For 15 years, he'd been trying, forging his way but finding it difficult to break into soca. A native of Sea Lots, he struggled for recognition, first dabbling in gospel then, finally, settling on soca. With his new track, Mi Nah Go Play, bubbling sweetly on the airwaves, Swappi's smiling these days, anxious for what the future holds.
He's made his breakthrough in 2010 and he's adamant that from this year forward, nothing will stand in the way of his success. At 31, Swappi, now a resident of Santa Cruz, says, "I intend to take full advantage of this season's success." Adamant that he'll be no one hit wonder, Swappi, real name Marvin Davis, explains that he also has a Daryl Braxton-produced track on the Palajo rhythm, called, Body Shocks. "That track is doing well, alongside my major hit." In the past, before soca became his claim to fame, Swappi says he had a gospel band. "The band was called Revelation and Umi Marcano was my drummer," the memory bringing a smile to his face.
"I'm in the process of shooting a video for Mi Nah Go Play," he says, also making mention of the fact that he's booked for UWI Splash, Temperature 3 and performances at Zen and Eeen De Mas on Carnival Wednesday. He describes his style as swappi–a word conjured as an upgrade to Benjai's swanky. "Swappiness is my terminology for above sexiness, the evolution of swanky." On stage, Swappi says his performance incorporates the 80's slide with James Brown-style funk. He knows he appeals easily to the mature demographic but says that he has a lot of young fans, many of whom come from his birthplace, Sea Lots. "They say, 'Yeah Swappi, you make the community look good and feel good,' and now, even the little children want to sing."
Sea Lots loves Swappi
His humility is refreshing and, with a clear and focused intent to help those he can in the Sea Lots area, Swappi says he's determined to succeed. Explaining that he's a member of the T&T Defense Force music band, he assures that supporters can look out for a lot of great surprises on stage, in the days ahead.
On the issue of merging cultures, Swappi explains that he has a crossover style, and says in the years ahead, he will continue to build on that style, implementing other ingenious elements, to create sounds that people have never heard. Swappi says he's been inspired by lyrical soca artiste, Bunji Garlin. "I always looked up to and admired Bunji Garlin as a big brother." To the youths, he says, "When you're in line, you may not know how far or how soon, your blessing will come. "You just have to wait in line and your blessings will come." This season, Swappi's blessings have surfaced and with each gig booked, he thanks God and looks forward to greater days ahead.