Swizz Beatz Talks Business, Branding and Motivation
Tell me about some of the various collaborations that you’re involved in and how they came about. Let’s start with Lotus.
The Lotus project came about because I’m great friends with the CEO. He was a big fan of my work even when I was at Aston [Martin]—
Your work musically or in terms of design?
My work in design and creativity. Most of my deals are not based on music. Most of my collaborations are based off of pure creativity in those fields or else I’d be doing endorsement deals. I don’t have endorsement deals, I have partnerships. I’m Vice President of Design for Lotus North America.
That’s a real job!
SB: That’s a real job. That’s me planning the way Lotus is sold in the United States, the way Lotus is presented, the way Lotus is designed, commercials, everything. Everything goes through me and the CEO. I demand those positions because I have to set the bar that high and I have to make other industries at least respect a little bit of our industry. Everything shouldn’t be for sale.
What do you mean by that?
What I mean is they shouldn’t be able to look at somebody in our industry like they can just buy them and it means nothing.
Which is often times what an endorsement means.
It means: “Let’s buy this person. Give ‘em a million dollars, we’re gonna make 50.” If that’s what the artists wants to do and they want to make some quick money then that’s them. I’m not that type of artist. I’m behind the scenes so for me to do these deals it has to be structured with stock options, points, valuations for when the brand goes up [for public sale]. Every deal I have is serious partnerships with equity, serious things involved. Everything from A to Z that a real business partnership has involved.
Finally, let’s talk about Reebok because you’ve helped to revitalize the brand.
Reebok Back. It’s a conversation now and that was my goal. And I did that in under six months. That came about from mutual friends that knew the brand that wanted to do something then got at my people. I just was like I have all of these great things going on the high end side of things now let me do something relatable. Everybody can’t afford an Aston Martin. I grew up on the Pump and Reebok allows me to connect directly to the culture and I thought it was a good play. Wait until you see what we’re getting ready to do.
We can’t wait to see what you have in store. Thanks for talking to BE Next.