What's up Leafers? Welcome to the latest edition of On the Rise where we interview upcoming hip hop talent. Today's guest is, Dioneesus. Dioneesus is a Pittsburgh artist who blends hip hop and pop. With nostalgic bars and an eclectic vibe, Dioneesus' music is sure to keep fans rocking to the beat. But enough from us, we linked up with Dioneesus after his recent release "Covid-23" to discuss his musical origins and his unique style.
Westleaf Staff: When did you start making music?
Dioneesus: I picked up guitar piece by piece in high school when I was 15 and started playing in a band when I was 16 or 17. I didn't start to write many of my own songs until I was about 23 or 24. I spent alot of time soaking up musical influences around me and getting comfortable using my instrument as an extension of myself as I had no technical musical background. I moved to Nashville when I was 24 and that really made an impact on my focus on songwriting and the recording studio.
I create because I have to. It is my way of expressing myself to the world and sharing my gift. The creative process is cathartic and therapeutic. Art heals. I struggled to find my path in life as a teenager and 20-something, and music was that outlet for me. It was where I found serenity, courage, and ultimately, myself.
Westleaf Staff: How did your early life shape your interest in music?
Dioneesus: All children are born artists. The problem is to remain as an artist as we grow up. At some point in the journey we are told we are not artists and to put on our societal mask. I have been artistic and creative as far back as I can remember. I have always been fascinated by music and visual arts. We had a piano in the house growing up that I would play and figure out songs by experimenting. My parents have great musical tastes and would often play music albums at the house as did my brothers. I became a sponge and soaked in alot of those influences which still impact my music to this day.
Westleaf Staff: Who is your biggest musical influence?
Dioneesus: Lately it's been Jeff Lynne/ELO, Bowie, Leonard Cohen, and Kanye West. For sure the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Floyd, The Classics. Dr. Dre and Snoop are also big influences. I have too many to name. My tastes are really eclectic at times but I always seem to return to the classics in between. Outside of music...Warhol, Picasso, Maya Angelou. Anyone who pushes the boundaries of what it means to be an artist and makes the audience see things in a new light.
Westleaf Staff: What has been the defining moment in your music career?
Dioneesus: I'd say a series of defining moments. Learning the guitar. Performing my first song where I could sing and play guitar at the same time. Moving to Nashville in 2009. Moving to Pittsburgh in 2021. Now here we are. On the brink of something truly unique. At this point there is no "making it". I have already "made it".
Westleaf Staff: What makes you a unique artist?
Dioneesus: The storytelling and immersive process that fans are a part of through my music releases. By creating multisensory art that can appeal to all senses, we are able to create unforgettable moments for our community. These moments go beyond the "tracklist".
My releases utilize multiple forms of media to play with users and leave them things to find and chase after, a "musical scavenger hunt" of sorts. Our attitude and approach to the release is a glimpse of the future. Instead of looking at albums as the finish line, we use it as part of a bigger, all-encompassing experience for fans.
Westleaf Staff: What does art mean to you?
Dioneesus: Making sense through expression of a world that often makes no sense. The releasing and healing of one's soul. Combining elements of other artists and inspirations to make something that is truly unique.
Westleaf Staff: Describe music in three words.
Dioneesus: Immersive, Innovative, Authentic.
More from Dioneesus:
Checkout Dioneesus' Track Covid-23 Below: