Savage (rapper)

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Savage Deceptikonz 2007.jpg
Savage performing in Adelaide, Australia, in June 2007.
Background information
Birth name Demetrius Savelio
Born (1981-06-28) 28 June 1981 (age 34)
Origin South Auckland
Genres New Zealand hip hop
Years active 2001–present
Labels Dawn Raid Entertainment, Universal Republic Records.
Associated acts Deceptikonz, Akon, Aaradhna, Scribe, Joel Fletcher

Demetrius Savelio (born 28 June 1981), better known by his stage name Savage, is a New Zealand rapper of Samoan descent, and a former member of hip hop group the Deceptikonz. In 2009, he became the first New Zealand hip hop artist in history to have a commercial single ("Swing") achieve platinum certification status in the United States for selling over one million copies. The "International Breakthrough" accolade of the Pacific Music Awards was created in his honour.[1] He is not to be confused with Savage of the underground Atlanta- and Bronx-based hip hop group Hard Knocks, which released one album in 1992.

The Deceptikonz[edit]

Savage joined with friends to form a hip-hop group, the Deceptikonz, in 1997. Success was not instant, however, as the group struggled through several talent shows and small concerts. Their big break came in 1999 when they were signed to South Auckland (Papatoetoe) hip hop label Dawn Raid Entertainment.

In 2002, the Deceptikonz released Elimination; a studio album that peaked at number four on the New Zealand albums chart.[2] In late 2003, Savage featured as a member of the Deceptikonz on the Mareko hit single Stop, Drop and Roll; a number six hit on the New Zealand singles chart.[3]

Solo career[edit]

Moonshine era (2005–07)[edit]

Savage's first solo single; Swing, was released in January 2005. The hit would eventually crack the Australian singles chart in 2014 and peak at number one for five weeks in the New Zealand singles chart. Three months later, Savage released his debut solo album Moonshine which reached number two in the New Zealand album chart and included a title track as a follow-up single. This became an even bigger success than the previous single; spending seven weeks at number one on the New Zealand singles chart, and reaching the top ten in the Australian singles chart. The Moonshine single would eventually become certified twice platinum in New Zealand and gold in Australia.[4] The third single from the album; They Don't Know reached number three in the New Zealand singles chart and was also a hit for several weeks on the Australian singles chart. In 2007, Swing featured in a club scene for the United States film Knocked Up and was also included on the movie soundtrack album.[5]

Savage Island era (2008–09)[edit]

Following the success of appearing in "Knocked Up", Swing was released as a single for the United States in 2008, and remix versions were made with American rappers Soulja Boy Tell 'Em and Pitbull. Upon re-release, Swing reached number forty-five on the US Billboard Hot 100, re-entered the New Zealand singles charts peaking at number twenty-three and appeared on the American version of Now That's What I Call Music! 29. By the end of January 2009, the song had sold over 1.5 million units in the United States alone. Because of this; Swing was certified as a platinum single in the United States.[6]

In February 2009, Savage released Savage Island, the second studio album of his solo career. The release became his second consecutive top-ten entry on the New Zealand album chart debuting at number nine. The album included Moonshine from the previous album as well as a remix version of the New Zealand number-one hit Not Many. The release also featured two new singles Wild Out (Chooo Hooo) and Hot Like Fire. These songs became New Zealand singles chart hits with the former becoming Savage's fourth top-ten peaking song in the national chart. Savage appeared in an issue of Source Magazine to discuss the lyrical meanings behind the tracks of Savage Island the following month. In October, Savage performed the Savage Island album track I Love The Islands, to raise funds for the Samoan tsunami relief effort.[7] In December, the video for Wild Out (Chooo Hooo) was named as one of the five most-watched YouTube music videos in New Zealand.[8]

Battle of the Century era (2010–12)[edit]

In 2010, Savage featured in "Battle of the Century", a nationwide tour across New Zealand alongside internationally successful New Zealand rapper Scribe.[9] The same year, the Presents... The Tribal Council album was released.[10] In 2012, Savage featured on the Jade Louise single "Vibrations"[11] which was the theme song for the television series The GC.[12]

Joel Fletcher era (2013–present)[edit]

In 2013, "Swing" was remixed by Australian producer Joel Fletcher. The song peaked at number 2 on the ARIA Singles Chart[13] and has been certified triple platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) for shipments exceeding 210,000 copies.[14] In 2014, Savage added vocals to Timmy Trumpet's song "Freaks". The song peaked at number one in New Zealand and was certified 2× Platinum by Recorded Music NZ. In Australia, it peaked at number 3 and was certified 4× Platinum by ARIA.


