Photography  —  March 20, 2020

2019: The Way I See It

New Haven photographer Swaize interviewed by Kvilan. 
 
Photography
by Swaize
Interview
by Kvilan
Featuring
Tanjanay Bullock, Carl Casuga, Jada Cross, Chace Freeman, Madison Hunter, & Kvilan

Yo yo yo what’s good y’all my name is Kvilan and here we have Swaize. We’re gonna be digging into his mind a little bit and learning more about who he is.

So to start, I guess the best question to ask is who is Swaize? What beliefs and values does he follow? What does he do better than the rest?

Swaize is the rudimentary, raw, honest, youthful, art child who is the birth or beginning of something much bigger. Swaize is the first chapter of my artistic book of life. He’s the one who makes the art for the public more so, the art that I can actually put out.

 

Who is X? What beliefs and values does he follow, what does he do better?

X is a name I started going by due to confusion between me and one of my neighbors in my dorm when I was away for school. X is my middle initial but I started to use it as an art label as well because I felt different when I was making art. X is more so the adult version of myself, he’s the one with the refined skills the one who plans everything out like it’s World Domination.

Who is ILOVELUCI or 514LUCI? Maybe talk about the distinction between the two if there is one?

ILOVELUCI is the version of myself who is most in tune with his emotions, thus making him the most current and relatable version of myself. I’m going through changes and discovering new things about myself, new attitudes and feelings. He’s honest, sometimes too honest but he truly translates those feelings through writing. Not poetry just journal entries but people have said that they are poetic in someway or fashion. I hold that writing very close to me.

How do you think these characters have changed you over time, artistically, in general? Why did you become these characters, these people?

The characters are more so seasons for myself, whenever I’m overly independent and super focused and productive is when I relate to X. Whenever I’m in an emotional funk I attribute that to LUCI.

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Carl Casuga

“Swaize is the rudimentary, raw, honest, youthful, art child who is the birth or beginning of something much bigger.”

When did art first come to you?

7th Grade was when I had came up with the moniker of Swaize. That’s literally when he was born, right there in Ms. Bratchel’s art class. I started making beats in 6th grade though, using loops and such in Garageband and that’s also around the time when I had first started DJing. Once I started DJing and making beats it helped me to understand music in a different light, like what makes something good, what makes something bad and what draws people to things. 

 

Who are your biggest inspirations?

Pharrell Williams, A$AP Rocky, Donald Glover, Kanye West & Sean Leon but definitely a shout to my homies, they’ve helped create an environment that was necessary for me to grow and be open. Also, an honorable mention to Jake Lord for being that beacon of doing whatever it is that you want to do.

Top 5 bucket list items?

Must live comfortably in NYC (Brooklyn preferably). Published photography work in magazines. Be able to see 7 digits in my bank account (without it being a mistake). Sit down with Pharrell one day, like playing bingo and eating tortilla chips. Spend a day with Donald Glover and almost shadow him. Everyone always talks about dinner with Jay-Z (shout to HOV) but you can really learn from anyone.

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Jada Cross

“Let me paint a picture for you all: you’re on the Metro-North train on the way to Grand Central, right? You know that feeling you get once you pass Harlem & 125th? That’s the feeling. When you walk out of Grand Central and you look up, there’s an unmistakable feeling.”

What would you do if you were president?

No more privately owned prisons. Changing the National Anthem to either some Lil Uzi song or a song by JPEGMAFIA. Making billionaires pay taxes, like nothing crazy, but they’re gonna have to pay something. 

 

Is there any one place in the world that is special to your artistic self, somewhere that lights a spark for you?

New York, specifically Westchester and the city. Let me paint a picture for you all: you’re on the Metro-North train on the way to Grand Central, right? You know that feeling you get once you pass Harlem & 125th? That’s the feeling. When you walk out of Grand Central and you look up, there’s an unmistakable feeling. Even driving into the city, when you’re on the Henry Hudson or crossing the Throgs Neck Bridge and seeing the skyline, [it’s] the most iconic skyline in the world.

Top 5 bucket list items?

Must live comfortably in NYC (Brooklyn preferably). Published photography work in magazines. Be able to see 7 digits in my bank account (without it being a mistake). Sit down with Pharrell one day, like playing bingo and eating tortilla chips. Spend a day with Donald Glover and almost shadow him. Everyone always talks about dinner with Jay-Z (shout to HOV) but you can really learn from anyone.

Read the rest of this interview in the printed issue - Issue 007, Spring 2020! Available in the Aislin Shop. 

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Kvilan
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Tanjanay Bullock
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Chace Freeman
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Madison Hunter
Stay updated with Swaize by following him on Instagram @therealswaize and on Twitter @therealswaize.
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