The name "The Swell Kids" might ring a bell if you’re from the local El Paso area. Of course, if you’ve never heard of the name, it might seem like something a group of kids wanted to label their bicycle crew. In this city, it was the complete opposite. They might have stopped by your high school to give a dance class, their weekly flyer on their drop-in dance classes could have appeared on your timeline or you probz saw their dance videos on Youtube, like their Thrift Shop vid (which has more than 31,000 views btw!). The “kids” stands for a friend group of dancers, but there are two guys who ultimately stand for the name that started it all from a friendly dance “bro-lationship.”
Recently these guys, Alexander Bejarano and Eddie Vasquez, have switched roles from dancing. Their love for music has transitioned to the peeps who are producing it. From teaching dance classes to posting their “Swelly Episodes” on Soundcloud, their work ethic still remains. When they put their mind to something, a work switch goes off. They’ll become obsessed and work till the early morning hours till they feel like it's right. Throughout it all, they live for the love of music. They took some time from producing to let us in on their transition from dancing to producing and how music has influenced their everyday lives. They are the real deal guys-- just consider this a preview.
Q. Who are you and tell us about yourself.
E: I’m Eddie.
A: I’m Alex and we go by the Swell Kids. We are aspiring producers/ DJ’s in El Paso, Texas and we like to make people feel good with music!
Q. When and where did you two meet?
E: We met at a dance studio ‘cause we used to be dancers before we were dance choreographers and we met at ‘Step It Up’ dance studio. That studio doesn’t even exist anymore.We both were taking a specific hip hop class.
A: Yeah! It was a small studio right off the freeway and it was probably one of the only few classes in El Paso, and me and Eddie would go so often that almost half the time or all the time, it would just be us two in class and umm... Yeah, eventually we just started talking to each other and became friends.
Q: Where did the name The Swell Kids come from and why did you keep it? What does it stand for?
A: Crazy enough, the name came from a Chiddybang song. When we first met, I think that was one of the reasons why we became good friends is because we do have a lot in common as far as the music we listen to. Back then, we were listening to like Mac Miller and Chiddybang and in some of Chiddybang songs, like “The Good Life”, they use the word “swelly” and it was just another word for cool. It just meant that you were doing your own thing. And when I brought up the name “The Swell Kids” at the time, we were very young and... I don’t know, it just had a cool ring to it! I guess I got the word ‘kids’ from a small dance group in LA called “Lost Kids” and I like the word ‘swell’ and I just added ‘the’ and.. Yeah!
E: It started with us two and then we just started to add more people to it.
A: We wanted it to stand for being yourself, but our motto has always and always will be, 'On our way to bigger and better things,' so you can reach your highest potential as a person. And we had some thoughts on changing the name as we were changing into producing, but we wanted to keep it cause we wanted to show people that you don’t have to stick to just one thing. You can be successful doing anything you want. It’s just a cool name!
E: I really don’t know what we would call ourselves [laughs] I don’t know it just has always been us!
A: Plus I got it tattooed on my wrist so I can’t really change it [laughs]
Q. What was the transition like from teaching dance to producing music?
E: Well.. it started off when we were taking like a huuuuge break for like a good almost year and a half maybe.. Or two years from dancing, I just didn’t want to see him anymore because he was so ugly.. Just kidding, but um.. We met up at the dance studio again, trying to figure out or choreograph some new stuff, and then one day we were just choreographing and we were like why don’t we just try music
A: A lot of the stuff that we were choreographing to or teaching was like a lot of EDM music and a lot of what you call now Future Bass music, so after a while we started to stop making up pieces and use up our studio time to listen to more music and it became more of a natural thing for us to want to be the people behind the speakers and not dancing in front of them and we just knew we wanted to try something new with this music thing and put our focus more on that.
Q. What has been the most challenging time of your producing career thus far?
E: Definitely the producing aspects. Learning Ableton and all the effects it has to offer and how you want your specific sound, like the whole sound design. That probably has been the toughest thing so far. Learning it and using it everyday, learning it more and more. We’re definitely better at it than day one, so it is getting easier as it goes.
A: Yeah, definitely. Especially coming from a background of playing music through instruments and kinda jumping over to creating through [a] laptop and controls and just like the interface of learning everything. From learning what it is and every single control is, that is probably the hardest thing for me. I know for sure [that] I am still learning. Eddie has a better grip on it, but in a sense it is like a natural instrument.
E: Yeah, he definitely has a better ear than I do. But yeah, it definitely is a partnership.
Q. Who is your dream collab?
E: Mine personally would be with Sango! Definitely.
A: I think mine would have to be Odesza ‘cause they are the guys that got me at least into the electronic music. Plus the live aspect that they bring each set during their show.
Q. Which artists inspires the sound you are going for?
E: There are certain Soundcloud producers that are changing the sound of music, like Luminate, Octbr, R.O.M and even, Jarreau Vandal and they are definitely inspiring us right now
A: I think for me one of my biggest inspirations, I know this goes for Eddie as well, as far as like doing what we want is Tycho. Tycho has been such an inspiration for me since high school since before I even knew what EDM stood for. He has definitely played a huge role for me and I love Tycho! And I think my biggest inspiration for me personally would have to be..
E: Oh my gosh, I swear if you say the person I am thinking..
A: [laughs] Logic!! He’s lit!
E: Everything he preaches is love and possibility and his music is amazing. It’s lit.
Q: What is one piece of advice you want to give to people who plan to pursue a career in music?
Both: First of all, we’ll take any advice given to us!
A: Okay, just do it everyday. Learn everyday and be very persistent about it. If you don’t have the equipment, work your ass off and buy the equipment. We started off with two ipads and a couple of apps to now, we have a Mac to ourselves and we now just have a controller. So I feel like anyone who wants to do it and feels like they don’t know where to start just know that there are ways to getting around to it.
E: Our Macbook is not even our Mac, it’s Rent-A-Center’s and we’re paying it off!
A: Same thing goes for our controller! We found it through a website and we’re paying it off. So it’s more so that if you really want to do it, you’ll find a way to do it. And with our jobs, any time we have we’ll be making music. Be persistent to be a step closer to your goal.
The time has come! For our May giveaway we've decided to treat one of you lucky gals to a little ColourPop care package. This includes an ultra satin lippie in the shade Echo Park with the matching lip liner, a bronzer, blush, highlighter, and an eye shadow (we'll show you what they look on our Snapchat so make sure you're following us there too). For the cherry on top we added are fave, Body Bauble, to add just a little more glamour to your look. In honor of NDMF we decided to carefully pick each shade to create the perfect festival makeup look that also compliments almost every skin tone.
HOW TO WIN: (1) Follow @theswellkids on Instgram (2) COMMENT in this post!
Winner will be announced on May 20th during next week's post, GOOD LUCK!