DJ Swamp Izzo Interview
With the music industry filled with so many snakes and frauds, it’s refreshing for me to introduce this person to yall. Not only is he a real genuine dude who’s passionate about music, he’s a dude that has helped many get on. He has given hope to the under dog rapper. From being Shawty Lo’s Dj to Dj’ing major concerts all over the world, to having a radio show, pushing out mixtapes and still able to kick it with you on Bankhead..I introduce to you Dj Swamp Izzo repping Hood Rich Ent.ATB: Just for the record… state your name and where your from.
S.I: ..I am the world famous DJ Swamp Izzo hailing out of Atlanta Georgia by the way of South Carolina
ATB: Oh yeah..we can’t forget the “World Famous”…now how long have you been DJ’ing and what made you want to become one?
S.I: maaaan to tell you the truth I’ve been Dji’ng..honest to God truth..I’ve been DJ’ing over 20 years..I’m talking straight club Dj’ing, parties, basement joints, regular clubs, etc
ATB: You been in it a minute. I always wondered..how did you get the name Swamp Izzo?
S.I: The Swamp Izzo name came ….it came kind of funny man I’m a tell you the truth on that. I had the Swamp name…. like middle school no front. My man Kim Shotta ..gave me the Izzo, he put the Izzo on it as a joke. He pressed up like 1000 business cards in the hood..I do bar mitzvahas, funerals, cook outs..as a joke, but on the business card it had Swamp Izzo. It was a joke but everyone in the hood, the whole city was calling me Swamp Izzo it was crazy.. and I hated it but everybody called me that….so I just stuck with it. I just kept the name …like it just fit..It always gave me that huh? when I say the name ..I always get that huh?..so i was like I need that name I need somebody to huh? me like on some shock value. That’s where the Swamp Izzo came from.
ATB: lol..that’s just crazy man…and your right. I use to be like huh? lol Now how did you meet Shawty Lo and start Dj’ing for him?
S.I: ..I ran into TIPS uncle, (T.I’s uncle) through a good friend and started rocking out at (Club) Crucial, but mind you I already built the hood name I had already built the hood fan base so when I got at Crucial things started looking up. I started to bring “those” type people around the club because I was at the club. I met the guy Stuntman who is a part of D4L Records he’s a part of the crew D4L, he’s Shawty Lo actual brother in law. So I met him…..we went in on a mixtape which is Stuntmans first actual mixtape .. and I use to go into the studio to get the music for Stuntman ..and this dude was always in there..with a lot ..lol..of jewelry just sitting back ..not saying nothing. lol I’m like who dis is?..and he’s like that’s Shawty Lo,… I’m like ok cool. I never heard of him to tell you the truth, but..he was just in there while I was going through the mixtape songs, and when I was walking out he gave me a CD. He was like ..it ain’t even finished I but I just wanted you to hear this song. To tell you the truth If you go do your research on Stuntmans first ever mixtape the song is number 20 on the mixtape its called “Dope Boys Got the Girls Gone Wild”,..
ATB: oh..I remember that record..didn’t know that was the story behind it..
S.I: ..I was the first person ever… to play a Shawty Lo as a solo artist. As a solo artist I was the first person to actually even give him some kind of light to the public and the mixtape did good, it did so good that Lo actually came back and wanted to do a mixtape, so I did the Shawty Lo’s actual first mixtape which was called Units In Da City…but at the time I wasn’t that type of mixtape dj and I ain’t have the name for doing mixtapes…..and this was his first project and the big homie DJ Scream was burning the streets up with the mixtapes, so it was like beneficial for the homie to do the mixtape with him and it make it all make sense at one time. So after I did the mixtape they went back in and did another mixtape which is “I’m Da Man 1” but if you do your research you can ask anybody..anybody tell you…even Lo will tell you.. I did the first mixtape which is “Units In The City” and it pays homage. he came back wit the album “Units In The City” saluting like the beginning of the beginning ..so that’s where that came from…..I started DJ’n for him just on the strength I was at Crucial. I was the only person playing the record…..I was playing the record so hard and giving it so much run that people just got in tuned with some good street music….and that’s how it went down wit the big homie L O
ATB: Wow…that’s some real history right there…who would have known. Other then Shawty Lo, who else do you Dj’ for?
