About Bobby Swan
Music producer and songwriter. Born in Minnesota, raised in Texas and recently based out of the Jewel of the Midwest - Chicago. Bobby freely works with a vocabulary informed by ambient, R&B, Warp Records and his mixed urban upbringing. Bobby is currently working with Ryan Hemsworth, Kevin Carey, David Ashley and The Holy Kit.
Sleepery Supply is especially inspired by the natural freshness of Bobby Swan's composition style and sound selections.
Check out more of Bobby Swan's work on SoundCloud
for your bedtime routine
Explore the cool mystery of a Night Garden in bloom. A lush blend featuring jasmine, bergamot, vetiver, geranium, and a hint of marjoram to restore feelings of newness, possibility, and wonder. This meditation blend inspires a focused balance to help calm wandering minds.
Designed by Bobby Swan.
For your bedtime routine
Night Garden Dry Dust is a talc-free, gently scented, clay-based powder that draws out toxins and neutralizes odor to keep your skin and hair fresh. With multiple uses, this dust is a handy addition to any night-time routine. Night Garden Drying Dust is lightly scented with the cool, clean aromas of jasmine, bergamot, and vetiver.
for your bedtime routine
A soothing selection of beats made and mixed by Bobby Swan. Atmospheric and playful, Night Garden invites you to imagine a garden coming to life under the low light of a waxing moon. Rich, cool and soft - Night Garden's rhythms and melodies play on the renewing potential of nature.
Bobby Swan's Night Garden mix is free to enjoy with any purchase of a Night Garden aromatic body product. (Refund will be granted before order is processed, must be added to cart to receive download link.)
Bobby Swan on Sleep, On Night Garden, & on music
Bobby swan on Sleep
Sleepery Supply : What helps you fall asleep at night?
Bobby Swan : I like to sleep with white noise - a fan, specifically. I need consistent sound. It’s strange when I’m in a room and the sound of an air conditioner kicks on and off. When that happens, I suddenly become really aware of the silence and it wakes me up.
Sleepery Supply : Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Our brains are wired to notice changes in sound. It helps us become alert to possible danger. Have you always used a fan to fall asleep?
Bobby Swan : When I was new to Chicago, the environment was really different and weird. I wasn’t getting much sleep. I found this other trick that helped me. After I turned on my fan, I’d role my body facing the wall my bed was pushed against. I’d wrap myself in a blanket close to the edge of the bed. I’d just kind of close my eyes and pretend that I was in a glass submarine the exact size of my body lying down. And I just imagined myself zooming through the ocean, super slow. I’d imagine the ocean outside of my body-sized submarine and somehow that image just chilled me out. For some reason, I could just fall asleep with that image.
Sleepery Supply : That’s cool – it seems like you have a really visual imagination. Do you use any of your other senses to help you “feel” the environment you’re imagining for yourself?
Bobby Swan : I guess the visual made it feel physical. It was about feeling that confined-ness. Like how that glass submarine fit around me – there was a very physical response.
Sleepery Supply : Do your dreams ever mimic your imagination? Do you dream of glass submarines?
Bobby Swan : If I am dreaming, they are usually very intense, super intense – really vivid.
Sleepery Supply : Wow, do your dreams wake you up a lot? Do you remember your dreams often?
Bobby Swan : I go through long periods where I don’t remember my dreams. It seems to depend on my lifestyle at the time. When I am dreaming, or remembering my dreams, I can start to really remember them more. Of course, frightening dreams can wake me up, but usually it seems like I role from one dream story to the next dream story. When I wake up I have the impression that there was more going on, but I generally only remember the very end, the very last storyline.
Sleepery Supply : Do you enjoy your dreams?
Bobby Swan : For some reason it’s always very…like I have to be very alert or attentive inside my dreams. Like there’s a party, or a giant wedding, and I have to do various tasks. It can be…yeah – kind of intense.
Sleepery Supply : Really? Oh man – so you have pressure dreams. I’m sorry to hear that! So you mentioned that you seem to dream in waves depending on your lifestyle. If you’re having pressure dreams, do you find that you remember your dreams more often when you’re stressed-out? Or do you dream more when you’re less busy, more relaxed?
