Sav Tanner’s Smooth Lyrics and Synth Beats

By Emma King

College of Southern Nevada student and independent musician Savor Tanner channels his emotions and lessons learned from past experiences into music he creates in his bedroom.

Independent musicians are free agents in the music industry. They make music on their own terms, on their own dime and time. They are not signed to major record labels; they have complete ownership of their music. A majority of independent musicians produce, mix and master their own songs. They also promote their music.

Artists like Steve Lacy, a musician that made a six-song short album using only his iPhone, proved that a professional recording studio is not necessary to produce hits.

Lacy is one of Tanner’s inspirations.

Tanner rifts over synth-heavy layered beats that he makes on his keyboard, laptop and drum pad. The genre is a mix between rap and R&B. He talks about love. His album “Everything U Can’t Have” is about a lost love. It’s streamed on Apple Music, which is an upgrade from where he started on SoundCloud, a music-streaming platform.

One of his most popular songs on SoundCloud titled “stand/under” is about a girl he loves but has difficulties with. Tanner’s lyrics are universal and raw. In the beginning of the song he shares, “She is the star that everyone follows. Nothing is promised for tomorrow. Get your ego, no need to be so shallow.” Tanner likes poetic lyrics. “I try to find unique and interesting ways to talk about things in my music.”

As of Nov. 14, Tanner’s single saw 42,000 plays on SoundCloud. His music is enticing listeners around the country. Although Tanner is gaining traction with his music he is still at the beginning of branding himself. “Recently, a girl messaged me and said that she sees that I don’t get a lot of plays but my music is amazing,” Tanner said. “I thought that was so sweet of her.”

One of Tanner’s close friends and CSN student Niko Tejeda listens to Tanner’s music often. “I describe it to people as airy, ambient hip-hop, which I haven’t really heard much of. [Tanner] likes to use a lot of soft chord progressions but he pairs them with heavy drums that is less like contemporary R&B and more like electronic music from the ’90s.”

Tejeda knows Tanner to be quiet and introspective and yet his music is telling and incredibly personal, which surprises Tejeda. “[Sav] has a strong sense of privacy. He isn’t eager to overshare with somebody he doesn’t know, which is what makes his music pretty revealing. I’ve gotten to know him a little better through his music like how he carries himself emotionally.”

“Sometimes you have so much going on inside of you, and writing and producing and all of that brings it out,” Tanner said. “I write about what I’m going through. It’s therapeutic.”

Tanner has been making music for six years now. His first project was “Suburbs” released in 2015 on SoundCloud. Two years later he released his current album on Apple Music.

Tanner takes his time producing music. His perfectionism comes in to it. “I want my music to be the best quality it can be. I take my time mixing my songs and listening to things that stand out to me like heavy breathing or vocal pops of any kind, so I re-record a lot. I’m very patient when making music.”

Quinci James, a close friend of Tanner’s, said, “I gravitated towards him as a person because he wasn’t ashamed of the things other people may feel shameful for feeling. The way he writes, he doesn’t sound like anybody else. He doesn’t have to scream or yell on a track to make it catch your attention. He does more with less. It’s rap music that isn’t super brash or loud. It still has energy and personality.”

James has made music with Tanner in the past. “He doesn’t want to take a break until he’s satisfied. He won’t give up on a song until he’s made the best product possible.” They are working on a few songs together now.

Tanner took two music classes at CSN—before ultimately majoring in business—where he was introduced to audio recording procedures, techniques and computer-system fundamentals, specifically in the programs Logic Pro and Ableton Live. He had Josh O’Connor as an instructor.

“I do remember having Savor as a student,” O’Connor said. “He asked great questions. He was a dedicated student, very studious and composed. He was one of the few that reached out for advice career-wise. I was humbled to receive that call from him. It really set him apart and let me know that he was serious about his career.”

O’Connor is an independent musician also. “When the playing field started to get leveled by the rise of technology, I really embraced that myself,” he added.

O’Connor is thrilled that independent musicians are beginning to play a major role in today’s music industry. “I am really an advocate of having the mindset that you can make records in your bedroom that compete with major label releases. I am of the DIY mindset. I’m an independent spirit myself.” He added, “I try to get across to my students, ‘Look, you have the tools necessary to make a hit record on your laptop but it still requires hard work’.”

When asked about his strengths as an artist, Tanner stated, “I’m always improving. I think I have a lot to offer. I’m always making songs and I’m thinking about starting a new project soon. I go on little hiatuses to get better. I like focusing on one thing and getting better at it. Lately, I’ve been focusing on getting better at producing.”

Tanner also plans on improving his musicianship. “I want to structure my music a little better and learn how to play more instruments.” He’s practicing piano and guitar.

Tanner wants to tour internationally in the future, which would show him his music made an impact on people. He’s not consumed with becoming famous but instead with improving his music and using it as an outlet to inspire others.

 

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