In this episode of the podcast I sit down with a special guest, world-renowned DJ Rob Swift (aka Brolic Arm), and together we take a deep dive into the world of DJing. Rob was first introduced to the turntables as a young kid, where he spent years learning his way around the turntable under the guidance of his older brother and father. Then, in 1991, he joined a Harlem-based DJ crew known as the X-ecutioners (originally the X-Men). Within a year he won the DMC east coast title and became an unstoppable force in the DJ world. Rob and the X-ecutioners achieved mainstream success, part of which was fueled by their hit ‘It’s Goin Down,’ which they did in collaboration with Linkin Park. Eventually, Rob decided to head out on his own to establish himself as a solo artist and to reclaim some of the creative energy that he felt was lost during the group’s rise to mainstream success.
Rob hit the ground running in his solo career, starting with an album he released in 1998 called ‘The Ablist’ and following that up with 4 more solo albums. Over his career, he’s experimented with all types of genres – hip hop, jazz, classical music – and collaborated with artists ranging from Jay-Z, Linkin Park and the Red Hot Chili Peppers to Bob James and Herbie Hancock. He has made appearances on The Tonight Show and Late Night with David Letterman, he has toured all over the world and even DJ’ed for ESPN’s first late night sports entertainment show. It is through all of these efforts that he has explored and pushed the limits of his own creative potential.
But wait, there’s more. For the past six years Rob has dedicated himself to passing on the art and craft of DJing as a professor at The New School in NYC and through offering private DJ lessons. And now, Rob is set to release his first full-length album in six years called X-Files: Lost & Deleted. It’s a collection of rare, remixed and reinterpreted songs from Rob’s archives. Rob currently has an active Kickstarter campaign to raise money for this album (link below). It looks like he recently reached his goal, which is awesome and I bet he is really excited about that. Feel free to still contribute to the campaign, as I am sure this will be very much appreciated.
On a personal note, I learned a great deal from talking with Rob and watching and listening to a lot of the tracks and videos that he sent me before we sat down. The making of this episode was a blast to learn about a world that I previously knew very little about, not to mention Rob is just an awesome guy. Thanks for tuning in, enjoy!
P.S. There’s about a 45 second clip between my intro and the beginning of the discussion with Rob. Those are clips from ‘As The Technics Spin,’ which is a documentary about Rob and gives some great insight into him and DJing. I posted the link below if you want to watch it on YouTube.
X-Files: Lost & Deleted – Kickstarter Campaign
DJ Rob Swift’s Website
Dope on Plastic (Rob’s online radio show)
X-ecutioners – DMC Finals 1999
As The Technics Spin
DJ Rob Swift on YouTube
DJ Rob Swift on Facebook
DJ Rob Swift on Twitter
Master Class with DJ Rob Swift
Jen’s Battle at The New School