"Love, drugs, and money... That's all I really want right now". Those lyrics are taken from the rapper's hit track 'Found My Place' and the first time they crossed my ears, I was left quite dazzled. What he's saying may be perceived as shallow or overstated, though the manner in which this echoed clearly stemmed from a much deeper place by virtue of the vulnerability embed within his delivery.
On the subject of vulnerability, that's part of the reason why I think many can relate to Savo. His musical influences stretch further than $10 in the middle of the month and you can hear that in his beat selection. Though what remains as a constant are the spellbinding stories of his experiences and thoughts which range from melancholic to "who even thinks of that?". The thick Australian accent caught my attention, but his words captured my heart. In this interview we chat to the Aussie rapper about influences, drug addiction and much more.
For those that don't know your story, how did you start with rap and what initially motivated you to pursue a career?
I started out making rap music when I was around 13 years old. My brother was heavily into rap music which naturally took over my life, eventually.
Something that stood out the first time I heard your tracks was the HEAVY Mac Miller influence. The cadence and flows are quite similar to Mac, do you ever get criticized for imitating and if so, what is generally your response?
I never used to get that comparison. I always used to get a lot of comments saying Eminem this and Eminem that. Mainly because I was writing “over-the-top” songs back in the day. I never get criticized for sounding like anything really, I guess it’s because I always make sure it’s got a lot of my own sound attached to it.
Your catalogue contains tracks that sound Pop, Trap and occasionally Lo-fi, with such vast genre variations who are you actually making music for?
I like to play around and make certain types of music depending on my mood. I’m honestly just making music for myself to get things off of my mind. If people love the way it sounds, that’s just a huge bonus for me.
I'd be interested in hearing more about your creative process, from where inspiration is drawn from behind your song-writing, to what goes on when you're creating/recording in the studio.
Well, I actually really do record songs in my bed. So not much creative process goes on behind the recording part of the music. I just get one idea for a rhyme (usually based on the way I’m feeling at the current moment) and the rest just flows from there until I feel like there’s nothing else left to say.
Talking about song-writing, themes of self-destruction and suicide are quite prevalent in your lyrics. Why do you feel it's necessary to repeatedly bring up those topics in your music?
Because these are real feelings that I’ve felt over the 27 years that I’ve been on this earth. I want to make people aware of certain emotions and make sure they know they’re not alone because there are millions of people who feel just like I do. Sometimes it’s good for other people to know that other people have felt or are going through the same motions.
From my understanding you had quite a length battle with drug addiction. In which ways did that affect your lifestyle and the work you produced?
My drug addiction with ice (meth) lasted 2 years and it was a daily fight with the drug. It affected my lifestyle dramatically, from the way I think about the world to the way I see myself. Honestly, it’s opened my mind and heart up to writing about a lot more personal experiences.
What you like and don't like about the Australian Hip Hop scene?
I honestly love it all. Just like America and other countries. We have a lot of different types of rappers who come from all walks of life. As long as they’re sharing their honest stories and personal views, I haven’t got a problem with the hip hop scene in Australia.
With the proliferation of streaming services over the past couple of years, what are your thoughts on the future of Soundcloud?
I think SoundCloud will always play a big part in the music industry no matter what. I’ve been using it since they first started and it’s only grown since then. It’s better for people who aren’t willing to spend money on Spotify and Apple Music. Especially since they’re now allowing artists to distribute to bigger streaming platforms from within SoundCloud.
In your eyes, what does it mean to be a "successful artist"?
In my eyes, it means bringing people together with the music and making sure people know that they’re not alone in this crazy world.
Okay... So for the next question you're also welcome to pick from artist that have passed away. 1) One artist you'd love to have a D.M.C (deep meaningful conversation) with. 2) An artist you'd love to party with. 3) An artist you'd love to spend a week with in the studio .
I’d love to have a DMC with Mac Miller, rest in peace. I’m not that into partying, but if I had to choose one person, I’d have to say Wiz Khalifa. I’d love to spend a week in the studio with Bryson Tiller.