[INTERVIEW] NIIKO X SWAE Discuss Their Year Of Collabs And The Future Of House Music
Rising house duo NIIKO X SWAE have made a name for themselves as the go-to party starters. Often experimenting with a variety of sub-genres, the pair of childhood friends are known for their dynamic take on house music. Whether they're dropping official remixes of Bebe Rexha and Cheat Codes or original tracks, NIIKO X SWAE's groove-riddled productions were created for the dance floor's movers and shakers. 2022 sees new releases cosigned by Hardwell's Revealed Recordings and upcoming collaborations with some of the biggest names in dance music. With tons of surprises in store, NIIKO X SWAE are primed for a massive year.
Read iEDM's exclusive interview with NIIKO X SWAE below.
iEDM: You have quite a unique backstory. Tell us about how you met and how NIIKO X SWAE was formed.
NIIKO X SWAE: We have known each other for 20 years! We grew up five minutes from each other in Newport Beach, California and have been lifelong friends. We attended the same preschool and played on the same little league team. Although we went to different grade schools and high schools, we have always remained friends. We ended up attending the same college together, Southern Methodist University in Dallas. There, we were competing for the same fraternity party gigs. We decided to put our heads together and start playing them as a duo. We complimented each other so well and NIIKO X SWAE was born!
iEDM: Your music tends to be very club-centric. How were you first exposed to the nightclub scene and how has your experience influenced your music?
NIIKO X SWAE: We originally were exposed to EDM going to traditional electronic shows and festivals. It wasn’t until a year or two into DJing together that we had our first proper club show. We learned quickly that it was a completely different animal than your standard “rave.” In a club setting, people are attending whether they were there as an electronic music fan or just wanted to get out for a night of fun. We adapted by playing music that was more palatable to a first time listener. It made us better DJs being able to read the crowd. Now that we have gotten a ton of club shows under our belt, we have been able to curate a set that is true to our sound. Our sets draw influence from both the club and festivals sprinkling in the singalongs with huge festival bangers.
iEDM: What is your favorite club, not just as a performer, but as a fan?
NIIKO X SWAE: We are a little biased but our favorite clubs are definitely Omnia or Hakassan in Las Vegas. It has been an honor to share a stage there with legendary acts we have always looked up too.
iEDM: If you could perform at any nightclub in the world, what club would you choose and why?
NIIKO X SWAE: We always love to play in Las Vegas but it would be a dream come true to make it to Europe and play in places such as Ushuaia in Ibiza, Printworks in London, and Boothaus in Germany.
iEDM: You guys are hilarious on your social media. How has your comedic approach to social media helped you further develop your brand and engage with your fans?
NIIKO X SWAE: We find it’s super important to show our true authentic selves on social media. We don’t sugar coating anything. Everything you see is us. We don’t want to seem like the cool guys because at the end of the day we are just two goofy dudes.
iEDM: You're well known for your official remixes of Bebe Rexha, Bryce Vine, Charlotte Lawrence, and Cheat Codes. How do you balance inserting your iconic sound while maintaining the integrity of the original song?
NIIKO X SWAE: We have been lucky because the originals we have gotten to remix were so good in and of themselves. Every remix we have done almost wrote itself. It is always important to give justice to the original writing of the songs. We have a few go-to sounds that we use in every production and we think that has shaped the cohesiveness among the remixes.
iEDM: You've incorporated a variety of house subgenres, like bass house, deep house, and future house, into your original productions. How has your exploration of different styles of house music defined the NIIKO X SWAE sound?
NIIKO X SWAE: Nowadays there are a million different sub-genres, some we produce and others we enjoy in our free time and draw influence from. This alone has shaped what we identify as our sound. We have always looked up to people such as Steve Aoki, Calvin Harris, Tiesto, and Loud Luxury and we think this is strongly reflected in most of the vocal records we produce. On the other hand, we grew up listening to big room and have recently been listening to music from labels such as STMPD, Musical Freedom, Revealed, and Hexagon. Most of our festival/club banger tunes draw influence from these labels and artists under them.
iEDM: Tell me about your latest single "Pathway."
NIIKO X SWAE: "Pathway" was just released on Hardwell’s Revealed Recordings. It was a full circle moment because whenever we are looking for songs to play in our set, Revealed is a go-to label. "Pathway: is a bass and sound design driven banger that we have had an epic time playing out at shows the last year or so. We are stoked to finally release it to the world.
iEDM: Your music is described as forward-thinking house, often pushing the boundaries of the traditional house genre. What do you believe is the future of house music?
NIIKO X SWAE: It's tough to say because everyone is constantly looking for that next trend in house music. We think that quality, timeless productions will outshine any trend or direction house music decides to follow. We think the future of house music is sticking true to what you know, love, and believe in. At the end of the day you are making music for other people to enjoy!
iEDM: What do you have in store for 2022?
NIIKO X SWAE: We are coining 2022 as the year of collabs! It is almost impossible not to spill the beans on some of these collaborations we have in the works. All we can say is that they are with some people we have looked up to our entire lives, and some of the biggest names in dance music. Aside from collaborations we have a ton of shows throughout the country lined up for the rest of the year. Follow us on social media because chances are we are playing in a city near you!
Listen to NIIKO X SWAE's exclusive iEDM Radio mix below.
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