Bobby Swan : I find that I dream more often when I’m out of town for awhile – usually visiting my family for a week or two. When my atmosphere is different, I get a lot more time to sleep – the more time I have to sleep the more I dream.
Sleepery Supply : Do you find yourself being more creative in those periods when you are dreaming more?
Bobby Swan : I wish I had more data to answer that question…I usually doing a lot of things that require my creativity when I’m working really hard and not dreaming much and then I dream a lot more when I’m away from my projects…Yeah, I’m not sure, but that’s an interesting question. Maybe I’ll have to play with that more.
Sleepery Supply : I’m glad that question sparked your curiosity – Sleepery Supply likes to think that dreams, imagination, and creativity have some kind of correlation, if not causation. If you start collecting data on that we’d love to hear about it!
Bobby swan on Night Garden
Sleepery Supply : If the Bobby Swan x Sleepery Supply collaboration somehow gave you the ability to effect people’s dreams – what would you want the effect to be?
Bobby Swan : I’d transport people – with sound and smell. They both seem to have their own transformative powers. Music can totally change how you feel and scent can make you think of somewhere else.
Sleepery Supply : Night Garden is a great scent – we really like the rich coolness of this blend. Where are you hoping it transports people?
Bobby Swan : I really like to work late at night – this blend reminds me of a garden at 3 am – when all the plants are sprouting or blooming or, you know, growing and coming alive in the dark. I see shades of blue when I shut my eyes. Like the garden is being lit by a tiny sliver of a barely waxing moon.
Sleepery Supply : Like the night after the new moon?
Bobby Swan : Exactly. This “Night Garden” has potential and newness – it’s full of possibility. It’s not new or changing – it’s a familiar place with undiscovered mysteries to explore.
Sleepery Supply : What kind of feelings are you hoping to inspire with Night Garden?
Bobby Swan : There’s a fruitfulness about a garden – a natural productivity. Smell isn’t my natural medium – I’m new to thinking about it like this, but yeah…Night Garden feels fruitful to me.
Sleepery Supply : What about sound – does Night Garden inspire any sounds for you? Besides the Night Garden Mix you’ve made (free download with any Night Garden product purchase), does this smell remind you of any specific sounds?
Bobby Swan : Yeah, I feel like lake waves – slow waves washing up on a sandy beach – so the waves are longer. Like how they move in some of the lagoons in Florida.
Sleepery Supply : Do you think that lagoon-like feel is present in the Night Garden mix? What makes this mix specific to Night Garden?
Bobby Swan : When I was putting the mix together I was thinking of the vibes of night, but not a still night. Not sleeping. A Night Garden is peaceful, but never still. There are a lot of rhythms here, a lot of percussion – it’s active and alive, but with a lot of nighttime sounds.
Sleepery Supply : So it’s not really a sleepy sounding mix…Would you say it’s a dreamy mix? Something to inspire the mind a bit before falling asleep instead of being a mix to fall asleep to?
Bobby Swan : I wouldn’t want to say that it inspires dreaming. I mean – I don’t want to say that I’m inspiring dreaming. If you think of dreaming as an achievement…that’s something else, but…
Sleepery Supply : I hear you. We might be talking about sleep and the dreams people have when they aren’t awake, but Sleepery Supply collaborates with indie-creators because art inspires us to dream while we’re awake as well as when we are asleep. A lot of work goes into creating quality creative work. Can you tell us a little bit more about the Night Garden mix?
Bobby Swan : The tracks I brought together for this mix are all in this mood where I keep the emotion kind of neutral, but wavering between the positive and negative ends of the neutral spectrum. I like a lot of different timbers and melodies and how they play into those up and downs. Usually the context of the sounds creates that up and down for me. The melody leads that more. I don’t have a formal music background – for me, the process is more about feeling. When I’m picking sounds to use for a track I use my gut. They kind of end up being colder and softer sounds usually, though I like warm and soft sounds too. I use the transition from cold to warm to create interest.
Sleepery Supply : When you say warm – how did you warm things up?
