By Andrew Hamlin
Northwest Asian Weekly
“Ever since I was born,” remembers Cambodian American singer Sarey Savy, “my family sang in the house all the time. Whether it’s talking on the phone, cooking, taking a shower, or karaoke, someone in the house was always singing. My aunt and uncle used to set up this video camera for me when I was about 5 years old. I would sing Christina Aguilera or Britney Spears for them as they recorded it. I even fell down and lost a tooth while performing for one of them!”
Savy, a singer and budding actor, and proudly out as gay, grew up in Seattle. “My earliest memories,” he recalls, “range from the first time I visited downtown Seattle and discovered Pike Place Market, Alki Beach, and taking long walks with my family for exercise.” He sang in the choir at Mount View Elementary School and made his first recording in grade school.
The recording came about because Savy’s sister Canara “had met a man by the name of Jess, who used to work with a local record label and he gave me the resources when I was about 11 or 12 years old to record a low-quality song in my living room. It was terrible. It was my first recording and I was so nervous. I wasn’t exactly used to singing in front of anybody at the time.”
Nevertheless, the experience inspired him to want to make something of himself in music. “When I listened to the melody of any R&B beat, I became motivated to write lyrics by the minute,” he said. “I knew that by then, it was a choice I had made to strive for a music career.”
The singer auditioned for the popular singing show “The Winner Is,” but was sidelined by throat issues. “I was clearly disappointed,” he said, “but kept myself positive by surrounding myself with family — the only people who can convince me to stay persistent through tough times. I knew there were other opportunities coming my way, so it didn’t bother me much.”
His sexual orientation was another issue to work through, but as always, his family stood by him. Savy said he realized he was gay in third grade, around the same time he started singing in the school choir. “Crazy, huh? I was only 9 and I wasn’t attracted to girls at all,” he recalled. “I went out with this girl who today is a close friend. That was the last time you’d see me call a girl ‘babe.’ I didn’t feel a connection. In fact, I was busy fantasizing about one of the sixth grade basketball players.
“I came out to my family because I didn’t want to hide it and put on a mask for years pretending to be someone else. I first came out to my sisters after drinking a Monster [energy drink]. It felt fantastic. It took them a few weeks, but later they adapted and we’re even closer. As for my parents, I came out to them and my mother was a bit confused. My father just accepted me right on point. I cried so much coming out in front of my mom. She really just accepted after a few days of what I would like to assume, a few days to process it in her mind. We are closer than ever as well.”
Songs Savy has released so far includes “Sweet (Like Candy)” with Tunii Music, “IDGAF (If I Lose You Tonight),” “Lay U Down,” and a new upcoming single to be released on Valentine’s Day called “Run Out of Time.”
“I wrote them based on life experiences,” he said. “Mostly the lyrics and ideas of these songs in pre-production come from my personal relationships with other men I’ve dated, to be blunt and honest. The inspiration comes from the happiness, sadness, anger, and memories of those relationships. They’re all very heartfelt to me, especially ‘Run Out of Time’ because it speaks on a relationship I wish I could have again with someone I’ve dated, who was presumed dead in August.”
Other future projects include Savy’s first acting role in a horror film called The Leapling, and a free EP to be released on March 1. He plans to work with a professional acting coach to get ready for his film debut. He wants to stay busy and get his name out there.
“Maybe I’ll audition for a few Broadway shows. I’m uncertain. What I do know is that I’ll be collaborating with a few artists and recording originals as much as I can until I have a plan.” Information about Savy’s music and performances can be found at www.sarey.moonfruit.com. (end)
Andrew Hamlin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.