Songwriting 101 with The Swaggernautz

On Monday night, the Music Industry Committee at UCLA hosted 20x Platinum producer-songwriters The Swaggernautz for an intimate Q&A session on The Hill. The duo, made up of Tat Tong and Jovany Javier, excitedly answered questions about their songwriting process, tips for succeeding in the music industry, and the importance of putting yourself out there. 

Both Tong and Javier started seriously pursuing music in their 20s and, once they began to collaborate, they realized they found something special. Since their inception in 2013, Tong and Javier have worked with artists like T-Pain, Troye Sivan, Kaskade, and Luis Fonsi. When asked how they got their careers off the ground, both emphasized the importance of networking at music events, sending out emails, collaborating with peers, and making music that feels right to you. Javier’s biggest advice to college students was, “Surround yourself with people and create. Do not wait for people to tell you. Figure out what you connect with and do that. Right now’s time.” 

The Swaggernautz’s catalog of hits, both domestic and global, shows that they are good at what they do. But what became apparent as soon as they starting speaking to our students was that they absolutely love it too. The combination of the two makes the future of their careers look extremely promising. 

Their success has also given them the platform to start helping others start their careers in this industry and we are extremely lucky to be recipients of their generosity. Not only did they spend their Monday night chatting with us, but they will be mentoring selected UCLA student musicians through a Songwriting Camp later this week as well. Check back here for more updates on this unique project coming soon! 

Connect with The Swaggernautz on Instagram (@theswaggernautz) and while you’re there, make sure you’re following us (@micatucla) so you can stay up to date on other events like this that MIC at UCLA is bringing to campus this year! 

Author: Kaitlyn Zorilla