The OFFICIAL Website of Rap or Die
Jon Swaii expands on legacy of inspirational messages with powerful new music
BRONX, NY – When Jon Swaii was a teenager in school, he remembers learning about the Vietnam war. One image from that period of time hit him deeply – the image of a Buddhist monk setting himself on fire in protest of the war. Jon saw that image and realized that the monk believed so much in his message that he knew his act of self-sacrifice would inspire others to take a stand.
That’s the kind of impact he, too, wants to leave on the world.
The young artist from Bronx, New York is already starting to inspire people with his unique sound and style. As an artist and producer, Jon Swaii is using his talents to create meaningful messages that motivate the masses. He brings a diverse background of influences to the table too, which makes him the perfect artist to connect with a wide range of audiences.
Due to instability at home at an early age, Swaii relocated every couple of years – at one point living in Italy for two years. He also lived in Florida, Albany, Long Island, Virginia and Pennsylvania. He often felt like the “new kid” as a child and found himself the easy target for bullying. Instead of lashing out, he turned to poetry to release his emotions – turning his fear and rage into words that others started to connect with. He became obsessed with perfecting his craft, turning poetry into Rap and studying some of his favorite artists such as Kid Cudi, Jay-Z, Nas, Eminem, Andre 3000 and J. Cole. As a result, Swaii has created a sound that is real Hip Hop – lyrical, genuine and versatile.
“It’s not made for any one specific type of person,” he said of his music. “My main objective is to influence the growing minority to grab power. There’s a genuine real-ness about my music. I want to be one of those artists that people listen to and whose music is timeless. When you listen to my music, I hope you get the same emotions 10 years from now as you do the first time you listened to it.”
Swaii has quite the pedigree when it comes to music and inspirational messages. His great grandfather, Leonard P. Howell, was the founder of Rastafarianism and preached a message of black power and anti-colonialism in Jamaica, Africa and the U.S. Swaii said he wants to expand on that legacy and use his music to connect in meaningful ways across the world.
He released the single “Contagious” 8 months ago and a re-release date is set for June 20th. The song is a play on the way we all currently use and abuse technology, from the simple use of our cell phones, to the over sharing on social media. “Contagious” brings awareness to the flaws of being dependent on technology by today’s youth. What is meant to keep us all connected quickly turns into a voice in our heads demanding “POST IT”.
He is also working on a bigger EP called “Paradise” which he hopes to release later this year.
“Tell Me Why”
“Love Me Through”