King Swank is a local artist, producer and engineer. If you ever catch yourself at an event through Creative MPLS or the Urban Lights record store, it’s more than likely you’ve become familiar with the name. With an authentic style and sharp charisma, King Swank always brings the energy to the mic or turntables. I wanted to do a piece with King Swank because he brings something unique to the local scene, as someone who can be performing or spinning records. That’s an aspect I’d appreciate to learn more about in terms of the dynamics in the two. King Swank was able to give me a glimpse of what that looks like in his own words.
As an MC & Producer, can you give some insight on the difference between the computer and the microphone?
“A producer takes a sound an artist is feeling and brings life to it, and an MC gets creative with words, and rhymes to tell a story. When I’m producing it gives me a chance to be as creative as I want behind the scenes.”
Which one do you resonate with more?
“As an MC I get to use my words to communicate with others in a different way. Both go hand in hand for me... I wouldn’t be producing if I hadn’t started rapping.”
Who are some of your favorite producers/DJ’s of all time?
- The Alchemist
- Mad Lib
- Flying Lotus
- J Dilla
- Metro Boomin”
Who are some artists that you draw inspiration from?
“My inspirations are a range of different artists…from Joey Bada$$ and Tyler the Creator to Nirvana and Buju Banton, to MadLib and local producer Psymun”
What is important to you in your own sound? What styles do you tend to lean to?
“When it comes to creating my sound, being in the right environment is key.. As long as there isn’t too much going on and it's nothing but positive energy and good vibes I’m straight.. I also think trying to make something sound familiar but unique is important... Like Deja Vu but you feel like you want more.”
What’s important to you as an artist? How does that blend into who you are as a person?
“The most important thing to me as an artist is my having a clear mindset and big vision.. that and some manifestation and I believe I’
ll be successful. That also applies to me as a person.”
What have the open mics at the Urban Lights record store meant for you? What’s your favorite thing about them?
“The open mics at Urban Lights have given me and other artists a place to come show their art. This was huge because this was right after things with covid slowed down. I missed being out in front of people performing my songs. My favorite thing about Urban Lights is that it's always positive energy no matter if it's a
big or small crowd…and I get to network with mad people.”
What are your thoughts on the current Hip Hop scene in Minneapolis?
“The current Minneapolis music scene is MADDD, there is a new wave of artists about to take over this city and people really aren’t ready...Minnesota is on the rise.”
Any projects coming up or in the works?
“I have a few singles dropping in the next few weeks.”
Another example of the local talent we have in this city, King Swank is making his sound heard in the Minneapolis scene. The artist has a new single out now, Image, on all streaming platforms. To see King Swank perform, tune in to his instagram page on where to find him. (@king_swvnk_ on instagram)