Nirvana Savoury isn't your typical "singing chick". The self-proclaimed workaholic hails from Toronto, is of Jamaican and Chinese decent, and has a résumé that includes work with Rodney Jerkins, and Jadakiss & Sheek (of The LOX). Poised for a breakout year in 2007, Nirvana sat down with MF to discuss the ins-and-outs of being a budding figure in the oh-so-competitive music business.
Men's Fitness: You're of Jamaican and Chinese decent and hail from Toronto. How has your diverse upbringing governed your career? Has it made it easier to adapt to different types of music?
Nirvana: Well, coming from a dual race background… on the Asian side, my great-grandparents migrated from China to Jamaica. So everyone born after that [in my family] was born in Jamaica so we're Asian, but we're also very West Indian. It's allowed me to look at things differently as far as acceptance, and understanding other races & cultures. Being exposed to a sense of being open to different cultures and backgrounds allows you to have an open mind in my craft.
MF: Coming from the diverse musical background we just discussed, who has been your biggest musical influence?
Nirvana: I'd have to give you like three (laughs), oh my God!
MF: It's cool.
Nirvana: Faith Evans for her vocal ability… she's a phenomenal vocalist, but for some reason hasn't gone commercial the way that she's supposed to be… Tina Turner, who is, hands down, the female of rock and roll, and thirdly, it'd have to be a tie between The Pointer Sisters and Donna Summer.
MF: Nobody contemporary?
Nirvana: (sighs) Yes and no. Nobody's necessarily made me feel like I want to get up and perform. The music has definitely changed, and has now become more about the business of music as opposed to music as a business. In the 1960s and 70s, they had to go in and record every single record, whereas we're now in the era of mass-duplication. When they performed back in the day, it was about artistry and entertaining. It's totally different.