Rising pop and dance artist Savannah Lynx may not yet be a household name but her hard work and dedication to her craft have began to turn the heads of music fans and tastemakers alike; leaving her poised become a breakout star in 2013! Savannah’s musical roots began early in her youth. At the age of 12, she got the opportunity to showcase her vocal range by singing the National Anthem at a Detroit Tiger’s baseball game at Comerica Park in front of 62,000 people. During high school, she was recognized for excellence in musical theatre, and her singing skills contributed to the honor of being crowned Miss New Jersey Teen USA in 2011. In addition to her current studies at Fordham University, Savannah has been hard at work recording her first album, slated for release in early 2014; from which “Colors” is the first single. The club-friendly elements of “Colors” (via Trauma 2 Records) helped make it an obvious pick for an introductory single, as Savannah lives in New York and is influenced by the great nightlife and club music. But it’s her powerful vocals driving home the emotions of the lyrics that make this such a striking debut. Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Savannah Lynx for a little Q&A about her musical roots, her passion for creation and what she has in store for us in the months to come! It’s an awesome opportunity to catch a glimpse inside the world of a pop star in the making!
Take us back to your earlier years. What are your first memories of music in your life?
My first memories of music are with my mom! From singing “Fiddler on the Roof” songs while pushing me on the swing, to blasting “I Will Survive” while we baked Christmas cookies, to us singing every Beatles song ever written in the car (followed by her quizzing me on which Beatle was singing), my fondest (and first) memories of music are with my mom. I guess you can say I get my eclectic taste and MAJOR obsession with classic rock from her!
Who do you consider your biggest influences as an artist?
Barbara Streisand. Her talent, in my opinion, is unrivaled. She is the best. End of story. Also Lynard Skynard, the Rolling Stones, and Billy Joel. It is possible that I’m actually a 50 year old.
What made you take the plunge and pursue a career in the music industry?
For me it was never really a “plunge”- it was almost as if I had no choice. When you’re as passionate about something as I am about music, the lifestyle that comes with it chooses you. I’ve always known I would be a singer, but it’s just been a matter of time until I really thought Pop Artist was a veritable option, I had my sights on a Broadway career.
The pageant world has been a big part of your youth and you were Miss New Jersey Teen USA 2011. In what ways did being a part of that world help prepare you for the next steps in your blossoming career?
My experiences in pageants have been some of the best in my life! Not only have I met amazing girls from almost every place you can imagine, but competing has cultivated my public speaking and interview skills. Not to mention it has shown me the importance of physical fitness and healthy living at a young age. I can’t stress enough how pageants are SO not the way they are portrayed on TV. In reality, they are wonderful scholarship programs that allow young women to grow in friendship and skill.
You took on a very cool stage name with your choice of Savannah Lynx. Can you tell us a little bit about how the name came about?
Thanks! Well Savannah is my real name, which I love. So initially it was kind of a no brainer that I would just release my album as Savannah. But when I started living in New York City, my friends would always laugh at the way I would pick up the phone and say “Meow” instead of “Hello.” Weird, right? Somewhere along the way, someone started calling me Miss Lynx, and it stuck! I couldn’t be happier that my extreme cat obsession is now evident in my name.
How did you get involved with Trauma2 Records initially and what has the experience with of working with them been like for you?
After competing at Miss Teen USA and having recorded a demo with the legendary Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins, my manager was contacted by Trauma2 and had been notified that they were actually looking for a pop artist on their label. We sent in my demo, some photos, and before I knew it I was out in LA signing my first record contract!
You recently released the song “Colors.” What inspired this song and made it your leadoff single?
Not because I’m biased (even though I am) I’m IN LOVE with this song! I think it’s a perfect introductory single because it’s catchy, easy to dance to, and relatable- and I love singing it. I think the lyrics can reach out to a broad audience as well, because who hasn’t known someone who has turned their life upside down in a beautiful, vibrant way? I’m all about positive energy and I think this song says it all.
You have been hard at work on your first album. What were your expectations going into this process?
My philosophy is you get out what you put in. With that said, going into this whole process I knew that if I dedicated my very all to this project then win or lose I’ll have no regrets. It’s easy to get lost in doubt when you weigh all the external factors but when you focus on bettering yourself every single day, then you’ll go further than you ever thought you could. And from my experience, so far so good!
Looking to the future, what can we expect from your music and album sonically?
Lots of dancing and lots of heart. I love to dance so if my song makes me want to dance even after hearing it a bazillion times, I think it’s got serious potential! But I also think songs should have meaning. as an artist, I feel a sense of duty to provide heartfelt emotion. It’s the authenticity that turns a song into art.
What can you tell us about the typical songwriting process?
I love it. For me, inspiration knocks at the strangest moments. I can be taking a test, horseback riding, or even dreaming and a song idea will hit me so hard I just have to stop what I’m doing and write it down. I’m all about the collaborative effort too, though. There’s nothing better than sitting down with a group of talented people who all are on the same page. The synergy of ideas can’t be beat.
What do you consider the biggest challenge you have encountered so far?
