The frequently oppressive workload of the engineering major causes much grumbling and thoughts of sunnier skies among those enrolled, but it also gives rise to a fair amount of much-underrated creativity. A recent incarnation of this independent spark is the song “M-Train” by Tech’s own gtg491y and gtg562h; aka Brandon “Swaff” Swafford and Daniel “DBay” Baily.
The song has become a hit not only with the student population, but also on YouTube, where the corresponding video has recorded over 83,000 views, indicating an appeal reaching beyond the current Tech community. Daniel Baily offered to sit down and discuss the history behind the song and its place at Tech.
Nique: How did it all begin?
DBay: I guess it was two years ago. Swaff (Brandon Swafford), a friend of mine in Theta Xi, called me up and said “Hey man let’s write a song.” I mean, we were both kinda known within our friends as coming up with crazy, improv songs on the spot, just funny stuff. So I showed up and he said: “So what do you want to write about?” And after a few hours we came up with the first half of the song, the first chorus, the first verse. Now he’s graduated and works at a recording studio.
Nique: How did you get it mastered?
DBay: We spent maybe 20 hours in the studio recording. Every vocal line you hear is actually like eight lines on top of each other to give it that hip-hop sound. [Swaff] mixed it and sent it off to a guy to master it-the same guy that did Soulja Boy, actually. So Swaff’s pretty well connected. It was cool but we needed an extra touch to kind of send it out, so we made a little video and put it up on YouTube and it just blew up.
Nique: Have you always been a musician?
DBay: Yeah, I guess you can call it that. I started taking piano at like age four, and ever since then I would go play guitar at a lot of churches around the area. I play piano and trumpet, and he plays drums, bass and guitar, so we can kind of fit everything together.
Nique: Have you done any other productions?
DBay: Not together. We’re going to. We’re working on some stuff right now. We figured we’d get some stuff together and put it on iTunes.
Nique: Any future productions?
DBay: It’s in the preliminary stages. We haven’t recorded anything, I’ll say that. We’ve been focusing on just Georgia Tech, more timeless stuff. We’ve been getting emails from people from ’72, ’82, saying that what’s true today was true then, and it kind of widens the audience that we would have. Hopefully we’ll offend the least number of people possible. We have had some comments on video from Georgia fans, and they’re not the most encouraging people. Hopefully we’ll have something out by the end of the first week of school, fall semester.
Nique: How was playing at Peachtree Tavern?
DBay: It went well, we had quite a good turnout. We opened for another band, and wrote a little intro to the M-Train song so we wouldn’t be up there for just four minutes. So it kind of inspired us.