One of the fun things about doing a live event like FADER FORT—aside from the thrill of seeing the pages of the magazine come to life on stage—is getting out of the office and meeting people. This year in Austin, amidst all the American voices, I heard a familiar accent in the crowd: it was Jamie Dred, founder of Birmingham, UK grime collective/label StayFresh. I grew up in the Midlands, and my dad's a Brummie (that's what we call people from Birmingham), so that warm, round tone always makes me think of home. Better still was this hook-up: an absolutely massive FADER Mix from StayFresh producer and fellow Brummie Swifta Beater. He's made beats for everyone from London MCs P Money, Giggs, and Wiley to Boy Better Know's JME, who is very clearly a fan of Swifta's "Grimy." Dig into the mix and the epic tracklist below—which includes Skepta's "SHUTDOWN"—and scroll down to get to know Swifta Beater a lil better.
Where are you right now? Please describe your surroundings. Birmingham, England. In my living room chomping on chicken chow mein, brushing prawn cracker crumbs off my StayFresh tee, whilst watching Empire. #LYFE
Tell us a bit about your mix—what do you imagine people doing while listening to it? With this mix I really wanted to bring a taste of the UK underground club experience and sound direct to the FADER listeners. Naturally, you'll find a few exclusive productions from me with a mix of classics and bangers from producers and artists across the UK, although I do kick off with a personal favorite, from Toronto's Da-P. I imagine—no, I know—people will be listening to this mix mosh-pitting wherever they are.
What first got you into grime when you were a kid? I'd have to say it was the Birmingham veteran DJ Big Mikee. He used to come and cut dubplates at my dad's studio when I was around 11 years old. From there, I religiously locked into his radio shows, and as the sound transformed from garage to eski to grime, I realized it was something I needed to be a part of.
What's the grime scene in Birmingham like—how does it differ from London? The grime scene is so buzzing in Birmingham, there's a real diverse bunch of producers and MCs. Personally though, I wouldn't say our scene is that different from London's. The production just tends to be a little darker.
Which track are you most proud of in your producing career to date? There's too many, so I'll have to narrow it down to two. The first is P Money, "Mad," because it's just one of them ones you have to sit there, bop your head, and screw up your face to. My other one has to be Blade Brown, "Bags & Boxes 3 Intro," simply because it's epic!
And finally, what's the last book you read that had a big impact on you? It would probably have to be The Secret and if you've read it, you'll know why. If not, I suggest you do.
Da-P - Dark Hadou
Preditah - Selecta
TRC - PSG (Remix)
Jme - Don't @ Me (Feat. Skepta, Shorty & Frisco)
Deeco - 3233
Mayhem NODB - Straight (Feat. Jaykae)
Swifta Beater - Battle
Solo 45 & Preditah - Feed Them To The Lions
Wiley - So Amazing
StayFresh - Music Trap
Mystry - Pulse R
Swifta Beater - Swagga (Feat. Dapz OTM)
Swifta Beater - M Sport
Macca - Old Skool
Teddy - Treatment
DJ Wire - Believe Me
Swifta Beater - Trap
Swifta Beater - Levels
Tempa T - Box On My Head
Raider - Levels
Stormer OG & Macca - Tell Me
Rude Kid - Shakey Remix
Skepta - Shut Down
Sir Spyro - Tekkerz 2
Mayhem NODB - Roadman (Feat. Big Narstie)
Swifta Beater - Spear
Movez - Old School
Rude Kid - Voices
The Heavytrackerz - TRKRZ (Feat. D Double, Footsie, P Money, Stormzy, Big Narstie, Flirta D, Youngs Teflon, Desparado)
Skepta - Mucktion
Commodo - Shift (Feat. Jme)
Rynsa Man - Meet Rynnie Shmurdah
Deeco - Hydra
Swifta Beater - Go Mad (Feat Movez)
Pressure0121 - 16BAD (Series 2 Episode 1)
Swifta Beater - Bogle VIP