(Swarmz wears Tracksuit by Band of Outsiders, Bag by Muji, Shoes by Clarks and Gold Brick Chain by True Rocks.)
The UK music scene is bursting with young talent and Swarmz is a fruitful addition to the ever expansive list. Having already established a name for himself featuring on the official charts, Viper speaks music, football and influences with the music artist.
For those who have no idea about the person behind the music, would you like to tell me about growing up in London and how your roots have influenced your sound?
I’m Jamaican so I listen to a lot of dancehall and reggae and you can see that influences my sound. And I have grown up with a lot of Nigerians and work with them as well so have picked up some Nigerian lingo which I also use in my music!
Are there any key artists that you grew up listening to who have influenced or shaped you as an artist?
Vybz Cartel, Buju Banton
(Swarmz wears Mac by ASOS WHITE, Tracksuit by Band of Outsiders, Bag by Muji, Shoes by Clarks and Gold Brick Chain by True Rocks.)
Now a lot of our readers may be unaware that you are a man of many talents. You used to play football professionally, can you describe how the journey was switching from an athletic path to a musical path?
I played football since I was a kid for a couple of Academies and when I turned maybe 18/19, I started making music. I wasn’t really taking the music seriously as it wasn’t a full time job yet, but then Lyca came out while I was playing for a Non League team – I tried to balance playing football and doing music and shows for a little bit but it all became a bit too much, I’d have shows on a Saturday night then have to play Sunday morning! So now I just strictly just focus on music… It’s going pretty well!
If you did play football professionally, what team would have liked (or like as it’s never too late) to play for?
Ooh. I would have loved to play for Arsenal as that’s the team I support, but maybe I think I would be playing for Crystal Palace as they were the last pro club that were paying attention to me…
Getting back to the music…‘Bally’ was an official chart hit this year peaking at no.32. How does it feel to have a song acclaimed by a huge audience as one of the songs of the year? A number of artists were on the remix for ‘Bally’. Do you want to talk more about the collaboration?
Yeah, “Bally” is such a huge song, when I was in the studio making it, I just knew the impact that it would have with my fans and out in the streets. Then when Tion sent me his verse, I went crazy, as it just completed the track… The remix was too cold, as I’m a big fan of all of the artists on the remix and hit them up to jump on it. It made sense as we had artists from many different genres jumping on the track and adding their vibe to it.
(Swarmz wears Red Thermos by Ullac, Denim Jacket by Fiorucci, Bag by Christopher Raeburn, Gold Pill Chain by True Rocks and Silver Chain by ASOS.)
(Swarmz wears Hoodie by Mayya Agayeva, T-Shirt by Liam Hodges, Utility Gillet by ASOS, Tracksuit Bottoms by Hummel, Jewellery by True Rocks and Sneakers by Balenciaga.)
Another recent collaboration is with Russ and Tion Wayne on the ‘Keisha and Becky’ remix. How did it feel to rap over drill compared to your usual flare?
It wasn’t too difficult to rap on a drill beat as I’ve rapped over drill beats before while just playing around and freestyling with my boys. But I enjoyed it as people will hear a different side of me and might be surprised as I’m not doing my usual singing and melodies!
The music industry is ever-growing and ever-changing. What are your feelings towards the UK scene at the moment?
The UK Scene is booming right now and I love it. Lots of sick music being made and released on a weekly basis, a lot of my music friends hitting the charts! J Hus just came home and everyone is really happy for him as am I, so musically it’s gonna be a good summer!
(Swarmz wears Jacket by Siyi Long, Hoodie by Mayya Agayeva, Pants by Hummel, Jewellery by True Rocks and Sneakers by Balenciaga.)
We’re a few months into the year and Summer is creeping on us. Can we expect some new melodies from you?
Yeah 100%, expect new music from me very soon – new styles and a banger to get the summer started!
I’d like to end with your future plans. What can we expect from Swarmz, be it music of other flares of creativity?
At the moment I’m just trying to work on developing my sound and getting new melodies and just being better and making more hit records!
(Swarmz wears Blazer by Ziyu Yi, Hoodie by Mayya Agayeva and Jewellery by True Rocks.)
Interview by Rachel Abebrese.
Photography by Rio Blake.
Styling by Rishy Malik.