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Savannah Ré | Sidedoor November 2022 Issue Cover Story



According to Khalil Gibran, music is the language of the spirit.

When speaking with Savannah Ré on her start in the music industry, she describes a click she felt when she first began singing: “oh, this is kind of like what I’ve been looking for.” Music is often described as a universal language, so it is no surprise that many are called to it so strongly. As musician Savannah Ré put it, turning her talents into a career helped her fill all of her senses. Music allowed her to express all of her creative abilities. Having gone to school for the visual arts, Ré finds ways to utilize all her artistic abilities, not just isolate them by the medium. She tells us, “I can also use my visual art in music videos, and I can use my visual art on like, you know, single artworks. Like, there’s so many ways that you can use both.”

Poet Rumi had said that in the house of lovers, the music never stops, the walls are composed of melodies and the floor dances. This quote reflects the impact music had on Ré’s upbringing. Her father was a DJ and her older sister “lived for 90s RnB.” Beyond familial ties to music, there is the cultural one. “I’m also Jamaican and I always had music around me,” it was just figuring out that she wanted to sing. But even then, she needed to be pushed from time to time. Literally.

Growing up with extreme stage fright, she recalls that if she had never been pushed to go on stage, she probably would never have done so. She says, “like, now, looking back, I’m like, okay. Like, there was nothing to really be that scared of.” Two years later forcing herself onto that stage, she realized that performing was something she could be capable of.

Savannah, who has since overcome her fear of performing, has one message she wants to convey with the music she’s been releasing: “we’re all not that different.” She wants listeners to remember that they can find their stories in her words; to remind them and her past self that they can go through the hard times and still come out on the other side.

“That’s kind of my mission.”

Speaking about her latest release, Closure, she speaks about the process of opening herself up more to her audience. “[Closure’s] the most sonically different.” As she releases more music, she refuses to box herself in; “I fall into RnB, I sing rhythm and blues, but to me, that’s not defined by a sound,” she adds. She did, however, acknowledge the pressure to remain the same. She says, “I also know that people can be really like, ‘you already made a sound like this, so you have to sound like that forever.’” She discusses her apprehension about putting out something so different paid out with the response; proving to herself that her mission of authenticity is true. Savannah reminds herself that she wants to start presenting all aspects of herself to listeners at the end of the day. She wants people to feel like they are a part of her journey and know her beyond her projects and releases.

Savannah wanted to show people who she is outside of a photoshoot because everything on social media is so orchestrated. This is why she has also introduced her new series on Youtube, Sippin’ with Sav. Having used to be a bartender, Savannah was excited to rediscover this aspect of herself and share it with her audience. She revealed that she and her husband, producer Yogi, love entertaining; “we don’t like to go out, but we like to entertain […] So I just I hope it gets bigger and bigger and I can do more and more episodes and people can keep coming into my world.”

Bringing more of who she is means the transition into a new phase as an artist. Female artists in the entertainment industry frequently find themselves reinventing themselves more than male artists; constantly having to reinvent to remain shiny and new. Savannah, on the other hand, is pushing back against these expectations while allowing for more authenticity.

“I used to want to put up a bit of a veil.”

While the transition has been difficult, she has also found it rewarding. “Everything was uncertain, not just musically,” she says, “between Opia and this project, life was very uncertain. But it was fun.” She allowed herself the freedom to enjoy herself and look inward at what brings her joy, what gives her inspiration. This is her era of inspiration and experimentation. This also means experimenting with creative mediums.

“I’ve co-directed all the visuals for this project. And it’s not my first time.”

Savannah revealed that, while she never announced it, she was always involved in the visual aspects of her projects. Bringing back the girl who studied visual arts, she is reintroducing herself to her love of blending fantasy with reality and creating a visually appealing representation of her lyrics.

“I’m just so far just enjoying time and getting my feet wet with the directing aspect.”

Opening herself up lyrically and artistically, Savannah wanted to share that with her audience as well. She recently put up an announcement calling for artists to submit their work for a chance to open for her upcoming show in Toronto. She describes this experience as “madness” and hints at new project ideas; “there’s definitely much more that I want to do here, like a festival perhaps, and all these things, like my vision and my scope is–is massive.”

Features in Elle Canada. Spotify’s Equal Canada Ambassador. Thousands of people are trying to open for her shows. Savannah Ré is quickly rising and doesn’t show any signs of stopping.

“it sounds so cliche. I hate to say it, but just keep going” is what she would tell her younger self starting at those open mic nights. Something she always tries to tell herself, and others, is to study; “I studied so many songwriters, so many artists before figuring out exactly what it is I wanted to do as an artist.” She knows this is what she was supposed to do and won’t let the opportunities pass her by.

“I know that this is what I want to do, and I know that’s bigger than me as well.”


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