Savvy & Mandy are a US country duo who are also sisters. The Californian raised sisters recently relocated to Nashville and like to refer to their music as “CROP” (Country, Rock, Pop).
Savvy (Savannah) and Mandy (Amanda) have been writing and recording with some of Nashville’s finest writers and producers and have performed at all the best clubs in Nashville including The Bluebird Cafe, Douglas Corner, and The Listening Room. Savvy and Mandy have been performing together most of their lives and they were only 11 and 13 years old when they were signed to Firm Records. At a still young age of 18 and 20, Savvy & Mandy have had their music chart on Radio Disney, toured across the US, and had music featured on MTV shows. The girls played at this years CMA Fest as part of the Radio Disney stage.
We caught up with the girls to discuss their current single Wildfire, the heartbreaking story behind their very personal song Little Girl, their vacation to London and more. We also did a bit of twitter stalking and asked them fun questions on their favourite movies and tv shows.
We hope you enjoy our chat!
Hi – I hope you are both well? How has your week been?
Hello! We are doing great, thank you! How are you? Our week has been busy, but we love it!
Could you tell us a bit about yourself and why you chose a career in country music?
We are sisters who sing country/pop. We have always loved country music and when we finally were old enough and felt comfortable writing our own songs, that is what we gravitated towards. We love the honesty and the stories that country music portrays. It was a natural fit.
Tell us how you formed as a duo, we know you are sisters but how did being a duo come to be?
We both loved singing growing up, but we didn’t decide to form a duo until we went on an audition looking for girls ages 13 and up for a new girl group. At the time, we were 9 and 11, and were obviously too young for what they were looking for, but we decided to go on the audition anyway to gain experience. We both sang a song and did an embarrassing dance that we made up. We left thinking nothing was going to come of it, but then a few hours later we received a call from the managers who were casting for the girl group and they said that they wanted to completely scrap what they were casting for and make a whole new project around me and Savvy. That’s when we decided to become a duo and we haven’t looked back since!
Who brings what best traits to the table?
We each bring something different to the table. Savvy has great texture and emotion in her voice and sounds great singing lower parts of a song. I have a higher range, so I normally take over the choruses. The combination of our voices is really interesting. We do like to switch up parts though, it all just depends on the song!
Your current single is Wildfire – tell us a bit about that, the story behind the song, the writing…
The inspiration behind “Wildfire” came from a funny place and evolved into what it is today. Oddly enough, Savvy was up late looking around on Pinterest when she came across this insanely awesome picture of a women standing confidently in front of a bonfire. She saved the image and thought, “There’s a song here, but what is it?”. Then the title “Wildfire” came to her mind. The next day, we had a studio session with our friends Tyler Shamy and Fabio Angelini. She told us her idea and we ran with it. The song is about a woman who is confident in herself and her flaws. She knows who she is and she won’t let anyone extinguish her flame. She is warning someone, “You can try to be apart my life if you want, but don’t be surprised if you get burned”.
It seems to be getting a fair amount of positivity from country radio – with so many strong women in country, how do you feel that first, you have gained radio play but secondly that country radio as a whole seems to not play women in country anywhere near the amount that they should.
Getting radio play is amazing and we appreciate every station that loves the song and plays it. I think it’s unfair that women aren’t getting the radio play and exposure that they deserve. We have heard multiple men in the music industry say, “Women don’t like to listen to other women” and that is simply not true at all. We all have stories and experiences to tell. It shouldn’t matter what gender you are, we should all get equal opportunities. I think it is incredibly empowering that women in country music are all joining forces and bringing awareness to this problem. We are making changes in the industry slowly, and hopefully this won’t be a problem in the near-future.
Are you able to share the story behind Little Girl and how it inspired you to raise awareness?
