We had the good fortune of connecting with Messieurs Swank and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Messieurs, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Initially, I don’t know if I consciously pursued an artistic or creative career. Creative endeavors were always such a part of my upbringing that it seems like a natural progression. My mother is a published play author and well-known teacher and speaker in the community where we grew up. Naturally my family was always involved in the things she was involved in. My father was an avid music collector, so there was always music and entertainment in our home. My family has always been strong advocates of education, and also stress the importance of cultural knowledge and creative endeavors. In the summers my siblings and I would attend a community cultural arts program created and operated by my mom and aunt. We studied black culture, dance, music, arts and a plethora of other topics. It all culminated into a performance for the community at the end of the program. As I think back, I was groomed for artistic and creative endeavors as far back as I can remember. Later I became knowledgeable about the business aspects of creativity and arts and it was a natural fit for me. Music is my main business, but I just love to create. I love collaborating with creatives in different industries. I’m always fascinated with how concepts start in the mind and then come to fruition for the world to witness. In the last year, I’ve released a shoe (Les Chaussures Elegant Biker Boot by Messieurs Swank), and I am currently working on an apparel brand. Sometimes, my attention span, or lack thereof, may cause me to get bored just doing one particular thing. I try to make good use of these times and find new ways to express my creativity and bring something new to the world.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
At the heart, I’m a consummate creative. DJ’ing is only one of the ways I express my artistic creativity. These days I’ve been focusing my attention on other creative endeavors. One in particular is writing and creating music. I was writing songs and producing music long before I learned how to DJ. If the pandemic has taught me anything, it is learn when and how to pivot when necessary. As the live event industry slowed down tremendously in 2020, so did my DJ business. It was the perfect time for me to transition back into creating music, something I love and can do from the comforts of my home. At the beginning of 2020, just as the pandemic hit, I had the good fortune of becoming a part of a thriving songwriting community focused on creating music for TV and Film. Through this community, I’ve been able to connect with other like minded artist from all over the world, collaborate online to create music, and make tremendous strides in breaking original music into TV and Films. Additionally, because a lot of events have moved to the digital space, I’m also able to continue performing as a DJ for various online events. While a look forward to being able to safely return to performing at live events, I am also excited about the new business and opportunity I have been able to create during the quarantine. I continue to expand the Messieurs Swank brand, and of course experience new levels of creativity.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Atlanta and the surrounding area is full of culture. With so many great options for food and entertainment, it’s hard to go wrong here. It’s also a challenge to narrow down choices. Here’s a few that come to mind for me. Places to visit: MLK Center (and surrounding neighborhood), The National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Auburn Ave. (various establishments and historical tour), Westside Market, CNN building, World of Coca-Cola, Atlanta Botanical Garden, SkyView Atlanta Places to eat: I love supporting local and/or minority owned businesses. Some that come to mind are Pitt Boss BBQ, Heirloom BBQ, Fox Brothers BBQ, D.B.A. BBQ (See a pattern forming here. I love BBQ), Heirloom Market & Bakery (Fayetteville, GA), Slutty Vegan, Nic & Norm’s (Senoia, GA), Southern Arts & Bourbon Bar, Folk Art Restaurant, Busy Bee’s, Ponce City Market, Krog Street For Drinks: I’m a chill, cigar lounge type of guy so there are several of those throughout the city (Burn by Rocky Patel is a good place to start). I also love breweries which the Atlanta area has no shortage of (I’m the most familiar with Sweetwater). BarVeganATL (new and I can’t wait to visit) Great hangout spots: Ponce City Market, Krog Street Market, The Battery Atlanta, Atlanta Beltline, Little Five Points, cigar lounges, the many parks throughout the Atlanta Metropolitan area
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to dedicate my shoutout to everyone who made it through this past year, despite any losses or adversity they faced. From everyday people making it through, to those who work directly on the frontlines of these historic events. Also, to the creatives who pushed through and gave, or are giving, the world something new to be inspired by. Let’s not forget the ones we’ve loss in the struggle. May the memory of their presence and their impact live on with us forever.