This week we were fortunate to get a chance to interview Switzon S. Wigfall, lll (aka SSWIII) who along with being an amazing up and coming hip-hop producer / performing "beatstrumentalist" of the Los Angeles beat scene, is one of those people who should be on your radar for being a prolific creator of creative commons VJ loops ;)
SSWIII’s free clip packs have popped up on our radar a few times in recent years, but when we caught wind of his new project for 2019, daily A/V practice sets that are producing great results, we knew it was time to finally get some more info about his work…
Who are you and what do you do?
Hello world! My name is Switzon S. Wigfall, III aka "SSWIII" (pronounced "S-S-W-3") aka "Switzon the Great" (I'm not that great, trust me...just thought it sounded kinda' bad-ass on my insta so I just ran with it.) I am a Multimedia artist maker from Durham, NC now working and residing in Los Angeles California. My work specializes in graphic design, visual content for new media, concert visuals, vj-ing and creating hip-hop and house beats as an up and coming A/V artist. It looks like I wear many hats, but mainly I'm a visual artist where "music" is the inspirational driving force of my motion-graphic work.
What tools (hardware, software, other...) do you use in your work?
My tools in software to create my graphics and visuals (vj-loops/vj-clips) is mainly Cinema 4d followed by After-Effects, Photoshop and sometimes even Illustrator. For music I work in Ableton and Maschine. I'm super interested in getting my hands on the Roland Sp 404SX after I master my main daw program of producing in Ableton some. My favorite hardware to create the heavy-duty 3d graphics in Cinema 4D (especially now that I'm falling in love with Octane) is my PC. For creating and performing my A/V sets I use my Apple Macbook Pro. Lastly, for vj-ing and adding all those crazy cool-ass effects I rock in VDMX. (Edit: I'd also like to kindly say that not only Dilla changed my life, but VDMX changed my life as well.)
Your site & vimeo includes a ton of creative commons VJ loops for people to use in their own performances and projects; how did you get started with making and publishing clips? Do you have any sets that are personal favorites? Do you have a way to balance materials that you give away vs things you keep for your own uses?
I got started with creating these clips from my deeper interests of falling into the cinema 4d / VDMX rabbit hole once I wanted to start making my "everyday" frames come alive into some trippy abstract and sci-fi-ish' animations. A lot of other 3d artists and visual content creators (some of them my actual "mentors") inspired me to start creating my own lane of making vj-clips/visuals as well like: Beeple (Mike Winkleman), G-munk (Bradley G. Munkowitz), Joshua Davis to name a few and many more. At the time (circa 2010) I started seeing these artists and so many others create their own personal work and practices that was shaped around or influenced by sound and music...which at the time blew my fucking mind and so that led me to be more comfortable at the time "being me" in art school and really going for the glory in building and creating my dream career pushing to be more than just a VJ, more so an A/V artist which as you are witnessing me becoming today.
Tell us about your latest projects, including the weekly audio / visual experiments we keep seeing in our feeds!
Let's see....one of my latest projects is actually creating a cool A/V set w/ the legendary one and only DJ Nu-Mark (who is also a part of the honorable L.A. hip-hop group "Jurassic 5").
For his zodiac dj-sets I will be joining forces with him adding a visual aesthetic for the birthday months: March and April. It's more so a performance rather than a project, but we are working very hard on concepts and practicing like fucking crazy to make sure each and every pixel syncs perfectly with his dj-mixing/scratching along with my vj-ing effects - so it kind of is like a project slowly turning into a huge boom of a visual hip-hop performance for our Pices/Aries season show in Toronto, Canada at the Koerner Hall on March 1st, 2019. I'm pretty stoked about this one as it's just as a momentous feeling and honor for me like when I was Kaytranada's main VJ for his L.A. performances a few years ago.
One of my personal projects that I have been doing for about five years now is my "Everyday" project (first coined by the homie/everyday-godfather himself "Beeple") where I create a new picture from start to finish beginning in Cinema 4D and finishing the color correction and textures in Photoshop before posting the end result on all of my social medias.
My latest and newest personal project that I am working on right now is my A/V practice sets where I take out 30-minutes to an hour out of each day and just simply practicing sampling followed with making boom-bap hip-hop beats as well as house and vj-ing my own visuals/vj-loops/clips at the same time. I usually record the whole practice session and just edit out 30 seconds to 1-minute of it to share with the world online a small snippet ("vid-clip bites" I like to call them) where it's short enough to not be bored and witness my process and progress (as well as myself to view) to see where I'm at on the beat making/vj-ing practice project and what I need to do to get better to finish it into a decent beatstrumental track posting on soundcloud, bandcamp, spotify ect ect. as well as learning some new vj-effects/technique chops. Just like my "Everydays" the number one goal is to "simply get better" so I can truly become a great A/V artist/performer from the L.A. beat scene to the international music scene. I try not to have super big goals on these projects as I like to just start small and try to learn one or two new things/techniques while just having fun and experimenting with as many tools as I can muster in Cinema 4D, VDMX, Ableton and other programs to take the art of visual music to new unseen higher levels. (I'm not that deep in real life lol, I'm really a kid just having fun pressing buttons....)