“Reach out to other artists without harassing/annoying them and try to build relationships..don’t be afraid of “no”!..If anything it makes us want to work even harder and motivates us to keep our heads down and grind.” – Niiko x SWAE
Music has always been a big part of the 23-year-old dance music duo, Niiko x SWAE. Residing in the LA musical landscape, the DJ/producer duo materialized in 2017, equipped with “Run This Town,” charting at No. 16 on the Billboard Dance Club radar—a relatively unheard of feat for an embryonic EDM act.
“When we ended up going to the same university in Dallas, TX, we realized we both had the same interests musically and began to work together for fun to play parties and produce house chunes. Although we grew up together, it wasn’t until our sophomore year of college that we finally put our heads together and formed Niiko x SWAE.”
The artists explain how their new single “The Answer” opened up the floodgates for their new sound. Pointing out their inspiration stemmed from the beginning of 2020. A time where the duo found themselves immersed in a photoshoot in the middle of the desert. In doing so, the artists realized the desert was “one giant juxtaposition of hot of cold, death and life, barron & fertile, inspiring the artists to do something a little different. By introducing happier lyrics into their music, with a backing of darker sounds, the artists believed they had created the perfect contrast.
The artists try not to describe their music in words, instead choosing to push boundaries and not be defined by limitations. Highlighting how they love making pop-electronic music in addition to hard core club based tracks. The duo point out that their favourite songs to date are in the process of the being prepped for release, and are extremely humbled seeing the response and support from fans and friends alike.
The Right Mix
The duo feel incredibly lucky to have had the support of their manager from the very beginning. Explaining how he has pushed them to be the best of themselves, and leading by example working into the early hours & beyond the call of duty to support the duo.
“We have also been blessed to have such amazing support from our family and friends. Our parents are our number 1 fans and we could not be luckier to have them by our sides on this journey”
The duo note how there have been points in their career where people have doubted them or led with the false narrative they would never make it. They remember one time at a club in Dallas, Texas, the owner laughed at the duo and told them they would never amount to anything. “Look who’s laughing now”! The duo highlight how they have both at times suffered from anxiety whether be it before a show or while at school trying to balance work and academics. Their advise on handly anxiety is to take time to look after yourself. “
“Self care is extremely important and even just working out or getting fresh air will help you feel like a whole new person. Also, whenever we get in our own heads we realize how silly the issue is and like to laugh it off or talk to one another and make sure the other is feeling alright.”
Networking for the duo has been one of the favourite parts of their whole adventure. The duo highlight how they have made so many new friends and have met so many people with both similar and different interests musically. The boys openly admit to truly enjoying collaborations with other artists who share the same mentality as themselves. The point out how networking within the music industry is one of the most important things and there is nothing more rewarding than meeting new people each night they play a show or go to a new studio.
The boys highlight the importance of meeting as many people possible that have similar interests to you musically. Even if just by communicating on discord or instagram. The biggest challenge the artists have faced is to stay motivated during this period or no shows and quarantine from covid 19. The duo staying positive see a light at the end of the tunnel and intend to carry on grinding. “We know shows are coming back and when they do, there is going to be a lot of competition..so we just keep our heads down, stay positive and keep working because that is all we can do”.
The duo are currently working on new music, with a couple more songs planned for release this year, in additiona to some big news due for release in 2021. With future goals involving playing main stage at big festivals in addition to pushing for a gold or platimum record.