Chicago rapper Zay Swagg continues to carry the torch for Drill. In his song “Intro” he uses the backdrop of an India.Arie sample and raps raw and unapologetically about his life on the streets of Chicago. You can feel the pain when he speaks about his sister being shot and losing a family member to violence. These stories are all too familiar and Chicago and the youth are hoping to rise above the fray. We spoke with Zay Swagg about his purpose and his sound and what is most important to him. Check out what he had to say below.
Tell us who you are.
My name is Isaiah Lane from [the] East Side of Chicago … I’m an 18-year-old artist that goes by Zay Swagg.
What is it about what you do that will make an impact on the world?
I’m a young guy that tries to stay true to myself. I feel like this generation everyone wants to rap about violence and hardcore things and not show their true story. I simply want to influence people about a positive message and talk about actual things that people can relate to and still be real.
How would you describe your style?
My style is very diverse; I like mixing a lot of genres together to create a unique sound. I want people to be able to listen, feel, and actually enjoy it all at the same time. That’s why I feel the need to create that distinctive tone that gets the people going!
Other than the music, what is the most important thing in your life right now?
My newborn son, who I love so much. Everything that I’m doing now is for him to have a better life than I did.
What artist has influenced your sound?
So many artists influenced my sound. Right now I’m really into Lil Wayne, Justin Bieber, and Lil Durk. I like how each of these artists are different when it comes to their sound/style, the loyalty to their fans and the stories they tell thru music that people look up to.
What projects are you working on and what do you have out?
I’m currently working on my EP right now; it’s called Me Against Them. I will also be releasing my first music video real soon too.
What words of encouragement do you have for others following their dreams?
I encourage others to pray, stay focused, and never give up. Most importantly, always be true to yourself. Walk by faith; always know God will never put you through things you can’t handle.