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Thursday, 22 December 2005

who is Sway?

23 11 05 : SWAY aka Derek Dasafo: The Mobo award winning Sway at Cargo

Who is Sway?
Sway aka Derek DaSafo
Probably the most successful independent artist this scene has got, he is still unsigned and showing the major how to do it, do it. The story begins with Sway producing music at 15, it didn’t take long for him to pick up a mic and start rapping. At 16 Sway first rose to prominence with the collective One. Now 23 Sway’s name is on the tip of everyone’s tongue.

He went from freestyling in school as a joke to battling in cyphers held in Camden Town. Like most other artists in the scene sway did the battling thing and it helped him grow, getting props from the old G s around him. But sway says that his career really took off when he started making tacks instead of just battling. He went bar for bar with Doc Brown, who hosted the night, Chester P and Reveal, who was in the crowd somewhere. Even though he got beat by Chester he impressed Taskforce so much that they invited him onto a track, which was t be sways first track. … what would I give for a copy of that…. Hmm?

I couldn’t get my hands on it anyway, but I got the two mixtapes, ‘This Is My Promo, Volume 1’, ‘This Is My Promo, Volume 2’… the albums are done in he classic mixtape style with freestyles over other beats and homemade beats. Make sure you get these to educate yourself in the game. Then you might be ready for the album, which drops at the end of January. . ‘This Is My Demo’

The first time I caught this guy live was in Brighton, while he was opening up for Dizzie. It was not the greatest show but he we the appetite of people around me in the crowd, so I knew that the guy was something spesh. That was around a year ago, maybe more and look how the levels have picked up.

Sway has also found time to make an appearance on Eminem’s radio show; and, touch down on tracks with Taz, Sharky Major, Biggz, Terri Walker, The Mitchells, and Mike Skinner.

The north Londonite is on heavy rotation, I think I hear his name on average every other day, from peers, people listening to music on public transport… the buzz is mad. Something like when Dizzie dropped. With one MOBO under his belt and a channel U award, he can only move up. Keeping up the high tempo pace Sway has also been nominated for 2 Mobo Awards: ‘Best UK Newcomer’ and ‘Best Hip-hop Artist’; as well as a Channel U ‘Best Of British’ award.

Sway has already shown that being independent is not a bad thing
The night began with Biggz on stage, sort of like a seat and greet, he was seated and he greeted the crowd, and he like sway and pyrelli tried to get some crowd interaction rolling, but to no avail. He finished his segment with the now classic “cor blimey”.

Biggz first emerged on to the UK music scene with his stand out appearance on the remix of Taz’z Single ‘Cowboy film’ with Sway and Sharky Major. This led onto his mixtapes The Big Inning Vol 1 and 2. ‘The Big Inning Volume 2’ featured guest appearances from the cream of UK Talent Sway, Sincere, S.A.S and more. Vol 2 also featured Biggz warm up single ‘Cor Blimey’ which was an instant addition to radio playlists around the country and the accompanying video reached number 3 on the MTV Base chart and was in the top 5 Channel U chart for months. Biggz can also be heard on the remix of Sway’s ‘Up your speed’.In 2006 Biggz will be releasing his debut album through his co-owned Alliance Records (who are also co-releasing Sway’s debut album). With Biggz’s personality, talent, and street rep and from hearing previews of Biggz new material it looks like he’s well on his way to the top and owning 2006. He and a cousin created a label from the body of Alliance and Dcypha. The first piece of visual artwork was the up your speed video. At that point the group did not have any major influence in the scene apart form the street hype that they were making. But they were blessed to meet Dan Greenpeace who added some clout to what hey already had by helping with marketing and distribution.

After Biggz did his bit it was pyrelli’s turn on stage, with DJ Turkish, the only Ghanaian Turk, big shout out to my home gal Miss Akueter the only Ghanaian Scot. Sway then graced the crowd with his usual style and the usual intro; you know the only about signing on and the British love of tea and sandwhiches (what’s wrong with sandwhiches? prĂȘt a mange?). He was on a little later than billed on the flyer; I’m guessing this was just some sort of suspense building action. The crowd did not really warm to sway even though he was on point, even the shame of being more wack than Ugandan crowds didn’t make the crowd more responsive…

Sway did all the usual hits and some new stuff, we got Pepsi, which wetted the crowd a little but not enough… sway then introduced the Mitchell bros in style by doing a almost perfect impression of Mr Skinner, which was followed by Harvey Nicks. What a classic especially the coarse African accents.

Sway brought pyrelli back on for the home straight, which obviously meant had had to do up your speed. Then it was time to reminisce about teenage mutant turtles, rainbow and the magic roundabout. The latter was the title of a track that had me reaching for my transformers sandwich box, jokes.
Then sway changed the tempo and got a little more serious with a track about gun crime. Below is an extract from an article in which Sway talks about gun crime

“Personally, I think that the message that the Metropolitan Police is trying to show is that if you know someone’s got a gun, you should snitch on them! In my opinion, that’s not going to help, ‘cos if you snitch and they find out, then that’s another gun crime. Snitching is not going to help. It’s probably the worst thing to do on road, you get me? What the police need to do is find out where all these guns are coming from; if you can stop the source, then all these youths wouldn’t have access to it. But at the end of the day it’s an awkward situation, I mean if someone runs up on you with a gun, what are you going to do? You’re thinking maybe I should get a gun so this thing doesn’t happen again and then it just starts getting deeper and deeper from there. Before you know it, everyone on road has got one, just to protect themselves. Don’t get me wrong, I acknowledge the police are trying to bring gun crime down, but snitching isn’t the way!”

You can kind of see where the guy is going with that, but to get more of a flavour for him, get the mixtapes and hold your breath until the album drops. The album is out in January, January the 30th to be exact, watch out for more projects from the Dcypha camp. Sway has got 1 Mobo under his belt and managed to get a full page spread in the metro, and you know how widespread that paper is, so his name is out there. If you are reading this then you know about sway, don’t get left behind or let some one tell you about him. Don’t be surprised if you find a track on the album you like even if you don’t listen to UK Street beats.


What THEY said
“The most talented comic genius since Slick Rick”
Vice ::

“Grime or UK hip-hop, who cares? This boy’s going to be big.”
Touch ::

“THE HOTTEST RAPPER IN THE UK RIGHT NOW. That needs to written in quotations on posters and flyers next to his name…the levels have just gone up.”
RWD ::

“Sway tears up grime, hip-hop drum n bass, even desi beats with equal amounts of devastating charm”
Plan B ::

“let me introduce you to the most talented all-rounder in UK hip-hop.” :: “possibly the brightest spark in UK hip-hip history”
Artrocker ::

“If you haven’t heard this guy then really it’s time for you to pay attention” Notion :: “Possibly the UK’s answer to Ludacris. And it’s no throwaway comparison.”
Echoes ::

“the buzz surrounding North London emcee Sway DaSafo is reaching fever pitch”
Hip-Hop Connection ::

“Sway DaSafo is the hottest up and coming talent in our homegrown street scene.”
Metro ::

"he is a major talent. I cannot overstate how important we consider him to be."
Will Willberforce, Head Of Music, BBC 1Xtra.

With two awards already this year, Sway can be assured that the record execs that passed on signing Sway will distinctly feel gutted.

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