He has a Top 10 album, two hit singles and a buzzed about MTV reality series. But Aaron Smith — aka Shwayze — still sounds like he’s not sure how he got this far.
“Yeah, man, honestly it’s like a dream come true,” says the 23-year-old rapper from Malibu, Calif. “This year has just been crazy and fast, like a whirlwind. It’s like it’s not even real.”
The statistics confirm that it is, however.
Bolstered by the summer MTV series “Buzzin’,” the “Shwayze” album — a collaboration with singer/writer/producer Cisco Adler — debuted at No. 10 on the Billboard 200 chart after its August release.
The “Buzzin’” track slid into the top half of the Billboard Hot 100, while “Corona and Lime” made its way to No. 23 and No. 6 on the Hot Digital Tracks chart.
“‘Buzzin’” was wild because people just started taking to it instantly,” says Adler, 30, the son of entertainment mogul Lou Adler (Monterey International Pop Festival, Carole King, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”) who was a member of the band Whitestarr and also produced Mickey Avalon.
“You make music and you try to give it out to the girls in the town and see what sticks, and (‘Buzzin’) just took fire and peopel were flipping over it. And once we recognized that we said, ‘OK, we found something. Now let’s nuture it and really expand on it.”
Both Shwayze and Adler acknowledge that the MTV series was “monumental” in giving them a leg up when they started releasing music. “It was like a half-hour commercial every week driving people to the music,” Adler explains. “And it worked. We were out on Warped Tour when it (debuted), and the next day the crowds tripled or quadrupled in size.”
“Our music is definitely a representation of our lifestyle,” Shwayze says of the duo’s brand of loping, laid-back party songs. “I think the TV show was just another facet of that and gave people another kind of look at what we’re all about.”
He and Adler hope to release more singles from the “Shwayze” album, but in November they released a mixtape, “Rich Girls,” for fans, and they’ve already started working on a second Shwayze album.
Another TV series is also “in the works,” according to the rapper, but he adds that “I don’t want to spill anything yet.”
There’s no timetable on these projects yet, but Adler — who also hopes to make a solo album in the near future — says the two are brimming with ideas.
“It’s crazy, ‘cause the project is so young,” Adler says. “We’re still learning what the style is. It’s kind of taken on a life of it’s own, so we’re still figuring it out. But it’s cool. We can’t wait to get in and make a second record now that we know what’s up.”
Shwayze performs Sunday (Dec. 21) at the Eagle Theatre, 15 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $16 in advance, $18 day of show. Call (248) 858-9333 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.
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