Connect with us
ADVERTISEMENT

House Tours

Savanah Benz on growth, both personally and musically

ADVERTISEMENT

BISMARCK, ND (KXNET) — On her website, young up-and-coming country star Savanah Benz is referred to as a true grassroots girl at heart, boasting both “Country Roots and Cowboy Boots.” Inspired by all the country classics, Savannah hopes to stay true to the legendary style of old fashioned country music while giving it a fresh new face.

This is a combination that seems to work quite well for the young singer: In recent years she has been able to open up to modern country icons and even play together, travel back and forth from Nashville for music, and write and do much of record her own songs.

Benz has performed on KX’s Studio 701 show not once or even twice, but surprisingly three times – and during each show she has changed, both in her musical style and as a person. It’s always fascinating to see someone’s growth, and in the Green Room we’re particularly interested in knowing how far Savanah thinks she’s come between performances. In this exclusive interview, we asked Savanah about the past, present and future of her musical career.


According to Savanah herself, she first started singing after watching Danielle Bradbery – one of her biggest inspirations and idols – win the singing competition ‘The Voice’ on television. This drive to practice singing would later culminate in her entering the 2019 Minot State Fair’s Talent Contest where she took first place for a cover of Loretta Lynn’s “Coal Miner’s Daughter”. But her interest in music took hold long before Bradbery’s televised win in 2013.

Q: Tell us how you discovered your interest in music. What made you decide to become an artist? And why specifically in your style of choice?

“Growing up, I had always loved to listen to music. When I was young, country music was always playing in the house, so I started loving it at a young age. One of the very first songs I ever learned was Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire.” When I was 9, I had watched the TV show “The Voice” and saw Danielle Bradbery (who is now a professional country singer) perform and win the show. She was definitely a big inspiration to me, which is why I sang even more around the house after that and took it a little bit more seriously. When I was 12 I started singing at a few events like my parents 25th anniversary, ND Got Talent at Buckstop Junction, etc. I wanted to expand my love for music even further so when I was 14 I got my first paying gig at “Bismarket.” After that, I continued to pursue my music career even more and knew the stage was where I belonged.

With such a history with country music, it’s no wonder Benz would gravitate towards the genre as her style of choice.

“Country music has always had a place in my heart. There is no other genre of music that makes me feel the same as Country. I absolutely love how it tells a story, and there’s so much heart and soul in it. Whether you need a song to cry to, sing your heart out to, laugh to, play at a funeral or wedding, or line dance to, there’s a song for it in Country Music. Since I was young I listened to Loretta Lynn, Alan Jackson, Johnny Cash, etc. These musicians were also some of my biggest inspirations in music! I also grew up outside the city, with horses, four-wheelers, etc. I guess you could say that Country came naturally to my blood and soul, so I definitely moved to Country.

Time has passed since those original performances, and while Savanah’s musical career is going great, she doesn’t want to let it stop her from pursuing higher education. In addition to her albums and shows, Benz is also a student – and managing these two lives, she says, is as hard as it sounds.

Q: Being a student and being a musician is a lot of work. How do you manage to juggle them? And what are you planning to do at university?

“Being a student and a musician can sometimes be a challenging combination. Balancing the two as a college student rather than a high school student is a bit more stressful. However, I do my best to prioritize both because academics and music are very important to me. When I have time off from class, you can usually find me in my dorm or at home writing songs, practicing my music, or making musical TikToks in my car or living room! When I know I have gigs during the week or weekends, I work extra hard to get my homework done ahead of time so I can just enjoy performing! I also usually travel to Nashville for music during my school vacations. In college, I’m currently studying Business Administration and may be making the switch from majoring to Music Business, but I’m not 100% sure about that decision yet.

As anyone who has spent time in higher education can attest, taking tests and managing school can be incredibly stressful. Between that and performing on stage, it would lead one to believe that it’s just a matter of choosing one stressful position over another. But oddly enough — or unsurprisingly, depending on who you ask — Savanah sees the stage as a much less difficult place to be than in the classroom. In fact, it’s her favorite place to be.

