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Meet Savva

Today we’d like to introduce you to Savva.

Savva, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
A singer, songwriter, rapper, creative, from North London, England. I started making music as soon as I could put words together. I remember being ten years old and standing at the top of the staircase of my family home where there was good acoustics and singing a song I had just made up. I was standing there, hairbrush in my hand and visualizing singing to a huge crowd and the crowd knowing the lyrics to my song. I’ve always LOVED writing songs, melodies, raps, poetry, spoken word. It’s definitely where my passion lies. I love riding the beat, catching that wave on a track and finding a unique melody in the music. I guess I first got started when I was scouted at a high school performance (age 13), by a producer who wanted to start working with me. He was already established in the industry and I was eager to get started. It was really good for me to be around him and learn what it takes to cook up a cool song.

Once I got that taste of being in a studio and how it felt to write and perform my OWN lyrics and melody, I was hooked. Like, fully HOOKED. I worked with a lot of different producers trying to find my sound. Then I met Emma Prior. As soon as I met her, I knew we were in for a ride. She was basically the yang to my ying, two peas in a pod, that ride or die homie, you catch my drift, right? And we decided to join forces and become a group. Total Salt N Pepper vibes, we were called Red N Pink!!!! We took to the London underground scene, building a loyal following and creating a FIRE live set. I learnt so much about myself and the music industry during our time together. We did so much. We performed at music venues internationally and at some incredible music festivals: Glastonbury (UK), Blue Balls Festival (Switzerland), CSD (Germany) NANO-MUGEN Festival (Japan 17,000 people) being SOME of them. We wrote so many songs, got offered a lot of different deals and had the time of our lives. It was a magical experience getting to see the world and make dope music with my best friend.

We eventually parted ways. It was time for me to walk on my own two feet and face the world as a solo artist. EEEESSSSSHHHHH. What did I have to offer? Like, just me? Can I do it? It was crazy actually. The minute I stepped out alone and started to clean my act up, (I explain a little further down what I mean by that), some unexpected turn of events occurred. I was approached by a young aspiring music manager Chloe Freedman who had been following Red N Pink, heard that we had parted ways and wanted to work with me. She was just as hungry and driven as me so together we imperfectly threw a lot of ‘spaghetti on the wall’. Do Americans use that phrase? I’m not sure. But basically, we tried a lot of different things to see what would work. We got interest from some music producers in New York ChrisNTeeb (50 cents, Jennifer Lopez, Ciara), who said I sounded like Dizzee Rascal mixed with Gwen Stephanie. I liked that lol. They flew to London to work with me. We wrote an album worth of material. And that was the beginning of my London to Los Angeles MOVE.

The music I made with ChrisNTeeb caught, Grammy Award-winning producer, Cory Rooney’s (Jennifer Lopez, Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey) attention and he wanted to meet me. So we flew out to Los Angeles to meet Mr. Rooney. He wanted me to move to Los Angeles so we could work together. He sponsored me and I basically sold all my belongings in the UK and moved to Los Angeles. HUGE leap of faith right there. It’s been a journey. A journey of self-discovery. Asking them questions: Who am I? What do I have to say? Where do I fit in, in this BIG, HUGE, GIGANTIC pool of music creators? The bottom line is this, the more risks I take, the more honest and raw I am in my music, the closer I feel I get to actually doing something of use, saying something that matters and THAT feels good.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It definitely hasn’t been a smooth road. I don’t even really know what a smooth road feels like to be honest. It’s been mad bumpy from the moment I was born. I might even get bored if that road smoothed out too much LOL. I was raised in a pretty rough area in North London and as a kid, would literally be scared for my life a lot of the time. I felt like I had to fit in to be safe, and to fit in, meant, pretend to be somebody else and do things that weren’t true to my heart. I had no idea back then how damaging that would be for me. It was hard coming from a Cypriot family who wanted me to be one way but then growing up in an area that wanted me to be another way… I felt pulled in all directions and literally couldn’t find a place where I actually fit in. I felt bullied at home and at school. I felt like I didn’t belong anywhere. Race played a big part. I was too light for the black kids and too ‘brown’ for the white kids… I remember when I was just a little girl, wishing I could just look different so that I could fit into one of these groups.

But thank God for music right? At the end of the day, I just wanted to be creative. I loved it all, singing, acting, being in theatre productions, performing, writing lyrics and making my own songs and raps up. I think it was the only time I felt like I was being myself, which is quite funny because it was where I tapped into my imagination and created a self. Acting meant I was ‘acting like somebody else’ and when I wrote songs back then, I was writing about things I hadn’t yet experienced. Writing about heartache, being dumped, being left behind, with such conviction… I can see now that I was tapping into the pain I felt as a child and teen and then using things like being dumped (which hadn’t happened yet), to talk about how I was feeling. To release the anger and injustice, I was feeling at home, on the streets and at school.

