Our May artist of the month was born to a family heavily involved with the arts, and his talent, as a musician, songwriter, photographer and videographer (to say the least), has flourished because of a natural, if not hereditary, artistic force within him. Calling Lake Nona home, this artist truly brings a refreshing, contemporary quality to our community through his music. This is Chi Savi.
Nonahood News: What drove you to become a musician? And how did you come up with the name ‘Chi Savi’?
Chi Savi: Ever since I can remember, I’ve always been around music, thanks to having some very talented and musically inclined parents! My parents never forced me to do music but always surrounded me with it. My dad is a producer/singer-songwriter and plays many instruments, like piano, bass and drums to name a few. My mom grew up in church singing and has influences of CeCe Winans and Crystal Lewis in her voice. As a kid, my dad would record me and my two other brothers (one of my brothers being the artist “ZVMVR”) in his studio, and I believe my love for music started there. By the age of 13, I learned how to engineer and produce beats in the studio, and the rest is pretty much history.
The name “Chi Savi” came from my actual name “Malachi.” I just shortened it to Chi, and the way Savi came together was not because of the word “savage” or “savvy.” Before I was born, my mom was going to call me “Xavier/” A common nickname for Xavier is “Xavi” or “Savi,” so I put two and two together, and the name became a part of me as I grew into my artistry.
NHN: How would you describe your sound?
CS: My sound is quite genre-bending. A mix between R&B, dancehall, pop and Latin pop. I never try to limit myself or put myself in one category. My music is for everyone! You can play it during a night drive, at a party, the beach, park, and even in the middle of the day. I have a song for every mood. It’s just a vibe!
NHN: Walk me through a day (or a week) in your life of creating music.
CS: So I usually just go based off of what I’m feeling in the moment, the mood, or something I’ve experienced. There are times I’ll make up a concept and write a story expressed through my lyrics. Once I have that, I automatically jump into the studio to get what I am feeling off my chest! The number one key to success in the studio is to have my red and blue LED lights on to set the vibes. First, I look through some samples and then create a beat behind it. Sometimes, I’ll just pick out a beat sent to me by select producers who I work with, that I’ve been vibin’ to. The lyrics usually come easy to me. I just go based off of the feeling. A lot of people throw their melodies down first and then write, but I just go in the booth. And if I like it, I keep it; if I don’t, I delete it and redo it. There are times the lines don’t come as easy, and I’ll give myself a couple of days, sometimes weeks, to get inspired. Once my creativity hits and the feeling is right, the lyrics come effortlessly.
NHN: Which of your projects has been your favorite? Which has been the most challenging?
CS: By far, my most favorite project I’ve ever made that’s out now was my Love The Pain Away album. The vibes from that album are so timeless to me. The most challenging project I’ve ever made was my “Amour” EP I made with my artist friends “Kev,” “Kel,” “Nikko” and my brother “ZVMVR.” It was difficult because it’s a Spanish album and I know little to no Spanish at all. I pretty much used Google Translate to help me write the lyrics for that album. Although a challenge, I have to say it was so much fun to create this album with my friends and family.
NHN: Besides music, what other passions do you have?
CS: I really just love to be creative. I do photography/videography outside of my music. I am also very passionate about fashion; I love looking good because it makes me feel good. I enjoy motivating and elevating the people around me. I’m a firm believer in “Whatever you put into the world is what you will get back.” When I help the people around me, it also allows me to reflect on myself by making sense about my own personal struggles. I believe people just need that extra push to get them through their day, and sometimes you just gotta listen to your own advice to get yourself to that next level. I also love reading, too! A lot of people hate it or don’t have the attention span for it, but they don’t realize that knowledge is truly power. I have a mini library, and I collect the books that I read so I can always go back to that knowledge if I ever need it again.
NHN: What (or who) serves as your inspiration?
CS: This is such a hard question to answer because I look up to so many people. Vocally and lyrically, my inspirations are Chris Brown, Tory Lanez, Partynextdoor, Eric Bellinger and Drake. Aesthetically, my inspirations lean more toward artists like Travis Scott, Don Toliver, Drake, Kanye West and The Weekend. I love the dark, cinematic, night-vibe-type aesthetic they bring to their art. Motivationally, I look to people like Russ, Gary Vaynerchuk, Kanye West, and Hindzsight. If you know, you know.
NHN: What are some of your dream projects or artists to collaborate with?
CS: My dream collaboration would be a Savi x Breezy collab (me and Chris Brown) or a Savi x Bad Bunny collab. I have lots of respect for many artists and enjoy tons of music, but these are the only two people that I presently dream of working with.
NHN: Future projects/plans?
CS: I am currently in album mode as we speak, working on a project that is about 16 tracks long. I also have a few dope features on this album. I can’t say too much about the concept, but I believe it’s gonna be a Chi Savi classic. I may drop a few singles that have nothing to do with my next album before the launch, but we will see how the year goes!
To stream Chi Savi’s latest music, visit https://songwhip.com/chisavi/press-rewind. To keep up with Chi Savi, follow @CHISAVIOFFICIAL on all platforms as well as his photography account @CHIVISUALS_. Photos by @Zeez.View (Instagram).