Connecticut rapper signs to music label founded by Jay-Z


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Unlike New York City, Connecticut is not known for producing hip hop superstars. Yet, there’s a budding crop of new entertainers like Swell, a rapper hailing from Willimantic, helping to put Connecticut’s music scene on the map.

“Well, it’s definitely a lot going on in Connecticut right now,” Swell said. “It’s an emerging scene for hip hop and music all-around, just arts and entertainment.”

Swell just inked his first record deal with indie company Equity Distribution, under world-renowned Roc Nation founded by hip-hop mogul, Jay-Z . He also just dropped the video for his smash debut single “Better Days,” featuring a cameo by multi-platinum rapper Flipp Dinero.

Nipping at his heels is Lil D-Russ from Middletown. We told you about the teen phenom back in March when he got selected to perform his viral hit before the WNBA’s L.A. Sparks.

Related: Teen rap sensation to perform in Los Angeles

Also making waves is New Haven’s own female rap sensation, Snowsa.

“It’s like the gold rush right now, you know what I’m saying,” Snowsa told us.  “Everybody had to move west to find the gold.  That’s what Connecticut is doing right now.”

All attribute the explosion of growth in Connecticut’s music scene to technology and social media, as well as new recording studios launching here. From the looks of it, there are no plans to slow down.  

“I feel like we’re getting more of the recognition we deserve. It’s definitely not in the mainstream media and it’s not something that’s recognized by everyone yet, but it’s definitely getting there and it’s definitely some big things going to happen from Connecticut.”

– Swell, rapper

“We haven’t even scratched the surface yet,” Swell predicted. 

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