Here at Britishhiphop.co.uk we have been documenting the progress of Sway’s career and with his link up with Akon’s label and a new mixtape The Delivery and new single Everyday Valentine out now we thought it was about time we got the latest developments. Nikhil Sharma caught up with the man to get it all recorded for you.
Nikhil Sharma: How long have you been involved with Hip-Hop and how did you get started?
Sway: I've been involved since I was back in school. I've always known that I wanted to make music so while everyone else was messing around I was in the music room trying to learn as much as I could when it came to beats n stuff. I was also part of a group called Phynix Crew which was me and two other people, then later on became part of One.
Nikhil Sharma: Is there a big following of Hip-Hop in Ghana?
Sway: There's a massive Hip-Hop community in Ghana and it's not just following the UK scene or US rappers. They have their own rappers that are big like Tinny, Sakordie, Asem, Samini, Reggie Rockstone, Kwaku T and loads more. I performed in Ghana Christmas just gone and the response was crazy. They really love it out there as much as we do here. Hip-Hop is a global thing now, there was a time when it was very underground but nowadays it's everywhere.
Nikhil Sharma: America and BET in particular have shown you love, how was that? (Think you could put in a good word for me with Rocsi lol)
Sway: Lol, I'll try but I think you might have to be one in a long queue…
The love I got out there was amazing especially because everything I did was from an independent angle. The love I was getting wasn't from industry favours or pushes but solely ‘cos of my music, so that made it even greater for me.
Nikhil Sharma: What are your views on Hip-Hop in the UK?
Sway: It's definitely getting stronger and better. We're crossing a lot more boundaries and opening so many more doors that 2/3 years ago we wouldn't have even thought could be such a real possibility. Take the Brits for instance Dizzie one of the most urban artist, up there winning an award and getting Jonathan Ross dressed up in his clothes promoting his album! We've definitely come along way and are being taken a lot more serious as well. The whole UK scene has the quality really dropping away from the rest and shining through more so now.
Nikhil Sharma: Where do you see yourself in five years?
Sway: Five years time to be honest I see myself in politics maybe. It's always been something I'm interested in and want to pursue. A lot of people think I'm joking when I say that and laugh but they don't realise how serious I am.
Nikhil Sharma: Who influences you and your music?
Sway: Everything around me in my life influences my music, what I see and what I live.
Nikhil Sharma: How did you get the name Sway?
Sway: I started out wanting the name Swift just for fun before I started rapping but there was this other guy who had the name Swift who was older than me and a big guy and I was just small. As much as I wanted that name obviously I couldn't have it ‘cos it was already taken so I went for the closest thing to it Sway. I'm glad though ‘cos I think Sway is much better.
Nikhil Sharma: How has it been to work with some big names like Akon?
Sway: It's been a really brilliant, over whelming experience. Sometimes you don't realise how big these stars actually are, until you come back to your own environment and you start watching TV and you're like, “oh my gosh, I was with that person yesterday and I spoke to him the day before”. It can be little surreal sometimes.
Nikhil Sharma: How would you describe your sound to people that haven’t heard your music before?
Sway: I'd say my sound is unique in the sense that I merge many different genres of music together it can be HipHop, Hip Life, Soul, Grime, R&B, Pop, Rock and Afro Beats.
Nikhil Sharma: I’m feeling the “Pay Back” track you recently did. Any message behind that track?
Sway: Yeah the message is to keep on going no matter what happens, there's gonna be ups and downs throughout your career and sometimes things don't always go to plan so it's times like that when proving people wrong can be a good incentive.
Nikhil Sharma: Do your tracks have a message?
Sway: Most of my tracks have a positive message, some tracks are just tracks, some songs are just tracks that I write, when I feel like writing.
Nikhil Sharma: What does it feel like to perform in front of a crowd who feel and really respond to your music?
Sway: Performing in front of a crowd is overwhelming, sometimes it can be quite scary as you don't realise how much power you have. Going from writing stuff within your home environment to 10,000 + people rapping your lyrics back at you and doing as you say.
Nikhil Sharma: Any advice you can give to aspiring UK Hip-Hop artists?
Sway: Yeah Quit! It's not all it's cracked up to be and I'm the only one that's going to take it to another level…
I'm joking (lol), I'd say follow your heart. If you believe you can change the industry and add to it then do everything within your nature to get to the position you want to get to.
Nikhil Sharma: Are you doing any shows in London soon? (If so, can I get in free?)
Sway: I'm supporting Jay Electronica at Jazz Cafe tonight [18th], The list for that one is mad, everyone wants to come so the next one, definitely.
Nikhil Sharma: Thanks for taking the time to answer these, definitely supporting Mercedes-Benz and will be looking out for much more from you. What does the future hold for Sway?
Sway: World Domination!
My mixtape "The Delivery" is out in the next couple of weeks, which is gonna be crazy, it's gonna get people talking. The bandana's back on. Currently got my new single Everyday Valentine out on iTunes so make sure you get that. Also working on my new album which I'm hoping to release round summer. Follow me on Twitter Sway_Dcypha.