Interview: Stefano Viola
Text editing & translation: Federico Chiozzi

Name: Swet one
From: Denmark
First writing experience: 1985
Crews: The Wild Side – The Southside Crew – Fatboys
Quote: It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing

You are one of the most famous writers in Europe, how does your position affect your approach to graffiti writing?
Thanks. I see myself as any struggling writer trying to get some pieces done. I always think that I am behind. Then I have something to chase, Instead of having to defend a position. I hate when people think they are famous or act like kings without having the style or the pieces to back them up.

Would you like to spend some words regarding your crews? What differences are there between them?
To me it is important to know and have a friendship with everyone in the crew. The people in my crews have grown from graffiti friends to family. Our friendships are so much more than graffiti. They are my brothers from another mother.

You have traveled a lot and visited places all over the world. Talking about approach, what do you think are the main differences between, say the USA and Europe?
There used to be a big difference in the style of letters, the way of painting and even the paint. That was before the Internet, before companies started to produce spray paint for writers and all the European writers started to go to the Big Apple. Today graffiti is the same wherever you go it’s just a matter of surroundings.

Talking about style, where do your stylistic roots come from? Do you have a mentor?
My style is based on the old New York subway style. That was my inspiration when I started writing and developing my own style. Over the last 20 years I have been working on it and still am. Simply trying to get even more personality, swing, flow and rhythm into it.

You’ve been involved as judge in write4gold event. What’s your view about this kind of events? In your opinion, how much does the aspect of battling count in the event?
I was asked to judge because I work with Molotow – and it could be a funny way to see some friends and paint somewhere else… due to different things I never went to any of the events.
But I like to see how people paint and battle against each other. To me the battle is one of the main things in graffiti. You always have to do the best piece with the best style to win. But you also have to loose a lot of time to learn new things.

When you look at a piece, what does attract you above all?
First I look at the letter style!! Swing and is the piece moving and alive.
Second the piece has to stand out on the wall or on the train.
And really important… did the writer have fun doing it? Can he paint and does his flow come natural?
I hate when people try too hard or when people hide their lack of talent behind seventies original caps style, and I also hate pieces that look like they were done by robots with no movement at all.

What are the pros and cons of being a graffiti writer?
I love everything about being a writer. Memory loss, Barbwire cuts, rain, wet shoes, chases, cold nights, sunburns, stupid cops, etc.
The only thing I hate about writing is when my girlfriend has romantic plans on a sunny Sunday.

During the last years, graffiti writing culture has been re-discovered by the artistic world: Gallery managers, art critics and journalists have opened their doors to writers. Is it a graffiti art revival or something more stable to count on?
The only thing you can count on is no matter how much graffiti get raped. Real graffiti will always stay on the trains and on the trackside walls. And the real graffiti writers will still be here getting hot and dirty.

Have you ever had any chance to hook up girls because of your graffiti ability?
Stupid question! How many girls run around on the line in the middle of the night or in a hall of fame early in the morning.

You’re Copenhagen based. This city has given birth to some of the most interesting and well-established writers in Europe. Would you like to spend a couple of words on the architects of the scene?
I have to continue living in Copenhagen so lets just say Denmark has given birth to some really good writers. But I don’t really care. It is more fun to see and be a part of what’s going on around the world.

Who do you like to give shout out to?
YO! Theo, Mom, Dare, CMP, Eazy 13, Mister Green, the crew.

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