S.I: Fabo, LiL Jon, Scrappy, Jeezy, TIP..like..every artist in Atlanta GA…
ATB: Tell me what’s a Fabo show like…cause he be ..out there..lol
S.I: lol…One time we were in Iraq..we rocking out…and we never rehearse! So each show is different .. we never talk about the show. .. we just have fun, just as much as the crowd is having fun. I have an intro to start it off that he comes out to, but after that he talks and that’s what dictates the show.
ATB: Yall don’t rehearse? maan…how does that work?
He’ll talk and I’ll listen to what he’s saying and that dictates what song I’m going to play next..but the show so crazy..no front..if you watch some of the shows…he might DJ and I might perform! We go crazy!
ATB: lol! Yall crazy for that … ok..now I see you jumping around doing clubs, live shows, mixtapes, etc. Not every Dj’ can juggle that. What made you decide to wear all these different kind of DJ hats?
S.I:.. I just felt like I wanted to be a better DJ…I’m trying to master this craft of Dj’n.. there are so many aspects of Dj’n so ..I’m trying just to be everywhere at one time. I do concerts..I rocked out concerts with Tpain, Yo Gotti, just to name a few..9 times of 10 if your in Atlanta area and something real big is going down, I’m probably the Dj for that if you look in the back ..umm..the radio I’m trying to hold that down…all the clubs, I’m taking all the clubs that nobody want sto go in. Like the clubs that are in the basement, real hooded area..or the clubs where you normally won’t wear Prada, Gucci and Louie? I’m the Dj there! And I choose to be the Dj there …because I’m in tune with the people and comfortable around them type people and I can open the door a lot more with new music because its that kind of club. So if I’m in a hooded club..I can play a new song and it can digest faster in that type of club instead of being in a high class, upscale club because they want to hear what there familiar with ..I’m not saying I don’t like those clubs but I just like to be in the clubs that i can venture out and play these records I brought in the door.
ATB: I feel you on that..That’s dope and I can appreciate that. Is it difficult to adjust between all these different Dj roles?
S.I: Not really, I have so much fun with my job, that its not a job. This is what I want to do..this is one of the biggest dreams ever. I’m having fun!
ATB: That’s a blessing…Now alot of artist blame DJ’s for not supporting and spinning their records in the club. Is there a certain formula when you pick records to play? Is it a tempo thing, cause of course you want to keep the party going.
S.I: That’s why I choose the club I play in just to be an outlet that some artist can count on..and I say some..cause…some records just don’t make it, some artist just don’t have it, some Djs don’t have it..some DJs just don’t make it and vice versa. You know that term breaking a record?? To me breaking a record is when somebody who takes a record out and takes it out of it’s region. Say..If a Dj is playing in this club…and he is known to play in this club..do you consider that breaking a record? Ok..what if I told you I played records in 20 different countries? I’m actually going to these countries and playing these records..is that consider breaking a record? Cause that’s what I feel breaking a record is. If I’m playing your record in Asia and your from f*kn Bankhead off the street corner..I feel that’s breaking a record. Also if you come into the club and paid me to play your record….Don’t give me an award for breaking a record. I don’t want an award for breaking a record if you paid me to play the record. I’m so old school so I want to dig for the record and go in on and you don’t even know about. That’s breaking a record…A DJ 9 times out of 10 gon play what he likes. Don’t walk up to a DJ with “These are my 3 singles”..Why give em a choice? Have 1 and say this is my single!… Maybe it don’t fit the club your in. If you give me a house record and I’m at Crucial of course its not going to work! So it depends where your at also. But ..I give any record a chance. My track record shows you that.
ATB: You make some good points…casue I heard of artist coming to a DJ with 15 songs..lol…thats just too much! What advice can you give an upcoming artist trying to get their record played in a club?
S.I: The best advice I can give you is put your record where they could be played. If you have a club anthem crazy base, thugged out..take it to that type of club…and build relationships with djs, cause most djs don’t get a royalty check. The DJs out here that support the record from the beginning 9 times out of 10 dont get a royalty check. I’m not saying to pay em I’m saying build a relationship with them. Maybe building a relationship will get you a stronger push on the record. I have friends that are artist and trust me..you know I go in a little harder because they are my friends and my associates and people who I be around with every day so…you take that little secret and use it to the best of your ability.
ATB: Your right! artist def need to get their networking skills up, thats the backbone to this buisness! With technology advancing there isn’t much of a need to carry around crates of vinyl when you can just bring you computer library and load up your dj software programs. How do you feel about that? Which do you prefer ol fashion Vinyl or software programs?
