Mustard had the pleasure of speaking with Savanna Leigh. Together we discussed their families love of music, their songwriting process, their album “the way I see it”, their latest single “arms length”, and so much more!

1. Mustard is grateful to have you join them again at Music Shelf. How are you doing today?

I am doing great! Thanks so much for having me!

2. Growing up you were surrounded by your family’s love of music. What kind of music did your family listen to?

A lot of old country and rock music. 

3. As you grew older, did you have a similar taste in music or do you branch out?

I would say I learned to appreciate all genres and I got older. Country stuck with me a bit more than old school rock haha but hip hop, R&B, pop music etc. were a big part of my music taste growing up. I would say pop music is the genre I was always the most drawn to, in the sense that it was the music I loved to listen to but also perform. 

4. Through education you began your personal music journey. Can you recall a favorite memory from your time in choir?

I would say the years I spent performing in the show choir called Ambassadors were some of my favorite memories from high school. We had a new partner in the choir each year and we would sing and dance and compete in competitions all over the county. I learned so much about my voice and how to truly harmonize during that time and I will cherish those experiences forever.

5. At age six you began songwriting. Do you remember any of the songs you wrote?

I don’t remember much about those first songs I wrote. I have some pretty funny home videos though to remind me lol.

6. What was your songwriting process then? What is it now? How have you grown as a songwriter?

If I’m honest I didn’t have much of a songwriting process as a kid, I just wrote whatever came to mind, whenever I felt like writing, about whatever I was experiencing and would write a bunch of random things down, then go to my sister and have her help me turn my thoughts into lyrics. I would always come up with the melody of the song with the help of someone else usually my sister. As I’ve grown up I’ve made songwriting not just an occasional hobby, but something I do on an everyday consistent basis. I would say I’ve grown more as a songwriter in the past 3 years, than I have in my entire life. My process changes often, but I tend to write alone a lot, in my room and get ideas down whether it is a verse or a chorus or both, and then take those ideas into a room with co writers and finish out the idea/song. However, lately I’ve been writing a lot more full songs on my own. Songwriting was something I was afraid to fully give my all for years, because it made me get in touch with my emotions and deeper thoughts which was uncomfortable for me. It still is sometimes, but now songwriting is like therapy for me. Genuinely the only way I can process my emotions. 

7. You have devoted yourself to growing. Why is it important that humans grow? What happens when a human remains content in the same place?

Growth is something I for sure have devoted myself to doing. It isn’t an easy choice, don’t get me wrong. It is easier to go through life just kind of numbed out, to coast, to not face the things you know you need to in order to be the best version of yourself. But life is so short, and I feel in order to live life to the fullest extent, to be the best version of yourself you can be, you have to be willing to face the hard things as well. To be honest with yourself about the areas in your life you aren’t happy with or proud of and be brave enough to make a change, to surround yourself with people who are like minded and who encourage you. Being complacent scares me more than anything. 

8. Later on you used education again to help develop your skills as a musician. Can you share what education means to you?

Education is and always has been something I am grateful for. It was a privilege to be able to have an education let alone study music for two years post high school. I learned a lot from my time spent in college and even though I chose to leave and pursue music full time after my sophomore year, I don’t regret going at all. I learned a lot about discipline, the importance of routine, and hard work through all my years as a student. I don’t think college has to be for everyone, but I do believe in the value of education and that sometimes you have to go through trial and error to lead to the right path for you. 

9. You write songs everyday. Do you have a routine? Or does it happen when an idea strikes?

Typically when an idea strikes or when I feel inspired. But even on days when I don’t feel that creativity strike, I still try and get something written down. There are days when creatively I’m stuck, inspiration doesn’t strike every second of the day, but I think it’s important to show up for your craft even when you don’t feel like doing so.

10. Who (or what) influences you?

So may things influence me everyday. But I think just my daily life experiences, thoughts/feelings, and memories influence me to create stories I can tell through songwriting. 

11. How does it feel to have your music garner over 1.2 million streams between Spotify and Apple Music? Do you think about these numbers when songwriting?

It feels incredible. For people to find my music and to be able to resonate with it is all I could ever ask for. I don’t think about it often when writing, and sometimes if I do I  stop myself because I don’t want to get to a place where I’m writing thinking in terms of streaming. I feel like the music I’d be writing wouldn’t be as genuine then. 

12. 2021 saw the release of your EP “Changes.” Could you share what it was like to put this EP together?

The “changes” EP was such a crucial part to getting where I am right now. That project is my first body of work I ever released as a solo pop artist and so it will forever hold a special place in my heart. I learned a lot about myself through the making of “changes”, I wrote all 5 songs and put that entire project/rollout together solo with no team. It was important to me to wear a lot of hats at the beginning of my career, and to learn the business side of music as well, so that I would be ready before bringing any new team members on board, such as a manager etc. 

13. Why is it important that humans take care of the “girl underneath?” How do you like to de-stress?

I think it is so important to take care of yourself because if you can’t learn how to prioritize your needs and mental/physical health, how can you take care of the other people in your life who you love and care about? I like to de-stress by reading, being by the ocean, hanging out with friends, watching crime shows/movies, spending time alone in prayer, or just taking long drives listening to music. 

14. Mustard wonders if you have a favorite flavor of bubblegum?

Hmmm not sure haha probably the original pink bubblegum itself is fire.

15. Sometimes humans play head games with each other. Why does this happen? Did this experience inspire your single “head games?”

I think relationships are complicated, the healing process after a breakup is even more complicated. I think sometimes we think as humans if we focus our attention on someone new it will help us get over someone that hurt us, even if it’s subconscious. I thought I really liked someone but turns out his personality wasn’t what I had hoped and I built him up in my head before we ever really spent any time together. Mostly because I was trying to focus my attention on anyone but my ex and so head games is a song I wrote after coming to that realization. 

16. These singles eventually lead to the release of your album “the way i see it.” How did it feel to get these stories out into the world?

It felt incredible. That project was years in the making. I will say those songs were some of most most vulnerable and raw lyrics to date. Stories that weren’t easy for me to tell, but that I knew were necessary for me to heal. It was my side of the story in a breakup I went through, and I put all my feelings I never got to say to my ex into that body of work. I wanted people to know they aren’t alone in the hurt experienced after a breakup with someone you truly loved, in a breakup where you felt you did all you could to save the relationship but ultimately the timing just wasn’t right, to learn to let go, to stop trying to change/fix someone who doesn’t want to be fixed, and if someone is meant to be yours that they will be yours.

17. Your latest single is a tale of self-discipline and temptation. Could you tell us more about “arms length?

“arms length” is a song I wrote when I first reconnected with my ex after we’d broken up. He was my first love but also my friend long before we dated so I thought we could remain friends after some time had passed. But the truth is I hadn’t moved on and neither had he and we kept seeing each other which didn’t help the healing process at all. It’s a song for anyone trying to keep someone at a distance but know if they could easily pull you back in if they wanted to. This song is different sonically than any other song I’ve released. I wanted to experiment with my sound in a new way. Mixing upbeat dance pop production with more gut wrenching direct lyricism.

18. What is next for Savanna Leigh?

So much new music, so many more stories, and hopefully a lot more shows. I really hope to tour this year and meet some of these amazing fans that are connecting to me through my music. This next wave of music is a continuation of my last project “the way I see it’”, so if you thought that chapter with my ex was closed after my single “hope ur doing good” you will be in for a surprise with these next releases. 

19. Where can readers listen to your music?

Any platform! Spotify, apple, soundcloud, YouTube, etc! 


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