Introducing SWARM - the innovative US producer paving the way in 'haunted house' music
'These are those who make dark music, and then there are those who wear the darkness on their sleeve'.
Meet Swarm, Floridian-based DJ/music producer. At the beginning of the year he announced his intention to take the blooming mid-tempo bass scene by force with his debut EP 'Corrupt', and that is exactly what happened, x 10. His EP caught the attention and support of some of the world's biggest heavy-hitters, including Porter Robinson, Black Tiger Sex Machine, and also Varien - who he has just released a collaboration with that does NOT disappoint.
You could describe Swarm's music as 'haunted house'. Hyper-dark, aggressive, something you'd hear in a really cool horror movie or in a Resident Evil game perhaps? When I first came across Swarm's Soundcloud account myself, I though 'fuck this so dark, I'm in love', and also 'I have to fucking collab with this guy'. A few months later, and we finished a song together called 'Psycho' which comes out in a month or so. This guy is going to make huge waves with his unique style and sound design, so I decided to have a chat to him before he's touring the world.
So, how did it all start for you?
I was always told growing up I would do something in music, due to my unhealthy obsession with musical instrument-related toys. I didn’t really think anything of it until I started making music two years ago, and I thought it was ironic.
SWARM started as straight house/ future house music, no dark tones or anything because I didn’t think it was acceptable to be dark and creepy in EDM. Then I discovered Drezo and Varien, who both turned that notion on it’s head.
Once I stopped trying to force creating music that wasn’t 'dark', everything flowed out of my brain so much easier, and the whole SWARM brand kinda fell into place. I really couldn’t be happier about it!
How would you describe your sound?
Equal Parts Aggressive, Cinematic, Ethereal & Emotional. Maybe a dash of horror in there too. Maybe more than a dash.
I like to call it 'Haunted House'.
What single night out has been the most memorable for you? As a DJ? As an attendee?
As an attendee- my favorite band on earth Rammstein playing Madison Square Garden in New York City. They hadn’t played in America for 10 years prior and I had been waiting patiently. This makes me sound so old.
As a performer-
The first time I played in front of a few thousand people - I was shook. I hadn’t played in front of more than 100 people at that point. But that was also the day I realised I was born to do this, because as soon as the music started I lost all sense of being nervous or scared and just enjoyed interacting with the crowd. I was on Cloud 9 for the next week, daydreaming about it. I will never forget that show.
I have song called “Breathe” coming out on a multi-artist EP called “Blood Moon” releasing on Synesthesia Records early-mid September. The other artists on it are totally nuts, so I had to bring my “A” game to keep up. “Breathe” is easily the heaviest song I’ve ever done - I’m really excited.
How does it feel seeing artists like Porter Robinson supporting your music MainStage at some of the biggest festivals in the world?
May or may not have cried.
What’s in store for the future?
I’m working on another EP/Album right now, and it’s almost done. I’d say early 2019. After “Breathe”, My focus will be on performing live as much as possible for the rest of the year.
Also I have a collaboration with some girl named Lucille Croft that's coming out very soon...
What’s your all-time favourite song, that will never get old?
“Mein Herz Brennt” by Rammstein. The orchestration and atmosphere is amazing.
Where do you think you fit into the current global music market? Your music is very dark, and very unique. It seems to be doing really well for you in the US market!
I think my music had been well received so far. I like to push the envelope sometimes, but overall I’m happy with how receptive everyone has been to me. I think right now the overall market is ready for things that are genuine, whether that is dark music like mine or someone else’s music they put their heart and soul into.
I want to play in Germany. They have a long history of amazing dark artists. I think I’d fit in well there.
if you got stuck on an island, what 3 things would you take with you?
A WIFI router, My laptop, and Bopit
What is a quote or motto that describes you well?
“To do anything to a high level, it has to be total obsession.”