By: Shirley Ju (@shirju)
SwaVay is the first artist signed to Metro Boomin’s Boominati label, which says a lot about his talents. The producer turned rapper has been making beats since 5th grade, but it was his “Quicktrip” released that proved he could really be the rap star he dreamed to be.
Most recently, he’s been locked in the studio with James Blake, unleashing fire records such as “BILLY” and “UNTITLED.
AllHipHop caught up with the Atlanta native about linking with James Blake, encounter with Mac Miller, being featured on the Spider-Man soundtrack, and best advice from Metro Boomin.
AllHipHop: Talk about the dynamic in the studio with James Blake, who’s so talented.
SwaVay:: It was right when I got signed, I came out here. Boomanati has a studio out here, submerged with other studios. I buzzed to get in the gate and hear “hello” in an English accent.“It’s Swavay from Boomanati, can you open the door?” Didn’t hear nothing back. I walked into the building and this tall 8 foot ass, white man was sitting there looking at me. I’m like “are you James Blake?” He’s like “yeah, are you SwaVay? Metro’s told me so much about you.” [English accent]
We talked for an hour He’s like “I want to hear some music.” I played him whatever I had off from Infinity at the time. I s##t you not, the next day I was at his crib making music. That’s our relationship. I call him my brother/dad because he’s one of my best friends in the world. I went through so much and James was always there. No matter what, him and his girlfriend. They’re like my parents. I love them, love them. About to see them today.
AllHipHop: Talk about your encounter with Mac Miller while in the studio with him.
SwaVay:: I didn’t even get the opportunity to be friends with him that day. I’ll be honest, I seen his friends. I grew up on Mac Miller, off his Youtube. I’m only 22.
AllHipHop: K.I.D.S was my s##t!
SwaVay:: Yeah exactly. I remember downloading that s##t, every mixtape! I remember seeing his friends, Quentin and Jimmy walk by the window. I’m like “oh s##t, I know Mac Miller’s about to walk by.” I’m standing there looking through the window, and Mac Miller walks by. I tell James like “yo, Mac Miller just walked by.” In my head, I always forget that James is James Blake. I’m beyond that now, we’re like brothers. He’s like a dad to me. He said “yeah okay, are you going to finish the song?” [English accent]
I’m like “yeah!” You know how n##gas be super cool? I just waited till I had to go outside. I ordered some UberEats, walked outside, and Mac Miller’s studio was open. I was chillin’, waiting on him to look at me or to walk out. I wasn’t fangirling out, but I didn’t know what to say to him. He understood it, we talked a little bit. The next week, he had that little G-Wagon accident. I’m like “damn, I just seen this n##ga.” I never even got the opportunity to really dive in deep with him, do music or nothing. When I met him, he was just so nice.
AllHipHop: How was it being featured on the new Spider-Man soundtrack?
SwaVay:: My A&R Tyler hit me up like “wanna be on the Spider-Man soundtrack?” I’m like “yeah cool, send it over.” I did that s##t 3 times actually. The first time, they loved it, then they wanted some other s##t, some other s##t, etc. The last time I did it was on my birthday when I turned 22. I’m like “I’m not touching the song again.” Luckily, they f##ked with it enough. I’ma be honest, hearing my song in the theatre was nuts. To think the movie only used my song and the Swae Lee s##t that went nuts, that’s crazy.
AllHipHop: What’s the best advice Metro gave you?
SwaVay:: Metro is a genius. A genius in a way where he may not always know how articulate what he’s trying to get you to understand, but when he says something — you just think and dive deep into it, and you’ll always get the message. He’s never led me astray. Me and him used to get into it! About random s##t. It only made our relationship stronger. Vice versa. When we talk, it’s always love. I’d be lying if I could put it on one thing and say that’s the biggest. He’s taught me so much s##t I just listen to, came back to like “oh s##t, that’s what he was talking about."
I have a song on my project called “For Diamonds,” which is essentially about a stripper. I didn’t f##k the stripper or nothing, but he’s like “SwaVay you should go to the strip club, you gon’ get inspired.” The type of n##ga I am, I’m like “I’m not finna go to the strip club, not gonna finna no money.” That s##t is dead.
AllHipHop: That’s the culture in Atlanta no?
SwaVay:: It is the culture, but that’s not me. We were on tour, I was going with him to the strip club just to eat. ‘Cause I was broke, I knew they were gonna feed him. I got inspired by some s##t I saw and made that song. Little s##t like that, or even bigger s##t where he’s like “do this” or “do it like that.”