ZAC SAVAGE: HEART OF THE STREETS
Meet Zac Savage, the 23-year-old Dallas rapping phenomenon whose taking the music world by storm quicker than most only dream about. Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Zac grounds himself in his hometown where family not only helped grow his values but also unearthed his natural musical talents passed down by generations.
Before the music, Zac played football at Southeastern in Oklahoma for about 3 years and transferred to Henderson state until the shut down in 2020. Once life started taking new unexpected turns with collegiate football changes, and new additions to his family (his now 2-year-old son), Zac felt it best to find new paths throughout the uncertainties of life.
In 2018, Zac Savage began developing his artistry. Little did he know, it would be the one thing that would take him further than he’d ever been before.
At the time, Zac’s friends were all rappers. He was in the studio with them all the time. He started by offering to ghostwrite for them, but instead, they encouraged him to write for himself. Slowly but surely he began to stand.
“When we would do freestyles, I was always the one going crazy. It just felt like a natural thing.”
Even though Zac has developed his own style of rap, he pays tribute to a few artists who inspire his sound. “Right now someone who influences me heavy is EST Gee…he’s gon actually talk about something instead of just saying anything. He’s gon tell you something. That style is better than that heavy autotune and speed rapping,” he shares. Zac recently dropped a single featuring EST GEE titled “Out da Pack”.
He also references Rodwave, who also has a storytelling vibe. For Zac, the meaning behind the lyrics means more than creating a catchy tune.
It wasn’t until 2021 that rapping became serious for him. It was consistent work: Writing, posting, etc. The people around him who cheered Zac on gave him the sense that it was possible for him to be successful in this. Though his work was prevalent, he also notes that “a lot of it comes from who you know”. Zac touches on how his connections to those with status in the music industry ultimately gave him the platform necessary to showcase himself. But we cannot shy away from the understanding that who you know does not equate to automatic success. I believe Zac is a beautiful example of what it looks like to prove your worth in a room full of people who have the power to change your life. Being around the right people and gaining their support helped, but Zac says, “actually doing it. That’s really what it is. Dropping snippets, dropping songs, just steady doing it. That’s what contributed to the buzz.”
For Zac music is more than just words to a beat, it’s a means of emotional expression. When asked about the creative processes he says, “it just depends on the mood.” Creativity truly has a mind of its own. It’s all about what feels right. Zac believes when it comes to making music, every artist has their own way of doing things. He says, “there’s no correct way to do it, it’s the best thing that works for you.”
A key component of Zac’s musical success is his producer Doe Doe. Not only does he elevate Zac’s sound, but he also brings value to his life that goes beyond the studio. “Since I first met him it’s always been love and respect,” he says. Doe Doe produced Zac’s latest album, Heart of the Streets. An album solely released for his fans and supporters. Though there was no specific theme to the album, Zac was able to dissect his favorite songs on the album. The opener to the album is titled “Only Place”, which embodies who Zac Savage is in this current season of his life. He breaks down the first verse “there’s only two places you won’t see an opp n***a chillin, one, at the bank.” Essentially, he’s referring to how a lot of people claim to want better but their priorities aren’t in order, inevitably deterring them from focusing on their main goals. These types of people can be seen everywhere except the places that resemble success; i.e the bank.
As a listener, I wasn’t too sure of the meaning behind that catchy line, so I appreciate how Zac was able to break it down for me in a way that I could understand. It’s so easy to get caught up in the bop of a song, but it resonates so much more to me now that I have a clear understanding of what it means.
My time spent with Zac revealed to me so much about his character and how he views himself as a person. Although extremely reserved and humble, he is able to have confidence in what he brings to the table. The line between confidence and cockiness is often misconstrued. But with Zac Savage, there is no confusion. He is exactly who he believes himself to be.
“The confidence didn’t come overnight, it came off the work…I’m one of those people that will shut up until I know.”
Zac’s experience throughout his collegiate football years helped him learn this about himself. He goes on to share a story of how he faced adversity while trying to find his place on the field when his original plan did not go as expected. Instead of giving up, he found a new position that allowed him to shine on the field in ways that he didn’t know he was capable of. From there, his confidence shot through the roof. This new philosophy translated from the field into the studio.
In 2020 Zac dropped Deeper than Music. He shares that this album was the first project that he put his all into. For him, this was the project that allowed him to put his heart on his sleeve, by giving us a taste of how he views himself as an artist.
“I really wanted to show my variety, and the different sounds I’m able to produce as an artist so I’m not just a Dallas rapper.”
In the beginning, every artist has to put themselves out there regardless of how they think they will be received.
“When I got into music, I would never play my music for anybody,” he shares. Zac “tested the waters”, so to speak, by allowing his friends and supporters to show their own interest in his music. This was his process. This approach takes the pressure off and helps people develop a genuine love for his music. Not just because Zac is their friend, but because they actually vibe with his sound.
As his career grows, Zac has never been too busy to acknowledge his supporters. From the people who have rocked with him since day one, to the ones who are just now discovering his music, Zac appreciates them all. Zac says “I don’t call them fans, I call them my supporters.” He shares how he has always had influence from an early age. In high school, he was known for sports, and notorious for being a “bad boy”. A lot of people gravitated toward the way he carried himself and what he was involved in. The attraction was undeniable. As time went on, he was able to use this for the betterment of his platform by changing his narrative.
With the elevation also comes a change in environment. Zac speaks on how his circle has changed over the years because of his growth in the music industry. Because of the intensity of his new lifestyle, Zac makes sure that the people he surrounds himself with understand the importance of being on point at all times. Zac says “every day, I tell myself I’m making it home.” For him, this means staying level-headed and having friends who can watch his back in the chaos. “I’m the main guy, but we’re all a team. Everybody has a role. Nobody I’m with is just there. Everybody has a job.”
Zac is big on family and making sure the people around him know that they are valued and appreciated. He says, “nobody around me works for me, they work with me.”
How much Zac appreciates the people who have held him down throughout this process is extremely admirable. Here are a few honorable mentions: D-Jeezy, Pistol, Doe Doe, and Richie
Some parting words from Zac Savage for everyone trying to make space for themselves. Whether it be creatively or, professionally, it is to “become comfortable being uncomfortable, because there’s not a right or wrong way to do this. When it’s supposed to happen, it will happen.”
One thing that really inspired me throughout this interview with Zac Savage is his transparency about his journey. It’s a rarity to me. It helped me to really see that anything is possible with hard work, consistency, and confidence in what you have to offer this world. One thing I will carry with me that Zac said is this: Enjoy the process or you’ll never be able to enjoy the progress. Be where your feet are.
Listen to Heart of the Streets here!
Written by: Mianda Mulumba