DJ Rob Swift is working on a new album, X-Files: Lost & Deleted. The deejay has spent three decades in the music industry and is now ready to release his version of a greatest hits project.

X-Files: Lost & Deleted is a way for me to reintroduce my catalogue of music to a younger audience,” he says in an exclusive interview with HipHopDX. “But instead of exposing potential new fans to tracks of mine that are dated, I decided to compile remixes of my best songs in order to breathe new life into them. That’s my way of meeting the new generation of deejays and Hip Hop fans half-way.”

The album comes six years after completing his last solo project, The Architect. After a stint as a member of the deejay collective The X-Ecutioners, Swift has been teaching the art of turntablism through Scratch Academy, as a professor at The New School University and via lessons in his home studio.

With X-Files: Lost & Deleted, Swift seeks to teach what he can’t in a typical scratching lesson.

“I noticed younger people were now buying laptops and controllers, aspiring to become deejays without a strong foundation in the history of the art itself,” he says. “Some of my students are as young as 19, so when you ask them, ‘Ever hear of The X-Ecutioners?’ chances are they’ll look back at you with a blank look on their face.”

DJ Rob Swift Embraces Crowd Funding

Swift has started a Kickstarter page to help pay for his album. As an independent artist, the deejay sees this as the best option for him to maintain his personal creativity and be able to reach fans personally. 

Swift has experience with Kickstarter, using it to help fund scholarships for the RHAPSODY camp where he teaches during the summer.

“Long gone are the days of recording a few songs, shopping them around to labels and eventually getting a record deal complete with a $500,000 budget,” he says. “Labels don’t invest that kind of money into independent artists like me any more. What’s more, most people don’t buy their music directly from label distributors these days. Instead they go to the artist, be it at live shows or via the Internet. Understanding this, it just made sense for me to launch a crowd funding campaign that cut the middle man out and made it possible to reach the people myself. Not only has it been an incredible learning process, releasing my album through Kickstarter has facilitated the type of creative freedom one doesn’t possess as a signed artist.”

The album will not only be a “greatest hits” compilation, but also a collection of remixes and rare tracks. Those who support Swift through the Kickstarter will receive exclusive bonus tracks. One of the tracks features Queens rapper B-1, who appeared on Kool G Rap’s 4,5,6. Another track features the raps of a 17-year-old Swift.

“Listening to my voice, the beat – which was produced by Psycho Les from The Beatnuts – really puts in perspective how long I’ve been making music,” Swift says.

The Kickstarter campaign runs through July 15. Prizes for sponsors include personal scratching lessons from Swift, autographed merchandise and VIP passes to the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival. True to the mission of the album, Swift also wants to share one of his favorite pastimes –record hunting– with a donor.

“There is nothing like leaving your home and hunting down music,” he says. “It’s a feeling you cannot compare to downloading an MP3 off iTunes. When you dig for records you evidently form an indescribable connection with that music. I guess ’cause you’ve physically exerted the energy to find that song or album in the first place.”

Rob Swift’s “X-Files: Lost & Deleted” Scratches A Creative Itch

Swift says that this album is five years in the making.

“I started feeling that creative itch again to turn my recording equipment on and begin telling new sonic stories,” he says. “In life, I strongly believe in the importance of cultivating your ideas. If you don’t, your visions die and when your visions die, a part of you dies along with them. So when I felt that itch, I decided to start scratching – excuse the pun – it.”

In seeking to preserve the traditions of Hip Hop in the era of modern instant gratification, Swift feels a great sense of purpose.

“What I’m most excited about sharing with fans is a re-education,” he says. “What I mean by that is the true genre of Hip Hop has been marginalized. What we’re mostly hearing on commercial radio and in the clubs doesn’t represent Hip Hop in it’s purest form. And so as a DJ and gate-keeper of the culture, this new album is a way for me to do my part to offset the imbalance occurring within the genre.”

The cover art of Rob Swift’s X-Files: Lost & Deleted is below:

Rob Swift X-Files Lost & Deleted