When asked how he is, Miami-based rapper, singer, songwriter Swazy Styles declares enthusiastically, "I'm doing great!" It seems that through his music, he's dedicated to making everyone else feel exactly the same way.
"I promote good, positive music," Swazy says. "Away from some of what other artists are promoting. It's all about money and drugs and guns. I like to portray positivity in my music. Have a good time. Have fun. Stay away from what everyone else is doing."
His style(s) isn't dark, broody, and violent, but it is eclectic. His music includes hip-hop, reggae, reggaeton, and salsa sounds. Swazy thinks he "can cover bases in all types of music."
His biggest hit was with Lil Jon, "Birthday Suit," and in 2011, he put out a song with Rick Ross, "You Already Know." He released a bunch of dance records, but wanted to get back into hip-hop. He did this with his recent single "Party Bus" which is both a party and rap song. "I like to spit lyrics. That's where I'm from, it's all about lyrics and metaphor."
Swazy was born in New York, moved to "the nice side of West Palm," AKA Boca Raton, then attended Broward College for electrical engineering and got a separate degree in computer science at ITT. "Music has always been a part of my life. Ever since I was in middle school, I was in a band. I play an instrument, the baritone, which is kind of like a small tuba. Then when I got into high school, I was in chorus, and I sang tenor."
Growing up, he traveled between South Florida and New York, where he got involved in freestyle battles. "I was always the reigning champ. I was always a lot more animated than the others. I held the crown." Back south after a vacation, one of his friends said, "we should just build a studio and make music."
They started for fun, but quickly developed a fan base and got booked for shows. Now Swazy's played just about everywhere down here, including LIV, Mansion, Off the Hookah, Euro. He's performed with Rick Ross, LMFAO, DJ Laz, and Pitbull.
His newest release "Standing on Couches" is about the VIP club life. "Everybody can relate to it." Swazy says, "One time I had a show at the Hard Rock, at Pangea, and we were standing on couches." He went home, wrote a catchy hook, and the song was born.
"What we're doing different with this particular project is we're going to not only produce the crossover version of the record, we're also going to put out a dance version of the record. And we plan on dropping them simultaneously." It'll be available on iTunes in two weeks. "The feedback we're getting on the album is so incredible," he reveals. That's why they're not giving it away for free.
On Facebook, he has a picture up with Luther Campbell whom he calls a "mentor. I look up to him." And Swazy's good friends with his niece, Power 96's Baby Bree. Styles says, "He respects the movement and he likes what I'm doing."
The rapper's Facebook posts reveal a thoughtful sensitive dude. "I'm a real person. I want people to be able to relate to me. Real life experiences. A lot of quotes, even though they may not pertain to me, may be something that I'm thinking at the time. I know that the things that I'm talking about are so real that I'm going to touch someone," he says. "I want to touch my fans in a different way." He started a new company Rolls Royce Records which spreads his Swazy style, helping develop and brand artists. He's partnering with manager Kelly Voice and "one of the ultimate Miami girls," Alyssa Harris-Castillo.
"I love the beach life." He says about his home in South Florida, "I love to jet ski. I love the nightlife. I love fancy restaurants. And I love that Miami is full of opportunity. There's no excuse for anybody to say that they can't pursue their dreams here. Everything is available. You can go after it and make it happen."
This Saturday, Swazy Styles with Go Big Ads will hand out copies of In the Biz Magazine, which recently wrote him up. They'll be driving from Fort Lauderdale Beach to Hollywood Beach from 1 to 4 p.m. Follow Swazy Styles on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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Liz has her master’s degree in religion from Florida State University. She has since written for publications and outlets such as Miami New Times, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Ocean Drive, the Huffington Post, NBC Miami, Time Out Miami, Insomniac, the Daily Dot, and the Atlantic. Liz spent three years as New Times Broward-Palm Beach’s music editor, was the weekend news editor at Inverse, and is currently the managing editor at Tom Tom Magazine.