The 2016 MOBO Unsung Top 20 Finalist is back, and we just had to get an interview with one of the hottest artists out there right now! 2017 was a stellar year for La Swave and now coming back in 2018 he has dropped a full length project, which we have all been waiting for!
From in house production and in house features, this new project showcases his growth with singles such as Hopeless Love Song and Ain’t My Bae depicting his versatility.
It’s no doubt that 2018 is going to be a very special one for the young Essex rapper and as MCM have been following La Swave’s journey for some time it was only right that we get to know the man behind the music.
MCM MAGAZINE: La Swave! Thank you for joining us.
LA SWAVE: Thank you for having me! Much appreciated.
What THREE words would you use to describe yourself?
Trill: I’m too real.
Wavey: There is a waviness to my music.
Vibe: I have a different kind of vibe.
Are we right in assuming that Derrick is a very DIFFERENT character to La Swave?
LA SWAVE: I’m a very much laid back character and quite shy but La Swave, he’s flamboyant, and when I’m performing I feel like I’m invincible. Doing music makes me feel confident. It also helps aspects of my everyday life as I’m not really a networker, but music is what makes me a different person. A few years back I was producing and was part of the group Swavey Music. One day, freestyling with my cousin he mentioned that my flow was ‘swave’ and when I started recording as an artist I wanted to stick with it as it represents me. When I started music there wasn’t a message, I just wanted to create but as time has gone on I want to show people what I can do. On this particular album it made sense for me to tell a story, but mostly the journey of my music through lyrics.
Since following you, we know that you are part of the creative collective ‘HELLA TURNT’ tell us about what you guys do?
“HELLA TURNT is family!”
LA SWAVE: It started with two friends from my area and then when I went to uni, I told my friends about it there, and recruited them to be a part of the team. What we do was heavily Inspired by Soulection an independent music platform, radio show, and artist collective that was founded in Los Angeles they consistently bring visibility to meaningful music, and curate memorable experiences. Their vision and culture brings together hundreds of thousands of supporters worldwide. This is exactly what I envisioned for HELLA TURNT. It’s a genuine friendship. Although it’s business it’s all love. We have a great network of creatives under the brand from YouTube with Rhea Ellen to events with Black Barbie Events even directors with the Foolish Professionals. Helping and connecting people is what were all about!
LET ME LIVE is one of the hottest projects out right now! Talk us through the experience
LA SWAVE: At first I was sceptical with this EP because it was against typical ‘U.K. MUSIC’ such as the Drill and Afro-Swing which is big right now. However I wanted to let people know and understand more about mental health specifically from a male’s point of view. I feel like social media is going through this ‘being woke’ phase and a lot of people wanted to try and make depression sexy, but it’s not, its real and we need to speak about it.
“I feel like social media is going through this ‘being woke’ phase and a lot of people wanted to try and make depression sexy.”
Since making the EP a lot of people have reached out to me, which is what I wanted as I wanted a conversation to open up. One element which was particularly important for me involved having a female narrating the whole journey as I genuinely find it easier to talk to women about my issues. I wanted people to visualise me sitting down with let’s say a female fan who really wanted to dig deeper into my thoughts, and really get to know me, with a tape recorder in the background so that it was real and honest. This kind of rawness is what you can hear in Pressure and 10pm in Loughton. When it comes to a project I want people to think of the psychology behind it.
What would you say is your FAVOURITE track?
LA SWAVE: My favourite tracks on the album I would say are ‘See me see trouble and Ain’t My Bae.’ Ain’t My Bae was the first single which was released and there’s a particular line in there which is important ‘She ain’t my bae that’s just my go to.’ I’m just trying to be the voice of my friends. A lot of my guys have had those situations, so it’s cool to reflect everyone’s experiences. ‘See Me See Trouble’ it’s funny because when I first recorded it I didn’t think it would be received well. I didn’t think people would expect me to rap in pidgin, as they haven’t heard that kind of style from me before. (chuckles) My mum loves it though she wants me to rap in pidgin more often.
There’s many U.K. artist’s doing their thing right now, so what do you think makes you DIFFERENT. What do you OFFER to the scene?
LA SWAVE: I don’t feel like anyone is doing what I’m doing and I don’t see any competition. I am my own competition. I honestly couldn’t compare myself to anyone, I’m definitely in my own lane. Right now I’m having so much fun with music but the minute I stop having fun is when I will stop doing music so it’s never that serious for me. Don’t get me wrong I do take this seriously, but I definitely want to see where I can go with it. I’m honestly having the time of my life.
From what you’ve mentioned it seems like you know how to live a BALANCED life?
LA SWAVE: Definitely! I make sure that I spend as much time with friends and family who are not in the industry to clear my mind.
After dropping this EP is there ANYTHING else in store for us this year?
My journey so far has been great. I’ve had so many opportunities some involving performances in Texas and Norway which was amazing as it was a different crowd. Talking of crowds my headline is on March 18th titled Swave and Friends. I’m looking really forward to it as I’ve mentioned before performing is one of my favourite things to do and doing it with my friends and other sick artists it’s due to be a great night! At this show I want people to grasp where I was mentally during each performance, and also to see if there is a demand for more music. It’s really important to know that you can do anything you want especially without a major record label or manager around. I’ve had some record labels approach me in the past but I wasn’t keen as I wanted to make sure my sounded wouldn’t be changed or adapted.
Wow it seems like you really have accomplished a lot in a short time. We are really proud of you and hope to see more great material out from you later this year.
La Swave told us that visuals to each track will be released gradually throughout the year so make sure you keep a lookout!
But for now go and check out Let Me Live:
Let us know what you think and leave comments.
Pictures – Jvis Media