SMTDaily recently caught up with the UK’s critically acclaimed Hip-Hop artist Sway. See what the London based MOBO and BET award winning rapper had to say about his new singles “Still Speedin” and “Level Up“, the forthcoming album “The Deliverance”, connecting with US artists, the current state of UK Hip-Hop, being signed to Akon’s Konvict Muzik, and the journey he has experienced so far.
Hey Sway how are you feeling? Another album release coming up!
I’m feeling very good, really positive, very fortunate to have such a strong fanbase that have supported me throughout the duration of my career
What can we expect from your upcoming album “The Deliverance”? And what, if anything, will be different to your last offering “The Signature LP”
The album will be a different album because I’ve progressed not only as a person but as a musician so basically the album is about progression, it’s about determination, it’s an inspirational and uplifting album. It’s called the Deliverance because I’ve been through a lot of things in my life and I feel like this album is the personification of the freedom of any negativities I’ve had in the past.
Give us a bit of background on your new single “Level Up” including getting Tubes from Soccer Am to star in the video and recruiting Childish Gambino for the International Remix?!
My new single “Level Up” is about progressing from one level to the next. It’s produced by the acclaimed Flux Pavillion who’s one of the worlds leading dubstep producers and we just hooked up over facebook. I went to his student accommodation -because he was still at Uni at the time- and when I heard “Level Up” I loved its energy so we just got started working on the track. Kelsey was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time. I was working on another song called “Song For The City” for “The Deliverance” album and she was driving the singer on “Song For The City” to the studio and I recognised her as a singer from various grime tracks online and I asked her to just demo the hook for me but I liked what I heard so kept her on it. With the Tubes feature, I’ve always been a big fan of Soccer Am and I’ve always wanted to incorporate Tubes into a video so when I asked him he rejected at first but I was able to talk him round, he got involved and it turned out to be a great video.
Childish Gambino’s record label had contacted me to be on a remix for record of his called “All The Shine” and because I liked his album “Camp” so much I decided it would be great to get him on “Level Up”.
How did the “Still Speedin Reloaded” track come about with Lupe Fiasco?
Lupe Fiasco is like my brother, I’ve known him for years. We have a great chemistry and I was fortunate enough to be the only rapper featured on his Billboard No.1 Album “Lasers” early last year so I thought it only right that I put Lupe on a record of mine as well. This worked really well especially as I know he was a fan of “Up Your Speed” and “Still Speedin’” was a continuation of the song so I thought It would be fitting to get him on the remix.
By featuring Lupe and Childish Gambino on your remixes are you looking to get your music more readily available to listeners’ ears in the US?
As a rapper one of the greatest accomplishments is to break the US every rapper in this country is more or less aiming for the same thing, because the US is the metropolis for the kind of music we make so I’m hoping that in due time my affiliation with some of the most powerful names in urban music in America will help me get recognised by more people in the States and not only help me, but help UK music in general.
Being born and raised in London how has this influenced you as a person and as a music artist?
Due to the fact that London is such a melting pot I’m influenced by so many different cultures. There is such a diverse range of cultures which is clear within my music. I’ve been involved with the Afro Beats scene since 2002 and I’ve always incorporated it into my music. However being born and raised in London meant I was very into the Drum & Base culture, UK Garage culture and also Dance music in general which is all incorporated into my music. All of these factors are what make me, me.
How do you feel about the current state of UK Hip-Hop? How has it changed over the years since you’ve been in the game?
I think UK Hip Hop is currently at the blossoming stage right now. We’ve all worked really hard and long to get to this level and I’m very proud of the scene. Team UK is going strong, for example when anybody releases something the whole UK scene get together to support that person’s release.
Can you name one career defining moment so far in your life?
One career defining moment in my life was being able to do a record for the international music stars Konvict Muzik label.
What was the first thing you bought when you got signed to Akon’s Konvict Muzik?
It was a video with Akon in it!
What’s the craziest thing a fan has ever done?
A female fan has asked me to sign a place that I probably can’t disclose at this point in time
As well as music, you recently featured in Channel 4 show “Top Boy”. Can we expect to see Sway on our television screen anytime soon?
I’m currently in the process of writing a film of my own so I am taking on minor film roles here and there, just to get the experience of being on a film set and understanding how the process works. However there’s enough great British actors such as Ashley Walter, Adrian Lester and Idris Elba for me not to pursue a full time career in acting, I’m a rapper and that’s what I do best but I definitely will take on the odd role here and there.
Ok so for the final phase I would like you to say the first word/thing that comes to your head when I mention the following:
Akon - Uncle
Lethal Bizzle - Brother
MTV’s Sway - inspiration
London - Home
Best bit of Touring - Fans
First thing you did this morning – Brushed my teeth
Last thing you squeezed - Toothpaste
Any final words to our readers and your fans? Feel free to give any shout outs and website/social network links where people can find you?!
Make sure you follow me on twitter @SwayUK, facebook.com/SwayDaSafo. Love you all, thank you very much for supporting me, please keep supporting me, there’s a lot more great music to come.
“Level Up” available on iTunes UK
Music enthusiast with a keen eye on the urban scene on both sides of the Atlantic. Bringing you the latest news, tracks and videos from the big stars and new acts. Also dabble into American Sports. Feel free to email me at email@example.com