Savasha, an electric pop group based out of Salem, released their debut album, “Misses & Misfits,” on Sept. 13, 2016.
The all-girl trio is made up of the three Russell sisters: Isabella on vocals and drums, Alexa on vocals and UNH alumni Kassia on bass. All three share keyboard duties.
The group was originally known as Kalisa during their time in middle school, but they soon changed their name to Savasha when they began writing original material.
“We consider our music pop; however, the term pop is a bit of an umbrella under which we incorporate all these different influences and genres,” Kassia said.
Eclectic is a perfect term to describe the music of Savasha. Each member of the group brings her own musical style into the group’s sound.
The sisters said they listen to a bit of everything, ranging from underground Caribbean music to Polish composer Frédéric Chopin.
“We really look up to the greats of the ‘60s, ‘70s and 80s, while drawing inspiration from the likes of Beyoncé,” Alexa said. “And we try to find a balance between a good old fashioned show and cool new technology that really takes the audience to another place.”
Although the sisters have been playing covers for many years, they started developing their songwriting and production skills about two years ago.
“We had a core group of songs that eventually made up ‘Misses & Misfits’ that really reflected our lives over the last few years, which in turn reflected the style of writing on the record,” Isabella said. “A few of the songs, such as ‘Is It Real,’ ‘Love You Forever’ and ‘Catalina’ were actually written, produced and recorded within six to 10 hours because they had such relevant meaning at the time.”
So far, the band has been both pleased and surprised at the amount of success the album has had. The opening track, “Is It Real,” was mixed by the Grammy-winning engineer Manny Marroquin.
Three of the tracks off the album, “Like This,” “Misses & Misfits” and “Do You Think It’s You” were picked up by the radio station XMiX, and Isabella said that it “was pretty nerve-racking and insane as the songs were ranked next to Beyoncé’s and Rihanna’s latest albums.”
Aside from their eclectic music, Savasha is also known for their choreographed live performances.
“We’ve always been very visual musicians,” Isabella said. “Every time we show each other a new song, the first thing that comes out of our mouths is, ‘I have a great idea for a music video’ or ‘We should do a dance like this for the live show.’”
The group also creates custom videos for the video wall that is routinely projected behind their live performances.
This past August, the band expanded their scope by forming their own record label, Band Dog Entertainment. In the past, the sisters have had a prolonged interest in business, and Kassia graduated summa cum laude from UNH with a degree in business management.
“Starting our own label has really given us the opportunity and platform to follow through with all the different roles we play as part of Savasha,” Isabella said.
Savasha is also unique in that the sisters’ mother, Dianne Russell, is their manager.
“Since I am one of Savasha’s biggest fans, I find it easy to help out with some of the sales and marketing when needed,” Russell explained. “I do have a background in fashion and cosmetics, and one thing that is particularly fun for me is that I get to help out with stage design and wardrobes.”
“Misses & Misfits” is available on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify and Rhapsody, and the band is currently solidifying dates to tour and promote the new album. Fans can learn more about the band on their social media platforms: Facebook/savashamusic, Instagram.com/savasha and Savasha.com.
“We’re all definitely proud of the diverse music on the record. Except for a few seconds of male background vocals on the album, we are proud to say we write, create and produce every bit of each song,” Alexa said. “‘Misses & Misfits’ is definitely the type of album we’d encourage everyone to listen to, just because it represents a variety of musical styles.”