Nacho Picasso on Stoned and Dethroned

Independent music has always been a grey area in music. A kind of limbo, where artists hope to not have to dwell for long before being snatched up by one of the big five record labels. There are many hardships for an independent artist; there’s no big promotion budget or built in studio producers, to ensure hit records. But, the independent artist has the most crucial element for reaching the ultimate creative nirvana: freedom.

Nacho Picasso is one of the most uninhibited artists we’ve met. He’s been shaking shit up since his debut album, Blunt Raps. His music is a reflection of his turbulent lifestyle, rapped with a sense of humility instead of grandeur. He came into the game with the intention to piss people off and hilariously has attracted so many people to him. His blend of realness is intoxicating. He’s self deprecating with a dry sense of humour, a personality that comes across as soon as you hear the first few bars.

Not having any of the inhibitors that can plague the creativity of an artist removes most of the compromises that have to be made to please a team of executives. There are so many artists releasing music through their own channels and the internet makes it possible for independent artists to be massively successful.

This is the case with Nacho, who shot straight to number one on bandcamp the day that Stoned and Dethroned, his fourth collaboration with producers Black Sky Blue Death was released. His fans are constantly in an uproar about including him on “best of” rap lists and on the map in terms of leaders of the new school. But, Nacho stands seemingly unbothered about all of it.

Perhaps it’s the Seattle in him, the inherently, not too bothered, stance that many people in the Pacific Northwest display. Or it’s the fact that at such a young age, Nacho has already achieved what some spend their entire lives wishing for. He’s turned his stormy youth around completely and is now an inspiration to many. Nacho’s only intent in rapping was to make music that he and his friends could relate to, the rest of the world is just a bonus.

We spoke with Nacho the day Stoned and Dethroned dropped, and asked him about his process, and working with producers Blue Sky Black Death and Harry Fraud.

Swizzymack on Mad Decent and Philly Club

This is the year of Swizzymack.

He’s willfully bent the internet in his direction, from his social media pages to his Soundcloud which racks up hundreds of thousands of plays and likes as soon as he shares a mix. It was actually this platform, which lead Diplo to his direction in 2010 after he came across the then fifteen year old’s page. A chance meeting at Urban Outfitters between the two solidified their bond, and they’ve been collaborating under the Mad Decent label since.

Swizzymack is no stranger to connecting with people over the internet. He provided the soundtrack to Rick Owens SS 15 show in Paris, after being emailed by the designer, who’s a fan of his music. Not bad for a kid from Philly who likes to eat pizza, smoke weed and rub booty – not necessarily in that order. The opportunity to score a soundtrack for a major fashion house, while a blessing, could also have been a very daunting task for the young producer. Swizzy (as we like to call him) has a fearless attitude that can only come when you’re truly unafraid of failure.

Today, Swizzymack’s sound is a fresh look on Philly club music. Before Swizzymack (and a few other DJ’s), Philly club was not a genre that was picking up outside of the respective city limits of Philadelphia. It shared similarities to Baltimore Club, in it’s high BPM range which necessitates a fast danceability, and lacked it’s own identifiable sound. Through his involvement in Philly Club, Swizzymack has attracted millions of people to the sound. He’s moved quickly from prince to Philly Club King. He’s quick to take a popular song of the moment (like Drake’s How Bout Now) and spin it on it’s head, speeding them up and altering them until they bump harder than before. He makes his own music as well, experimenting with isolating sounds, which plays seamlessly next to his remixes. He’s keen to not be labeled as just a Philly Club DJ or even just a DJ for that matter.

For Swizzy, who was born and raised as Jordan Safford in the city, the work that he has done for Philly by spreading this genre around the world is far from over. He’s a key part of the music scene in the city and supports other talent from graffiti artists, to fashion designers and beyond. During our time with him, he was eager to share the cool shit going on in the city from the head to toe Babylon Cartel he was wearing, to the best new stuff coming out of the City (Lil Uzi Vert) For good reason, as he’s an influencer, the possibilities for him are endless and he knows it.

We caught his set during New Years eve, and he was a good sport as we tried to herd him through several interview spots we had set up in the venue (none of them worked). After we rang in the New Year, and got him to a quieter location, he spoke with us about scoring the SS 15 Rick Owens show in Paris, his meeting with Diplo and being a creator in Philadelphia.

Big thank you to creative agency Space+Time for putting on a great event, and for having us.

The Screen Girls & Chippy Nonstop

Chippy Nonstop bears all the hallmarks of someone who has led a nomadic existence. Born in Dubai, she’s spent time in Canada, Oakland, New York and is working on new music in Los Angeles. She’s easily adapted to different genres of music, and has blended together a new sound for herself. She’s an identifiable part of the body-baring, smack-talking, ratchet movement that’s become a mainstream craze. The difference is that Chippy was twerking long before you and your mother tried it.

The whole bay area/ hyphy/ ratchet movement is ingrained in Chippy, as she moves into a newer, softer sound. Her latest song Alone, is a dreamy electro-pop record in which she shuns her usual loud raps for soft, wanton singing. She’s allegedly wrapped up her rap game for the time being, and is trying her hand in the EDM world.

We caught up with her earlier this year, and were taken with her cute personality, but even more-so with her work ethic. In the last two years she’s been creating music, touring, styling, shooting videos, getting turnt up on the regular and managed to get her degree – not bad for someone who turned 21 last year. No matter which direction she heads in sonically, Chippy’s constant perseverance, her presence on the internet and in pop culture, will ensure that she lasts beyond any trend. Chippy Nonstop is an ideal of someone who carves a path for herself, she takes what is not easily given.

Our interview with her was definitely the most fun we’d had in a long time. She spoke with us about her love of performing, taking chances and breaking moulds.

“believe in your project, and just fucking go for it, you just have to go for it”

-Chippy Nonstop

Check out Chippy’s latest track, Alone  and this really good remix