Huddersfield’s own Savvy aka Asaviour has taken on many guises over the years, be it rapper, producer or art director, he has been a staple on the UK Hip Hop scene since the early noughties and recorded classics with the likes of Jehst, Ghost, Verb T, Kashmere and DJ IQ (Luke Storey), among others. Savvy’s music has taken influence from the likes of Outkast, Marvin Gaye, The Roots, Donna Summer, David Bowie and Grace Jones to name but a few and was built within a local Hip Hop scene that spanned across Huddersfield, Manchester and Leeds.
Savvy’s latest self-produced album “The Battle for Hearts & Minds” is a culmination of many of his musical influences. The mixture of sounds ranges from genres that more easily lend themselves to Hip Hop and sampled music, such as Jazz, Soul and Funk but doesn’t shy away from the experimental and splices prog-rock, latin and 80’s together to form a fresh take on a sound that is begging for constant reinvention.
Savvy has featured on renowned (and controversial) labels YNR Productions and Low Life Records, releasing substantial offerings such as The Homecoming / Money in the Bank 12″ and The Borrowed Ladder, an album that people still contact him about today and talk about how it affected them. On earlier works like The A Loop Theory, the emphasis was about collaborating with rappers and vocalists whereas The Battle has been created over a much longer period of time with a clear vision of how it should sound and what should be said, with more of a focus on the musicians, Savvy’s band Savoir-Faire. The shift in style is evident in the video for “The Hour of the Wolf”, where we are treated to a Black Mirror style electronic assortment for the senses, demonstrating the collaborative mind set that is Saving Grace Music. This is not only a record label but a creative imprint for contemporary creation, supporting established artists and running mentoring programs for at risk adults from the local community, releasing music, fashion, art and design as part of their social enterprise arm.
The three videos and album are themed around the ‘battle’ one must choose to fight, whether that be physiological, physical, political or emotional, no one’s battle is the same. It begs that we ask questions and don’t succumb to the age of click bait, identity politics and social media corruption.
Saving Grace collaborator Lisa Luxx adds her cosmic narration to the LP which compliments the rest of the tracks so well and and gives it a special kind of feel.
Words by Theo Specone