Donald Earle DeGrate Jr. (born September 29, 1969), better known by his stage name DeVanté Swing, is an American record producer, singer, songwriter and rapper. He is best known as the main songwriter and producer of the R&B group Jodeci, which includes his younger brother Dalvin “Mr. Dalvin” DeGrate.[1] DeVante Swing also created Swing Mob, which consisted of various artists he discovered and mentored, such as Missy Elliott, Timbaland, Magoo, Ginuwine, Static Major with Playa, Darryl Pearson, Tweet, Jimmy Douglass, Stevie J, and Chad "Dr. Ceuss" Elliott among others.

DeVanté Swing
DeVante Swing (center right) with Jodeci
Background information
Birth nameDonald Earle DeGrate Jr.
Born (1969-09-29) September 29, 1969 (age 54)
Hampton, Virginia, U.S.
OriginCharlotte, North Carolina, U.S.
  • Record producer
  • singer
  • rapper
  • songwriter
Instrument(s)Keyboards, piano, drums, guitar, synthesiser
Years active1987–present
Member of

Career edit

At 16, DeVanté Swing traveled to Minneapolis, hoping to visit Paisley Park in order to audition to Prince.[2][3] Swing would later say, "I was up at Paisley Park every day begging for a job, asking people to listen to my tape. The receptionist kept saying she couldn't help me".[4] The rejection motivated Swing to relocate back to North Carolina, and work to improve his songwriting and production skills.[5]

In his early career, Swing served as a mix engineer, while simultaneously producing for other acts. He mix-engineered Hi-Five’s "I Just Can't Handle It" as well as producing several remixes for the track. Swing rose to prominence in the 1990s as the founding member of the R&B group Jodeci, one of the most notable R&B acts of all time.[6] Swing served as the main songwriter, producer and leader of the group. Jodeci also featured his younger brother Dalvin DeGrate. Swing is also credited for discovering several groundbreaking acts such as Timbaland & Magoo, Digital Black, & Smoke E Diggelera of Dru Hill, Tweet,Missy Elliott,[7] Ginuwine, Stevie J and Static Major. He is also credited as a video director for Jodeci, co-directing the videos for "Feenin'" with the legendary Hype Williams and "Freek'n You" with Brett Ratner.

Swing also mentored Flo Rida[8] in the early stages of his career.

Discography edit

References edit

  1. ^ Bogdanov, Vladimir (2003). All Music Guide to Soul: The Definitive Guide to R&B and Soul. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 368. ISBN 9780879307448. Retrieved November 15, 2022.
  2. ^ Bogdanov, Val (2003). All Music Guide to Soul. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 368. ISBN 978-0-87930-744-8. Retrieved March 2, 2015.
  3. ^ "About jodeci". Retrieved March 2, 2015.
  4. ^ S, Danyel (August 1, 1995). "Tuff love". Vibe magazine. Retrieved March 2, 2015 – via Google Books. I was up at Paisly Park...
  5. ^ Smith, D. (Aug 1995). "Tuff love". Vibe Media Group. Retrieved March 2, 2015. ...So I took my ass...
  6. ^ Hill, Tanaja (July 3, 2016). "Will There Be A Jodeci Biopic?". The Source. Retrieved November 16, 2022.
  7. ^ Bezdecheck, Bethany (15 January 2009). Missy Elliott. The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc. p. 14. ISBN 9781435857131. Retrieved November 15, 2022.
  8. ^ Concepcion, Mariel. "Flo Rida". Billboard. Retrieved 25 April 2016.

External links edit