“When I was about 13, I found my mom’s guitar behind the living room couch. I picked it up and started playing with it, learning chords, trying to see what would happen. In a few months I’d learned enough that I started playing other people’s songs. Then I figured out that I could write and play my own songs and I was done. That was all I wanted to do.”—Savannah King, Western New York Singer/ Songwriter
Savannah King stands lithe and lovely, her presence defined by flowing red hair, expressive doe eyes and one essential extension of her being….a guitar. Seven years after randomly discovering her mother’s six string, this WNY songstress has developed a strong fan following through creative online performances, the release of two EPs (Throwing Stones and She Sends Her Love) and the launch of several solo tours throughout the Northeast United States.
The latest reward for Savannah’s musical labors came in the form of an an invite to perform her original music at the Kerrville Folk Festival Songwriting Competition–one of only thirty two musicians, from over 800 applicants, chosen to compete.
As this talented twenty-year -old works steadily towards renowned, she remains purposefully aware of her musical evolution, beginning with her voice. “In the past, I hated hearing myself sing, really couldn’t stand it. But that just made me more determined to improve. I knew what I wanted to sound like, so I started taking vocal lessons with Amy Teal. She helped me to develop greater vocal strength while not destroying my style. She left me with my own vocal color that I can now project more fully. I really learned a lot from the experience.”
Savannah also pays respectful attention to her songwriting skills. While she continues to showcase songs from her early career, she also acknowledges a writing evolution. “My song writing has changed so much as I’ve grown and learned, both as a person and an artist. But at this point, I am not married to any particular sound. In fact, I don’t really know what my sound is yet. In that way I have so much to figure out about what kind of artist I am. ”
Self-examination is at the core of Savannah King’s being, a fact that is evidenced in her music. Threads of relationship angst, heartfelt remorse, love and friendships both lost and found, weave through her lyrics. She acknowledges that her style generally encompasses sad emotions and stories, but quickly claims to be of a positive heart and mind.
“Everyone wants to know when I’m going to start writing happy songs, but it’s just easier to write about struggles and hardship. I don’t think that I am this really sad person, it’s just that happiness is the hardest thing for me to write about. Words come easier to me when I hear minor chords.” To which she adds, “People keep asking me to write happy songs and I definitely need to start writing some.”
While Savannah continues to advance her music career she is strengthening her professional options by pursuing a degree in music business at Fredonia State University.
The accomplished young woman admits to a strong attraction to the business and management side of the music world. Her organizational skills are evident in the planning, promotion and scheduling details she manages in between writing, recording and performing. If required, could she choose one over the other? Her immediate reaction is conflicted .
“I don’t know. I’m not sure.” After a thoughtful pause, the accomplished young artist continues, “I know that I will always have a hand in the business side of my music. And while I might do the business side for other people as well, I don’t think I’ll ever stop writing and performing. I’ll always have my own songs.”
Savannah describes her song writing process as a layered experience of gathering material and filtering it in her mind, on paper and through her guitar until it comes together in a song that she feels is a, “keeper”. Explaining her creative process leads to discussion of her immediate music plans, which includes her newly released EP (The Acoustic Collection), a performance transition from acoustic to full backup band, the writing and recording of a full length CD and a live online concert. It’s a full slate for this focused young woman with a passion for music and words.
“There is a feeling you get when you write—when you create a song from your own head— that is amazing. I can foresee a day when I don’t tour and no longer perform, but I will always write my music.”
More about Savannahs live online concert here.
Learn more about Savannah at savannahkingmusic.com or facebook.com/savannahkingmusic!
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