Photos by Kyla Mah
If you don’t have Savannah Ré on your heavy rotation, you might want to seriously reconsider. This Toronto artist on the rise has not only made a name for herself, but she’s continuously changing the game one day at a time.
The angelic vocals and captivating storytelling found on her previously released singles are enough to get you hooked:
“Best Is Yet To Come” details the beginning; the start of a crazy journey for Savannah and who she is as an artist.
“DVP” is an ode to Toronto as the DVP is an expressway (Don Valley Parkway). The song is about ‘swerving’ up the DVP to get to your bae.
“Where You Are” describes a longing to be wherever that special someone is and needing more than a digital connection to them.
“Homies” brings us chill vibes with a no BS attitude, a song that would be perfect during a nighttime ride.
Now Savannah is back with her brand new single “Solid,” bringing you an even more enthralling music video.
To make things even better, we were invited onto the set of her new music video to get a behind-the-scenes look and catch up with our favourite up and coming artist in between scenes. We witnessed many members of the crew do what they do best: create. We witnessed Savannah’s vision for “Solid” come to life.
On set, there was a moment the production and creative flow were put on pause so that everyone could re-energize for the remainder of the shoot. While we caught up with Savannah, we explored her creative process, bonded over Busta Rhymes music videos, and touched base on the areas where she pulls the most inspiration.
Read our full interview with her below:
When did you know you wanted to pursue music? Specifically, in R&B?
Honestly, I kinda knew from a really young age. My older sister was like a super R&B head for as long as I could remember – from Mary J, Lauryn Hill, Jagged Edge, Boyz II Men – like all of that was always playing. So when it came time for me to start singing, it ended up being in the R&B vein because that’s basically what I was raised with.
What was the creative process like for writing “Solid”?
The creative process for writing “Solid” was long. I wrote that song over a few months. A lot of the time when a song really has to get a specific message across, I take my time with it.
What was your artistic vision going into shooting the music video?
I wanted something that felt like a precursor to the EP. The EP Opia, a lot of it is very sort of black and white, kinda stark and shocking visuals. So we definitely wanted to carry that into the video and then when I met up with Alicia, she was really able to take that sort of feeling and create this out-of-this-world set to play out the story behind the song.
Who are some of your artistic influences in regards to music videos?
A lot of the time I would say the director. I love the legends – Little X, Colin Tilley, Hype Williams – you know, the originals. People who filmed the videos of the artists that inspired me. Recent artist videos that I love like Tierra Whack’s videos are amazing, Tyler the Creator’s videos are always something else, but I love that, you know? I like videos that are kinda out of the ordinary. They kinda make you think. For me, I’ve only had one video before but as we start doing more, people are going to be able to see my love for science fiction, tied into the things that I do.
What is your favourite music video of all time?
My favourite music video of all time is a Busta Rhymes video. The video is nuts like just the way it was shot. I can’t remember what the title of the video was, but oh my gosh. The cinematography, the colours, the costumes, everything. Busta Rhymes and Missy Elliot are like the pioneers for cool videos – they make way for the Tierras and the Tylers – you know, the Black girls who are a little unconventional to do what we wanna do.
What are you most inspired by when it comes to songwriting?
Life. I love heartbreak, tragedy, people on the street, everything. You know, a lot of R&B comes from love but I’m inspired by everything; everything, everybody. I’d have conversations with someone where they’d say a word and it would inspire a song for me.
What can listeners expect from your upcoming EP Opia?
Honestly, they can expect a journey. It’s definitely a journey. This is my first project, so it’s coming along on this ride with me. Coming from where I may have been to where I’m at now. “Best Is Yet To Come” is the single that had come out long before the EP, that really was kinda the beginning for me. So we’re gonna start from there and we’re gonna do it. It’s gonna be a very introspective take on my journey and the journey of everything around me, which is why I called the EP Opia. Just expect a ride.
What’s your favourite thing about Toronto?
The food. You can get any cuisine here and it’s all gonna be bomb. And I only realize that when I go into other places. I’ve been to LA and they don’t have any Jamaican spots, they don’t have any Caribbean food. And the people, I love the people here too but food first.
Would you say being in Toronto has influenced your music or creative flow as an artist in some way?
Absolutely, the entire way. Everything about who I am has been influenced by Toronto. You know Jamaica, but Toronto has its own culture. I think a lot of people think that Canadians are just like “aboot” (about). You know what I mean? But Toronto has such a culture and it’s definitely rooted in Caribbean slang and the things that we choose. It’s in everything, in every part of me and the way I move through the world. You go anywhere else and you’ll recognize that you’re from Toronto.
“Best Is Yet To Come” has been on our heavy rotation and it’s a personal favourite. Can you tell us how it came to be and what the process was like?
It was funny, it was just myself and my husband, Yogi. We were just in the basement which is where we created a lot of our music in that time, and we were just vibing out. He started playing this sample and I was like ‘wait, keep that there’ and I just started singing. He started producing around it and we just started creating this demo. The funny thing about it is that we had issues trying to get it out to mix because everybody loved the vocals that we did first, but there was actually a fan on. So you could hear it and we went and recorded it at a big studio, but it didn’t have the same feeling from the basement. So we kinda built that out from the ground and it was just a real spur of the moment type of song. It was just very fitting that we ended up calling it “Best Is Yet To Come” from that moment. It was the beginning.
What was filming the video for “Where You Are” in Jamaica like?
Honestly it was surreal. For me, I’m of Jamaican descent, both my parents are Jamaican, but I hadn’t been to Jamaica since I was a baby. So it was very sort of full circle to shoot my first video in Jamaica and that it was for the first single off the EP. It was amazing. A lot of what we did was based on the land – the landscape is so beautiful. Every scene and everything we got to do, I was just so awestruck because it was just stunning. I feel like it really captured the message behind “Where You Are.” And Garcia is incredible – we really kinda sat down, figured it out together, and put together an intentional piece.