Q: How do you feel when you are on stage? Is there a lot of stage fright, or have you become more comfortable with crowds during your career?

“When I’m on the podium, it’s my happy place and my comfort zone. Performing on stage is one of my favorite things to do! My confidence has grown a lot on stage over the last few years, and the audience has grown too. I love performing in front of big crowds and so far I’ve felt pretty comfortable on stage with them! The goal is to grow that audience and sell out shows one day! When I pick up my guitar on stage and touch the microphone with my hand, I immediately feel at home, doing what I love to do. Every time I step on that stage, it reminds me even more that this is the career/dream I want to pursue like no other, and it gives me a confidence boost as a result. I love seeing how people in the audience relate to the music when I perform, that’s one of my favorite aspects of it! Interaction with the audience on stage is great! Whether that’s playing a song, finding out it’s someone’s birthday in the audience and singing the birthday song to them, watching people dance together, hearing people sing the songs back… it’s truly magical!”

This stage confidence is something that has been there throughout most of Benz’s career, but she says many of the other aspects we see now have changed a lot. She’s accomplished a lot since her first performance, and that has a lot to do with her journey as a musician and as a person.

ADVERTISEMENT

Question: You have been to Studio 701 a few times now. What do you think has changed the most about you between your visits?

“I would say quite a bit has changed since my very first gig at Studio 701. Looking back at my first gig, I don’t think I knew what the next few years would hold and I’m immensely grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had since then got. From the first few Studio 701 gigs to my last gig this year, I’ve grown tremendously as an artist, songwriter, and performer. I’ve recorded and released new original music on all streaming platforms, I’ve opened for famous country singers like David Lee Murphy, Julia Cole and Brandon Jones, I’ve been able to play shows in Nashville and meet some insanely talented musicians, etc. It makes me honestly a little emotional when I think back to when I first did an interview on Studio 701 to where I am today and I couldn’t be more thankful for what God has provided for my journey so far.

These recent performances at Studio 701 are just one chapter in her recent progression, and she hopes to move on to even more venues in the years to come… including her dream performance, a sold-out show at the Grand Ole Opry.

Q: Where do you see your music career going? What is your dream performance/location/goal?

“Looking to the future, I hope to see my career take off playing sold out shows, touring the US, hopefully living in Nashville to make music, releasing more original music, etc. My dream gig / location in North Dakota would be the Burning Hills Amphitheater in Medora. Growing up, I rarely missed a show at the Medora Musical. It’s one of the coolest outdoor stages with the best decor. I hope to be on that podium someday! However, my ultimate goal would be to one day perform at the Grand Ole Opry and the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN! I’ve always loved watching the Grand Ole Opry on TV and YouTube. I’ve even been to the Opry House in person a few times to attend a few shows, and seeing some of my country music inspirations on that stage as they live out their own dream gives me courage and a passion to hopefully ever get there. The Grand Ole Opry is like the ‘golden stage’ for me, and that’s a big dream of mine!”

It’s a long road to the Opry, but with enough time and practice, we at KX are confident that Savanah will get there. And with some hints she’s shared with us about her 2023 plans, we have a feeling that her goal is closing in faster than we expect.

Q6: Do you have plans for future albums, tours, songs or performances that you would like to share with KX?

“Currently I have plans for future song releases. I have more music on the way for 2023 that I’ve already recorded in Nashville, TN. I’m super excited to share what my next single will be when the time comes because this next song means so much to me and who I am. It’s a vulnerable song and I’m so grateful to be able to make this kind of music because not only does it help me heal and pour out my emotions/heart, but it can also help others going through similar situations. I also have a surprise in store from something I recently worked on in Nashville early this year!”


Savanah is only just beginning her full journey into music, but here at KX we’re standing by to support her every step of the way – and hopefully she’ll keep returning to Studio 701 to show us just how far she can go.

More information about Savanah Benz’s biography, career and music can be found on her website. Visit Savanahbenzmusic.com for more from the musician and for links to her social media.