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Kiwi rapper Savage sees 2005 hit climb US charts thanks to TikTok, awkward Trump dance

Kiwi rapper Savage's hit song Swing has reached double platinum staus in the US, a decade and a half after its release, thanks to social media.

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He joined Breakfast to discuss the momentous achievement. Source: Breakfast

The song, released in 2005, was given the mash-up treatment with Coldplay's Viva La Vida on video-sharing platform TikTok to create Viva La Swing. Users have repeatedly played the song while mimicking Donald Trump's awkward dance moves, recorded at one of the US president's recent rallies.  

Speaking today from Australia, the South Auckland rapper told TVNZ1's Breakfast that the double platinum status "is definitely something to try and keep up with".

"TikTok is the new platform for young kids and it's just kind of blown up over the Covid area, and to have the record kind of resurface - that's been amazing," he said.

The Freaks rapper, also known as Demetrius C. Savelio, started out as a member of hip-hop group the Deceptikonz, which was founded in Manurewa in 1996.

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The Auckland rapper saw first-hand the effect suicide can have when his niece took her own life.

The good news for Savage comes ahead of the release of a documentary on the pioneer label which signed the group, Dawn Raid Entertainment, directed by Oscar Kightley.

"We were coming fresh out of high school," he explained. "We formed Deceptikonz in the late '90s and we were only teenagers then - would have only been 18, 17 at the time - and once we saw that there was a local label in South Auckland, we kind of gravitated towards the label.

"As a young teenager in South Auckland, being part of a label was far fetched, you know what I mean?" Savage said.

"Being an established rapper in New Zealand wasn't mainstream - there wasn't many avenues for us. So when Dawn Raid came through, it was a pivotal time for them to kind of come through and reach out.

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Demetrius Savelio – better known as Savage – is filming a music video at Wesley College, and talked to students. Source: 1 NEWS

"That all just kind of put everything into perspective to work with Dawn Raid and we just started to create history together - it was amazing."

Dawn Raid comes out in cinemas on January 21, 2021.