Lowcountry Originals 2023
July 2023 Issue
photography (top and bottom left) by Cassidy Dunn Photography
Art: Vocalist Career: Bank Teller by day, singer by night
Current Residence: Bluffton
Hometown: Parkersburg, WV
Family: Daughter Samira; Mom and Dad: Caren and Jeff Edwards; Brother Shawn Wiseman.
Pets: 2 black cats: Henrietta James and Gabriella Fitzgerald
When and how did you discover your artistic talent? What do you love about it?
All I know is my mom has a cassette tape hidden somewhere for safe keeping of me singing “Sarah” by Starship at 2-years-old. I have memories of singing from very early childhood. “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” is the song I remember learning all the words to first; I would not stop singing it. I love to sing because it is fun and therapeutic, both for us as musicians and for the crowds!
As a “creative” you are unique. What makes you the most YOU!
As I’ve been told, I am “fun and kinda out there,” and that was a great compliment! I pretty much dance from start to finish during a show—gotta get those steps in, ha-ha! I try to do my best to respect the original vocalists, and somehow, they just turn out the “Savannah” version. Being onstage is so much fun, and I try to make sure the crowds know they, too, are allowed to have fun and be “out there” with me! Check our Facebook page, “Vannah and the Rump Shakers,” to see where you can come see us!
What do you hope people who come to your shows “get” out of it?
Whatever someone is going through, music can be incredibly healing. Whether they need a good laugh, or cry, or to “shake their rumps,” to get through their day, I am happy to sing requests, laugh, and dance with them. I hope they can spend time dancing and singing along with us and go home with a smile.
What’s the best encouragement you’ve ever received in pursuing your artistic talents?
Hands down, my mom and dad! They have been totally supportive throughout my whole career. They took me to a restaurant in my hometown for a local karaoke contest when I was 9 years old, and who can win against a kid, you know? But the crowd really loved it, so of course I was hooked! They’ve taken me anywhere and everywhere so I could be in the spotlight to let me enjoy singing for people. I have to thank them a million times over for the love they’ve given me, and the sacrifices they’ve made to make sure my voice was heard. I LOVE YOU, MOM AND DAD!
What is your dream project? Do you foresee it coming to fruition?
I have so many! I love singing locally but would definitely love to go on tour. Even if it means singing backup vocals for someone, I’m in! Traveling around from city to city would be a great experience for someone wanting to pursue this as a career. I would also love to do voice-over work for television, movies, commercials, and jingles, too! Teaching has crossed my mind a time or two, as well.
What artist inspires or influences you the most?
I find new influences all the time! I’ve grown up loving harmonies, so I have been drawn to groups like Wilson Philips, The Doobie Brothers (I have tickets for September!) the Eagles, