SWAY – Artist Information | The Camden Crawl 2012

Few UK artists can boast of being a genuine game changer, with a musical supremacy that comes from never resorting to anything less than brilliance. But that’s Derek Safo aka Sway – the UK’s number one lyricist, MOBO and BET Award winner, Mercury Prize nominee, respected producer and the pioneer of DIY who paved the way for household MCs Tinie Tempah, Chipmunk and Tinchy Stryder to make their name their own way. Since the release of his critically-acclaimed debut This Is My Demo in 2006, the 29-year-old from North London has set the bar for clever and authentic hip-hop, going on to sell over 100,000 albums, release seven mixtapes and earn high praise by everyone from The Times and BBC to Akon, who went so far as to sign him to his label. In addition, he’s performed and collaborated with an impressive list of artists including the Kaiser Chiefs, Lemar, Craig David, Chamillionaire, Ian Brown, Madness and Ali Campbell (UB40), while Lupe Fiasco gave him the honour of being the only guest to appear on his last album, Lasers. “I’m really fortunate to have a really great history in the world of music,” says Sway. “But the goal for me is to make as many people listen to my music as possible.” With his third album Deliverance coming in 2012, he’s set to do just that and more. It comes three years after the release of his star-studded second album The Signature LP as well as a lengthy break from the limelight, but serves as a welcome return to the industry. The first single Still Speedin’, for instance, is a rapid-fire chart contender made credible by the rhymesmith’s undeniable talent for witty wordplay. Sampling Loleatta Holloway’s Love Sensation, it’s little wonder it’s been playlisted by BBC Radio 1 and BBC 1Xtra, while also receiving love from Lewis Hamilton, who’s named checked on the track. “I didn’t know Still Speedin’ would get embraced as quickly as it did,” admits Sway. ” Now I’m feeling people are accepting Sway for Sway and I can prosper organically. It’s a great feeling.”