New York native P Swayz is all about bringing back the Golden Age of hip-hop in his music, and doing everything with positivity. With songs such as “Word (Perfect),” his most recent track “ConGradulations,” and through his community service work around his neighborhood, P. Swayz is looking to influence the youth to do more with their lives and achieve their dreams.—Marvin Jules
Name: P. Swayz
Hometown: New York City
I grew up listening to: The greats. You name ‘em: Mos Def, Nas, Wu-Tang [Clan], Fugees heavy. Of course Jay, Big. ‘Pac heavy. I’m a fan of the music first and foremost.
Most people don’t know: I think the people who do know me, know that I have a huge heart, but for the people that don’t know me, I’ve been putting a lot of work in the community aside from making music. I’ve served as a community activist for a little over a decade now. It’s something I definitely take pride in. I just want to see change in the community … particularly with youth. I’ve been working with the youth a lot, just trying to get them to broaden their horizons and to get them to reach further than what they see on TV or what they hear in music. I’ve been working in the hood for a good minute, bringing different resources into the hood. Up until last year, I was the site director for an after school program in Queens. I was doing that for a couple of years until it unfortunately shut down because of a lack of funding. I’m doing my best to continue to bring resources to that neck of the woods, as well as working as a counselor for a high school in East Brooklyn. I just think that if you want change, you have to be that change.
My style has been compared to: Some people say Jay, some people say Nas. It’s a mixture of both. I hear people say Jay, I hear people say Nas, so I guess they know what they’re talking about.
My standout records and moments to date have been: I got a record called “Word (Perfect).” That record, I knew from the gate that it was something special. The flow was really unconventional, and the moment people started to hear that record, I think that’s when they started to look at me in a different light. One of the first people to recognize my talent was Pete Rock. Pete Rock recognized that I had a gift immediately, and when we connected it was all love. I think the same night he heard me, he reached out to Peter Rosenberg from Hot 97. And the timing of everything was crazy because literally three days before, I put out the project. And then I started getting emails from Rosenberg, and a week later I heard my song on the radio, so it was definitely a blessing, that was a huge moment. It was confirmation that sky is the limit, and if you continue to work on your craft and master your craft, good things happen. I use that moment to encourage others to pursue their dreams.
My Goal In Hip-Hop Is: I want to make an impact. I respect where the game is right now, and I think those of us who were fortunate enough to come up in the ’90s era really got a chance to see the height of where hip-hop could really go to. And I think those standards are really high standards to try to match. I think it’s called the Golden Era for a reason and I try to reach those marks in my music. With every record, I try to bring that type of genuine artistry to it. And I think those are standards that artists should continue to reach for and push past. Not that this generation of music hasn’t been doing it, but I think that the consistency is lacking. I want to continue to set those marks, and set the bar where I think it should be. At the end of the day, I want to set a standard for New York. I miss the days where New York was heavily supported by New Yorkers. I just want to put on for the city.
I’m going to be the next: I can’t say I’m gonna be the “next,” I’m gonna be me. Setting myself up with trying to reach somebody else’s mark is difficult. It’s difficult for an artist to say “I wanna be the next ‘Pac,” or “I wanna be the next Big,” those are humongous shoes to fill. The only shoes I can fill at the end of the day are my own.
Standout: “Word (Perfect)”
Also check out: “ConGRADulations”
And: “Da Classics”