I was angry. I felt ugly and unloved. I felt like there was something wrong with me. And now I was 16 years old, my parents just had the most brutal divorce, leaving behind pure chaos for me and my brothers to deal with… And I was like F**K this. So I went out into the world trying to find ways to just numb out, not feel and try to make people like me… essshhhh bad combo for a teenager. I found drugs and alcohol and was instantly like, YES, now I feel like I can function. That’s crazy talk. But that’s how I felt at the time. I was soooo hungry for success. I wanted to make music and perform to big crowds, I think deep down I felt like if I could succeed at this then It would somehow fill that void inside of me that felt unloved and ugly. Man, was I wrong. Nothing could fill that void. But that didn’t mean I wasn’t going to try with all my life force. Mate, it nearly cost me my life. I managed to find my tribe, my music crew, my new lil family, who were all big party animals, and in a way were all running from their childhood pains too… and life felt great for a while.

I was touring the world, performing to huge crowds, I was popular, I had ‘friends’, I felt like I ‘fit in’, but what I didn’t realize was, I was slowly crumbling inside… My mental health was seriously being affected by all the drugs and alcohol and by brushing all of my problems under the carpet and by not dealing with ANYTHING. I didn’t speak to anybody about how I felt inside. My family had no idea. My best friends had no idea. I basically lied. I was like “I’m fine”. I wasn’t fine. I found myself in one toxic relationship after another because I couldn’t be alone and because focusing on somebody else meant I didn’t have to look at myself. All of this self-medicating became an addiction. I couldn’t live without these things. I had no idea I couldn’t live without these things though. Why would I? I guess I was surrounded by It and didn’t know any better. In the music industry in London, it was cool to have some wild girls rocking the stage. It was cool to be ‘f**ked up’. Some people can handle these lifestyles. They can stop when it gets bad or simply grow out of it. But others, like me, can’t. That’s what we call addiction. Red N Pink ended and I finally crashed. I crashed hard. I was done. I wanted it all to end. I had to either heal or die, there was no more hiding. And I had no idea that healing was even an option.

Thankfully, a close friend of mine caught me as I was falling, quite literally. She took me to my first ever 12 step recovery meeting… And that was the beginning of the NEXT BIG CHAPTER of my life. Let’s call that moment in my life, divine intervention, pretty much a miracle. Because trust me, I didn’t choose it. I wasn’t looking for it. I didn’t even know it existed. It just appeared, like magic. I got sober from everything lol. No more drugs, alcohol and no more toxic relationships. Who would have thought it! Not me. I joke about this time in my life. All I did was drink water, got to 12 step meetings, make music and meditate. That’s when Chloe Freedman found me and we started working together… and ‘Coming to America’ came on our radar.

I’m so so grateful for this change in my life. Today I am grateful for my life, back then, I just wanted it to end. Today, I feel like I have a purpose, I have something to share and to inspire other people. If I can, then so can you. I only wish somebody like me was around to share their story with me when I was 16 years old. That could have saved me from A LOT of harm and time. I am grateful for my journey, all of it. My childhood made me street smart and resourceful. My experience with addiction made me resilient and showed me that I am a survivor. It gave me 12 step recovery and all that comes with that. I feel like I’m of service and I truly have a purpose for the first time in my life. And as an artist, that Is the best feeling ever. I have a deep drive to want to help people. It’s amazing. Because of my crazy bumpy journey and all its obstacles, I finally see that my art is my gift to the world instead of it being something that validates me.

Can you give our readers some background on your music?
I write songs, sing songs and rap. I love to put on super creative live shows where the audience gets all their senses shaken, stirred then, blown. And I love to sing about real stuff, in a real way. I guess that’s what sets me apart. I don’t really have time to sugar coat things and try and make serious stuff easy to swallow. I just say it, show it.

Check out my most recent music video: ‘Why’d You Leave’ OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO YouTube:

I got sponsored to move to Los Angeles by Grammy award-winning producer Cory Rooney (Michael Jackson, Jennifer Lopez). I recently finished making my first EP at Cory’s studio in West Hollywood (the next artist to go into Cory’s studio was Brandy, Yes she a queen).

So in this time during lockdown. I’ve basically been working on releasing my first single ‘Why’d you leave?’ It’s a song very close to my heart. As a recovering addict myself, I have had my fair share of close to death encounters… I’ve walked so close to the edge that It’s literally a miracle that I am still alive today! But Some really close friends of mine were not so lucky! The song speaks about mental health issues. It talks about addiction and about those that we leave behind in our battles with our sickness.

Here’s where you can check out my new single:

I started my career off in London, England. I was in a band called RedNPink… We were definitely known for our live sets and not giving any f**ks.

We performed around the world together… some highlights were: Switzerland, Lake Lucerne, which is literally the most beautiful place. St Petersburg, Russia which was AN EXPERIENCE. That’s, all I can say about that for now. Austria, the venue was inside of a cave. It was so cool. And we got to support Asian Kung-Fu Generation in Tokyo, Japan’s Yokohama Arena, to 17,000 people. That was unreal. Japan is cool as f**k. But the audience was the coolest part. They were so mind-blowing. I remember saying “put your hands in the air” and as if by magic they all put their hands upon the next beat in sync. That kept happening. So cool. Can’t wait to perform there again.

I will be releasing a song each month for the rest of this year! Stay tuned.

I just hope that my story can help inspire even a few people…

My new life mantra is “the scariest cave is where the treasure resides.”

What were you like growing up?
I was always super driven as a child. Always on a mission to join some sort of music group, theatre production, auditions for bands, just on a constant hustle. Music has always been my light in a dark tunnel guiding me. Anybody who knew me as a child would agree.

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