Songwriter on the rise Savannah Jada is taking the industry by storm and despite only achieving her first writing credit in 2020, she’s worked with Jorja Smith, FLO and S1mba, get to know her better via this VIPER interview.
What five words define your sound?
Classic, Fun, Progressive, Authentic, Stories.
Tell me something unique about your creative process.
I like to focus on song concepts or titles before we start the melody mapping or writing. I also like to change the key of the beat whilst writing to evoke new melody/cadences.
Which song of yours would you like people to hear first?
‘Cardboard Box’ by FLO.
What inspired you to make that song?
FLO, MNEK and I wrote the song together after Jorja (FLO member) went through a break up. An emotional song was written the day before about it and then the day after it was more like, “how can we feel empowered in a break up?” The song was like an “F U” moment.
What’s the most vulnerable you’ve allowed yourself to be when writing/making music?
I’m always striving to be vulnerable in sessions especially when the artist is in the room as I don’t think you can get the best song out of you if you aren’t to some extent. A memorable session where the artist was vulnerable and open was one I had with NaughtyBoy, Nicole Scherzinger and another writer called NEVE. Making the room comfortable enough for everyone to feel safe to share feels therapeutic and makes the writing part easy.
What’s the best/worst experience you’ve had on stage?
As I’m a songwriter, I rarely ever hit the stage. But watching Jvck James perform was the first time I’ve ever seen a song I wrote be performed live. Mahalia Presents: “FLO” was the second time. Both will be lifelong memories for me.
Of all the songs you’ve written, what’s your favourite song see performed live?
Watching FLO perform ‘Cardboard Box’ for the first time at Mahalia Presents was special as I remember meeting the girls for the first time, doing their first ever session with them and helping them develop since August 2019. So to see how far they’ve come, how their vocals have grown and them as young women have grown with all this sudden success from a song we wrote four years ago was absolutely stunning.
Which artist/song/album made you want to make music?
At two years old the ‘Get Ur Freak On’ video by Missy Elliot captivated me and inspired me stupendously with the innovativeness that is Missy’s trademark. My first album was Beyonce’s debut, ‘Dangerously In Love’ at five years old and it was a wrap from then on.
What’s the meaning behind your name?
Savannah Jada is my real name. Through my teens I tried to come up with cool names but honestly I think my parents gave me the name I was supposed to have. I was named after Jada Pinkett Smith by my grandma, she thought she was beautiful and successful. Being Jamaican, prophetic dreams/signs in dreams is apart of our spiritual culture and my aunt dreamt about the name Savannah; my mum liked it and named me Savannah Jada.
If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing instead?
There’s literally nothing else I’d rather do but if I had to I’d have to be in and around music/art in some way so I’d probably be a DJ, music curator or label exec.
What’s success to you?
Success is what I saw and felt as a two year old watching Missy Elliot music videos. I sat and watched the grammy awards yearly with my mom dreaming of my own one day. I have a high achieving heart and have many streams in art I would like to succeed in but for now I’ll say I want as many Grammys and Billboard number ones I can lay my hands on in this lifetime.
What moment in your life/career forced you to change direction?
My first year at university was difficult and by the end of it, I knew it wasn’t for me. It was the catalyst of getting me back to writing and believing in myself. In 2018, I joined a mentorship program run by Nick Jones (founder of the Soho House) and my mentor Grant Winton helped me to navigate how I would be a successful songwriter in the music industry.
Where can people keep in touch with you?
@savannahjada on instagram and @24hoursav on TikTok