Mr & Mrs
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Mr & Mrs

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There have been famous husband and wife collaborations but you would be hard pressed to think of a contemporary hip-hop duo and so the huge talents of Nadirah X and Swish are indeed setting a benchmark.

Benchmark aside the duo have set their sights on bringing their collaborative talents and influences to a wider audience while losing none of their individual talents.

Nadirah X is an immense artist/rapper/poet in her own right whose influences are steeped in a rich tapestry ranging from seminal musical artists like Queen Latifah and Salt n Peppa to socially aware and immortal symbols of change like Malcolm X and Marcus Garvey but as she states: “I heard Black Hand Side from the Black Reign album and I was hooked”.
On the back of such a colourful tapestry, in 2011 she dropped her critically acclaimed album Ink , on Dave Stewart’s label Weapons of Mass Entertainment. It was an album that brought influences of her birth country Jamaica while still being a hip-hop album where she spoke words of poignancy and power beguiling listeners with her insights. It was the power of her words that actually enticed Dave Stewart (formerly of the hugely influential Eurythmics)to sign her and since then work with names like Jimmy Cliff, Harry Belafonte, Mick Jagger and Joss Stone has followed.

Significantly production on Ink also featured her husband Swish and this was just a taster of things to come.

Swish’s production stands out for clean beats which are hip-hop without delving into that over-used sound which has proliferated commercial hip-hop-Swish is evidently years ahead in terms of production.

Swish born and raised in Mississippi can count that unique production to a childhood built on an ensemble of genres ranging from Baroque, Romantic, Classical to Gospel, Jazz, Soul, and Blues. He’s much in demand and work with Bishop Lamont is the tip of a serious cv from the man whose influences range from the brilliant Donny Hathaway to the excellent pianist Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff.

So now the two have embarked on their first album as Mr and Mrs and the project promises to be a magical meeting of talents and minds that completely ignores that dance/hip-hop formula that is popular today-the new formula is an oscillation between old skool influences while still being essentially futuristic-dark overtones (without being oppressive) and powerful sixteens that have the ability to transport you through time and space whilst allowing Nadirah and Swish to really say something-after all hip-hop was built on history of saying something to the masses.

On Everything which has a brilliantly atmospheric and simple video will be the first single off the album but also look out for Sucka Emcees it’s immense in every sense of the word.

Mr and Mrs are box-fresh like a limited edition new pair of sneakers-are you ready to try something new?! - Defsounds


Interview can't be copied but can be read at the link provided - L3 Magazine


When Jon Whitfield moved to Los Angeles in 2008, he had no aspirations of seeing Hollywood Boulevard or hitting the beach in Malibu. He didn't come from his home state of Mississippi to play tourist. Then again, he also didn't come to fall in love, get married and merge his burgeoning musical career with a globetrotting female MC, but that's more or less what happened.
Whitfield, who records under the name Swish, grew up listening to gospel, jazz, soul and classical music via his father, an established pianist and gospel producer. While Swish was primarily an athlete, Nas, Jay-Z and Eminem were icons of his adolescence. "My family didn't have much money so I kind of grew up in a hood area," he says. "Hip hop spoke to me the most directly."

It was in college, after spending all of the money he won in a free throw contest on musical equipment, that Swish began producing his own tracks and mix tapes. These gained some traction in the southeast U.S., but the demos he sent to record labels got no responses at all. "People knew who I was, but I wasn't getting shows. It wasn't a thing where anybody really cared."

Figuring that his home state couldn't support his musical ambitions, Swish moved to Los Angeles upon graduating from the University of Southern Mississippi. Soon after his arrival, a friend suggested he connect with Jamaican MC Nadirah X. "He told me, 'She's a rapper and she's managed by Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics. He doesn't really produce a lot of hip hop, so she must be great.'"

Nadirah, already an established artist, began her musical career after winning a singing competition in her native Jamaica. She was noticed by Stewart, who took her under his wing "like family," guiding her growth and moving her first to London and then to LA.

