Swizz Beatz pop-culture through collaborative influence with a cause
With a career spanning two decades, the 2010 BET producer of the year Kaseem Dean (Swizz Beatz) has risen to become an iconic figure and a change-maker in the fashion and lifestyle industry. Fusing worlds, cultures and brands through the art of collaboration as he pioneers a new type of influencer model, one that fosters collaboration ad partnership for the benefit of a greater cause.
With the rise of social media, today’s consumers are looking to the change-makers they follow for daily information, insight and inspiration. This has forced brands to bank on partnerships with disruptors, creators and prominent trendsetters to engage with current and new audiences. One of these change-makers is disruptor and creator turned entrepreneur – Swizz Beatz. The American hip-hop recording artist and producer remains at the centre of popular culture by creating a movement fuelled by a deeper consciousness and a greater yearning to help people and do his bit for society.
He has carved a lane in the world of business by culturally educating brands. This has enabled him to take a seat at the boardroom table, collaborating with brands like Tesla, Reebok, Bally, Zenith Watches and Bacardi. He has assisted them on various campaigns and activations, his influence and unique perspective on the culture gained from serving as a global creative director and consultant has given him the ability to shape and influence popular culture. Currently, his brand collaborations and partnerships consist of the following:
Bacardi ‘No commission’: In 2015 Swizz Beatz teamed up with Bacardi to launch an art show franchise titled ‘No Commission’ in Miami. The show proved to be a huge success for both brand and influencer alike – prompting the brand to take the concept to London, New York and Shanghai.
BallyxSwizz: The BallyxSwizz collection was one of last year’s greatest international fashion brand drops. The partnership between Swizz Beatz and prestige Swiss brand Bally sits at the intersection of fashion and art. The partnership houses the colourful iconography of Spanish contemporary artist Ricardo Cavolo, together with the detailed handmade signature craftsmanship of the Bally brand. The 39-item release includes shoes, jackets, shirts and accessories and is currently available in stores.
ZenithXWatches: Swizz Beatz joined forces with Swiss luxury brand Zenith Watches to launch a five-piece limited edition timepiece called the Defy El Primero 21 Swizz Beatz watch. The collaboration reshaped innovations and created a timepiece to master time and quality.
With a combined social media following of 4.6 million across all platforms, the Harvard Business school alumnus has used his influence as capital to bargain with lifestyle brands to change the status quo and go against the grain.
The ‘No Commission’ art show franchise showcases various artists by giving them a platform to sell their work and take-home 100 percent of the proceeds.
In the words of Swizz Beatz, “Beyond doing smart business and being paid, it’s about self-worth. We must not just be the poster child for just creativity. We must become the poster child for all the people embracing culture and youth.” Swizz adds “We must be the poster children for what we believe in, and this is the criteria I base all of my brand partnerships on, it’s about helping people and giving the creators the platform they deserve”.
Swizz’ spirit of collaboration and his need to make change purveys through all of his ventures. His influence in pop-culture cannot be ignored but it the sense of his principled approach and his ability to connect and join the dots has brought a breath of fresh air and continues to make him an asset for any brand wanting to rise above the rest.
Writer: Mthobisi Dladla