Swizz Beatz: Music and art are related

Swizz Beatz believes "music and art are brothers and sisters".

The 41-year-old hip hop artist – whose real name is Kasseem Dean – loves to paint as well as make music, and has become an avid collector over the years, as well as voicing his support for artists getting paid for their work.

And now, the record producer has said his two passions, music and art, are more closely linked than people might think, as he says they both "speak" to him.

He explained: "Music and art are brothers and sisters since day one. And they always spoke to me and through me and I think they always spoke to and through everyone as well. But the businesses made them feel like a separate thing.

"At the end of the day it’s all art. Name one musical colour that didn’t include art and name one artist today you venture doesn’t listen to music. They always went together. And using both of those brothers and sisters to fuel education, positivity, entry points in the world I think is amazing."

Swizz – who has Egypt, nine, and Genesis, four, with his wife Alicia Keys, as well as Prince, 19, Kasseem Jr., 12, and Nicole, 11, from previous relationships – says it took him a while to feel as "comfortable" in the art world as he does in the music one, and says his fans are now beginning to appreciate the other side of his life.

He added to Forbes magazine: Well I definitely felt comfortable in the music world. I didn’t feel real comfortable in the art world. I didn’t really know the art world. I just was always a fan of art because I was always around it growing up in the Bronx. But as I grew to learn more about the market, the space and the culture, it became real fascinating to me on how I could participate in both sides and almost have two different lives.

"I definitely have an art crowd and I definitely have a music crowd and they’re just now merging. When I announced that I was doing art over 20 something years ago it wasn’t the cool thing to do and be involved in music, which is the reason I always kept it to myself.

"So as I got older and started collecting more I thought, ‘Wait a minute, I shouldn’t be holding back that I collect art. It’s something amazing and other people should try it as well.’ I was painting at that time also, which was like my therapy. Painting was my therapy. And then it just all kept going from that point on."

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