Intrigued, Swish attempted to reach Nadirah through her MySpace page, and the two ultimately met at a recording session and became fast friends during group hangouts, trips to the mall and outings to see the L.A. Galaxy. "We just liked each other," says Swish. The couple married in 2010 and began making music together under the name Mister + Misses shortly thereafter. Nadirah introduced Swish to Stewart and cohorts including Glen Ballard, Annie Lennox, Joss Stone and Mick Jagger, all of whom the couple have collaborated with.
As Mister + Misses, their sound is epically elegant hip hop that is richly layered with instrumentation that recalls both the classical influences of Swish's father and the sounds of Nadirah's native Jamaica. Their debut EP, released by Stewart's Weapons of Mass Entertainment and available as a free download, is thematically grand as well, speaking to the daily struggles and subsequent triumphs of being both a broke artist and black man in America. "Those things take a toll," Swish says, "but ultimately it makes the music sound good."

"He gets up at whatever hour inspiration hits him, takes his iPhone and locks himself in the bathroom," says Nadirah of her husband's process. "Eventually he comes out and goes, 'I've got something. It's HOT!' I've got to wait on his process to write lyrics, so in the meantime I'm just being mom to our daughter."

"I'm trying to make it a masterpiece." Swish says of the couple's debut LP, due out this fall. "I want it to be a classic, one of those hip hop albums where people listen to it and go, 'It sounds like The College Dropout or The Blueprint or The Marshall Mathers LP. I want people to listen to this and say, 'This is the sound we've been waiting for.' - LA Weekly


Mr. & Mrs. -- the explosive new album by Mississippi-born rapper/producer Jonathan Whitfield, a.k.a. Swisha, and the marble-eyed Jamaican rapper/poet Nadirah X -- embodies what Whitfield calls, "being in the foxhole with somebody and knowing they got your back." Indeed, the husband-wife team have fought a spiritual, artistic, social and professional war side by side and they hope that this album, an expression of that struggle, breaks them through to the victory they have been seeking for so long. With its driving beats, hard-hitting, heartfelt, intelligent lyrics, rousing instrumentation, and propulsive samples, Mr. & Mrs. conveys the artists' busting-at-the-seams impatience with a system, a music industry, a society that stands in the way of genuine self-expression, innovation, originality and soul.

Their stylish, snarling video of the single "On Everything" boasts, "I put it on everything." In other words, "No matter what anyone tries to say or do to demoralize me, everything I do, I make it hot." Masterfully shot, directed and edited for a mere $32 by accomplished video director Shane McLafferty, who has also made videos for acts like Neon Trees, Super Heavy, Stevie Nicks and Mick Jagger, the "On Everything" video simultaneously captures the glamour and the underbelly of Los Angeles, where Swisha and Nadirah live. They battle the "circus freaks" arbitrating who gets to the top in the music business, the cowering conformists who dare not take a chance on an exciting new act that breaks the mold. Nadirah calls the demand for ringtone-type music, "a taste for processed cheese." Although stunningly beautiful, Nadirah makes a conscious choice not to show cleavage as a music-selling gimmick. She explains, "I consider myself primarily a poet. I am a poetic MC." Having grown up in a Muslim household in the bountiful Jamaican countryside, Nadirah historically has brought her idyllic background to play in lyrical, conscious rhymes, low on profanity. She defied musical expectations, bypassing Jamaican dancehall, for a conscious hip-hop sound that led to her winning "Best New Artist in the Caribbean" and ending up on magazine covers. Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics and a multi-platinum music producer discovered her at a show in Jamaica, "Christopher Columbus style," as Nadirah puts it, and began managing her.

