Deborah Swearingen

Hometown: Aiken, S.C
Minor: Women’s Studies
Hobby: Taking pictures and reading
Favorite Food: Real Italian pizza


Deborah Swearingen is a senior at USC and can often be found digging through records at Papa Jazz Record Shoppe in Five Points.

Deborah Swearingen takes the arts and culture seriously. She loves music and regularly attends shows in the Columbia area and elsewhere. Attending Bonnaroo, the music and arts festival in Manchester, Tennessee was the moment her obsession with live music began.

“I think we all search for a feeling of connection with other people,” Deborah said. She’s made some of her most genuine connections through a mutual appreciation for music.

She mentioned that seeing legendary guitarist Paul McCartney was the highlight of the festival.

“It’s impossible not to feel like you’re a part of something special when you’re singing Hey Jude in a field with 80,000 other people,” she said.

Despite her affinity for the classics, her favorite genre of music is electronic, even though she may not agree with the culture surrounding it.

“I hate the connotation that goes with the music,”  she said. “People assume I mean the fist-pumping, tank top-wearing stuff. By itself, it is my favorite kind of music. “

Swearingen interned for the Music Farm, a mid-sized venue in Columbia, during her senior year in college. She worked with her roommate to write show previews and create new ideas for social media.

She found it eye opening to see the industry she thought she knew so well from a different perspective.

“It’s a lot easier to appreciate what musicians do because we’re able to witness their performances,” Deborah said. “But I really gained a whole new appreciation for what the people behind the scenes do.”

Swearingen has dreams to follow her passion for music out West.  Primarily to Colorado where she hopes to forge a career as a pop-culture journalist.

“I love that you can be at an art museum in Denver one minute, then a show at one of the most beautiful outdoor venues in the world,  then hiking the Rocky Mountains, she said.” “Even when you’re in the city, you’re still close to nature so it’s the best of both worlds for me. “

Swearingen has always felt a strong connection to the Western lifestyle. 

“It’s like a whole different country out there,” she said. “They have a whole different mentality that I really identify with.” 

– By Zach Newcastle