There’s no questioning it; Swagger Rite is one of the budding superstars in the land of hip-hop. He’s spent 2020 quickly and efficiently establishing himself as a force to be reckoned with, releasing five hit singles, the most recent being “Heart Broke Rockstar Shit.” Each single has emphasized the breadth of Swagger’s musical versatility, with each track offering contrasting, accomplished sounds that prove why he’s become such a phenomenon this year.
So much more than just a rapper, Swagger has taken it upon himself to diversify his craft and explore new sounds that offer fans different aspects of his skills and musical personality. Growing up in Toronto, Swagger began rapping at the age of 13, looking to old schoolers like Big Daddy Kane and trapsters such as Waka Flocka Flame, and Gucci Mane for inspiration. His debut EP, The Swagged Out Pedestrian, has received widespread acclaim since its release late last year and Swagger has been pushing hard ever since.
We recently caught up with Swagger Rite to ask him a few questions about his recent single releases, The Swagged Out Pedestrian, “Heart Broke Rockstar Shit,” and improving as a songwriter.
You’ve had a pretty productive year thus far with a few single releases and some very positive reaction from fans. With an inability to tour and promote your music as you typically would, what have you been up to most of this year? Has it been a lot of songwriting and studio time?
Swagger Rite: “This year I been recording, of course spending time with family… cooking heavy, and getting ready for my new EP to drop.”
As a fellow Torontonian, I wanted to ask you about your hit summer video for “Like That” which shows you cruising around the city. What area of the city did you shoot the video in and why did you choose this setting?
“We shot it in Hamilton… it was dope to be outside the city to shoot… had to keep a low profile. So many things happening in the city.”
“Heart Broke Rockstar Shit” is your newest single and video. How recently did you shoot the video and what was that process like?
“Shot it with my team, my manager has a production company Crossfield House Productions… the shit just came together perfectly. We shot this video a few months back. The process was dope, we shot it at The Bisha (hotel in Toronto) and other parts of the city. The drip… was so dope, we got designers from the city and man it was a full production. They did a dope job on the video.”
In some respects, the video for “Heart Broke Rockstar Shit” is like a short film of you suffering after the loss of your girlfriend to an overdose. Who did you work with to develop this particular concept for the video?
“Crossfield House Productions, (director) Troy Crossfield, my manager, and his business partner Sheronna Osbourne made the concept and directed it. It was shot by my guy Nemesis.”
What made you decide that this concept for the video fit what you’re trying to say with this song?
“Going through heartbreak is like feeling like you’re at the bottom. When you get off that high you are always trying to get the feeling back. It fit perfectly because it cuts that deep, you know…”
Musically, you could argue that “Heart Broke Rockstar Shit” is somewhat of a new sound for you. How did you go about developing this song and did it end up sounding the way you originally intended it to?
“A lot of people don’t know I have so many different types of sounds in my bag… I been singing, been rapping and doing all types of music. This song is one of many that people will hear from my new EP.”
In terms of songwriting, do you write solely on your own or do you bring any collaborators in to work or record with?
“I usually work on my own and with my producer/engineer Stretch.”
Your debut EP The Swagged Out Pedestrian was released nearly a year ago now. What are your thoughts on those songs looking back on them now? Do you remain pleased with how that record turned out?
“Hell yeah… I had features from Block Boy, Yella Beazy, and Flip Dinero… but to be honest ‘In Love With The K’ really started this whole journey.”
Writing a debut album or EP can be a daunting proposition. What aspect of your songwriting would you say has really improved over the last year since the release of The Swagged Out Pedestrian?
“I think I would say… being more daring to release the other sides of my music. Most folks know me for the trap music… which is always apart of me. I want them to hear everything I can do… and this next EP is going to show that.”
Your second EP is in the development stage right now. What can you tell us about this EP and when can we expect it?
“It’s going be a detour what fans have been use to… literally.”
Aside from a new EP do you have any other collaborations or projects in the works?
“Yes… can’t speak on them… but you will see very soon!”