Afro-swing and Afro-bashment are without a doubt trending in the music scene this year and one of the artists who is including those genres is rising rapper Swarmz. The artist from Greenwich, South East London, has recently gained major popularity through his infectious breakthrough song Lyca, which you surely all heard in clubs, at festivals or on the radio so far. The official video, released via GRM Daily, has accumulated over 7.7K Million Views on Youtube so far, with the numbers going up each day. Just recently he teamed up with chart-hitting rapper Yungen and collective NSG for the official Lyca Remix.
PRDN are sitting down with Swarmz and talk to him about comparisons, the background of Lyca and meeting AbdiTV.
Disclaimer: This interview was adapted for reading purposes.
Antonia PRDN: I see you released a good amount of songs earlier, why do you think Lyca was your breakthrough?
Swarmz: Lyca was more commercial than the others, so I thought more people could relate to it. It applied to a lot of people.
Tell me about Lyca a little. Obviously there’s a clever wordplay involved but how did the idea of linking your song to this phone brand come about?
Obviously, Lyca is what I use. I’m from the Caribbean so my parents contacted my brother via Lyca, via the ‘Lyca’ side of things. It’s basically in our culture.
Has the brand reached out yet and given you free Sim cards and data?
They haven’t reached out like they meant to. But a lot of people reached out to me and said they switched from EE to Lyca – They messaged me and said “yeah I’m using Lyca now!” But Lyca itself should probably reach out soon.
You basically did a free campaign for them so they should reach out soon! So you mentioned you were from the Caribbean, do you draw your musical influences from there?
Yes, a lot. My dad is from Jamaica, and my mum from Barbados. I grew up with Bob Marley. What he’s done makes him a leader. His lyrics are very strong and I like him so much.
How did the name Swarmz come about or what does it stand for?
It’s such a random name, there is no meaning or nothing in it. My friends called me like that ever since I was fifteen. It’s my nickname, my music name.
I’ve seen a lot of people compare to EO or Ramz, what is your opinion about that?
Obviously they are good artists but I don’t think I’m the same as them. I came with something different, and I also play football as well. People always compare everyone with everybody, you just gotta come with bangers.
Yes, everybody always compares everyone. If I’m not mistaken, AbdiTV has backed Lyca with his own record label – how did that come about? How did you get in touch with AbdiTV?
I had a show not too long ago, and met Abdi and spoke to him about some stuff and we then followed each other on Instagram. I was in the studio recording the chorus, just the chorus and he DM’ed me and said this is gonna go viral. He told me to send over the video – he shared it a lot, my friends shared it a lot. He got it out there, and I signed the song to his label and Virgin came along and signed the single.
Wow, did you ever expect that?
Not really. The views on Youtube are crazy, millions and millions of views. I got a remix out now too with well-known artists.
That’s amazing. Let’s take it back a few years – when did you first know that music is the path you wanted to go for?
Only this year to be honest. Football was picking up to become more serious. Music was just a test to see what kind of reaction I’d get. I thought I could do it and wanted to see what happens.
Do you find it difficult to combine it with music?
Yeah it’s very difficult, but I like to be on my feet.
How did your family react when you told them you want to do music full time?
They do, they knew it was something I could do. They support me fully.
Parents always react sceptical when it comes to a creative job, I guess, but it’s great they support you. When you approach a new song, do you start it with a freestyle or are you properly sitting down, write it and then record it?
I’m just joking around, writing choruses down and go to the studio and hear beats and lay it down. The rest I just freestyle then, it has to happen naturally. That usually works. When you write everything down then it never works out the way you want.
That sounds so simple, I wish I could just freestyle. With the Lyca remix out now, what else can we hear from you this year?
Now after the Lyca remix, I got a couple other singles and perhaps a headline show and other shows. I’m a busy guy this year.
Listen to the remix below and stream/download it here: