Riston Diggs is the latest voice to emerge from California’s musical haven. His rock star image and message of struggle, and heartache is right on time with hip-hop’s current state of sound.
Diggs, expresses innovative elements of rock-hop, explicit lyrics, and dark melodies with his debut record PTSD. The track “PTSD” is a tale of harsh realities that are faced with the illness, PTSD, and how the effects can often be misunderstood. Riston unapologetically shares his truths, defeats, and victories throughout the album.
Mandee: Who is Riston Diggs? And what is PTSD?
Riston Diggs: I’m just a regular guy, from Pageland, South Carolina. I’m a son, a father, a veteran, and a musician. PTSD stands for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It’s a condition commonly attached to serving in the military, but it’s basically the things that you experience after going through something traumatic and it affects people everywhere of all backgrounds and ethnicities.
M: What were you doing before putting pen to paper?
RD: Before putting pen to paper I did normal things, played sports in high school, graduated, joined the military, lived in Japan, became a father of two beautiful daughters, and relocated to California before ever seriously putting a pen to paper. Pretty much to sum it up, I was just experiencing life.
M: How has your previous career brought you to rhyming?
RD: My previous job is what landed me in California, which would lead me to meeting some people who inspired me to get into the studio and make some music.
M: What inspired the title of the album?
RD: The album was inspired by my life. It was a personal diary for me that allowed me to be artistic, vulnerable, and release over-all stress. The name PTSD represents that exactly, the album gives you my stories post trauma I experienced in life.
M: Why hip-hop? Why now?
RD: I chose hip-hop because I couldn’t sing or play instruments, I happened to be good at rhyming and telling stories so I chose hip-hop as the genre I would use. But I’m becoming more diverse musically each day, wouldn’t want to box myself in, I’m too smart now. I chose to make music now because I finally lived enough life to actually give perspective of my situations.
M: How do you plan on impacting the next generation of rappers?
RD: I only hope to inspire the next generation to be you [sic]. Don’t worry about who you are not, focus on becoming who you are. I hope to inspire everyone I reach to be authentic to themselves and understand you have the power to be what ever you have the true passion to do, but to also know that to achieve something you must work hard at it point blank period. If you decide to be a janitor, be the best damn janitor you can be.
M: Who is your greatest influence?
RD: The usual suspects my Mom and my Dad. But for the sake of a quality interview, one of my greatest influences is Bernie Mac. I admired his stage presence, his showmanship and the sense of having no fear anytime I saw him on stage. R.I.P to the late great Bernie Mac.
M: How has he/she influenced your music?
RD: I applied the same qualities he had in comedy and applied them into music, artistically in my own way though. His stage presence was phenomenal.
M: What’s next for Riston Diggs?
RD: What’s next for Riston Diggs is to continue to work on more music, perfecting my stage show, staying in shape so I can rock out harder. Another thing is overall continuing on my path to enlightenment.
M: What is one thing you want people to know about your music?
RD: My music is authentic.
AR: Reggae or Jazz?
AR: Sour Patch or Twizzlers?
RD: Sour Patch
AR: Carnivals or Amusement Parks?
RD: Amusement Parks
To listen to complete album, visit TBE.