OCEANSIDE — For Oceanside musical artist Dezzy Hollow, representing the city’s neighborhoods, sights and sounds is a key component of his music.
“When you listen to Dezzy Hollow, you think Oceanside,” the artist told The Coast News.
Dezzy Hollow, whose real name is Andrew Vandereb, grew up in the Mid Valley area of Oceanside near Fireside Park. While attending Jefferson Middle School, the musician made his very first song at the young age of 13.
In the next few years, he would continue to make music in high school and well after he graduated from Oceanside High in 2011. Dezzy later signed to Oceanside-based MadStrange, an independent music label, clothing brand and video production company.
Fellow OHS grad Andres Ximenez started the brand by selling t-shirts in high school, and his brother, Daniel Ximenez, helped start the music label side of the business and also works as Dezzy Hollow’s manager.
Growing up in Oceanside heavily influenced Dezzy Hollow’s music in both its lyrics and sound. Elements of the sounds of his childhood — G-funk, hip-hop and West Coast rap — can all be found throughout his music.
Dezzy recently released his latest album, “One Nation Under The Funk,” with features from artists like Lil Rob, Suga Free, WC and more. The album follows his previous album, “Can U Handle The Funk,” both of which signals a return to the funk genre he has always loved.
Dezzy made his first song at 13 to a funk beat.
“From there it kind of drifted away from funk but I came right back,” he said. “I think if you’re in love with something you’re gonna come back to it.”
In terms of his lyrical content, Dezzy is regularly paying homage to his Oceanside roots.
“I think it’s like the basis of my music,” Dezzy said. “Every city has similar traits but there’s also a big difference in Oceanside compared to a lot of cities, and I feel like I have a voice for that — I’m able to paint that in my music and that’s how it’s been since the beginning of my career.”
Dezzy recently performed at the Oceanside Museum of Art during a live music event on May 6 showcasing the “Oceanside Unfiltered” street photography exhibition, which features “unfiltered” photos of the city’s often unnoticed people and places.
The concert was both his first time performing with a band in front of a live, in-person audience and his first time visiting the museum.
The night was particularly special for the artist because his family, including his grandma, watched him perform. Dezzy’s brother, Jojo, performed right after as part of the Wild7s Freestyle Krew, a local street freestyle dance group.
The well-attended event was complete with a lineup of lowrider cars parked in front of the museum.
“Oceanside is very supportive when it comes to gatherings,” Dezzy said. “You’ll see the lowrider community come out, you’ll see the vendors and you’ll see a lot of familiar faces that are always supportive. There’s a lot of pride being from here.”
Fellow Oceanside native Jimmy Figueroa spoke highly of Dezzy and the Ximenez brothers behind MadStrange.
Figueroa highlighted Dezzy’s drive to get his music out there at a young age, starting in middle school and continuing strong into high school.
“(Dezzy) believed in himself that much,” Figueroa said.
Figueroa, who serves as the program manager and mentor for Resilience, a program that helps at-risk youth from Oceanside who are on juvenile probation, also noted that Dezzy occasionally stops by to say hello to the program’s participants.
Dezzy wants his fellow Oceansiders to know that with a lot of hard work, they can accomplish their dreams too.
“Work your ass off and hustle hard,” Dezzy said. “I just want to be that person that people look up to that are from Oceanside that are like, damn, he made it, he’s living out his dream, I can do it as well.”