Photo: Jamaal Davies
Washington D.C. native Swan Lingo is coming in full force to immerse us in his lo-fi, progressive sound with his debut album titled Wonder What, dropping Feb. 23. With a great passion for songwriting and producing, Swan Lingo is paving his musical career path to be one that is unique and true to his soul. We got a taste of his introspective and melancholic vibe from his Spirit Plug EP, which led listeners to crave another bite of his authentic lyrics and innovative melodies.
To really get a sense of what sort of inspiration and collaboration helped shape and create this album, we asked Swan Lingo a few questions about his musical journey as well as what exciting plans he has in store for the imminent future.
OTW: How did you come up with the name, “ Swan Lingo”?
SL: The name came to me while I was at my job back in Richmond, VA working as a dishwasher. I was just in the back washing dishes thinking about life, brainstorming my future. I like how it sounds. I’d had different aliases but I knew I was about to embark on a new path in my life and music career and wanted to change and grow.
OTW: What inspired your upcoming album Wonder What, dropping February 23?
SL: What inspired me the most making this album was the change in my thought process. Seeing things from a more worldly aspect helped me narrow in on the topics of being in a relationship, working hard, and doing more as a professional musician.
OTW: This album is self-produced, but it appears that some fellow WeDidIt producers like Groundislava and Shlohmo collaborated with you on this album. How was it working with each of these individuals?
SL: It was awesome getting to work with Shlohmo for the first time cause we’d been in contact for a year via the web before we ever met in person, so finally being able to work together was tight. And working with all the homies from WEDIDIT is so easy and feels like family. I was staying with Shlohmo & D33J while I was out in LA, so Henry (Shlohmo) and I made our track in the house which was a really chill, perfect vibe. The track with D33J and I came together after one of the usual late night sessions at the WEDIDIT studio. Same thing with Groundislava. Each of them adds something different to the sound that I’ve been wanting to incorporate.
OTW: From your four track EP Spirit Plug, the listener got a taste of the casualties of heartbreak, having to cope with life’s changes and other emotional hardships. Would you say that Wonder What will have a contrasting mood from Spirit Plug, or will those similar melancholic emotions bleed into this album as well?
SL: Wonder What will have a mixed contrast of both moods. This album touches more on me overcoming my emotional hardships, but still falling back in every once in a while.
OTW: Growing up in D.C., what was your main goal when you decided to pursue becoming a songwriter/producer?
SL: My main goal coming out of DC was to stand out amongst the GO-GO and DC rap scene and be in a lane of my own, which I’m paving now.
OTW: What advice would you give to fellow songwriters who may be struggling to get inspired or have a hard time getting their message across in a song?
SL: I would tell fellow songwriters to get out and experience as much as possible cause the music comes from getting out and living, not being cooped up in the house all the time not getting any inspiration.
OTW: Who are some of your current Ones to Watch artists?
SL: Joji, Craft Spells, Wifigawd