You know you are a pretty darn good artist when you get from cosigns Metro Boomin, L.A. Reid, and James Blake. SwaVay, aka ‘Crazyman Billy,’ is representing ATL to the fullest with his pen game, lyrical prowess, and harmonies. Songs like ‘One, Two Step’ and ‘2 AM’ are just a few examples of why the young ‘ATLien’ has received praise from some of the most respected names in the music industry, and the artist caught up with ONE37pm’s Mike Boyd to chat about what he has been working on.
SwaVay aka 'Crazyman Billy' Is Repping ATL to the Fullest
The artist is the latest to catch up with ONE37pm's Mike Boyd.
Boyd: I’m a fan of your music, and so is GaryVee. For anyone new to your music, what song should they start with?
SwaVay: I guess I would have to say ‘2 AM!’ Everybody is gravitating towards that song like heck right now. For some reason, this single is doing way more than I thought it was going to do! We just celebrated getting two million streams in November! I’m an independent artist to the fullest, and now I’m about 2,000 streams away from 3 million. It’s crazy! My personal favorite though is a song called ‘YAYA’—I have a video for that too!
Boyd: Why ‘YAYA’? Tell us a little bit more about that.
SwaVay: For me, ‘YAYA’ is when I find that balance between having a modern catchy beat, and punching people in their face with lyricism. For me to do that track with Pyrex, and the song and video to come out the way it did, makes it my favorite song to date. I can’t get tired of this song—and it’s on my album with a guest feature as well.
Boyd: Shoutout to Pyrex! What’s it like working with him?
SwaVay: Probably the fastest and most creative human being I’ve ever been around in my entire life. He has beat ideas and literally comes up with full beats within minutes. I think one time I watched him, and it took him no longer than 10 minutes! I believe he’s one of the top young producers on the rise, and I’ve known him for like 3 or 4 years. For us to come up at the same time—I love that.
Boyd: Some may not like the making a song in ten minutes, but if you’ve been honing your craft—the sum of what you put into it is the time you’ve spent to get to that point.
SwaVay: I don’t even think that matters honestly . I think music is all feeling. I’ve made songs that have taken me a week to write or record, and then I’ve had songs where I heard the beat, hopped in the booth, and was just like “Yo this is crazy!” As long as you love what you are doing—I don’t think time matters at all.
Boyd: When you are in the studio what do you do to get the vibes right?
SwaVay: When I’m in the studio I have the same format. I make sure to tell my friends to pull up, from there I just listen to what I’m about to work on. Right now I’m doing this thing where I don’t really rap on drums—I’m just rapping on the music and the sample. Then I end up coming back to the drums. A lot of times I start with conversation to get things off my chest and talk about things that have been on my mind. I’ve literally booked studio time where I've spent hours talking. The vibe is usually friends, a good conversation, and something on the T.V.—something I can look up at to get inspiration. Oh and I don’t smoke—I’ve never smoked or drank a day in my life.
Boyd: So you record without the drums, then you put them in and let it go as it falls?
SwaVay: Yeah I’ve been doing this for like a year or two! Sometimes I feel like if you hear a beat with the drums , it can already give you a direction to go in. So to give me more room and space, I’ll be like “take the drums out of it.” That has honestly helped me out so much because drums are everything—especially in rap. I want to be the one making the direction of the music.
Boyd: A lot of people who don't live in Atlanta know how special it is, but the people who do might not fully understand. What is your view on Atlanta, and how do you make a name for yourself in the scene?
SwaVay: There are other cities where you can make it there and only there. In Atlanta, I feel like if you make it here, you are on—you’ve made it! It’s way easier for an Atlanta artist to crossover, so as far as music, it’s definitely the place to be. It’s something in us where we are always early on the newer styles of music, and now we may be catching up to fashion too. Atlanta is just a place that thrives on forwardness and not being trapped into one way of thinking. You have the 21 Savages, the Young Nudy’s, Lil Baby’s—and then you have the artist’s like myself and Earthgang. So we are just thinking about getting it and making sure Atlanta is represented the right way. With Atlanta, we understand that we didn’t always have a seat on the throne. Also, it’s a small huge city, and I grew up hearing about Savage, Earthgang, and other artists. We all know and support each other.