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A force on digital platforms

Swanz emerges as one of the Sultanate’s brightest stars, celebrated for his artistic prowess and cultural resonance

Talented young local producer and rapper, Swanz, has been generating quite the buzz lately with his viral hit Majal, which many consider the definitive soundtrack of 2023. Recognised for his overabundance of singles, collaborations, and produced tracks, Swanz stands out as one of the emerging local talents in the Sultanate.

His rise to prominence was underscored by local accolades, such as clinching the coveted group vocal award at the 8th Pelangi Awards in 2022.

The track IFWYV, featuring local luminaries Asmai, Waz, and even Aziz Harun, propelled him to this well-deserved recognition, earning him widespread acclaim.

Swanz’s meteoric ascent reflects not only his artistic prowess but also his ability to resonate with audiences on a profound level.

Through his music, he captures the essence of contemporary culture, infusing it with his unique flair and perspective.

As Majal continues to reverberate through the airwaves, Swanz’s presence in the music scene grows ever more pronounced, promising an exciting journey ahead for this burgeoning star.

 

DIGITAL DOMINATION

Last year, Swanz released Majal, accompanied by its official music video, which premiered on YouTube in September.

It quickly became Swanz’s biggest hit to date, setting hearts ablaze and dominating digital streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, TikTok, and YouTube.

With over five million streams and counting, the response has been nothing short of phenomenal.

Reflecting on the overwhelming support, Swanz expressed genuine excitement, saying, “The reception has been amazing! Witnessing people embrace Majal as the soundtrack to their content, creating covers, and even remixing my music – it’s truly special.”

Swanz credits TikTok for propelling Majal into the spotlight, as the song became a staple in countless videos, igniting a viral sensation.

“It’s beyond words! To see Majal resonating with audiences across Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore is like a surreal dream.

Swanz during one of his performances. PHOTO: SWANZ

“The love on TikTok is mind-blowing, and the support from fans is simply incredible,” he shared with heartfelt gratitude.

The unexpected triumph of the song is amplified by its prominent Bruneian dialect, as exemplified by its lyrics: “Tekanang malam masa tani di taman eco inda mau mulih, ku tanya kau kalau ku dapat pigang tangan, kau cakap bulih kan ahir sudah, kalat mata, kan mulih pun payah-payah”.

Yet, it’s this very authenticity that resonates deeply with listeners, transcending cultural barriers and capturing hearts worldwide.

The local rapper also remarked that it was like he was embodying ‘Achai’s ‘aku banar-banar kan kau, aku beungkaya’ – a meta reference to a previous local viral video that introduced people to Achai parampampam.

What’s more utterly mind-blowing to the local artiste is hearing Malaysians singing the song word for word.

 

ALGORITHM INSIGHT

Despite its success, however, Swanz revealed that the song’s sudden viral status belied a lengthy and arduous journey.

“It takes a tremendous amount of effort to craft the song, striving to make it both catchy and relatable by incorporating local references and dialects.

“Understanding the TikTok algorithm and its audience was crucial. I had to create numerous engaging snippets of the song and even develop challenges to keep the momentum going,” Swanz elaborated.

Furthermore, the essential aspect of staying connected was emphasised by Swanz, highlighting the necessity of maintaining tireless engagement with fans through comments and DMs.

The local artiste lamented the challenges faced by musicians in Brunei due to limited resources and support systems.

“While Brunei boasts immense talent, the lack of resources makes it challenging for musicians to pursue a full-time career. However, social media platforms like TikTok offer new opportunities, allowing artistes to reach a global audience and collaborate with talents worldwide.

“We must embrace technology, foster collaboration, and create inclusive spaces for everyone to express themselves. While achieving local success is commendable, venturing beyond Brunei opens doors to incredible opportunities! Don’t hesitate to showcase your talent on a global stage,” Swanz encouraged passionately. – Adib Noor

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