With a smile that will light up the darkest of days. Savannah Collins, describes herself in just one word as, “Driven.”  The passion she has for her music has been distributed world-wide, as she is now collaborating with artists’ on a global level with, Another Destiny Project.  Check out what she has to say in this featured interview.

Where are you originally from?
I was born in the city of Windhoek, which is the capital of my home country Namibia.

When did you start performing music? 
After teaching myself how to play the guitar for about two years, I then started performing live around Windhoek from the age of sixteen. My first ever concert was August 2010 where I performed about nineteen songs in total, twelve of them were originals. That show inspired me to continue performing.

Which instruments do you play? 
My first love is the guitar (acoustic and electric), which I accompany with my voice, as I also have a huge passion for singing.

Describe your music interests and abilities. 
My musical interests lie deeply in classic and old school rock ‘n roll, mainly the 60’s and 70’s. Bands/artists such as: Free, Jimmy Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and of course Led Zeppelin. I also have a great appreciation for grunge and modern, hard-rock: Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Seether, Stone sour and The White Stripes. My own abilities with playing the guitar are not limited; I love the acoustic guitar as this is what my solo act mainly comprises of. I gravitate towards the darker and richer sounds in an acoustic guitar, as they complement my music and messages, however, there is an entirely contrasting experience that I get when I plug my Fender Stratocaster in, deep blues and high gain solos are things I find extremely exciting to play. Vocally I express myself through the blues, folk rock and grunge; nothing makes me more content than singing a song I love.

What famous musicians inspire you? 
There are so many to choose from, as each artist I listen to or watch inspires me in a different way and contribute uniquely to my musical experience. However, if I had to choose a few I’d say Slash from Guns ‘n Roses, Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin and lastly and possibly my favorite, Eddie Veder of Pearl Jam  for his raw passion on stage and unbelievably captivating voice.

What is some of your best musical memories?

“The Crowd is Shouting for More!”

I’ve had some great memories overall. One that stands out is my very first live show, after I had finished my last song and gone back stage my mom said to me with a huge smile on her face “the crowd is shouting for more” I then heard how the entire room was chanting three very powerful words that would inspire the rest of my career and give me the support and confidence to continue – “We want more”. I got back on stage and performed one more song; I’ll never forget that feeling.

“We Want More!” We Want More!”

What public events do you have coming up?
I’ll be performing a few random shows around the Cape Town music scene as I am currently living and studying in South Africa. I also have a couple of live shows in Swakopmund Namibia over the December holidays when I head back home. Namely the Carnival of flames festival, live at The Dessert Tavern Bar as well as a number of pub gigs. You might even find me strumming away on the beaches as well …

What would you say to beginners to the industry, who are nervous? 
Confidence is key in this industry, know yourself, know your worth and take risks. Don’t over analyze your music or abilities and avoid comparison with others, because everyone and every musician are unique.

“Being a musician is a way of life, and the greatest one in my books.”

How do you balance your music with your family and friends? 
I don’t really have to because my mom, and family are huge supporters of my music. They understand and make it very easy for me.  Most of my friends are fellow musicians so we all support one another, and enjoy our time together at shows and gigs.

“Don’t be nervous, be excited!”

Should we be expecting anything new to be released?
YES! I am very excited to announce that my first ever album will be released in Namibia early 2015. The album title is Be Free, after one of the singles that will be featured on the album. All the tracks on the album are originals that I have been writing over the past three years.  They will be posted to soundcloud and possibly iTunes as well.

Where can we follow your career at? 
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/savannahunpluggedmusic
Twitter: @Savannahjc27 – http://twitter.com/Savannahjc27
Instagram: @Savannahjc27 – http://instagram.com/savannahjc27
Web: http://savannahjc27.wix.com/savannahunplugged

Do you get nervous before a performance?
Yes of course I do, but it’s a “good” nervous. I think it is more excitement than anything else, because I love the feeling of adrenaline and the sheer vulnerability of stepping into the unknown before each set.

Do you attend jam sessions? 
Yes, I try to attend as many jam sessions as possible, as any musician knows that a good jam session is the foundation of a musician’s performance strength. Even if I am not contributing, it is so wonderful to watch other musicians jam and make music and I try to learn as much from them as I can. I think a successful jam session is one where each musician has the freedom to be themselves, mentally, emotionally and musically – as one of my favorite quotes say,

“Don’t chain my mind, for you will cut my strings”

Is your family musical?
They don’t play any instruments, however they are some of the greatest lovers and supporters of music I have ever met. It’s no wonder I became a musician.

How do you handle mistakes during a performance?
I don’t make a huge deal about it, what I see as a mistake is not necessarily seen by the audience in the same way. I just continue playing, “never stop playing!” I choose to be humorous in situations regarding to sound failures, or a string snapping, it’s a time I choose to engage personally with the audience rather than create an awkward moment.

So what are your thoughts on Another Destiny Project?
I love the entire concept. It is a wonderful platform for musicians to come together to create uniquely formed music from around the world and also to be able to interact and connect with fellow musicians who are thousands of miles away. It’s really amazing.

How do you feel about working with artists from around the globe?
I am extremely excited about it. All of the musicians in ADP are really talented people, and I can’t wait to hear all the collaborations that come from this project – I’d love to meet them all though, so we might need to get an ADP world tour up and running … hint hint.

Who is your biggest supporter?
That so easy, my mom! She has been with me from the start, from getting my very first guitar, to all my radio interviews, my first sound check and most importantly being in front of each and every stage I’ve ever been on. She has given me more support than I could ever ask for, her wisdom and guidance has sculptured me into the musician, and human being I am today.

What’s your favorite song to do and why?
The most difficult question of them all. Wow! I’d have to say my original song Be Free. I wrote it about three years ago after I first discovered the Blues and minor pentatonic scales; needless to say they inspired a rather funky and soulful guitar riff, with vigorous strumming and a message to set yourself free. I love performing this song because I feel like it is one song that I don’t sing for the audience, but I sing to myself.

About Johnny Naylor:
author-naylor-smJohnny Naylor is the founder and owner of 1st Shot Music and a feature writer for Jammerzine. His work can also be found on 1st Shot Music and Naylor’s Notes. You can also get his latest updates on his facebook page.