It seems as though every other day new music is being presented to us. It could be from an artist who we’ve been listening to for years or someone who’s just getting their feet wet in the music industry. But this man I had the pleasure of sitting down with isn’t new to this. I know myself and countless others have been patiently waiting for his very first EP to drop, ever since he gave us an official release date back in May. This past Sunday, on his 26th birthday, Harlem native & rapper Sav, Sire released his long-awaited EP, “Ep1: The Pilot”. From the importance of generational wealth to his obvious love for live instruments, food, and the world to letting us know how good the wings are at Onyx, there’s no way you could possibly want to ignore this masterpiece that Sav has blessed our ears with. Like he told me, “I’m the ghetto concierge of black excellence” and every bit of this EP proves that statement to be the true.
With a Boondocks inspired artwork cover, showing Sav posted up outside of his local bodega, we should have known the EP would have us on our toes, as does the very controversial but important show. The Boondocks actually announced it would be airing again just a week or two after Sav had already started to promote the EP, with the cover attached. A coincidence? Who knows but he’ll take full credit for the comeback! Of course, he’s a huge fan of the show but truthfully, the idea for the artwork just popped into Sav’s head one day and he ran with the idea. Having a love for animation, he also thought about doing fully aminated music videos and creating a concept similar to Gorillaz, where people would only see what he looked like at live shows.
Back in February Sav released his one and only single off the EP, “Day After Day”, which hit over 100,000 streams on Spotify in such a short period of time! I remember him letting me hear this single months before and I sat, rocking back and forth with my stank face, instantly knowing this was the one; Sav knew too and felt very good momentum about it, hence why it was the first to hit the streets! A month before “Ep1: The Pilot”, Sav put a photo up of the tracklist on Twitter, making everyone even more anxious and excited, just counting down the days! Being an artist, he just works on songs and knows when certain ones will collectively make up a dope project. These five specific songs were picked because he liked how they all flowed together when going through all his material. We both agreed that track sequence is essential to an EP and/or album reaching its potential heights.
Each and every track creates its own vibe that can’t be duplicated, making it hard for me to choose which is my favorite but without hesitation, Sav let me know that “My Peace Interlude” is his. Every once in a while you’ll hear him say some funny lines and if you know him in real life, you know he stays with the jokes but this song is as serious as it gets. His perspective in this track is clear and very honest. What also makes this track super special is that he produced it! This wasn’t a solo thing though. He had the beat in his head but since he had never produced before, didn’t have the necessary tools to complete the task; which is where Shareef Keyes, funk rapper/producer/engineer, stepped in.
Sav and Shareef have been working together for over five years. Shareef has much experience and knowledge in how the producing world works. He was able to bring in talented street performers to play instruments and find that Timbaland snap that Sav was longing for, to make the song what it is today! Sav also recalls a few years back when Scottie Beam had her segment, #ScottieFeedback, and on one lucky day one of his songs was picked and Young Guru gave him tips on different tricks to do with his beats and that bit of advice has stuck with Sav through his process.
Creating moments is what this entire EP embodies. You can often hear Sav mention things about food, “escargot and some soul food, I do yoga, hate tofu”. He admits he’s an extreme foodie while telling me about this bomb calamari salad with peanuts, green beans, peppers, and a sweet vinaigrette he’s in the mists of eating. Traveling is also another topic constantly being brought up. If there was any place other than NYC he’d like to live it would most definitely be France for at least one year. He’s been all over the world from Dubai to France, to Houston, and the list keeps going! Growing up Sav was introduced to a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds, helping him evolve into the man he is today while visiting, appreciating, and exploring other cultures besides his own.
Being from Harlem has played a major role in who Sav is and the type of music he makes. He knows that too many times negativity is associated with Harlem but in his eyes, where he’s from represents the home of the black gentlemen, black excellence, and diversity. And don’t expect Sav to disappear on us anytime soon just because “Ep1: The Pilot” is finally out. Before the year is up we should expect to hear at least 1-2 more EP’s, which could be shorter than his last. He really wants to include more instruments, especially violins! His future EP’s will also have different sounds and new ideas are starting to formulate for it day after day. If you haven’t listened to “Ep1: The Pilot”, click below to whichever streaming service you have and go play it! Also, watch his two extremely hilarious promo videos.