Meanwhile, her husband Swisha's story reads like less of a fairy tale. He grew up in violent Clinton, Miss. listening to hardcore East-coast rap, struggling every step of the way, battling in ciphers, developing a more raw, profanity-laden style that he says reflects that "life is not perfect." Swisha explains, "I am spiritual, but I have also always been an advocate of not being overly preachy or holier than thou. There are multiple facets to us as human beings. The profanity comes from frustration with the struggle." Swisha's impact on Nadirah reveals itself in "On Everything," in which she snarls at the camera, curses and declares to the camera, "We gon' end up elevated or we'll end up in an urn." This quest for elevation out of the struggle, the balance of the divine and the profane, exhibits itself in moving emotional outcries from Swisha in "On Everything," who speaks of promising his mother "that he would finish," that he would make it as an artist. He raps in "Divine" about how his father, an accomplished pianist, almost died of a stroke and how the miracle of his recovery inspired both the song and a re-invigorated desire to win the battle as an artist. The exquisite piano strokes interlaced with the song and highlighted at the end fly from the fingers of Swisha's father himself. In the same cut Nadirah sings of how she hides the struggle from her own daughter, how she herself is still a "little girl with a dream from Jamaica":

They told me stay patient All you have is time What's written in the stars is given to you by design But I hope I never fade from mine Hope you remember my divine.
On the track, "Know Mi Name," sampling an old Jamaican folk song, "The lyrics say, 'When I was a bad man, killing people, everyone knew my name. Now that I'm spiritual, no one knows me,'" explains Nadirah. With their album Mr. & Mrs., Swisha and Nadirah throw down the gauntlet to the music industry and to our society, daring us to "know the name" of more than gangsta' rappers and ho' slappers, daring us to know the name of spiritual warriors, poets, originals, with the audacity to speak of the divine. Daring us to know the divine within ourselves. - Huffington Post


Discography

Mr & Mrs EP

Nadirah X - Ink LP

Swish - Invincible EP

Photos

Bio

Mr and Mrs
“no arguments it’s purely about the music”

There have been famous husband and wife collaborations but you would be hard pressed to think of a contemporary hip-hop duo and so the huge talents of Nadirah X and Swish are indeed setting a benchmark.

Benchmark aside the duo have set their sights on bringing their collaborative talents and influences to a wider audience while losing none of their individual talents.

Nadirah X is an immense artist/rapper/poet in her own right whose influences are steeped in a rich tapestry ranging from seminal musical artists like Queen Latifah and Salt n Peppa to socially aware and immortal symbols of change like Malcolm X and Marcus Garvey but as she states: “I heard Black Hand Side from the Black Reign album and I was hooked".
On the back of such a colourful tapestry, in 2010 she dropped her critically acclaimed album Ink (2010), on Dave Stewart’s label Weapons of Mass Entertainment. It was an album that brought influences of her birth country Jamaica while still being a hip-hop album where she spoke words of poignancy and power beguiling listeners with her insights. It was the power of her words that actually enticed Dave Stewart (formerly of the hugely influential Eurythmics)to sign her and since then work with names like Jimmy Cliff, Harry Belafonte, Mick Jagger and Joss Stone has followed.

Significantly production on Ink also featured her husband Swish and this was just a taster of things to come.

Swish’s production stands out for clean beats which are hip-hop without delving into that over-used sound which has proliferated commercial hip-hop-Swish is evidently years ahead in terms of production.

Swish born and raised in Mississippi can count that unique production to a childhood built on an ensemble of genres ranging from Baroque, Romantic, Classical to Gospel, Jazz, Soul, and Blues. He’s much in demand and work with Bishop Lamont is the tip of a serious cv from the man whose influences range from the brilliant Donny Hathaway to the excellent pianist Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff.

So now the two have embarked on their first album as Mr and Mrs and the project promises to be a magical meeting of talents and minds that completely ignores that dance/hip-hop formula that is popular today-the new formula is an oscillation between old skool influences while still being essentially futuristic-dark overtones (without being oppressive) and powerful sixteens that have the ability to transport you through time and space whilst allowing Nadirah and Swish to really say something-after all hip-hop was built on history of saying something to the masses.

On Everything which has a brilliantly atmospheric and simple video will be the first single off the album but also look out for Sucka Emcees it’s immense in every sense of the word.