I’m trying to make a new sound. I’m calling it feel good music. I just like to do what feels good and stay true to myself.
The myriad of talent I encountered in college is hard to translate to a page. I’ve met rappers, singers, actors, writers, dancers, poets and plenty of others people with extraordinary talent that braved the BU campus. I am blessed to have these people in my life and I hope that they excel in their endeavors to maximize their potential.
Among these spirited go-getters is Sway. If you went to BU, you know him better as Sean Brooks. If you knew him well, I’m sure you can piece together memories free-styling, listening to music, admiring his art work or just kicking it and taking pictures with his web cam on nights when BU was beyond less than entertaining.
I reconnected with Sway after tuning in to “Love Me,” a single not included on the upcoming project but nonetheless intriguing. With the upcoming drop of his second mix tape, Purple Galaxies, I caught up with the beat-making, rhyme-flipping founder of CreaTive NaTure ProducTions for a few comments about his experience with music and what we can expect in the future.
AT: How many tracks on the upcoming album?
SWAY: Seventeen. I made the beats for all of them. [It’s] old school s*** meets new school s*** meets futuristic. The name of the album is Purple Galaxies. Definitely ‘bout to go hard.
AT: I like the title. How long you been working on this?
SWAY: For a minute now. I had to do the beats. At first, I was going to use other folks’ beats to original like the “Love Me,” but I went on a beat making thing and I was like, you know what, I’m going to do them all. And so I did. I got every beat done and the titles. A lot of hooks are done, so I’ll be done by the end of January.
AT: That's originality. I like that. I like to see that you're putting so much into it. Makes people take you more seriously.
SWAY: I know. [The] only thing is having to sit and explain this to everybody one by one before I get the belief.
AT: It takes time. Even if they don't believe in what you're doing, they have to believe that you are doing it and there's no way around not respecting that.
SWAY: True, true. But the world [is about] to see all the work I’ve been putting in. Some of the beats on the album I made a year ago. I’ve been rapping now seriously for a year. It take 2 to 5 to get on.
AT: Got to be married to it.
SWAY: I truly know.
AT: Do you feel yourself getting better at it?
SWAY: I eat, sleep, and breathe this. And yes, from my first mix tape to the stuff I do now, [there’s] a huge difference. I can really freestyle now [because] I write so much.
AT: That's skill. Got to love it when it comes out of you and you didn't even know it was there.
SWAY: Yeah. My thing with freestyle is, it’s different from other n*****s [because] I don’t be on that gangster ish, so my s*** be off the wall. S*** be funny.
AT: I bet. I remember those free-styling session you all used to have.
SWAY: I never [used] to want to rap. I was low key scared. I just wanted to dj back then.
AT: What made you just get into it?
SWAY: Man, I wanted to rap when I was a kid but I didn’t think my folks [were going to] go for that. So I wanted to dj. When I moved to ATL, I was working with this label and [an] artist. I learned the game and all the behind the scenes ish. I was intrigued and I started making beats. Already wasn’t having luck selling, so I said f***, I can rap. I wanted to and I would be nasty with it, so I did and never looked back. Plus, I was old enough to be like y’all can support me or not. They support me, so everything’s good.
AT: Family business?
SWAY: No. [My uncle] taught me how to run the studio so now I don’t really need him when I go. My guy out in Cali mixes and masters all my [music].
AT: The first mix tape was…
SWAY: Love Lost Dazed N Confused The Experience
AT: Oh yeah... the deep one. I remember being tagged to that bunch of videos. Have you been connecting to anyone else from BU on this music tip other than Phil?
SWAY: I f*** with Blaise B, but he’s a hip-hop artist. I’m not going that route. I respect hip-hop and wouldn’t say my music is hip-hop. I definitely f*** with Landon Battles. He was featured the first mix tape, came thru and did his thing. I try to f*** wit Darron for some beats. When and if he does send some, I’ll definitely f*** with him. And Kenny H is definitely one of my team members. He listen to my s*** before I do [any]thing with it. Phil [is] still my best friend, so you know I bounce my ideas off him and likewise. I just made a beat for him a few weeks back. He did a track to called “Lost in Deep Thought.” It was pretty dope.
AT: Sounds like a healthy network!
SWAY: I got good connects. I met some engineers who graduated from Columbia [University at Chicago]. I [have] a graphics dude, other rappers from high school and then some strangers. I network with all that I can, so it’s gotten me good resources.
AT: You said that you're not going the route of the hip hop artist... so, how would you classify your music and/or your sound?
SWAY: I’m trying to make a new sound. I’m calling it feel good music. I just like to do what feels good and stay true to myself. I don’t want to be hip-hop because that’s deeper then what I’m offering my listener. I got lyrical talent but I reference s*** I know that "N*****" may or may not know about but I’m definitely trying to have a progressive sound. I would say closest that I would want to be compared to [are] Kanye or Cudi.
AT: So, what is your ultimate goal in taking on a career in this industry? Where do you want this to take you in life and what is the overall message that you want to communicate on the journey there?
SWAY: My main goal is to try to give an alternative to the mainstream media monster but also to open up more opportunities in the media world. I want to write a fiction action-adventure novel, convert that in to movies. I want to do a reality cooking show. I want to [have] a designer flip-flop and clothing line, and I want to do all under one company – CreaTive NaTure ProducTions. I want to be able to have the funding to start programs for black males whose fathers are not in their lives, [because] I know the effect that can have on a boy. The message I want to display is “Peace Love N Harmony,” [and] also originality. I feel like people follow was too much and just need to be themselves. And lastly, if your world is broke, fix the world.
Check out Sway on FB and his mix tape Love Lost Dazed N Confused The Experience.
Purple Galaxies is projected to be out Jan/Feb 2011.
Thanks for your time and much love for you and the team.