Published on July 27th, 2020 | by Jerry Doby0
Behind the Scenes of Some of Music’s Top Hits is the Dynamo Donny “Dizzy” Flores
Back Story: Donny “Dizzy” Flores, is the SILENT FORCE behind several of the world’s biggest music hits. Dizzy consults on a day-to-day with Roc Nation managing projects for Bobby Fishcale, Angelica Vila, and Casanova, in addition to being an Executive Producer at Universal Music Latin Entertainment. HE was essentially the creator and responsible for global hits like “Taki Taki” (Selena Gomez, Cardi B and Ozuna) and “Loco Contigo” (J Balvin ft. Tyga)
As we explore careers behind the scenes we thought it would be interesting to get this heavyweight to weigh in on a few things…
From the outside looking in who is Donny “Dizzy” Flores?
Donny Flores is a hardworking, passionate, and well-respected A&R, manager, publisher songwriter, and producer based in Miami and Los Angeles. Originally from Trinidad, Dizzy has worked his way up from the bottom to be one of the industry’s most connected individuals not only in US markets but also in the Latin space and Europe.
What was the determining factor for you to enter the entertainment business as a career?
My first job when I started in this business was being Rick Ross’s personal driver. When I saw Rick Ross being Rick Ross, that inspired me. Then one month after I started working with him, he signed to Jay-Z and he became a multi-millionaire inspiring me to go hard every day.
What has been one of the biggest highlights of your career for you?
Well, the first thing that comes to my mind is putting together DJ Snake’s “Loco Contigo” and “Taki Taki” which are both multi-platinum records. Next, I have to think back to when we signed Bobby Shmurda to Epic Records. It was me and Bobby’s Uncle, D-Bo, that orchestrated that deal. That was an incredible moment that I will never forget considering how quickly Bobby rose to the top. Although he is still in jail, for the time being, his story in this business is far from over. Bobby is the originator of all of the drill sounds coming out of New York now and people seem to forget that.
What’s the most satisfying for you as you put together these mega-hits?
After all of the songs come out and the business is done, there is nothing that brings me more joy than knowing that my wife, kids, and mother are always going to be taken care of. Making sure that they have houses to live in, schools to go to, and just taking care of them after all of the work is done.
Has the pandemic changed how you work?
Yes, absolutely. Typically, I am back and forth from my house in Los Angeles and Miami. I have had a tougher time being personal with everyone because I cannot travel. Usually, I make sure that I see everybody and search for big records every second of the day starting in offices and ending in studios. We are doing lots of Zoom meetings, but they do not come close to being in a real-life, in-person meeting where you can feel the vibe and physical connection with the music.
What was your role in the mega-hit “Taki Taki” and how did you make this collaboration possible?
Aaron Musicaro, an old friend and colleague of mine, initially connected me with DJ Snake. Immediately, Snake and I established trust and a powerful connection through music. One day, Snake sent me this beat and told me “let’s get Ozuna on this record”. So I first I had to chase Ozuna down for three months until we got what we needed from him. After Ozuna did his vocals (just the verse and chorus), he told us that he didn’t want to finish the rest of the song so we could leave room for other artists to hop on and make it a global hit. Next, I went around pitching the song to every major artist and their teams who all turned it down. One day while we were trying to get more people on the song, I went to New York to see my friend Brooklyn Johnny. I played Johnny the song with Ozuna on it already and he loved it. He told me “I will play this for Cardi B”, and I will get back to you. A week later, Cardi heard the song in Atlanta and was blown away too. At that time, she was pregnant with Kulture which played a role into the deadline for this song. Neil Jacobson and John Janick from Interscope had already put Selena Gomez on the song. As I was getting ready to tell Johnny that we were going to just use Cardi for the next Snake song, I got a FaceTime from Johnny. When I picked up the phone, Cardi B was on the screen telling me “I am staying on the song, it is going to be the hottest record in Dyckman. We can keep Selena on the song because I love her.” Then Cardi cut her part, we shot the video, and the rest is history.
Tell us who you handle A&R for, how did this happen, and what do you look for when signing new talent?
At Roc Nation, I look after and help Bobby Fishscale, Tainy, Belly, Casanova, Angelica Vila, and a few others who I cannot tell you about because they are unannounced. Bobby Fishsacle was the first artist that Roc Nation signed in their new office in February of 2020. I remember sending the song “HOV Flow” to the A&R team and they loved him. A few days later, the Co-Presidents of the label, Omar Grant and Shari Bryant, agreed to fly him out to Los Angeles for a meeting. The same day Bobby landed in Los Angeles is the same day he signed his contract to Roc Nation. When I am signing a new artist, I look for raw talent and being genuine towards the world. Real artists, who are not constructed to be somebody that they are not. The music ultimately speaks for itself at the end of the day but you cannot deny the talent.
Any thoughts on how the new virtual concerts will change the game moving forward?
I think it is dope. It is the future and we have to open our minds to the new world order.
What’s coming next for you as we close out 2020?
Be on the lookout for the Spongebob Soundtrack that is coming very soon. A lot of big songs are on that project including one from Swae Lee, Lil Mosey, Tainy, and Tyga.
Who should we be on the lookout for as next up in your opinion?
Any closing thoughts?
Believe in yourself, invest in yourself, and never stop. Be consistent as that is the key and don’t ever give up on your dreams. The hustle never stops, We Good