13 Jul Swooshwilly Always Invests in Himself [Exclusive Interview]
William Nguyen, better known as Swooshwilly, recently decided that DJing wasn’t enough for him and that he wanted to pursue a career in music production as well. Through this realization, he rebranded. His name now resonates with the music he’s going to produce but can still incorporate his name. A name that is simple but also catchy.
As a perfectionist, he struggled to be content with many other ideas, but he fell in love with Swooshwilly. By definition, swoosh is a sudden rush of air or sound, and that’s the vibe he wants to give out when performing/producing.
Nothing can get in your way when you set your mind on something. This is exactly the mindset Swooshwilly has. From rebranding to planning his own festival within three months, there’s nothing he can’t accomplish if he puts his mind to it. If there’s an up-and-coming artist I’d recommend you to keep your eye on this year and moving forward, Swooshwilly is that artist. With his determination and mindset, anything is possible.
How was music a part of your life growing up? What was your childhood like?
I would listen to the radio whenever my dad or mom took me anywhere. I remember listening to a lot of different types of music back then, but the one that really caught my eye was hip-hop. Radio stations like 97.9 and 104.9 would play nothing but hip-hop, rap, and R&B. That was my natural taste in music throughout my life until high school.
In high school, I transitioned to EDM a little bit, like whenever a friend would invite me out to Stereo Live back when the shows were completely free. Then college was when I dabbled into it even more as the industry of EDM kept growing and growing.
Now, as a producer, I find myself overwhelmed because EDM is a whole new genre with subgenres within that genre. It’s a lot, and I’m falling in love with it more and more. Whenever I listen to a new song, new artists, or even when I’m going to shows and festivals, I appreciate the music much more. Even though I’m late to the game, I admire EDM just as much as anyone.
Who was the first musician that impacted you to really fall in love with music? Can you describe that moment and what it was like for you?
Lil Wayne. I remember he was killing the game when I was a child. I remember him being the number one artist at the time. Lil Wayne was the one I admired the most growing up, so he’s the one person who made me fall in love with music, especially my first love of hip-hop.
You originally began your passion under DJ Chill3ill. What can you tell us about that first DJ chapter of your career?
The first chapter of my DJ career dates back to when I lived in LA for three years during the COVID-19 pandemic. I originally moved to Los Angeles for my corporate finance job, but living in LA, I went out more than ever. I chose to quit my job to pursue my passion. A few nights after quitting my job, I went to this nightclub called Arena, and there was a DJ named DHO. That night, I wanted to focus on a DJ for whatever reason. I remember watching him work the crowd. He really had great crowd control, and for that split second, I instantly fell in love with wanting to do that.
The type of person I am is anywhere I go out, I like to show good vibes. That’s just who I am, and that’s how I want to portray myself with just good vibes wherever I go. I’ve always wanted to do something to help other people, and music is something that I’ve always loved. When I connect music and helping people, what do you get? A DJ. After that night, I just wanted to teach myself. From what to expect to how to DJ, I did everything possible to prepare myself before I even committed to it. I spent a whole month doing that, just nothing but learning.
Once I got my controller, I started practicing nonstop. Having all the time in the world, it was such a passion that I didn’t see it as work. I just wanted to practice and improve. I went to my first EDC in November 2021. It changed my perspective on music and my life. During my first chapter as DJ Chill3ill, I performed at weddings and house parties. I wanted to put myself and my name out there because I wanted more experience.
The highlight of my first chapter would be the live Twitch streams. That’s where I truly built my name. Every two months I did a Twitch stream. I’d change up my set’s setting and the genre of music I’d play. I got a lot of great feedback and exposure while pushing my limits.
At the end of 2019, you moved to LA for a Corporate job then you quit your job to pursue your passion. In your time there, what did you learn about yourself?
I learned a lot of things. My biggest lesson is that I’m more willing to try new things. I was more open-minded to trying out all my options.
How did you transition from DJ Chill3ill to Swooshwilly? Was there a turning point when you realized you wanted to start your current artist project and pursue a career in music production?
That’s a good question that stems back to music production. The moment I realized that I didn’t want to just DJ and that I wanted to produce my own music, I knew I needed to change my name because I knew that the vibe of the music I was going to produce wasn’t going to be chill. It was going to be more of a party-type vibe.
You rebranded to something that resonates with the music you’re going to produce. How does the name Swooshwilly do that?
Swoosh, by definition, means a sound produced by a sudden rush of air, and that’s exactly what I want to portray in my music. I want to get that sudden rush of air or sound.
What is your vision for Swooshwilly?
I’m going to teach myself music production. Similar to when I learned about DJing, I’m going to do all the research, learn as much as I can, and then I can use my controller. I’m also planning on building a studio in my current home with my parents. It will be small, but I look forward to the next chapter of my career.
