The melody of Swagger & Swing started as notes on the fourth option on the “Paint with Music” platform, the “Street” canvas, which looks like a granite wall or pavement (shown below). This canvas has a more atonal sound than the others, and includes effects like scratching and hissing, which give a more grunge-like effect. I had to manipulate the samples to get them to sound more musical.
It’s called Swagger and Swing because it has the rhythm of a funky, swinging strut, the kind of loose-hipped, confident walk that John Travolta does when he goes down the street to the Bee Gees song Staying Alive in the film Saturday Night Fever.
This song’s bass line is played on the Latin Upright Double Bass paired with an Indian Rajah Sarod, which produces a constant riff. The Sarod has two loops – one high-pitched, one low, to match the melody. It’s that riff which makes your hips want to wiggle.
I like this track a lot, especially since I thought I was getting into a rut what with all the songs in the collection up to that point being 120 bpm and C major. This one gives the collection a bit of a change in texture and tone.
I built in a dirty-sounding minor key version of the melody, which introduces the Nightingale Vox loop, which sounds like the “street” audio loops – similar tone, similar texture.
Swagger & Swing Lyrical video
How to find footage of dancers who fit the brief?
The swagger and swinging rhythm of the track is undeniably slinky and sexy. This is not music for passively tapping a foot or lazily nodding your head to the beat. It’s meant to be driving and energetic and get you moving. The lyrical video was very difficult to put together since it was insanely complicated to get the movements of dancers, as opposed to those of walkers, to synchronize with the tempo and the beat.
Thank goodness for the free video clips on pexels.com through which I trawled for ages. Most of the featured dancers in the Pexels clips are just vogueing or striking poses, though the routines of the ballet dancers are more precise and choreographed.
I luckily found clips of a dope hip hop dancers who look like they are having a good time, and the guy is definitely into it. (With girls like that dancing with him, he would be, wouldn’t he?) I hadn’t seen freestyle dancing as appealing as this since TakeSomeCrime exploded on YouTube with Electro Swing – but TakeSomeCrime usually has a large space to move in, whereas these guys have to stay in one spot.
I couldn’t find out anything else about this intriguing trio, other than that the video footage was produced by Antoni Shkraba – also spelled Anthony in the meta-data – and that the dancers may be from Warsaw, Poland, judging from the backgrounds of his other videos. In the end though, it’s the most danceable video I’ve ever made, and a fitting visual expression of this song.