NEW ZEALAND HIP HOP NEWCOMER SAVAGE HITS MILLION MARK IN COMBINED DIGITAL/MOBILE SALES Samoan Rapper Wins 2008 Vodofone New Zealand Music Award For International Achievement Universal Republic Debut album Savage Island To Hits Stores/Digital Platforms December 23
Universal Republic Records’ New Zealand Hip hop newcomer Savage, is kicking off the month of November in style, reaching the coveted Platinum sales milestone in digital/mobile single sales for his multi-platform hit “Swing” (one million total: nearly 700,000 in digital singles and well over 300,000 in mobile), the first single from his upcoming U.S. debut album, Savage Island. His much buzzed about U.S. debut is scheduled to hit stores and the digital domain on December 23. New Zealand’s reining hip hop king also picked up his award at the Vodofone New Zealand Music Awards in mid-October. The Samoan-born star came away with his first Tui, thanks to “Swing’s” massive success in the U.S.
Groomed as New Zealand/Australia’s #1 selling Hip Hop artist by native indie label Dawn Raid Records, Savage has gained unprecedented traction in the U.S., inking his deal with Universal Republic Records only 5 months ago and continuing the grassroots ascension by winning over both hip hop and mainstream audiences. Already a Platinum and multi award winning artist Down Under, the bombastic MC made his presence known even prior to his U.S. radio debut, leaping from #77 to #17 in one day on the influential iTunes Hip Hop chart. Savage soared to the upper tier of the iTunes (all the way to #6) and Rhythm Crossover elite (was #1 most added) on the back of his infectious remix with energetic hip hop stylist Soulja Boy. Savage also wooed fans by conducting a popular online contest where fans got to choose who he should collaborate with on the remix, with the club-savvy Soulja Boy getting the final nod. Most recently, Miami ‘Crunk’ aficionado Pit Bull has lent his touch to an additional remix of “Swing.”
Fan-generated videos for the frenetic hit have also swept popular online video destination YouTube. The ebullient party clip was directed by Kai Crawford, who helmed Savage’s previous international hit, “Moonshine.” “Swing” has inspired more than 400 user-made videos mirroring the hit’s combustible dance-craze antics.
A global #1 smash a few years back, “Moonshine,” was the first release to feature Akon on a worldwide hit. Savage’s reputation as Kiwi rap and club king (the song topped New Zealand’s club and radio charts for almost 2 months) made him an in-demand guest-artist on several U.S. artists’ single offerings. Savage has lent his signature touch to other remixes that made a splash in the U.S. including Akon’s colossal hit “Locked Up,” and David Banner’s “Ain’t Got Nothing.”
The Samoan star, who hails from South Auckland, (the largest Polynesian city in the world) began to garner cult-hit status as “Swing” won over music and movie fans thanks to its placement in the pivotal bar scene in the hit 2007 movie ‘Knocked Up.’ The song is so popular it will be part of the next NOW release, NOW 29.
Savage powers a popular MySpace site which has also passed the three million views milestone recently. Cited as one of the few hip hop exports whose original style and quirky Kiwi roots have resonated with U.S. hip hop fans, his upcoming album is considered one of the more savory hip hop debuts of 2008.
Savage ft. Pitbull – “Swing” Remix!