NIIKO X SWAE discuss their track, “Nothing On Earth”, working with Allie Crystal and more.
Aditya – Hello, we’re glad to have you for this interview. We’re almost towards the end of this year, how was this year for you?
NIIKO X SWAE – Thank you for having us! In summary this year has been a lot of fun…maybe we had even too much fun?! It definitely felt like we finally had a “real” year after Covid. Touring across the country meant performing in a ton of new places and meeting so many amazing people along the way. Most importantly, we got to release music that we have been so excited to share with the world!
Aditya – I have just heard your track ‘Nothing On Earth’, it’s very well produced! What’s the ideation behind it?
NIIKO X SWAE – Thank you! We’re very happy to have it out there. In short, the song is about a person, place or thing that you couldn’t live without. Instead of going in a dark, “in your feels vibe” on the production, we wanted to make something upbeat that reflected the happiness and light this person, place, or thing brings into your life.
Aditya – The vocals are sung really well, how was it working with Allie Crystal?
NIIKO X SWAE – It was an honor working with Allie, despite not even meeting her in real life yet (we hope we do soon!). It was Allie who actually came to us with the idea in the first place, and from the first listen we were so inspired to start producing it. She absolutely crushed the song writing!’
Aditya – You both are childhood friends, could you share some memories from the past?
NIIKO X SWAE – That’s right, we’ve known each other for around 21 years now! There’s pictures of us together whilst at preschool, little league, high school, and college which makes our friendship pretty special, as we go way back.
One memory that stands out and is the time we both realized we both had electronic music as a common interest. We were at a party (it had to have been in around 2014) and left to go into Niiko’s car to show each other music that we’d found. We were both vibing off each other’s suggestions from artists like Showtek, Firebeatz, Ummet Ozcan, and Quintino.
Aditya – You’ve amassed millions of streams online, how does that feel?
NIIKO X SWAE – It feels honorable but at the same time we know we still have so much work to do. We are sitting on some records that we are very proud of, and look forward to putting those out soon!
Aditya – You’ve had a collaboration with Nicky Romero, how did that work out? What’s the story behind it?
NIIKO X SWAE – We’d been sending our records out to a ton of labels and producers that we admired, which included Nicky Romero’s Protocol Recordings as he was always someone we’d looked up to. We were quite literally in shock when we heard that back that he was interested in collaborating, and getting his support really took it to the next level.
Aditya – I see quite a few gears in your studio, what’s your setup like?
NIIKO X SWAE – We try to keep our studio setup quite minimal as we think too much equipment can sometimes be overwhelming, and we think it’s important to the most of what’s available. We just run an audio interface into some studio monitors and have a few guitars and a collection of guitar pedals that are starting to see the light of day a little more these days.
Aditya – Best & Worst part of being in the duo?
NIIKO X SWAE – We complement each other so well in both our strengths and weaknesses, and getting to tour with your lifelong friend is epic. There really is no ‘worst’ part!
Aditya – Any tips for the beginners out there?
NIIKO X SWAE – There are so many tools these days to help beginners. YouTube is by far your biggest friend. We spent countless hours on there, studying project files and experimenting. We would also say to go to as many shows as possible! We found that this helped a lot with inspiration. When it comes to releasing music, never rush into it and make sure you have a plan, plus a ton of follow up releases. Having a solid team is also key to success, plus knowing your brand inside out and what you stand for.
Aditya – Lastly, Jimmy Kimmel or Jimmy Fallon? (and why?)
NIIKO X SWAE – We honestly don’t have an opinion on this one!