Swaco Tha Illest comes to us from Durham, North Carolina with an underground and eclectic sound. Raised in the DMV, he is heavily influenced by his upbringing where there was always music and poetry around him. Swaco’s musical influences include Childish Gambino, Lil Wayne, Kanye West and fellow DMV native Logic. Rapping since 13 years old, Swaco’s music is easy for listeners to vibe out to while they ingest a meaningful message. His rhymes possess a storytelling aspect to set him apart in today’s music industry.
Old school R&B and classic hip-hop vibes run strong throughout Swaco’s newest track “Growing Pains”. The raw and powerful energy exuded throughout this track is admirable. Swaco The Illest remains authentic and transparent while he tells the story of his upbringing. “Growing Pains” reveals the struggles of Swaco’s life growing up. Living up to certain expectations as the man of the house with a single mom and taking care of his brother can take a toll on a young kid growing up. He persevered and made it through his challenges, despite the odds being against him. Swaco gives the listener a chill vibe and smooth track while they can easily take in his vulnerability. Swaco plays with an experimental arrangement of the kick drum as his main backbeat and we’re loving it. I highly recommend you check out this track and stay on the lookout for Swaco Tha Illest!
Check out "Growing Pains" here and read more below in our exclusive interview!
Can you start by introducing yourself to our readers?
My name is Swaco Tha Illest, I am a Rapper, Producer and Audio Engineer from Northern Virginia.
How did you come up with the name Swaco Tha Illest?
Well the name 'Swaco' stands for success will always come out, and I think it's a metaphor for my career because everything is a process and no matter how long the process if you're meant to succeed it will come out. The second part of my name "'he illest' came from me just feeling like I was the illest rapper when it comes to the way that I produce my songs and put together my freestyles.
How did you get started making music?
I've been rapping since I was 13, my mom was involved in poetry growing up so being around that allowed me to get my pen game up and start spitting flows every now and then. I even tried to start my own group back then with some of my friends in my neighborhood. We only made like one song then and I believe it's still up somewhere on Soundcloud.
Was there one person or event that made you start pursuing music more seriously?
Yes, actually after middle school I took a hiatus from rap and wasn't spitting anything but just writing a lot. In tenth grade, I used to freestyle in the back of my classes all the time and my friend was like "aye, you need to get in a studio" and so I went searching and found a local studio but I didn't have any money for studio sessions. I found out that they needed a new receptionist, so I bugged them to death to let me be the receptionist and also teach me how to engineer then finally, I got a chance to engineer. In the beginning I didn't have any clients so in the free time I had I would record my own music and figure out new tips from youtube. Eventually overtime, I got better and decided to put out my first tape.
Tell us more about your track “Growing Pains”. What inspired you to write it?
So Growing pains actually just kind of came to me, I am the oldest child of three so for me I was the trial child and had to go through everything first while also being a second parent so I felt like this track was necessary not only for my growth as a person but my musical growth as well. I remember it was while I was finishing up my tape "Another Melodrama: Before The Fall" and I was sifting through beats on the internet then came across this one and it really took me. I was already in the mindset where I was like " I feel like talking about my life and telling a story" so once I found the beat I came up with the chorus and the verse right there but I knew the song was gonna need a singer because I couldn't sing the song myself how I saw it in my head. So I asked my friend Monèt to come and sing it for me, so she sang the hook and did the ad-libs. After that I thought the song was dope but I still felt like it needed something else, so I just sat with it for a minute while finishing up before the fall then I overheard my friend Soul Chii sing and wanted to add her in the mix cause I felt her voice would compliment the track. After a few tries we got it right and I just knew that the song represented everything I was trying to convey.
Keep up with Swaco Tha Illest on social media!