Jane and Finch rapper Swamp45 doubles down on his rap dreams

Rapper plans to quit his day job to focus on his career in music

Swamp45 in his producer's studio with a sign behind him reading "This is where it all began."
Swamp45 in the studio where he records his music, by a sign that reads 'This is where it all began.' (Christian Zdravko/Toronto Observer) 

Jean-Tierre Shortte, a rising Toronto rap artist known as Swamp45, is on a mission to elevate his career in the hip-hop industry through hard work, aiming to transform it into his main source of income.

Swamp45 discusses change in his life, and goals for the future regarding his music.

His name, Swamp45, has multiple inspirations. “Swamp” comes from the Bayou Nwa in the video game Red Dead Redemption 2, a dark and dangerous area that he says mirrors his life at Jane and Finch. The “45” is his apartment number, inspired by rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine’s use of numbers in his name.

“I grew up in a rough environment where seeing people get shot at was common,” Swamp45 said. He feels fortunate that he never ended up in a dire situation.

He describes his upbringing as challenging. Born in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, he moved to Toronto as a child, where his single mother and older sister raised him. His father was absent throughout his life.

As a teenager, Swamp45 attended a summer camp where he created Brazilian Samba music, sparking his passion for music. There, he met rapper and best friend Faraz Amjad, known as FALLOUT SZN.

Swamp45 (right) poses with longtime friend, FALLOUT SZN (left) outside their producer's recording studio.
Swamp45 and FALLOUT SZN outside of their recording studio in Toronto on June 2, 2024. The two have been friends for more than a decade. (Christian Zdravko/Toronto Observer)

Swamp45 graduated from Sheridan College in 2019 with a one-year Ontario College Certificate in electrical techniques. His skills help fund his rap career, including purchasing hourly studio time from his producer, Zep.

Determined to pursue rap full-time, he aims to quit his job in the electrical industry once he can sustain himself through music, relying on streaming royalties, concert ticket sales, and merchandise.

This year features his best music yet, he said. He plans to release a mixtape accompanied by aesthetic visuals and promote it extensively.

Ten years from now, Swamp45 sees himself living on a farm with horses, making the best music he can. He dreams of a life of solitude where he can create unique and original music in peace.

“I see myself somewhere kicked up, keeping to myself, and putting out music,” he said.

“I’m interested in making songs that nobody has ever heard before, and nobody was ever thinking to make — and make it a bop,” he said. Being an authentic artist is one of his top priorities.

Ozan Metin, a friend of Swamp45, is an illustrator who raps under the name is Ozzy. He is confident that Swamp45 will succeed in music.

“I think he is really talented,” he said. “If he stays consistent about it, I have no doubt that he is going to be successful.”

FALLOUT SZN is also optimistic about Swamp45’s rap career.

“I think the way his voice hits autotune, I think he is for the times that we are in,” he said.

About this article

Posted: Jun 21 2024 12:00 pm
Filed under: Arts & Life Music

About the Author

Christian Zdravko
The Big Chris here. I love music, shows, movies, video games, and learning about the world around me.