Cooling the universe.
By Valarie Šakota
Sávila is the name of cumbia/latin/world/r&b inspired music & visual art project by guitarist Fabiola Reyna, vocalist/artist Brisa Gonzalez & percussionist extraordinaire Papi Fimbres. Through songwriting Brisa & Fabi explore their cultural identities & the multi-faceted experience of being Mexican women & artists in this day & age. Now joined by Papi Fimbres—a much loved drumming icon in the PNW—Sávila has solidified their percussive sound.
If you could receive a phone call tomorrow from anyone who is currently alive, who would it be, and why?
My mom Mercedes Gonzalez just saying she loves me like she always does. Maybe the space aliens calling me to say they are going to override all of this corruption to help protect our earth.
What does it mean to you to be making music in Portland? Does it hold any influence over your creative decisions?
Portland is where I was born and raised—I am grateful to be rooted in my home and and be able to leave and return to that comfort. Because there is a more limited community of color here it has inspired us to connect and bring other artists from out of town and create community outside of Portland that we can learn from and grow with and be inspired by.
What is your favorite spirit? (whisky? weed? psychedelics? Coffee? etc.)
We love mescal and where it comes from and the maguey plant.
What is behind the name Sávila?
Sávila is Spanish for the beautiful plant Aloe Vera. When we were thinking of names this plant came to mind because of all of its attributes—healing, cooling, universal and sentimental—all qualities that we want our music to represent. It has been really interesting to tune in to this plant and now I see it everywhere on every corner and windowsill.
What brought you all together for this project?
Fabi and I have been writing songs forever and we’ve known each other forever. We have collaborated with a few different drummers in the past and now that we have Papi the music is really coming into its full shape. We are all Mexican with different familial roots and paths that brought us to Portland, Oregon, and I guess the way I see it we all get to do what we really love—voice, guitar and drum— and do our best to express something beautiful through our music.
How do you breakthrough or reset in moments where you’re creatively exhausted or uninspired?
We take breaks and if we are on tour, make sure we take time to enjoy ourselves and the lands we are traveling in—even an hour or a few minutes to be in nature. Always going back to Mexico for inspiration and reset. Just doing our best to enjoy the preciousness of this life—always.
What is your dream collaboration?
Maybe Arca or Chancha Via Circuito—I would love to see how they would work with our music. We got to do a mini collaboration with Esperanza Spalding and it was a dream.
What song on your album is your favorite to perform?
I think Uplift Me is one that we all really enjoy performing—it has an energy of its own and we can sort of transport musically with that one.
Would you rather explore the galaxy or the oceans, and why?
Such a hard question—both or neither. I feel as a human being there is so much beauty here on earth, I like to try and explore that in a new way, like seeing the sunrise or where the river meets the sea or where the butterflies migrate. I think we all will explore the galaxies when we become the ancestors.
Who’s one artist on your playlist we need to start following immediately, and why?