Growing up in a working class area in South London, 22 year old Swiss began his musical career as an MC in a group called 2 Hype 2 Young with Sef, Mr Shabz, Megaman and Kaish.
Over the years that followed So Solid Crew was formed, with Swiss as one of the founding members.
So Solid established Delight FM, a pirate radio station, in the summer of 1999 and Swiss’s DJ career began on Delight FM under the pseudonym of the Anonymous DJ.
From there he went on to producing — writing some of the songs for So Solid’s first album, and then going on to work with Lisa Maffia in producing her solo album.
“While I was producing I took a break from rapping, but then I went back to it,” says Swiss.
“It’s what I lean towards now. So now we have my album.
“I’ve always been involved in music — through the church and stuff. And my uncle was always playing tunes.
“I’ve always been musical — so its nothing new for my family. If someone had said to me when I was growing up that I would do music when I was older, I wouldn’t have been surprised — ’cos that’s what I’ve been doing.”
He says his influences range from Notorious B.I.G and Tupac, through The Supremes and Marvin Gaye to Lauryn Hill and Bob Marley — and you can hear it in his music.
Swiss’s first solo album, Pain ’n’ Muziq, looks at working class issues and the everyday things that affect people growing up.
“Street Life”, one of the tracks from the album, says, “I don’t give a fuck about Blair, ’cos he don’t see the stuff that’s going on down here.”
Other songs deal with the poverty and violence that are a part of growing up. Guns have followed So Solid Crew around, with Asher D being jailed for possession a few years back. It’s a theme that recurs throughout the album.
“You know Asher, he weren’t the only one, but I don’t want noone else getting killed over something dumb,” Swiss says in “Cry”.
He says, “The things I’m talking about, I know relate to what a lot of people go through.
“So these are the things I want to talk about.
“My music is about the everyday things of life, but also looks deeper — at the stuff that people don’t see.
“I try to talk about everything in my life. To give people a wider scope of who I am.”
“Cry” also talks about dealing with racism. “For this I don’t even need to think about a chorus, this one goes out to Stephen Lawrence,” says the song.
He also talks about how you have to work much harder as a black person to get recognition.
“It’s not just in music, it’s everyday life, everyday general life. Being black, you’re having to put in more effort, definitely,” says Swiss.
“It’s also to prove to my family. When you’re black, your family relies on you more to make something of yourself.
“Because maybe other people in your family haven’t had that much good, that much success in their lives.
“Plus the fact that in general you have to put in that extra work. So I let people know that I see this, that I know what’s going on.”
Pain ’n’ Muziq is out on Monday. For more information go to www.swisssosolid.com