Savage discography
Studio albums 3
Singles 8
Music videos 7
Soundtracks 1
Featured singles 6

Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
US Heat
Moonshine 2
Savage Island
  • Released: 23 February 2009
  • Label: Dawn Raid
  • Formats: CD, digital download
9 12
Mayhem & Miracles
  • Released: 29 June 2012
  • Label: Dawn Raid
  • Formats: CD, digital download
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that country.


Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album

"Swing" 2005 1 36 Moonshine
(featuring Akon)
1 9
"If You Love Savage"
"They Don't Know"
(featuring Aaradhna)
3 26
(featuring Soulja Boy Tell'em)
2008 23 45 Savage Island
"Wild Out (Chooo Hooo)"
(featuring Angel Dust & Baby Bash)
2009 6
"Hot Like Fire"
(featuring Rock City)
"I Love The Islands"
(featuring Rock City)
"This Is Me" 2011 Mayhem & Miracles
"I Promise"
"Twerk" 2012
"Because of You"
"Swing" (Remix)
(with Joel Fletcher)
2013 2
  • ARIA: 3× Platinum[14]
Non-album singles
(with Timmy Trumpet)
2014 1 3 [A] 14 14
  • ARIA: 4× Platinum[28]
  • RMNZ: 3× Platinum[29]
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that country.

Collaboration singles[edit]

Year Title Chart positions Album
2003 "Not Many - The Remix!" (Scribe featuring Savage and Con Psy) 1 19 - The Crusader
2004 "Hook Up" (as part of Dawn Raid All-Stars) 9 - - Non-album single
2007 "Street Music" (with Mareko) - 15 - New Attitude
"Turn Me Loose" (Young Divas featuring Savage) - 15 - New Attitude
2012 "Feel Inside (And Stuff Like That)" (Flight of the Conchords charity single) 1 - -
"Vibrations" (Jade Louise featuring Savage) 7 - -


  1. ^ "Freaks" did not enter the Ultratop 50, but peaked at number 16 on the Walloon Ultratip chart.[19]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Pacific Music Awards[edit]

Year Nominated work Award Result
2006 Swing Best Pacific Song Won[30]
2009 International Breakthrough Won[1]
2010 Savage Island Best Pacific Urban Artist Won[31]
Best Pacific Music Album Nominated[32]


  1. ^ a b CATH BENNETT (24 May 2009). "Give it up for Savage". Sunday News. Retrieved 2014-01-24. 
  2. ^ Elimination -
  3. ^ Stop, Drop and Roll -
  4. ^ "Savage's Moonshine single goes Gold across the ditch". amplifier. Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
  5. ^ Knocked Up -
  6. ^ "Savage is swinging with success". Television New Zealand. 13 November 2008. Retrieved 7 November 2011. 
  7. ^ "Samoan tsunami 'I Love The Islands' gig - live updates". 3 News. 19 October 2009. Retrieved 7 November 2011. 
  8. ^ YouTube reveals New Zealand's most watched videos Press Release: YouTube 17-12-2009 11:41 (subscription required)
  9. ^ Scribe vs Savage - Battle of the Century
  10. ^ Presents... The Tribal Council - Retrieved April 2012
  12. ^ Jade Louise Releases Her Debut Single Featuring Savage
  13. ^ "Joel Fletcher & Savage – Swing (Song)". Retrieved 20 January 2015. 
  14. ^ a b c "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2014 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 10 February 2015. 
  15. ^ a b "SAVAGE [NZ] IN NEW ZEALAND CHARTS". Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  16. ^ "Savage – Chart history: Heatseekers Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  17. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Savage – Moonshine". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  18. ^ "Savage [NZ] in Australian Charts". Retrieved 17 November 2013. 
  19. ^ a b "Savage [NZ] in belgian Wallonia Charts". Retrieved 29 November 2014. 
  20. ^ "Savage [NZ] in French SNEP Charts". Retrieved 29 November 2014. 
  21. ^ "Savage [NZ] in Swedish Sverigetopplistan Charts". Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  22. ^ "Savage". Billboard. Retrieved 17 November 2013. 
  23. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – Savage – Swing". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  24. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – Savage feat. Akon – Moonshine". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  25. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2006 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  26. ^ "RIAA's Gold & Platinum Program". RIAA. Retrieved 17 November 2013. 
  27. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – Savage feat. Baby Bash – Wild Out (Chooo Hooo)". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  28. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2015 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 10 February 2015. 
  29. ^ "New Zealand single certifications". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 6 March 2015. 
  30. ^ Winning night for Dei Hamo - STUFF — MANUKAU COURIER — AUCKLAND — 16 MAY 2006 (subscription required)
  31. ^ S3 Pacific Music Award Winners Announced Press Release: Pacific Music Awards 30-5-2010 (subscription required)
  32. ^ Pacific music finalists named Retrieved January 2014

External links[edit]