Waiting! I’m soooo impatient it’s not even funny. When the label tells me to “just be patient” about releases, dates, etc., I don’t know what to do with myself. I’ve worked for this all my life and I can’t wait to share my music with everyone. I might actually explode.
You live in New York and have surely been influenced by the club and nightlife. What elements do you feel have had the greatest impact on you?
Besides my now terribly warped sleep schedule, I now realize more than ever just how much fashion and music go hand in hand. Living in New York City is like living on a runway — ALL THE TIME. When it’s about to go down in the city, it’s all about who’s wearing what, and who wore it best. As a Pop Artist and total shopping fanatic, I love creating my image around sexy, funky, new trends that people won’t forget and are still true to myself.
I think it is important to mention that you are balancing the launch of a music career with full-time studies at Fordham University. That is impressive! Does that ever being overwhelming for you?
It’s like taking candy from a baby! Just kidding! It’s hard! Currently, I’m answering these questions in between studying for my Philosophy of Human Nature Final Exam…or, um, trying to. While I would say my greatest strengths are my conviction and ambition, my inability to balance without yo-yo-ing is often a big challenge for me. One day I’ll be studying my butt off, writing music, working out at the gym, and scheduling conference calls for what’s next in my career; the next day I don’t want to do anything but lay in bed watching all the Harry Potter movies in a row with a giant thing of Ben and Jerry’s in my hand. Any flavor is acceptable!
What have you learned about yourself during the creative process?
I’ve realized that I’m a total shark. I see what I want and I won’t stop chasing it till it’s mine. I stick to my guns, believe in myself, and voice my opinions at all times. Not everyone will like what you have to say, but sometimes you just have to tell everyone to shut up and go away! Just kidding but sometimes you really do have to take a leap of faith and believe in yourself though; even if no one else will!
When might we expect a full length release?
As of right now, it looks like late spring! But no promises ;) hehehe
As a songwriter, where do you find yourself looking for inspiration these days?
Instagram! I follow so many photographers and world travelers on instagram that every time I check it I get a little jolt of excitement and motivation. I love traveling to exotic places, and my goal is to explore the world while on tour!
When might we look forward to seeing a video release from you?
Late January! It’s my belated Christmas gift to the world.
We are headed into a new year. What can we expect from you in 2014 and what are you most excited about?
I can’t wait to really start performing! Live performance is what I live for! The fashion, the dancing, the whole event of it is where I think my personality and vision shine. People can expect a lot of cat references, dancing, and tight clothes.
What do you consider your biggest milestone so far, musically or otherwise?
It’s kind of lame, but I think just turning 20! I’m very proud of what I’ve accomplished so far in my life, and no longer being a teenager amped up my goals a little more. I’m no longer a kid, but a young adult who is seriously making a go at my dream. I’m proud, a little scared, and very excited. I can only cross my fingers and see what the future holds.
Do you feel there any misconceptions about yourself?
I don’t think enough people know me to have any misconceptions yet! If anything though, I think sometimes people meet me and might see me as fake. I’m not fake as a person,just a fake blonde. Surprise!
I am sure many young people look to you as an inspiration. What is the best lesson that can be taken from the life and times of Savannah Lynx?
Sometimes, maybe too often, our role models in life let us down. Take it upon yourself to set the standard, be exceptional, and break the mold! All it takes is the strength to know you can achieve your dreams and then the hardest part is over. Be your own competition!
What are some of your musical bucket list items?
My number one ultimate all time dream of life is to perform onstage at Madison Square Garden singing “Hey Jude” with Paul McCartney. I pray for this every night. Not even kidding! Also, I want to sing country songs at some point (I’m a southern girl at heart even though I’m from NJ). Also, I can’t even imagine how emotional and inspirational it would be to sing for our soldiers over sees. That would probably be the best performance I could possibly give.
What bands or solo artists are out there right now that have made your stand up and take notice?
Beyonce is forever the queen, Rihanna is so fierce, but more recently I love Lana del Rey. She went to Fordham, too!
What is the best piece of advice that you can pass along to someone who wants to pursue a career similar to the one you are carving out for yourself?
Do what’s best for you and help others while doing it. When you combine hard work and action towards achieving your goals, you’re already ahead of everyone who’s sitting there on the couch wishing or wanting to be somewhere they’re not. You have to take that first step, even though it’s scary. Failure is nothing! I’ve lost and won plenty of times, and each time just leads you to where you’re meant to be. And when you’ve helped everyone in your power along the way, it’s not lonely at the top- and people cheer for your successes as if they were their own. Be humble, and be kind. Even though anyone who knows me will tell you I’m super into myself (nothing wrong with loving yourself, right??) there is NEVER an excuse to be mean or put someone down. ALWAYS be humble!!
What is your New Year’s Resolution for 2014?
Work every day to become the badass, name-taking, femme-fatal feline, singing-machine I’ve always dreamed of becoming. First step? THE GYM. bye- bye carbs :(
Anything you want to tell your fans before I let you go?
I also speak pretty decent Spanish!
Thanks for your time, Savannah! You rock and we look forward to all you have in store for us in the year to come!