Topic: Entertainment

Straight outta Whanganui

By Leah Te Whata
  • North Island: West Coast

A 22-year-old hip-hop artist from Whanganui is breaking into the New Zealand music scene, despite the barriers.

Swade Wallace is an emerging artist is pursuing his dreams to make it big in hip-hop.

Wallace says, "I come from a place where there's not a lot of people who follow their dreams. I know everybody grows up with dreams wanting to be something, not a lot of people actually go out there and pursue their dream and then actually succeed at pursuing their dream."

He's created an album and gained a fan base of 10,000 people with only the help of his friends and community.

"I don't want to compromise my own morals and integrity in order to get into certain places I'd rather let my music get me there."

Wallace grew up in an area of high deprivation but isn't letting that stop him from making music. 

"You can come from a small community like Castlecliff where there's nothing but gang members for role models and you can still follow your dreams."

He's found the NZ mainstream music industry difficult to break into which has meant endless hours of work, with only the love of music to keep him going.

"When I'm not making a lot of money or I'm not getting a lot of gigs or exposure what keeps me going is actually that I really love music."

He's currently working on a second album which is due to drop next month.