RESPECT. Interview: Joey Swagga

Check out a brief interview with Qualhata and rising DMV artist Joey Swagga, where he talks “89,” his team and so much more.

RESPECT.: So tell us, where did the title “89” come from?

[It] started as ’89 representing me (my birth year) and the 93 (high octane gas) representing loud or what I now call ‘the turn up’ (or me having a more turnt up sound).

Top layer of it .. I would say is that it’s basically our generation during what we call the (Turn up era)
Deeper scale – 89 is the last of 80’s babies which means we have a lot embedded n us from the 80’s but never had to live or experience the real hardship of the 80’s but on the other side we where the start of the technology age so we got the ambition struggle drive and vision of the 80’s with the smarts wittiness and opportunities that the 90’s n 00’s presented …

(Reasons I feel we different) a little example would b.. Like early 80′ had real Og’s that was passing down the game n life lessons .. Late 80’s early 90’s we where told to listen to your elders but Also be able to make yout own decision .. Later 90’s kinda don’t listen to shit reckless n do what they want.. Cuz everything they want is right at there finger tips..
89 on 93 also can signify the road I’m taking now in life and the different ways/places I’m going to find and gain success.

RESPECT.: Your song “Moonwalking” sonically has southern trap influences. Do you see yourself strictly staying in the trap music lane or do you see your self-expanding your sound to a mainstream audience?

A: … I see a broader range for my music, Moonwalking just like most of the tracks I make are based on the vibe I have when I hear the beat, and that was the vibe I was in. But I’m pretty sure when I come across that production that transcends my sounds it’s going to be fun and I’m looking forward to the challenge.

RESPECT.: Also, in your song Moonwalking you discuss your drive to reach success with your team, how much of an impact do they have not only for your music but in your personal life as well?

A: Man my team is everything. They may not know but they motivate me, I hear their dreams, their life experiences their situations and it makes me wanna go harder after my dreams & goals so I can not only put my self in a better position to provide and support my family, but I can empower them to be able to do the same for themselves because they deserve it. They pay attention to all the things I can’t or don’t, and it helps me/us making better decisions regarding my career. But when you think about it to have a group of people with there own problems, goals and families, dedicate time and put there lives on hold to help me chase my dream is humbling and, dope as hell at the same time. I am them and they are my period.

RESPECT.: Being a DMV native a lot of legendary artists like Pharrell, Missy Elliot, J Cole, Chris Brown made a huge impact on the music culture, how have they or other artists from that area that you idolized inspired your sound and pen game?~~~

A: The legends are the blueprint they kicked down the doors for an artist like me in this area so I’m going to always show love and respect to that, but as far as my sound goes I treat it like sports. I always think I’m the best or most talented in the room that’s just how My confidence is wired, but I’m still aware enough to know I can always add to my game. So if I see a move a two I like that I don’t already have n my toolkit I might put those in my back pocket until I can put my own twist and make into something of my own. So when I hear different flow patterns or styles of production they use it just motivates me to continue evolving my craft.

RESPECT.: Your other single “All My” is one of your more “turned up” records. How do you find a balance between making the records that will have an influence on the current state of hip-hop music and staying authentic to the music you want to make?-~~~~

A: For me it’s one in the same everything I make is organic and based on a vibe. my lyrics ours based on my life experiences, the people close to me and there experiences, ideally I’m always making the music I wanna make but sometimes that music can shift and or fit the mold of today current hip-hop state, but that’s the beauty of creating the music to see the final product created that was started from one idea one word one situation one vibe.

Check out the project via iTunes.

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