shwayze-new-project-artworkOn Saturday, The Canopy Club hosted its first ILLrock Block Party consisting of many live performances, including California’s own Shwayze. The Malibu native hit the stage — Corona and lime in hand, of course — and kicked off the night with a helluva performance. From his monster single “Buzzin,’” to his own reality show, to multiple acting gigs, it’s safe to say that Shwayze has come a long way since being a Starbucks barista when he was young.

UPC got the chance to sit down with Shway and chop it up about everything from what he eats for breakfast, to his new mixtape in the works, to his love for Snapchat. Check it out below and stay tuned for his upcoming web series.


UPC: I remember first hearing about you because of your show on MTV with Cisco Adler. Later, I had my friend’s boyfriend burn me your self-titled album “Shwayze.” What would you say the show did for your career?

Shwayze: It did help overall because it just got attention to the music. Back then, Cisco and I were like, “Should we do the show? Will it destroy our career?” But we came back to the concept that our music, our lifestyle, and what we stood for was dope. So whoever the show brought to the music, they would stick. It was a way to bring people to the music, and I’m still doing that.

UPC: Speaking of Cisco, you were first discovered by him after you spit an impromptu freestyle at a Whitestarr show. Now that you two have gone separate ways musically, are you still homies?

Shwayze: Yeah, super cool. We actually had breakfast a couple days ago.

UPC: What did you have?

Shwayze: I had eggs and veggies. He had the same. We also shared some little pancakes. 

UPC: You two are obviously still close. Have you been collaborating together?

Shwayze: We haven’t been collaborating lately, but we are in the talks of possibly doing something in the future. 

UPC: I have noticed on your Twitter that you’re doing Snapchat stories for your fans. Is that the new thing?

Shwayze: I think with the Snapchat thing, I am the first one to do this kind of shit. When Snapchat first came out, I tweeted my username and I got the most ridiculous pictures. I realized that I could make it public so anyone can follow my story, and it just brings my fans back to the music. 

UPC: It’s obvious that your music definitely has a Cali vibe to it since you’re from Malibu. Would you say any west coast artists have had any influence on your music? 

Shwayze: Definitely 2Pac and Snoop Dogg. I was so obsessed with Pac. He was one of the first rappers I heard. “Dear Mama” was one of the first tracks I ever memorized.

UPC: You dropped your first full length debut album as a solo artist, Shwayze Summer, last summer. Any new projects coming up for this summer? 

Shwayze: Well I’m on the radio and Shwayze Summer came out last summer so you have to let that organically build. This summer I’m just putting out mad videos from Shwayze Summer, and I’ll probably put out a free mixtape which I’m actually starting tomorrow. 

UPC: What’s the best part about live shows?

Shwayze: The best part is playing new shit. When you play the old songs, it’s awesome and I love it, but it’s not work because everyone already knows it and it’s easy. I have to break the crowd in on a new song and that’s what is kind of cool and fun.

UPC: Do you kind of feel the crowd’s vibe off it too?

Shwayze: 100 percent, you feel that energy completely. It’s almost like you focus on one person and see their reaction.

UPC: Where will Shwayze be in 10 years?

Shwayze: In 10 years, I’m gonna be all over. I’ll still be doing mad music, I’ll be doing a couple movies, maybe some TV. Hopefully coaching some of my son’s sports teams and be in heavy daddy mode. 

Check out the video for Shwayze’s single “Love is Overrated” below, and be sure to follow Shwayze on Twitter and Instagram @Shwayze.