Of course. I wrote the song “Little Girl” for my boyfriend’s cousin’s daughter named Arden. His family is all extremely close, so when we received the news about Arden, we were all devastated. Last year, 7-year old Arden was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), which is an extremely rare and highly aggressive brain stem tumor that is inoperable. While medical advances have been extraordinary for some cancers, DIPG is not one. DIPG is the leading cause of death from pediatric brain tumors and has a 9 month survival time from diagnosis. Like many others, I was heartbroken hearing the unfortunate news. I continued to follow and support Arden through her journey from afar, and was in constant awe of her strength throughout the entire process. Even though she was faced with a relentless, incurable disease, she still kept a smile on her face and that to me was beautiful. She inspired me so much that I decided to write a song, just for her and her family. I wanted her to know the impact she had on people, even ones she hasn’t met. I wrote the song and then with the help of Savvy, and our friends Tyler Shamy and Fabio Angelini, we were able to record it and send it to her. It brought tears to my eyes hearing from her father, Jonathan, that she loved the song. She asked him after listening to it, “So, is this gonna be on a CD that I can play on my CD player?”, because she wanted to show her friends. It made me happy that I was able to put a smile on her face throughout this devastating time, and that was my only goal with the song. Sadly, Arden passed away on May 25th, 2018. She fought this disease with all of her might. About two weeks later, Jonathan called me and asked if it is okay if we release the song I wrote for Arden for others to hear and raise awareness about DIPG, and of course I said yes.
To read more about the disease and to donate, please go to http://www.chadtough.org/donate. Thank you for letting me share that!
Can you tell us a bit about your upcoming EP?
Yes! We could not be more excited to release this EP. We have worked really hard on it and we feel like it perfectly reflects us and our sound. We will be releasing it within the next few months, but you can get our new single “Wildfire” right now on iTunes!
How was CMA Fest, what did you get up to there?
We had a blast at CMA Fest this year! It was insanely hot, so thank god we were performing indoors. We played an acoustic set, including a brand-new song off of our upcoming EP that no one has ever heard before! Hearing a positive reaction to the song from the audience was fantastic. Besides that, we had a chance to walk around CMA Fest with our band and got to catch a couple of shows.
Did you go and see any artists?
We mostly walked around and only caught bits and pieces of performances. We did run into our friend FILMORE though who was performing and he did a fantastic job!
Which songwriters would you love to write with and why?
Oh lord, there are too many! Some of the writers we would love to collaborate with would be Shane McAnally, Kacey Musgraves, Chris Stapleton, and Cam. Shane is a force to be reckoned with in the country music industry. He has written countless hits and is an insanely amazing writer. Collaborating with him would be a dream. Kacey, Chris, and Cam are all incredibles artists and writers as well that we have so much respect for. We love the storytelling in each of their songs. It would be fun to see what we could come up with with them!
Don’t you think it’s about time that they made a National Treasure 3?
Uh, don’t even get us started! We are HUGE Nicolas Cage fans. I read that apparently they already filmed a third one, but haven’t released it yet! We should make a petition for them to release it now! Haha.
I need to watch The Handmaids Tale, don’t I? I have had the book for years.
Yes. You. Do. The Handmaid’s Tale is honestly one of the most amazing tv shows ever created. The storytelling, the acting, the sets, the costumes… everything is flawless! Also, Elizabeth Moss is a GODDESS. She deserves every award in the world.
Did I read that you are coming to London? Is it just a holiday or work?
That is true! We are traveling to London and Paris this summer for holiday. We have never been, but it’s a bucket list destination for us. We cannot wait to go!
Any plans to do some shows here?
We don’t have plans for any shows at the moment, but hopefully soon we will start planning a tour for our EP! Performing is our favorite thing to do in the world, so we can’t wait to get out on stage again.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
We both like to watch movies, write songs, play board games, and go to the dog park with our pups!
Who are you listening to in country music right now?
We are lovin’ Dan + Shay, Carly Pearce, Cam, Kacey Musgraves, Chris Stapleton, Luke Bryan, Dolly Parton (of course), plus many more!
Do you know much in the way of UK country music?
Honestly, we don’t. But we would love to learn more about the artists that are out there!
What do you have planned for the rest of the year?
As previously stated, we will be releasing our new EP within the next few months. Also, we will be releasing a fun lyric video for our single “Wildfire” really soon. Besides that, we plan on continuing to sing, write, and perform!