Bobby Swan : Usually I compose more things together. In the Night Garden mix I added warmth by filling out the space more. Cold, for me, implies sparseness. I don’t think of cold as a negative, but there is less energy in cold sections. Within the scale that I’m playing in I like to really build and layer - that creates a warmness that I associate with positive – a feeling of more. When the sounds are building, there’s more momentum. I like to step from positive to neutral and from neutral to negative and then always back to neutral. I really love balance.
Sleepery Supply : Any chance you’re a Libra?
Bobby Swan : I’m a Taurus actually, but Libra is my moon sign. I have so many Libras around me right now that it’s kind of insane. Dave Ashley, a dude I have released music with previously and am releasing a whole project with soon – hopefully November – he’s my best Libro.
Sleepery Supply : Do you find that that emphasis on balance is something that you bring to other aspects of your life and music? Are there any specific philosophies you embrace other than a pursuit of balance?
Bobby Swan: I have to be in a grounded place and state-of-mind to approach work. I can work in a new place, but I just have to be – have a sense of groundedness or I don’t really move forward. If I wasn’t there, I wouldn’t even be in the studio, you know? And I have to have time.
Bobby swan on music
Sleepery Supply : How long have you been making music?
Bobby Swan : I started playing guitar in the fourth grade. And then at some point in middle school, I picked up an electric keyboard. I taught myself how to play that off YouTube. I started making music digitally in 2009.
Sleepery Supply : You started playing pretty young. Have you always known that you wanted to work with music?
Bobby Swan : Ever since I was a kid, I’ve had a strong emotional connection to music. And I also have always thought about the musician – personally – like the person behind the music. Because of that connection to the creator – I think I always knew that music was the medium I wanted to use for expression. I started playing guitar at a young age – the type of music I’ve listened to has changed, but I’ve always been inspired by the music I’m into at the time and the people that are making it. For me, music communicates more than words.
Sleepery Supply : Can you share anything about your process?
Bobby Swan : I do my best work when the world is asleep. Exhaustion kind of melts away reality. The responsibilities and stresses that built up during the day kind of disappear and I just kind of make music without getting in my head about things. Working at night really makes me feel free of daily anxieties.
Sleepery Supply : Are there three specific things that might surprise people to know about your process?
Bobby Swan : 1.) Good food always solves writers block. 2.) I play keyboard best at 3am. 3.) I make most of my music from my bedroom.
Sleepery Supply : Is your process exploratory? Are you using that time to wander through the process or do you sit down knowing where you want to go?
Bobby Swan: I guess, like any artist, I make my own formulas and work with them for a while. But those are always being updated. After I exhaust a new one it kind of becomes one small part of my repertoire or inventory. Then I start working on a new tool or technique and make new workflows.
Sleepery Supply : What motivates you when you’re working on new music?
Bobby Swan : The music I’m listening to and whatever sounds that come across that day – the sounds that fill my environment.
Sleepery Supply : What are some of your influences?
Bobby Swan : I listen to a lot of Hip Hop and R&B productions during the day. I’m listening to the beats. Specifically Atlanta, Chicago, and Texas R&B. Half the time I’m working in that mode and the other half of my time I’m working on Ambient, instrumental stuff. I don’t really listen to deep ambient music often. In my day-to-day, on the train, I’m listening to the new music coming out of Atlanta and Chicago. The producers are making more and more atmospheric stuff now – there’s a bridge forming between these sounds. There’s an experimental wave with a crossover of sounds and that’s really exciting.
Sleepery Supply : That is pretty exciting. Would you describe the experience of these new environmental/atmospheric beats to be internal or external? Is your production style motivated by creating internal emotions in a person or by creating an atmosphere for a person to react within.
Bobby Swan : I don’t think about that when I’m making it, but I always feel like it’s internal emotions coming out from me. I imagine for a listener that it would be a more internal experience.
Sleepery Supply : Would you say your music is an expression of your state-of-mind when you created it?
Bobby Swan : Yeah, definitely. Absolutely.
Sleepery Supply : The Night Garden mix is both calm and animated - we love the tangible textures and patterns you’ve used to bring our imaginations alive. Coupled with the cool, rich Night Garden aromatic blend, you’ve really painted a very full experience for the senses. Thank you again for bringing your unique point-of-view and inspiration to this process – we’re really excited to launch the Night Garden line.