UB exchange student Swan Commier discusses his rap music, EP and life
Commier started rapping at age 20
Swan Commier raps every day with at least one hour dedicated to freestyling to himself – even if it’s during his daily commute on the Stampede.
Commier, a senior computer science and linguistics major, is a French foreign exchange student and aspiring rapper set to release his first extended play (EP) album, Enter, this September. Commier, now 22, has always been fascinated with music but didn’t start rapping until he was 20.
Joel Little, his friend, said Commier’s videos look like a “French Kendrick Lamar” video.
“Almost everything inspires me to write,” Commier said. “I’ve got feelings, I see stuff while traveling, I see people – I just experience the world.”
Little, a senior computer science major, met Commier the first day of Commier’s second semester at UB. He said Commier has the “telltale signs of an up-and-coming star.”
“Swan is a super modest, very intelligent kid, with a good sense of morals,” Little said. “[When I heard his music for the first time] I didn’t know what he was saying, but the imagery, the production, the quality, the beat – everything sounded professional.”
Commier was born and raised in Savigny-sur-Orge, a suburb of Paris, until he was 14 years old.
He said as a child, he experienced a tough family life. Commier said moving around and changing schools was hard and made it difficult for him to be a good student.
His parents separated when he was 8 months old. He said he had a strained relationship with his mother growing up.
“My mother had a very strict education, so she applied this to her children. I remember I was always fighting with her,” Commier said.
When Commier moved to South France to live with his father, he didn’t get along with him either. When he turned 20, he found music to be an outlet for him to express himself.
“My goal is to be happy, find myself, be conscious of the world, be present in the now, save the world as much as I can by helping people around me to realize what’s important for them, and when I have children to raise them as properly as I can,” Commier said.
Through friends, Commier got involved in making rap music. Commier said his lyrics have to be coherent and have flow and every verse has to be connected to the song. Commier writes all of his lyrics down in his iPhone.
He said it’s sometimes challenging to know when to stop working on a piece. He said often he finds himself not wanting to be a perfectionist because then he focuses on details that others may not pay attention to.
“You’re always going to find something wrong, so you have to find a balance,” Commier said.
Commier spent 20 hours writing his debut EP album before recording it. He said there is something in his ear that tells him whether he’s satisfied or not.
“Until my ears tell me that ‘Yes, it is good,’ I will work on it,” Commier said.
Little said if there was one word to describe Commier, it would be “precise.” He said Commier is always on time for meetings and is very in-tune with culture.
Commier said some of his musical inspirations are Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar and Oxmo Puccino.
Commier is currently working on increasing his fan base as well as the quality of his music. In the future, Commier wants to focus on giving live performances.
Commier said although growing up was tough, especially with not having the best relationships with his parents, music has allowed him to overcome these hardships.
“After [my childhood], everything that life gave to me was so cool,” Commier said. “Life just helped me a lot, just not with my family – but it still made me stronger. I was enjoying everything I could have.”
Hannah Stein is the assistant news editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.