Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Mar 13th 2010 8:33PM by Brad Powers
Los Angeles-based hip-hop duo Shwayze have been on the soundtracks of summer since their first single, 'Buzzin',' rocked the charts in 2008. In that short time, Shwayze and Cisco Adler have released two albums, a mix tape and a workout video. Fresh off their recent tour in Australia, Shwayze and Cisco are back in Los Angeles recording material for their third album. Spinner caught up with the duo in anticipation of their 2010 SXSW showcase.
How'd you come up with the name Shwayze?
Shwayze: It was a nickname Cisco gave me. Before I even accepted it he started calling me that religiously. And before I knew it, everyone was calling me Shwayze. When I changed my Myspace profile from Aaron Smith to Shwayze, all my high school friends were like "What is this Shwayze? What is this you're being called now?" And now my grandma even calls me Shwayze. I'm like, "Grandma, you can call me Aaron, it's weird as hell you call me Shwayze."
Cisco: It's really more the name of the project that's how we look at it. It's very confusing that it's the name of the group and one of the members, but it just sort of sums of the project.
C: I would say to genre-ify it, it probably falls under alternative hip-hop. At the end of the day, I think it's just good music. A strong melody will always make it, and I think a lot of hip-hop is missing that. We pride ourselves on being a live act where a lot of hip-hop isn't. We like to rock the show -- blood, sweat and tears for us and the crowd. I hope everyone leaves saying, "Damn that was the best show ever."
S: Our sound is just universal. Cisco as a producer is very versatile. He can do anything from country to hard rock, to hip-hop. And I'm the kind of person that loves all types of music. I'm a Gemini, so I don't like to do the same thing all the time. I think the versatility shows from our first record to our second record. And on this third record we want to keep going and expanding our sound. We don't want to be just a one trick pony.
How did Shwayze form?
S: It's funny everyone always says we're a weird pairing. We both grew up in Malibu and that's how we met. I was a fan of his band Whitestarr, and I used to go to their shows all the time. Before I was of age, I used to check them out at the Roxy and I partied with them a few times. At one show, I jumped onstage and started free styling with them to impress a couple girls I was with. And I think that was the first time Cisco saw me rap. Then we started working together. After the first song we ever made, I was like, "Cisco, I'll be your studio intern I'll be your assistant, whatever you need. I just want to stay around this." So I stayed at his house on the couch for a good year. And whenever we had spare time we'd do a track. Before we knew it we had like 30 songs.
What are your musical influences?
S: Well I grew up with my grandparents and my grandma put me on to Bob Marley, Stevie Wonder, Temptations, James Brown and a lot of Motown Era. I grew up in Malibu so a lot of my friend's music rubbed off on me like Sublime, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Led Zeppelin. I didn't even get into hip-hop until I was older. Once I did it completed my circle of music. I knew rap was something I could do because I wasn't that confident in my singing voice
C: For me, I came from hip-hop. My older brother was the one who exposed hip-hop to me. It was gangsta rap first: NWA, Geto Boys. Then I found De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, the Pharcyde, who I think is one of the unsung heroes of hip-hop music. Then I got into Redman and the Roots later on. And I've said it before, I think Sublime is hip-hop down to the core.
Who was your first celebrity crush?
C: My celebrity crush would have to be Michelle Pfeiffer -- from 'Scarface' only.
S: I love Zoe Saldana. She is just something else. When I first got signed, I loved Rihanna too. I remember going my manager and being like, "Set me up on a date with Rihanna I'll do the rest." But I never got the date. Too bad for me.
What's the craziest thing you guys have ever seen on tour?
C: Tour is pretty much crazy, day in and day out. Let's just put it this way: we've seen a lot. There's no flesh, no drink, no party we haven't seen.
S: The first tour we ever did was Warped Tour which is a wild tour to start with. Every day you wake up and you never know when you're playing. The craziest thing was the response that we got. Before that I was just touring California. So going to Chicago and going to the main stage and having 10,000 people watch us was crazy.
Cisco, Beatles or the Stones?
Oh, I'm a Stones guy. If I were on a desert island, just for sheer volume of the catalog, I might have to take the Beatles just to have some new stuff to listen to. But as far as the sexiness the rawness and just the vibe, I'd have to take the Stones.
Shwayze, what's your musical guilty pleasure?
Taylor Swift. That's my guilty pleasure. I might lose some fans for that one. But she has some cool little songs. I was bumping that new Rihanna song. You like these songs because you have no choice but to like them because they're so pop butter that you're like, "I hate that s---." Then all of a sudden you're singing that s---.
Cisco, what's your biggest vice?
My biggest vice in life has always been women. But I've learned to tame that.
Shwayze, what is your festival survival kit?
Baby wipes. Also, toothbrush, toothpaste, bottle of water, a cell phone charger. Oh, and socks.
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