S.I: Now that’s a good question! I’m a real Dj and I do use serato..and to be honest..I came from the crates like i still got all my records and crates. Maaaan..lol my moms use to kill me so much for borrowing her car.. luggin crates! I’m from where you had to lug your system. You had to bring your speakers, amps, records, cords, mics.. all that to the club…so I’m like happy with the change and we got serato.. Most clubs already have it already set up so I can go in and just rock out…. I’m comfortable with that more…because man it’s the headache man..cause the Dj’s be the first person to get there and the last person to leave ..lol I hate to unload and load back up and drop it off home before i can go eat or go chill wit a lil shawty. So Im loving the new wave, the advancement on technology..I can’t front….you just got to adapt..I’m wit it
ATB: lol..man has things changed. Now as a mixtape Dj also, I notice everyone is dropping a mixtape, even the major artist are dropping mixtapes with original music…I can’t even keep track of this sh*t anymore..what’s going on?
S.I: The mixtape game down south has really changed. Artist are dropping mixtapes cause albums ain’t selling! So to stay relevant you have to keep something in these streets. So artist dropping mixtapes, indie artist are dropping mixtapes, people that can’t rap are dropping mixtapes, djs that can’t do mixtapes are dropping mixtapes. So the game is kind of crazy..and ..that’s how it is. That’s how it is..even if you don’t have it ..you just got to shoot till you get it right.
ATB: Yeah your right..now we have a section on arkatechbeatz.com we call Music Industry Bullsh*t where we vent about all the politics and bullsh*t we go through in this business as a producers. Whats some of the bullsh*t you go through as a DJ?
S.I: I know a lot of DJ can relate to this Getting this club promoters to understand that the number in your head is so far wrong.,that it doesn’t make sense! I can not DJ in your club all f*kn night for $700 and you make 8 million..that doesn’t even make no sense….and you want me to rock out and keep these people in here soup ya bar up and get em to come next week. That’s the b.s i go thru as dj. I’m sure a lot of djs go through it. Some djs undershoot they price.. rushing..just to get some kind of money coming in. I ain’t knocking your hustle..but you make it harder for me..but you also make my job easier next time i come around. I say like a dj we need to have basic price..we all need to get together and sit down and talk as djs ..cause you cannot dj at a club all night for $100 fam… That don’t make no sense! ..So as a dj to a dj..stop that b.s! Doesn’t make any sense..straight up!
ATB: I feel you on that…thats just crazy! What advice do you have for a person coming up who wants to DJ?
S.I: Takes time..be patient. Your DJ’n for a lot of other people not just yourself so don’t get in the club just playing music to satisfy yourself cause you have an audience ….and you have to rock out for them and throw you little flavor in it at the same time and it will be easier.
ATB: What advice to you have for an artist trying to make a buzz?
S.I: The best way is to get to know people man, if you get to know the fans before you get on the stage what you think it would be like..?
ATB: hmm interesting, …So what are you currently working on, What’s next?
S.I: Just working….trying to make this Swamp Izzo a real house hold name… Got a lot of mixtapes coming, Grind Time Radio OVNTV.com..every Sat & Sun 6-8 …working..
ATB: How can fans reach out to you and stay updated on what you got coming?
ATB: If one wants to book you or get you to host a mixtape how do they go about it?
S.I: I have a crazy support team…Major League Entertainment yall can hit firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/majorleaguedee I’m real harsh on the mixtape game though…I really want to see what’s going on with you before i put my neck out and just do a mixtape. I’m not that type of DJ..If I’m gonna put my stamp on it, I really want to know what your about.,,whats going on..I just don’t want to do for anyone.
ATB: Maaan I feel you on that. We get hit everyday for beats..and I’m like…who you? What have you done? I do the research and nothing comes up! Where’s the work? Nah man, we got to see you putting in some work before we willing to even put our stamp on that or at least have a heavy cosign! …lol….aight..I think that about wraps it up….Swamp Izzo..Thanks for giving ArkatechBeatz.com this exclusive interview man, we appreciate it. It’s always a pleasure to just catch up and just chop it up wit ya…Do you have any last words for our readers?
S.I: Man you already know..Thank you man!! This is a blessing…My last words to everybody….Stay positive, keep good people in your life. Keep God first…
..and when they ask…..I want you to tell em …“YOU KNOW WHO IT IS!!!!!!”
written by Mike”Trauma”D