There's always been two camps in reggae music - the musicians who just want to make party music and get people dancing, and those who view reggae as a political outlet. Auckland's SWISS is firmly in the former camp, his music imparting no great wisdom, or long lasting message to the listener, but bound to get the dance floor seething.
He's had an impressive start so far, playing shows here, Australia, Japan and the US, before his determination and hard work brought him to the notice of Dawn Raid, who aren't traditionally known for their reggae offerings. SWISS may change that for them, although for how long is anyone's guess. It's not that his music isn't good, it's perhaps more that it doesn't offer anything new to the genre. It sounds like it could have been made anywhere, at any time in the last 40 years.
Sure, there's an authentic reggae feel to it, but in a genre often criticised for being boring and unimaginative, SWISS has missed an opportunity to deliver something original and exciting. The boy obviously has talent, and has created some catchy tunes on the EP, with plenty of movement and dance friendly rhythms, but after listening to it a couple of times it still comes across as lacking substance. The lyrical content doesn't help, showing an immaturity that, while prevalent amongst many reggae artists, doesn't do anything to help with the longevity of his music.
If you're a fan of reggae or dancehall, and want something with big beats to play in the background at your next party, then this might be the album of the week for you. If you're after reggae that explores and experiments with the genre and has some substance then you'll probably need to look elsewhere.
Only 20 years of age Swiss has established himself as one of Australia's hottest young artists.
Swiss was born and raised in Wellington NZ. The Manu family decided to make the move over to Australia when older Sibling Sika Manu signed with the Melbourne Storm to play professional Rugby League in the NRL and then moving onto play for the NewZealand Kiwis. The Manu family finally settled down in Brisbane, Australia.
Sports runs through the veins of the Manu family, with all 5 brothers playing football in League or Union, however Swiss learned that he had a greater passion and desire for singing and songwriting.