Swizz Beatz: He Was Always Destined For Greatness. “The sky is not the limit, it’s just the view.”

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Swizz Beatz is more than a music producer. He’s also a fashion designer, creative director and art collector. Born Kasseem Daoud Dean on September 13, 1978 in the Boston Road area of the South Bronx. Just like myself, growing up in the inner city didn’t stop Swizzy from living his dreams. He was always destined for greatness. At the age of 18, Swizzy first witnessed fame and success when produced his first hit-record, “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem” by DMX. Since then, Swizzy produced for some of the most talented artists in the music industry such as Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Mary J. Blige, Whitney Houston, Eve, Jadakiss, 50 Cent and many more.  Swizzy also sold more than 300 million records and has collaborated with major fashion houses like Christian Louboutin, Reebok and Aston Martin. Haute Living magazine caught up Swizzy for an exclusive interview. Swizzy talked about his career, starting out young, his fashion partnerships, his love for art, his brand and much more. Below are a few excerpts:

On the sky is not the limit, it’s just the view.

“When I say the sky is not the limit, it’s just the view, that’s something I came up with because I think people are comfortable when they reach a certain level and lose the hunger,” he said. “I don’t think there should be any boundaries on exploring the next level. If you can stand up on the moon and look up in the air from there, it’s still just a view, you can go up higher than that. I use that slogan to inspire people to do whatever their wildest dreams are, to just go for it.”

On still being relevant after starting out as a DJ in 1998.

“For it to have started in 1998, it’s really a blessing to be in 2011, in the decline of music sales and with all of the changes in the industry as a whole, to be a name that my peers and the fans still call-on.   Swizz said, “looking back from when I was just starting out as a DJ, and then for me to transform into a producer, and to still have the same energy, love, and passion for music after all I’ve accomplished has been really cool.”

To his friends and peers, Swizz’s evolution is an example of what to aspire to.

“Swizz inspires me,” said NBA star Carmello Anthony. “For him to transcend from a ‘business man’ to a business is just incredible. His brand is growing and growing, and it’s only going to continue to grow.”

Swizz’s wife Alicia Keys couldn’t agree more.

“Swizz’s evolution has been epic,” she said. “To come from a place where chances are few and far between to become a man that is unstoppable in everything he puts his mind to, is a true example of the fact that no circumstance can stop us.”

Even fellow entertainment mogul Jay-Z sees Swizz’s varied talents.

“Swizz has grown from a producer to a curator and lover of all the arts,” he said.

Source: Rachel Morgan/Haute Living

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NEXT PAGE: KEEP READING FOR MORE EXCERPTS FROM SWIZZ BEATZ’S INTERVIEW WITH HAUTE LIVING MAGAZINE

On his forthcoming solo LP, entitled Haute Living, which will be his first independent release thru his partnership with Everest Entertainment.

“The artists that are involved in the ‘Haute Living’ project are the best,” he said. “I wanted to push the limit.”

On his love for art.

“My love for the art world goes deep, very deep,” he said. “It goes right to the South Bronx [from] breakdancing to music, all different kinds, then [seeing] the people in the galleries, doing different things. So many people in the art world inspire me to do things.”

On his collaborations with Christian Louboutin and Reebok

“I met Christian Louboutin on my friend’s yacht, I had been with [my] kids and I was just beat,” he said. “It was a fun way to get into fashion,” Swizz said. “Being able to be mentored by Christian Louboutin was just a blessing. More than anything, a friendship. He’s a great person, an amazing trendsetter.” “I got inspired through working with Christian Louboutin to do something that I can relate to,” Swizz said. “I was so inspired and I was like, maybe I’ll go to Reebok and change a couple of things there and get my creativity on.”  That he did!  As their Global Director Swizz helped relaunch the Reebok Classics brand and in that process collaborated with the Reebok design team to release the new Kamikaze III. He also kicked off the Reebok’s Reethym of Lite campaign with a cross-collaborative campaign, where he took the song “International Party” (featuring Alicia Keys) from his upcoming LP and used that the song as the musical bed for the brand’s global campaign.

With Swizz’s help, the shoe’s popularity exploded.

“To find out that people were outside on Wednesday waiting for a shoe that comes out on Friday, was CRAZY! I’ve never seen nothing like that,” he said.

Reebok President and CEO Uli Becker had nothing but good things to say about their collaboration.

“Swizz’s influence is felt through our brand,” Becker said. “He has a great touch and feel for fashion. He collaborates with us on various products, such as our Basquiat collection as well as other classic products. He is also involved in the overall direction of our classic campaigns. He has a great feel for design and a great cultural sense. He is constantly full of ideas, never stops thinking and passionate about what we do together.”

On his partnership with the car giant Lotus being named Vice President of Creative Design and Global Marketing for the brand

“The amazing Lotus team [and I] sat down and decided to strategize ways to market Lotus to the United States, raising the bar,” he said. “We got things coming that people have never seen in their lives.”

On being a Renaissance man.

“I started very young, at 17 years old,” he said. “The Renaissance man [is being] able to inspire people. In order to get peoples’ attention, it has to be announcements that they would never expect, partnerships they would never expect. And if they continue seeing me do these kinds of things, they start looking at themselves and say ‘Hey, wait a minute, if Swizz can do that, I can do that too.’ I’m able to give them a blueprint to follow. Everyday I’m doing things from music to art to fashion to design to philanthropy to being a dad. All these different things you don’t really get a blueprint on. They just happen.”

“Your family keeps you grounded and having a support system has been the best gift that I’ve gotten from God,” Swizz said. “You know, to have family members as well as [supportive] fans and friends, it all goes to helping you be a better person, and helping you be a better businessman, and, it just helps you take your goals to the next level.”

On the charity work he does.

“I just love seeing smiles on peoples’ faces,” he said. “I just love doing philanthropic work and helping kids in Africa all the way to my home in the South Bronx. Those smiles are endless.”

When asked about his students at NYU he said, “those students, they look towards me to make decisions, to make life decisions so I can never miss a class,” he said. “I take is very seriously.”

On money, history and his next venture.

“Money comes and goes, history stays,” he said. “I’m addicted to trying to make history, because that stays. You leave that for generations. I think that’s the best way I can be effective on this earth. Going forward, you’ll witness me trying to make history every chance I get.”

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Donovan

Donovan is the CEO and Editor-In-Chief of www.dmfashionbook.com. For all general inquiries please email don@dmfashionbook.com Donovan has a BA in Journalism & Media Studies from the prestigious Rutgers University. He's currently studying entertainment and fashion law.