Home de­ten­tion is fer­tile cre­ative ground

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - By CHE BAKER

A not-so-chance meet­ing with an un­der­cover cop has turned out to be a bless­ing in dis­guise for in­ter­na­tional mu­sic artist Dai­mon Sch­wal­ger, aka The No­mad.

Sch­wal­ger was ap­proached by a po­lice of­fi­cer while work­ing at a gig in Wanaka last year.

He started re­ceiv­ing text mes­sages from the man, who claimed he was a builder, ask­ing for drug hook-ups.

Sch­wal­ger was able to fob off the re­quest off but was soon be­friended by two women with sim­i­lar re­quests.

He gave in and soon found him­self ar­rested on drug charges as part of the po­lice un­der­cover drug oper­a­tion, dubbed Oper­a­tion Vik­ing.

He em­ployed a lawyer but af­ter re­ceiv­ing a bill of $6000 for one ap­pear­ance, and un­able to raise more funds for his de­fence, he opted to plead guilty.

He re­ceived his first con­vic­tion and was sen­tenced to four months home de­ten­tion.

Now liv­ing in Kingston, he said he thought at the time: ‘‘This could go two ways. I can sit around and watch TV for four months or I can be proac­tive and cre­ative and make some­thing with this time’’.

On Fe­bru­ary 13 he started his home de­ten­tion sen­tence in West­port and set up a record­ing stu­dio in a shed over­look­ing the ocean.

Within eight weeks – half of his sen­tence – he had recorded an al­bum fea­tur­ing mu­sic artists such as King Kapisi, Lo­tex and Is­rael Starr. A lot of the tunes were in­spired by his feel­ings from be­ing ar­rested and his time on home de­ten­tion, in­clud­ing a sin­gle called In Trap Mint.

He spent the sec­ond eight weeks pro­mot­ing the al­bum, which seen his first sin­gle Brok Out top the RDU ra­dio charts in Christchurch and be picked up by the likes of Ge­orge and Base FM.

‘‘I’m a firm be­liever [that] you get tested . . . The only downside is I have a crim­i­nal record.’’

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