How has quarantine changed your work ethic or inspiration?
During the pandemic, I had a lot more time, especially when all I could do was stay at home. I knew I didn’t want to use that time to be lazy and do nothing. I wanted to be still productive, which is what it taught me. When you’re not trying to be productive, that’s when I want it to be the most productive.
What are your passions outside of producing music?
One of my other passions is snowboarding, which I recently picked up living in Los Angeles. I love basketball; that’s always been a part of my life. I’m very financially literate. Another passion of mine would be doing comedy. One of my biggest goals is to become a stand-up comedian for fun, but that’s something that I want to do when I’m retired.
What is the biggest struggle you had to overcome to get to where you want to be?
Throughout this process, I’ve noticed that the biggest thing that has made me mentally break down is that I get very overwhelmed when I have a million things running through my mind. I also like to do things one thing at a time, so I can’t juggle different things simultaneously. When I do try to juggle multiple things, I burn myself out and don’t know how to function. I get so stressed. I’ve realized how important it is for me to find my balance.
One of your biggest goals was to start your own festival in Houston. There’s a lot to be proud of to have this come to fruition on your birthday this year, July 14th. What can we expect to see at Double UU?
You’re going to see a variety of genres since there’s just one stage. I want people to be more open-minded. Even if an artist isn’t playing your ‘type’ of music, hopefully, attendees will appreciate the music from an artist’s point of view, especially from a creativity standpoint.
I think attendees would appreciate the set a lot more knowing that these DJs put a lot of time and effort into their sets. You know, there’s a reason why they chose these specific songs, and there’s a reason why they have their visuals that way. If you see it from a production and creativity standpoint, I feel like you would admire a lot more than just the song you’re listening to.
What do you want attendees to take away from or feel while attending your music festival, Double UU?
The biggest thing I hope attendees takeaway is that we’re all trying to make it. We’re not big names or anything, but we’re all here collaborating to create something special. It takes a lot of little things to make one big thing. If you put all those little things together, you get a community.
For example, the festival is on a Thursday. Just for us to have sold out of our tickets on a Thursday night by itself proves that when you collaborate with like-minded individuals, you can build something special. Working with people from different backgrounds and creating something special is priceless to me.
What inspired you to create this summer festival of local talent?
When I lived in LA, there were a lot of events like this. It wasn’t known as a festival at the time, but more so a DJ event. You know, there’s an endless amount of DJs out there, and when I witnessed these LA events, I thought about Houston. I realized no one was doing this. No one is providing a DJ event for the community. So I knew I wanted to do this, but I just wasn’t sure when.
After attending my second EDC this year, I decided that I wanted to go big for my birthday/welcome back party this year. I went with the idea of throwing my own festival in the next three months and never looked back. That’s what inspired me.
What can we expect from your set at Double UU?
As I previously mentioned, my name is high tempo and quick, and I want to portray that in my set. I want to represent the DJ that knows how to turn the crowd into a party. So that’s what you can expect from my set: it will be a party set where everyone will enjoy their time. Everyone will enjoy each other’s company, and it’ll be nonstop dancing.
You’ve said that every day is a new task, and you like where you are. How important is it to invest in yourself?
Super important. It’s so important because you can’t accomplish everything in one day. You have to take it day by day and improve every single day that goes by, whether it’s big or small. Working on something daily to improve yourself is key; I think that’s the best method. You have to be willing to work every day for long-term gains.
It’s only been a little over a year since you chose to pursue your passion, and DJing has improved your life. In that time, you’ve played shows for friends, at weddings, put on live streams on Twitch throughout COVID, and orchestrated a 1-day festival back in your hometown. Where do you see yourself a year from now? What are your short-term plans?
One year from now, I see myself with a studio and already having taught myself how to produce music. My short-term plans are to learn how to produce music and to be able to release my first song.
How will you define success in what you do?
Whenever I reach my long-term goal of becoming a festival DJ, that will be the time I know I’ve made it. All the hard work I’ve ever put into being where I am will have paid off. I’m just going to continue to grind until I get there.
What kind of legacy would you like to leave as an artist?
I want to leave a legacy to motivate others to pursue their happiness. If there’s something that truly makes you happy, that should be a priority and what you should be striving to do because life is short. Find your happiness somewhere, someplace, and go 100% full force. Go big or go home.
Is there anything you’re working on down the pipeline you can tell us about?
First off, my Double UU festival is this Thursday, July 14th at Warehouse Live in Houston, TX.
In terms of DJing, I want to perform live more often. I want to rent a venue and be the sole DJ playing. This way people can come and watch me perform so that I can build my fan base.
Will you be attending Double UU? Swipe up to comment below and let me know!
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