Word on the streets: Savo

Written by on April 1, 2019

So where are you from?

I was born in Canberra but moved to Innisfail, North Queensland when I was around 4 years old. I’m half Torres Strait Islander which is from my mothers’ side, and half white (Aussie) from my dads’ side. So just like Logic, I am also biracial. I will always rep Innisfail wherever I go and with whatever I do. I want this town to be known for something more than just cyclones and football players.

Originally I was interested in becoming a drummer. At the age of 4, my mum bought me a cheap drum kit from the local music store (which sadly doesn’t exist anymore). Every morning on the weekends, I would set up my drum kit in front of the TV, to play along with songs on Video Hits. Weird I know, but I am weird anyway so it makes sense.

Tell us about how you got your start?

Growing up around my older brother and just the black half of my family, music was always around me, old school shit like Tupac, Ice Cube, Ja Rule, Brandy and a bunch of other singers. I guess I just became connected to it subconsciously. I remember writing my first rap when I was 6 years old, and I’m pretty sure my mum still has it somewhere!

How did you get your stage name?

A lot of people ask me what the same thing and they want to know what it means. But the truth is, it’s just a nickname my friends made up because of my last name. My real name is Jameel Savage-Tate. So I guess putting an “O” on the end of everything back in 2009 was the cool thing to do. I’m glad I stuck with it though, it’s simple and easy to say and it doesn’t have a “Lil” attached to it so that’s another bonus.

What is your writing process?

Honestly, it varies depending on how I’m feeling during the moment. No matter what though, I can’t write with someone else in the room with me. I have to be alone, preferably in darkness with nothing but the laptop screen shining in my eyes. I feel more comfortable that way and I think that’s where my best thoughts sprout from.

Can you tell us about how your new single came about?

My partner just read this question, laughed and said which one? I’ve been putting music out so much over the last couple of months because I took a long break due to the drug addiction I had with ice (methamphetamine). Listen to “Hell Of A Drug” if you want to get a bit of insight on that. 

When did you fall in love with Hip-Hop?

I first (truly) fell in love with hip hop when I was around 6 years old. But I’m constantly falling in love with hip-hop because it’s always growing and there’s always new shit coming out almost daily.

Who’s in your top 5 MCs of all time?

Mac Miller


Bryson Tiller



What local artist are you currently listening to?

I don’t really listen to many local artists, nothing personal. But when I do bump some local shit, it’s either JESI, Donny Casper or Mitchos Da Menace + few others. Their music makes me strive to become a more creative person whenever I’m making my own music.

Tell us about your first gig?

My first ever gig was at a place in Townsville, North Queensland called “The Exchange”. I was only 17 years old at the time, so I had to have someone accompany me the whole time I was in there due to laws and shit. My first show was supporting Drapht, which was awesome! I was extremely nervous and probably drank one too many energy drinks before I got on stage. I even wore a backpack on stage. There are photos on MySpace (yes, ancient I know) if you search for them.

What has been your favorite career moment?

My favorite career moment is always going to be changing the more I grow. But if I had to single out something so far, it would be when I got to support D12 (Eminem’s group). It was unreal for me because I literally listened to them since I was around 9 years old.

What are you doing to help change the current Aussie Hip-Hop prospective/stigma?

I’m honestly just being myself and trying to be as raw as I can within the music I make. Hopefully, that allows the listeners to realize that Aussie Hip-Hop isn’t just a label that you throw on rappers from Australia. We’re all artists in our own way and have our own stories to tell.

What do you want to be remembered for?

I want to be remembered for my music, but also as a reminder to the younger generation that it’s okay to be yourself. I know that’s cliche as fuck, but it’s very important to me.








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