The artist was Demetrius Saveli, although he was better known to thousands in New Zealand as Savage.
A Samoan-New Zealander, Savage was born in South Auckland in 1981. As with many of his generation he grew up with and was immersed in hip-hop, and in 1997 he and some friends formed a group, Deceptikonz.
After playing parties and talent quests, they eventually landed a deal with the new South Auckland label Dawn Raid Entertainment in 1999, releasing their debut album Elimination in 2002. That album was both a critical and a commercial success and Savage inked his own solo deal with Dawn Raid.
His first release was the single ‘Swing’ in January 2005. A massive hit, it made No.1 in New Zealand, sticking there for five weeks, and hit the Australian Top 40. The sequel, ‘Moonshine’, was even bigger, staying at No.1 in New Zealand for seven weeks and making the Australian Top 10. The accompanying album, also called Moonshine, was a Gold album in New Zealand.
In 2007 ‘Swing’ was placed in the soundtrack to the US movie Knocked Up from where it broke out, eventually reaching No.45 in the Billboard Hot 100, and achieving platinum certification with sales of more than 1.5 million in the USA alone.
Savage’s second album Savage Island, released in 2009, made No.26 on the US Hip-Hop Chart and No.9 in New Zealand. It contained the US remix of 'Swing'.
In 2010, billed as The Battle Of The Century, Savage toured New Zealand with Scribe.
A third album, Mayhem & Miracles, was released in June 2012.
The Joel Fletcher remix of "Swing” debuted on the Australian ARIA Singles Chart on 18 November 2013, reached No.2 in early 2014 and was certified double platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA).
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