Niiko x SWAE Interview: Paving Their Own Lane in Music.


Niiko x SWAE Interview: Paving Their Own Lane in Music.

Joining us from their L.A. studio, Niiko x SWAE had a chat with us about their musical direction, keeping it real on social media, and remixing Bebe Rexha’s “Sacrifice.”

The LA-based DJ duo, known for their catchy singles ‘Friends’ and ‘I Ain’t Coming Home,’ unveil “Glue,” their latest release on Armada Records. Niiko and Swae have teamed up with NYC producer Zack Martino and singer Kyle Reynolds. The new single will be part of their forthcoming Field Trip EP.

When asked how they would describe their sound to strangers, the duo answered,

“We don’t like to compare ourselves to other people too much because we are trying to establish our lane. But a lot of people have influenced us. Our whole careers, we have looked up to guys like Calvin Harris, Steve Aoki, Tiesto, and Martin Garrix. In the more recent years, guys like Loud Luxury have been crushing it in their lane. We like to draw from the old and the new.”

Their wise words and grounded sentiments are striking compared to their young age: the two reminisce on when they first began releasing music together, between 2017 and 2019, when the pair was still in college at the time. While the two have grown artistically, they reflect fondly on old releases: 

“The stuff we were doing was just for fun… we loved them, and we thought they were great, but we just grew as producers, and our talent grew, as well as our skills. So it’s funny. We’ll be listening to our own Spotify, and you’ll come across a song from 2018, and it’s produced so horribly, but like, that’s part of the journey. It’s part of the story.”

While the DJ duo reflected thoughtfully on their music throughout the conversation, they also had moments of lighthearted fun. When asked about their social media presence, their Instagram was inevitably brought up––a page full of comedic gold that showcases the artists’ senses of humor. They described their goal on social media as “making people smile or laugh, giving them a glimpse of how we are in our real life. I think we’re doing a successful job of that.” A look at a video they posted on Instagram on April 25th to promote “Glue” confirms their success. In it, the pair edited together a fake infomercial full of wigs, sarcastic voiceovers, black-and-white filters, and ingenious use of green screens.

Niiko Swae2
Niiko x Swae
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Niiko x SWAE also shared their excitement at the beginning to slowly book shows again as quarantine is, hopefully, coming to an end. The pair have already started performing at socially distanced drive-in shows, on which they shared, “Those are still a lot of fun. It’s so great to be in front of a crowd again. But like when you DJ, it’s all about reading the crowd, and when your crowd is socially distant, and far away from you, it’s really, really hard still. So we’re looking forward––obviously when it’s fully safe––to getting back in those sweaty, intimate rooms and just getting everybody dancing.”

When discussing their personal lives, it becomes clear how this duo manages to work so efficiently together and stay in sync for the interview: they grew up together, only ten days apart in age. SWAE’s twin brother, Kevin, is their manager and SWAE fondly describes all three of them as “triplets”: “We grew up together, our whole lives. We went to the same preschool. We played on the same little league teams. Like literally the list goes on and on.”

To learn more about Niiko x SWAE, including their thoughtful advice to up and coming DJs and producers, check out our interview with them below:

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Interview By

James Bowers


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