Swagatha Christie laying down beats at Urban for Mike Brown Fest. Photo: Gavan Nelson
Swagatha Christie rolled through Salt Lake City for Mike Brown Fest at Urban Lounge on Thursday, Aug. 30. This Portland local legend made time out of her busy schedule to come rock some super progressive, dirty South swag. SLUG was able to sit down with her and ask her a little about herself, her music and her crew.
SLUG: Who is Swagatha Christie? What does she represent?
SC: You know Agatha Christie mysteries? Growing up, I read those, and my sister and all her friends would always make plays off Agatha Christie, so it would be “Lagatha Christie” or whatever. Me and my homie DJ Fat Boy would always be saying “Swag,” and one day, I just came up with Swagatha Christie, cause I’m always manipulating words and shit, and that, I guess, just means I’m a mystery … A swagged-out mystery.
SLUG: How did you become a part of Mike Brown Fest?
SC: We are both super salty and hilarious and met online on Twitter somehow, and we’ve been friends online for quite a bit of time. He just hit me up and asked if I could come perform for Mike Brown Fest.
SLUG: You’re new to the scene. What makes you different from other female rap artists?
SC: I’ve been rapping for a little over two years. Well, that’s when I started writing. I would freestyle when I was young at parties all wasted, but I didn’t know anything about writing or structure. I grew up skateboarding and around punk and hippie music. My thing is I’m like the Wicked Witch of the West, like my style’s totally different and darker and skateboarding-inspired ‘cause that’s my whole scene. I don’t really care about making club bangers, even though my first song, “White Girl Wasted,” was a club banger—that was super random. Basically, there’s no other girls doing what I’m doing out here who skate and rap. I do everything myself: my album designs, I book my shows—literally, I do everything. I’m not signed, and I do everything independently.
SLUG: Which artists do you get your inspiration from?
SC: I really like Black Sabbath. I know that has nothing to do with rap, but I don’t give a shit. I like Black Flag, 2Pac—he was what I listened to the most, Bone Thugs N Harmony, Outkast, UGK, a lot of the dirty shit like TI and Young Jeezy, Mac Dre and a lot of West Coast rap.
SLUG: What’s the best and worst part about living in Portland?
SC: The best part is all the dank food and all the skate parks, which are literally everywhere. The worst part would have to be all the hipsters … and bikers.
SLUG: I saw your “White girl wasted” video is that you ripping through the bowl?
SC: Yeah. Well, there’s me and like five other girls skating in it.
SLUG: How did you get into skateboarding?
SC: We lived in a small town in Idaho and my sister was into punk rock and skating. When my parents would drop me off at school, I was really embarrassed ‘cause we had an old Falcon and all the other kids were real rich and we weren’t, so I would get my sister’s old skateboards and setup, and have my parents drop me off blocks from school and just skate there. Nobody would see me get dropped off in the ghetto whip.
SLUG: What skaters do you look up to?
SC: Tony Trujillo is the man and his wife Trixy is a badass. Jessica Starkweather is pretty much my hero and is so fun to watch skate, especially when she was on the back cover of Thrasher doing a front side slasher while being super pregnant. I don’t really have time to watch a bunch of skate videos, so I do what I do.
SLUG: I heard that Burnside was pretty much locals only. What’s it like being a local at a park with a reputation like that, and do you think it’s still like that?
SC: Burnside is like my family, they’ve supported me the most through my music, and my first show was there. Literally, that’s like my family, and if I ever need anything, they always help me out and it’s really nice to have that. I don’t think I would be where I am without them. No one puts up with bullshit, it’s sacred grounds for all of us.
SLUG: What’s the best story you have from being on tour?
SC: We just went to San Mateo for this event I organized with Low Card and a bunch of other skate sponsors, and we took this big old Seattle City Bus that Kurt Cobain used to ride on, actually, and it was pretty much the most insane week of my life ‘cause everyone was wasted and doing blow the whole time. We did not stop drinking the whole week we were down there. The bus also broke down and ran out of gas at the Golden Gate skatepark.
SLUG: I saw you rep the Low Card hat, how do you know those homies?
SC: Rob and Freddie and Reija from Low Card are my dudes, and all have supported me since I filmed “White Girl Wasted.” If I need anything, they will always blast my shit on their website and send me stuff. They have been a major reason of why I am where I am right now.
Swagatha Christie, the swagged mystery, was an honor to have in our city. Her dirty South style kills it. She is a real O.G. and she represents everywhere she goes. If you haven’t checked out “White Girl Wasted” on YouTube yet, I don’t know what you’re waiting for. Click play. Right now. You won’t regret it!