“Know your history, who are the people who paved the road for you to do what you do? Respect them. Don’t copy them, just do you.”

Check out the interview with Mike Swagger exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.

Skilly: Where did this all start? Tell us about your journey in the entertainment business.
Mike Swagger:
It all started for me the summer of 02′ in my room in my grandmother’s house. She was a singer and a rap artist as well. Granny had skills. I saw how she was writing out raps and I began to copy that. Except at first, I would just copy songs from the radio so I could recite cool verses on the spot at school. When I told my grandmother I wanted to record some music she introduce me to Chris Harris who recorded my first 4 track demo in Riverside, CA.

What would be your biggest piece of advice for the young kids out there trying to do what you do?
Never give up on what you truly want. Always find a better way, a new way, and a way no one else has thought of or very few people know about. Know your history, who are the people who paved the road for you to do what you do? Respect them. Don’t copy them, just do you. The only one holding you back as you.

What are some of the hardest challenges and tasks in your position?
Some of the hardest challenges in my position today are surviving in a growing world of social media and share networks. Trends are constantly changing, some even being created and denounced almost in the same day. Staying relevant in these platforms is necessary for any artist looking for a substantial fan base and or to become a professional musician.

We all know the entertainment business is very tough, but what do you find is the best way to promote and advertise your music?
Not to sound like a broken record, but social platforms are one of the greatest ways to get to hundreds of thousands of people quickly. I do believe the number one way to advertise and promote music is through my own lips. Every time I get a chance to tell someone what I do or show off my talent, I do. It might sound cocky or like a show boat, but it’s not.

Tell us about your city. How are the artists and the fans?
Riverside, CA. We got wrote off by Ice Cube and the L.A. rap scene because Dr. Dre had supposedly “fled” away from the drama. We have never had an artist stand tall for us in our city of Savages. My fans are loyal and they love to rep our city. We even have our own clothing line, Savage Society, by my good friend Jesse Jimenez.

Where do you see yourself a year from today?
A year from today I see myself be recognized as a professional in the entertainment industry. Maybe smoking a blunt with the big homie Snoop. If there’s a Puff Puff Pass 2 tour I’m down.

Who and what were your biggest inspirations? Who do you look up to in today’s world?
My grandmother of course, but also my adopted father Yo Bradbury. In today’s world I can’t really say I look up to anyone, new anyway. I still look up to the OGs like Snoop, E-40, and Dr. Dre. I’m not saying I don’t like the music, it’s just that I see some of today’s artists finding their niche or sound and that’s all you’ll ever hear.

How do you feel about the music coming out today? Do you like it?
It’s very hard to say how I feel about the music today because I get my music from various sources on the internet. Although I have forced myself to start listening to the radio again just recently, what I hear is mostly songs with some type melody for the hook. There is not too much rap in the main stream anymore.

Where can we contact you and find you online?
Official website: hemetradio.bandzoggle.com