Exclusive Savannah Outen Interview: DisneyMania 7, Songwriting & More

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-Walt Disney Records is releasing the 7th album in their popular series, DisneyMania on March 9. The cool thing about these albums is that some of today’s brightest young stars get the chance to put their own spin on some Disney Classic songs.

One of the artists featured on DisneyMania 7 is singer/songwriter Savannah Outen. We chatted with her recently to find out all about her version of “Little Wonders” from Meet the Robinsons and more.

What was it like being a part of DisneyMania 7?
Savannah: It was amazing. I was so excited to be asked to be a part of the seventh one. I’ve been buying them since the first DisneyMania, so it’s fun to be a part of this next one. I was super stoked and I can’t wait for people to hear “Little Wonders.”

How did you choose “Little Wonders”?
Savannah: Well I pretty much just wanted to do a song that no one has ever done before or ever covered before. Sometimes people cover the same song that others have so I wanted to do something different. “Little Wonders” was really one of the only songs that no one has ever done before, so I wanted to do it, plus I’m a huge Rob Thomas fan. I love the movie Meet the Robinsons and I think it’s really cute, so I got what I wanted and I was super excited with the choice.

DisneyMania is about putting your own spin on a classic Disney song. How did you make the song your own?
Savannah: Rob Thomas’ version is such a great song. We tried to keep the same vibe. It was cool, we had a live band come into the studio and record it. So that was different for me atleast. On my other songs we don’t necessarily have live bands and stuff in the recording studio, so that was fun. But different from Rob’s version, obviously we raised the key up a little bit because I can’t sing really low. We did some different things with my voice and the melody, we changed the melody a little differently in the verses and stuff. We tried to keep it kind of the same so the fans of the first version will still like it.

Is there any other Disney song you’d like to cover?
Savannah: Yeah, I love “When She Loved Me” from Toy Story. I think that’s already been covered like twice (Note: Jordan Pruitt sang it on DisneyMania 5 & Bridgit Mendler on DisneyMania 7) so I was a little sad because I also wanted to do that one. But it’s all good. I like “Little Wonders,” it’s one of my favorite songs overall. So probably “When She Loved Me” and I’d love to do a song from Beauty & the Beast too. It’s my favorite Disney Movie.

Read the rest of the interview inside…

You recently performed at a Haiti Benefit Concert. How was that?
Savannah: It was awesome. It was so great to be a part of and I was super excited to be asked to perform and I sang 3 songs. It was just so cool to see so many people come together and make a difference. It was a fun night.

One of the songs you performed was “Fighting For My Life.” The song has been doing really well on the Radio Disney countdown lately right?
Savannah: Yeah, it’s number 16 right now so I’m very happy. Hopefully it keeps moving up. We’ll see.

Are there any plans to make a music video for the song?
Savannah: I don’t know. I don’t think so. I want to but I don’t know if that’s really the plan right now. I think we’re waiting, since it’s already been out for a while. I think we might be waiting to do one for the next single but we’ll see.

Can fans expect new music soon?
Savannah: Yeah for sure! Right now there’s a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes, so if that stuff works out then there will be a lot of new stuff coming up, but I can’t say anything now. There will be new music though on myspace, iTunes. It’ll be on there soon.

Listen to the full interview

Any plans to tour?
Savannah: I sure hope so. Performing is my absolute favorite, but I just have a couple of shows here and there. I have one in Portland, my home town in April. I’m actually doing a show with Jordin Sparks & Mitchel Musso coming up soon, so that’s going to be a lot of fun. I don’t really know details yet but it’s in Myrtle Beach. So that should be exciting. Hopefully doing some more shows soon, especially during Spring Break and the summer time.

Myrtle Beach is one of our favorite places! We think you’ll love it.
Savannah: Oh cool! I hope so. A lot of my relatives live there so it’s going to be fun for all of them to come out and they all say that Myrtle Beach is like their favorite place. Hopefully I’ll get some time to spend there and not just perform. We’ll see.

