work. Like, when I don't feel like going out, why would I force myself to go out? When you go out, you're going to be fake to people and you don't want to do that.
Every time before I create, I make sure that my mind is clear. I start off my day dancing. That's how I wake up. To be good at something, you have to be able to do it every single day. You need to live and breathe it. For inspiration, I'll watch interviews with Missy Elliott, or OutKast, and I realized how everyone who is a legend, always started at the bottom. And they always started hungry. They also always saw the bigger picture. With Ciara, for example, when she was first starting out, she wrote out three goals: get signed to a record label, make great music and have longevity. Here she is now, doing all of those three things. When people are surprised I have a five-year plan with my artistry, I think the reason why I have that, is I want to have longevity. I feel like I can't have longevity without a plan.
How would you describe the experience of DropLabs Technology to your friends?
It's exquisite and different. It feels like you're experiencing music in 360 degrees. It's interesting describing the feeling because I haven't felt anything like it before. It takes music to another level that you've never felt before. When I hear music, I feel like it's in its most powerful form either live or at the studio. This made me feel like it was that level. It also kind of feels like a bounce house, and puts that whole experience into it.
What do you hope people walk away with when it comes to your music or what you’re working to create?
For me, representation is really important. I want to infuse our culture into the music and I want to show people that you really can paint your own reality.
I know a lot of Asian people who can relate, but when we're creative, it's like we need to go through so many hurdles to actually make it our living. Honestly, if you're not a doctor or a nurse, your parents will disown you. I remember when I told my mom I was going to do music, she was like, "What do you mean? You want to do music? What does that entail exactly?" Because our parents grew up in a different way, they don't understand that we're so interconnected now. We can create a career doing whatever makes us happy and that's because, through social media, we can create a platform for doing what we want to do.
I feel like my parents just needed to see me do well for them to be happy with where I was going, because of course, parents just want what's best for you. They had never seen in their lifetime or in their generation that someone was creative and they got paid for it. Now we're living in a new era and I want to make sure I personally come correct in setting an example, especially as an Asian woman in hip-hop.
As innovators by design, the team behind DropLabs Technology™ is dedicated to supporting and elevating members of the creative community. Together, we aim to serve as a platform highlighting different creators as they work towards achieving visionary excellence and inspiring others along their path. To nominate a creative leader you’d like to see highlighted on our website, please contact email@example.com.