Avenue Interviews is a series we have here at RosecransAve where we highlight, and get to know, up and coming artists who are “out here”. Az Swaye burst onto the scene earlier this year and hasn’t took his foot off the pedal since. Hailing from Los Angeles, this emcee has released nothing short of quality music for his supporters. Swaye has been supremely active churning out 14 fire songs in 5 months, gaining praise from his peers and blogs (like this one) alike.
During this interview we found out just how interesting Az Swaye is, where he draws his inspiration from, which rapper he rather model his career after, who he listens to most in his headphones, and where he sees himself in the future. Read Vic Stunts’ interview with Swaye below.
Vic Stunts: To people who aren’t familiar with Az Swaye and your music, what would you want them to know ? Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Az Swaye: To people who aren’t to familiar with AzSwaye.. Hmm.. I honestly just want people to know that I’m human, we human, nobody perfect and we all live and breathe the same air. That’s how I see life and wish I can spread my vision to the culture.
I draw my inspiration from a lot of my favorite artist but then again anything I feel with a meaning to it that I coulda seen or read about will spark my brain to write a song. I got a lot inside I’m trying to pour out little by little till I actually got the world full attention.
Vic Stunts: If you had to name 2 of your biggest musical influences, who would it be?
Az Swaye: Ahhhh.. My 2? That’s deep but I’ll be way honest. My first biggest music influence will be JayZ of course based on longevity and consistency. Dude (is) not just a rapper or an artist he’s a business. My second would have to my boy Kdot. He showed me the steps to how to be heard and a while back told me if I applied myself I can be amongst these big artist on them boards and awards. That subject get deeper than rap tho.
Vic Stunts: In your career, what path are you more likely to mirror, Jay-Z’s business oriented approach or Kdot’s music first and business second model?
Az Swaye: Ha! I knew that was coming.. But honestly neither I’m just following my own steps and letting everything come organic. I just study those artist moves so I know what proper business to run with me and my brand I’m building. But if I had to choose it would be Jay Z’s business oriented approach cause if a label don’t see you as a independent profit they will throw you anything just because they feel you “thirsty”. They understand JayZ know his business but STILL can fuck over any track.
Vic Stunts: And who’s Reeboks do you like better?
Kendrick’s new Ventilators?
Or Jay Z’s S. Carter’s?
Az Swaye: I would have to go with Dot new joints, they up my alley and I can visualize why he did that. Smart move. They have a meaning but then again our culture could take that the wrong way. Its just up to the crowd he pitches it to and what he doing right now at this here moment fit his community. They can relate so they’ll support.
Vic Stunts: Something I dig about your music is how even though you seem to experiment with different sounds, the quality is always consistently good. You can go from being as rambunctious as possible on a song like ChoppAz with Beams then go and do an introspective record like Insecure. How do you succeed at showcasing different sides of yourself?
Az Swaye: Man.. Life!! Just everyday life I don’t ever base my music on I gotta make a hit or this need to be out. However I feel at that moment is where the song could go, like plus on top of that I’m a Gemini so that effect my mood on a lot of things also. I’m just versatile with life I feel people can relate to any story I give.. its a lot of us on this earth.
Vic Stunts: Is there any type of record you don’t see yourself making at some point in your career?
Az Swaye: I see myself recording any song honestly man I love music period. I’ve heard plenty of different genres from my family and parents so that’s probably why I’m OK with that lol but if the song has a meaning behind it I wouldn’t mind doing any song bro.
Vic Stunts: If you had to choose from of these options to best describe the type of artist you are, which would it be:
A. You mostly listen to your own music in the whip, in the house and in your headphones
B. You mostly stay up on all the latest hip-hop music and listen to that
C. You mostly listen to old hip-hop from your favorite emcees and study them thoroughly
D. You mostly listen to different genres of music more than you play hip-hop.
Az Swaye: Its like C and A but I just started doing A. I never use to listen to my own music unless my friends kept playing it or my family but as of now growing and learning in this game I study my old art the most to hear my progression and see if I can add more sounds to my voice to bring out a great song. Its not about just “rapping” if you can’t make music that people can feel you won’t last. I’m looking for longevity in this game.