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Meet Savannah Philyaw

Today we’d like to introduce you to Savannah Philyaw.

Savannah, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was always an emotionally sensitive kid. When anything would happen, good or bad, to me, my family, or my friends, I would really feel it in my heart. I used diaries to work through my feelings and eventually, I began adding music to my entries. I have always been inspired by the huge feelings that songs bring on. When I was 13, I decided I wanted to bring those feelings to people. I wanted to uproot those emotions in people that they wouldn’t feel without that song.

That dream carried through to today and I still strive to write the songs that someone needs right at the moment. When I was 15, I had my first live performance at Lestat’s West Music Venue and I opened for Tyler Hilton, a musician I idolized from my favorite TV show One Tree Hill. I am so grateful for that opportunity because although I didn’t feel ready to perform in front of a crowd, so many stars aligned to make it happen that I just couldn’t say no.

I have now been performing for 7 years at venues in several different cities including the House of Blues, The Observatory North Park, and Music Box here in San Diego. I have recorded multiple EPs and singles that can be heard on all digital platforms including Spotify, iTunes, and Amazon. I have co-written with San Diego’s Calman Hart and Multi-Platinum songwriters Michael and Nancy Natter.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I have had many moments in my career so far in which I step back and realize that right then and there it is a dream come true. This usually happens when I am opening a show for artists I grew up loving like Howie Day, Jason Mraz, Kate Voegele, Tyrone Wells, Max Frost, and Tyler Hilton. When I finish a set and there are 50 people waiting at the merch table to buy CDs, that’s another one of those moments. I recently heard one of my songs on a Cartoon Network show. That felt amazing. As I have seen continued success in my artistic career so far, self-doubt and comparison have been consistent battles along the way. I think it is something that most people deal with in life.

There are so many incredibly talented musicians and writers who blow my mind with their ability to tell a story that it is easy to feel my inner critic creeping up on me. I’ve found that it’s very important to be excited by and inspired by the works of others rather than see them as competition. Having a community mindset rather than a competitive one has helped me to overcome some of these challenges. Living life as an artist is such a blessing and it is just a matter of keeping a positive perspective and realizing that every person has something unique to offer to the world and for me, that is my songs and music. I’m currently working on some new music that will be released soon!

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Savannah Philyaw – what should we know?
I’d like to say my music is a blend of Joni Mitchell and Jewel, with a touch of Colbie Caillat and a splash of California sunshine. When I perform live, I like to offer my full, authentic self. My shows will often make you laugh, feel happy, and also reminisce about the moments of your life that turned you into who you are today. I am most proud of being able to connect with others on a deep level because that’s what music does for us. My mission as an artist is to write somebody’s favorite song.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I feel that enthusiasm and authenticity are the most important characteristics for my success. If I’m enthusiastic about my projects and my work, then it feels effortless.

Enjoying the process leads to a successful end product and I’ve found that my favorite songs I have written are ones that I was enthusiastic about from start to finish.

Enthusiasm keeps us going and motivated to continue. Finding ways to be excited to write songs each day has been my key to success so far.

The other crucial characteristic is authenticity. I’ve found that as an artist, I just have to be myself and not try to fit the molds of other people. In being authentic, I can write songs that speak to me and to others rather than trying to write to a formula for a hit song.

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Image Credit:

Keili Fernando, The Adam Jay Photography, Steve Anderson Photography

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