If you could tour with anyone, who would you want to tour with?
Savannah: That’s a tough one. I would have to say…I just saw the Celine Dion movie, the behind the scenes tour 3D thing that was in the theaters a couple of weeks ago. And I absolutely…well I’ve loved her ever since I was a little girl. But when I saw that movie, I loved not just her voice and her music, but just her as a person. She’s so down-to-earth and so nice to her dancers and her crew, the lighting people, the sound people, she’s so sweet, so I would love to tour with her. I think that would be such an incredible experience. But I’d also really like to tour with John Mayer. I don’t know if that would really work but I think that’d be fun and he seems like a cool guy.

Where do you find the inspiration to write your songs?
Savannah: A lot of different things. I get inspiration from my own experiences, boys, my friends’ experiences. They’ll text me or call me up and be like “hey you will not believe what happened” and it will spark an idea. Other times I’m watching a movie and something will come up so it kind of just depends.

Do you have a favorite song that you’ve written?
Savannah: I guess “Goodbyes” is probably always going to be one my favorites just because it was the first song I had ever written, the first song on Radio Disney, the first song I shot a music video for. There’s been a lot of firsts with that song and it kind of introduced myself to everyone…I’m writing some new ones at the moment right now that I like, so hopefully the fans will be able to hear them soon.

Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever written a song?
Savannah: I’ve never written a whole entire song, but in the airport whenever I’m walking or like on the plane getting ready to take off, I always come up with ideas or titles so I write them down on my iPhone really fast before I have to turn it off to go into the air. I always, always, always get ideas on airplanes. It kind of stinks because I want to write the whole song but then I have to take off and turn my phone off.

You do a lot of covers on Youtube. Will we be seeing more of those soon?
Savannah: Yeah, definitely. I’ve been traveling back and forth a lot lately so I haven’t gad time to record a cover in my room, hopefully soon. I’m actually going to Disney World this weekend for a family reunion, so when I get back I will do a cover.

And I asked my fans on twitter if they would want me to do a cover of “Hey Soul Sista Mista” or “Baby” by Justin Bieber. There were a lot of people telling me what they wanted so I might just have to sing both of them.

A little birdie told us that you like rap, or you do rap. If you covered “Baby,” would you do the Ludacris rap?
Savannah: You know, I told this little birdie that you have to pay extra for that. [laughs] I don’t know if I want to do the rap. I don’t want to make a fool out of myself. Maybe I’ll surprise people and do the rap.

You mentioned you’re going to Disney World. Do you have a favorite ride or attraction there?
Savannah: Probably Tower of Terror. It is the coolest, the best ride. You feel so like happy and excited when you’re about to go on and when you get off of the ride. I also like, they don’t have it at Disneyland, but the Aerosmith roller coaster. I’m a huge fan of Aerosmith so it’s perfect: a roller coaster and Aerosmith put together. I love that one. My little cousin loves the teacups so I’m sure we’re going to have to ride those 20 times. I’m not looking forward too it because I always get really dizzy.

Do you get recognized more when you go out now?
Savannah: It depends. Sometimes when I’m wearing sweats or I don’t have any makeup on, no one really notices me, but other times, I’m just really surprised where I get recognized. It’s really random places that I wouldn’t expect. I think it’s fun to meet my fans in these weird places just because I talk to them online like on twitter or youtube so it’s fun to match their face with their username. I don’t get recognized all the time but once in a while.

Have you had any crazy fan encounters?
Savannah: One time, it was near my house, and these little girls, I’ve never seen them before in the neighborhood, and they started to see me and they were waving while I was driving out and they were like, “OH MY GOSH.” I thought that was cute. But then those three girls came knocking on my door and they always want to play with me and stuff. It’s funny but people are starting to find my house and it’s kind of scary and weird.

Any message for your fans?
Savannah: I want to tell my fans that they mean the world to me. You guys are the reason that I’m living my dream, so thank you guys so so much for everything. For the fansites, for the fan videos, and everything. Thank you for coming to the shows and hopefully I’ll be able to see more of you and meet more of you in 2010.

Be sure to check out Savannah on myspace, youtube and twitter.