Interview with Savoir Faire
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I don’t remember ever not being into music. It just was. My family valued the arts a lot- my mother is an artist and art teacher, and my father always had music playing. Hearing the range of musicians that he listened to really piqued my interest: The Beatles, The Police, David Bowie, Talking Heads, The Cars, Danny Elfman, and Persian pop music.
I think that, if I had not gone down the music route, I would have been a visual artist or a writer. I believe it is all connected, my interest in the other avenues of art, and writing poetry and creative writing definitely help me find my way as a songwriter.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I spend a lot of my time teaching in public education and higher education. It definitely influences what I write about. Working with younger generations gives me insight into the complexities facing our world today, and working with future educators (in higher education) and preparing them to do that work keeps those complexities at the forefront of my mind.
Outside of my teaching work? I enjoy fashion and looking into the fashion of the past. It’s an art form, and I find it really fun to try and find specific pieces from the past! I collect and sell vintage clothing on a small scale. I’m always one for nostalgia! I think that comes through in my music. I am focused on the issues of today, but with a tinge of nostalgia in my tone.
Where are you based and how did that influence your music?
I am based in Boston, MA. I do think that influences my music. It’s a diverse area, and that exposes me to a multitude of different viewpoints and genres of music.
What is your dream venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Many! I’ve really never performed outside of New England. Dream venue? Austin City Limits would be amazing. I love watching that program and the multitude of artists that it attracts. I also hope to perform in Europe and the UK, though I don’t know the specific venues. Also, not a venue, but performing at the Newport Jazz Festival would be a total dream!
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Gosh. Fiona Apple is, hands down, my favorite artist. Any lineup? Fiona Apple. Radiohead. Melody Gardot. Kimbra. How many people can I add to this?
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
I believe that it is easier to play with a group of people when you can “click” with them as people first. Be friends with the people you want to play music with. People that you want to spend time with, musically or not. That you can talk to about anything!
If I could give advice to my younger self, I’d remind myself not to feel bad for spending time or investing in my art. I’d tell myself not to hold back. Easier said than done, but I’d encourage myself to have more confidence in what I had to offer.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Perhaps a song that has not yet been released, titled “Machine with a Dream.” I was hesitant to put that one together at first because it speaks to my agency as a woman and what I want to bring into the world vs what society might expect. And I don’t feel that should be controversial, but it is, so it is a very personal song to me.
What is the creative process for Savoir Faire and what inspires you to write your music?
I usually think of topics that I wish to write about, and that lives in one column of my brain. In the other column are melodies or riffs that come into my mind. And when I get a melodic idea in my head, then I sort through the themes that are important to me and figure out which might fit best with the tone or rhythmic pattern of the melody. And then I either work out a chord progression around the melody/riff, or start writing lyrics around the theme. I am inspired by the issues that get under my skin, but also by my musical influences. It is invigorating when someone’s music speaks to you, and when I do, it inspires me to try and do the same.
Tell us a bit more about your latest single “How’s It Supposed To Feel”
This song is a reflection on the demand of frontline workers and caregivers during the crux of the pandemic, which is also a reflection on how those types of professionals are regarded in general. The people that were integral to keeping the world running were protected the least, and yet the demand for them was high- and continues to be. It almost seemed like society was perplexed- or angry- when people in these positions considered their own self-worth or safety at all. I believe much of that is rooted in how our society undervalues fields that have been historically female-led: child care, teaching, nursing, etc. It is no surprise to me that people in these fields are going on strike around the world. How are they supposed to feel, when they are in demand but refused professional-level income and respect?
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Social issues. There’s a line in my song “Think Twice”: “This is not a feel-good song”. I supposed that could go for most of my songs! I feel a bit like a negative Nancy at times, but it’s not all doom and gloom. I believe that art can be empowering and unifying.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
I am working on an album, hopefully out in the fall of 2023. The album is called Hopeless Nostalgic, which is also the title of the next single that I will be releasing in April (date TBD).