Swavy RAYDAR Press Shot

Swavy Chats “Side Eye”: A Lone Wolf’s Lament of Love and Betrayal

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Swavy RAYDAR Press Shot

Bridging the gap between hip-hop and R&B with his enigmatic style, Toronto’s very own Swavy returns with a captivating new single and music video, “Side Eye,” released earlier this month. His soulful melodies and introspective lyrics seamlessly weave through the track’s atmospheric soundscape, painting a vivid portrait of heartache and betrayal.

As the hypnotic beat unfolds, Swavy’s emotive vocals capture the listener’s attention, echoing the raw pain of a relationship gone awry. The evocative music video, directed by Moods Infinite and produced by M3rge, complements Swavy’s heartfelt performance with rain-soaked reflections and a perilous fantasy that draws viewers in.

Following the release of his previous single, “Out of Line,” Swavy continues to build anticipation for his debut EP, set to drop later in 2023. With a growing fanbase and co-signs from music titans alike, Swavy is undoubtedly carving out a unique space for himself in the industry.

Below, we spoke to Swavy about the single, working on his upcoming debut project, the Lone Wolf, and his journey thus far.

Tell me about your road so far. You have been around for a bit less than a few years—tell us about your journey so far—when you started, where did you think you would end up?

Yeah, my whole life, I was around music. I have a huge family, two brothers, three sisters, and we all played music. My brothers were drummers and played bass, my sisters played piano, and we all sang. So, I grew up around that and always loved music. But my main focus when I was younger was actually football.

I thought I was going to be like JJ Watt. When I was around 16, I had an injury, and for like two years, I was confused about what I wanted to do. Then I started drifting back into music around COVID time.

I was putting my all into it by myself, hustling to get my music out there. I remember calling my friend and saying that I wasn’t getting the recognition I wanted, and he told me to keep going. A week later, my manager Styles hit me up in my DMs and said I was different and wanted to bring me into the studio. At that time, I was mostly rapping because I had lost some confidence in my singing voice after going through puberty. But when my manager heard me sing, he encouraged me to start singing again.

After that, things started falling into place. I signed with Styles and eventually got signed to Columbia. Now we’ve been doing this thing and not giving up.

Especially for new fans, how would you describe the type of music you’re making?

Heartfelt and versatile, you can definitely feel everything I’m saying. You can relate to it. It’s very relatable. I like to tap into the realistic side of things. I want to make music that people can feel years from now, not just music they can bump today, and then it’s gone the next week.

I want my music to really sit with people, you know, and I want it to make a memory. I want people to be like, “When’s the first time I heard that song? Like, with my friend in the park? Or someone put me on that song.” People try to keep their artists when they find those memories, so when I hear things like that, that’s what I go for, you know, just giving people memories. That’s what I like to do.

That being said, have you already started getting compared to other musicians in the game?

Yeah. A lot. Obviously, they compare me to anybody they can think of. I feel like that’s the game because they gotta compare you to somebody, they don’t know what to do, but just to compare you to someone like, “Oh, yeah, I hear that he sounds like this.” But I do get a lot of “You sound like Suevi” more than people being like, “You sound like this person.” But of course, these days with the comments, people just want to find it.

Your new single “Side Eye” has been making waves lately! Can you give us some insight into the inspiration behind the track and the creative process that brought it to life?

Man, that song was crazy. I knew it was crazy once I recorded it. We were in the studio in LA with PARTYNEXTDOOR. He was there, and that’s my guy. We’re both July babies and we’re both from Mississauga, so that’s my brother. Long story short, what’s crazy about the story, which a lot of people don’t know, is Party actually reached out to me with his manager a few months before my manager now reached out to me. And he was like, “Yo, this kid’s fire.” But nothing ever really came out of it.

So when he sees me, he’s like, “No way, Swavy!” And I’m like, “I’m doing my thing now, it’s crazy.” So we already had that connection right off the rip. And he was playing beats. And as soon as he played that one, I was behind him, humming a melody. And he looked at me, he’s like, “Yo, you gotta get on this one.” I’m like, “Give me the headphones.” So I grabbed the headphones, my manager, Styles, grabs his headphones, he starts recording and I just recorded that whole thing in like, seven, eight minutes.

It all was crazy. I just felt it and I went with my gut feeling right away. And it came out like that. And honestly, the song is a big record. I love that one, and I hope people are loving it too.

The music video is captivating and introspective. What was it like putting the concept together?

Crazy. That was like my first big-budget video. They had me feeling like I was a star. They had snacks, drinks, and a stylist with clothes. It was a crazy experience. And I appreciate Columbia for putting that together. That was big for me. That was my first ever serious video. I’m used to shooting videos at random corners with a guy who only has $5 to spend on the videos. So that was crazy for me for sure.

Earlier this year, you also dropped “Out Of Line”—how do you feel like the two tracks fit in the fold of the direction you want to go as an artist?

I think it’s perfect. I think I’m painting a picture with each drop. I feel like every job that I’ve done so far has painted a picture for people. They hear the same storyline has been following. You know, I’m going from people beside me to being about my business, to girls burning me. Girls for the street, then, you know, I went through the streets with my problems. And now I’m back because she’s giving me the side. It all lined up. I like the way we dropped them strategically, and I feel comfortable with it. I think it was good, yeah, for sure.

What would you say helps you bring these feelings out?

I tap into my real life, my reality, my everyday living that I go through and experiences. I’m a person that will find any way possible to try to bring my real actual experiences in life into my music. So a lot of songs that I put together are genuinely what I have gone through or what I’m going through at the time, or what I’ve gone through. So a lot of that gives me the motivation to put those songs together. It comes easy when you really have something to write about when you can paint a picture of your actual lifestyle. So for me, it just flows and comes easier. That’s the motivation for sure.

You also have your debut EP in the works, are you excited to put that out?

Really great. I was yeah, I just cut another record yesterday that I’m really excited about for it. And then we’re getting close. I can’t wait, man, I can’t wait. The reason why it’s that I’m a lot more versatile than people may know. I think my EP is going to shock people because it has a sound on there. It has sounds on there from me that nobody’s heard yet. Nobody’s expecting to hear.

Because of course, when you do when you come out as a rapper, you get labeled as just a rapper. But I feel like they hear this EP, they’re gonna realize Yo, this is the hardest. This is a rapper, this is an R&B singer, like this guy does it all. And that’s what I’m most excited about. So yeah, look out. They gotta look out for that one, for sure.

Lastly, talk to me about the “lone wolf” motif. How did you come to coining yourself that?

You know, I felt like I’ve been separated from my parents for a long time since the beginning, just based on my life story. I always wanted to be on my own, even though I had family around. I wanted to do things on my own and build my own path. I always felt like I was on a unique journey, and this feeling extended to my music. I was confident in my music and believed that I was different and stood out.

So, I went with the Lone Wolf concept, and it felt like the perfect way to explain my life. I’ve been through a lot of experiences that made me the Lone Wolf, like losing friendships and facing challenges with family. I’ve embraced this concept, and my fans love it. They even see themselves as “Lone Wolves” now, which is amazing.