Discovering the Door County Rap Scene

Rapper Alex Sowinski, better known as M.C. Swiggz, performed at Van’s in Sturgeon Bay as a part of this year’s Steelbridge Song Fest. Photo by Katie Sikora.

Brittany Jordt (BJ): When did you start rapping?

Alex Sowinski (AS): I was about 12 or 13 years old. I was really getting into spoken word and poetry. It was an easy transition to writing rap songs. My first performance was when I was about 14 or 15 at the Rock of Gibraltar (currently Alexander’s). It was open mic night and I performed with my dad and Big Mouth. It was a lot of fun.

BJ: There isn’t much of a rapping “scene” in Door County, which makes you a bit of a trailblazer. How has the journey been?

AS: As a young kid, I had a lot of chances to perform live at local venues. My family was always really supportive, I learned from a lot from different musicians, like Little Blue Crunchy Things.

The cool thing about Door County is that there’s so much diversity in music and arts. I try to incorporate different elements of music in with my own. Lyrically I want to make sure that anything I do has a meaning to it, or a positive message. Being around such a beautiful place definitely gives you a more positive feeling – you can easily lose yourself in your work. You can definitely find time to put what you want into your music.

BJ: What are you working on right now?

AS: I’m collaborating with Ryan Moreno and Space Case on my new album. Being in Door County doing hip-hop, it limits where and what you can play. It’s been fun being able to do local venues but I’ve also enjoyed teaching hip-hop, songwriting and performing to students from Washington Island Schools alongside Julian Hagen.

BJ: I recently watched the music video for “Here I Go,” the first single off your upcoming album, featuring Ryan Moreno. The song was really catchy, and I loved the footage of Sturgeon Bay. Do you feel like people are finally starting to take you seriously?

AS: There’s definitely been a lot of positive feedback. I find it very important to keep my music real and down to earth. That’s a big reason why I think it has a pretty universal appeal. I try to make sure no matter who you are, what you do, or where you are from, you can still find appreciation for it.

BJ: Where can people find you this summer?

AS: On July 13 I’m playing a hip-hop show at Cherry Lanes. I have my music on iTunes and Android Market place. You can download my individual singles off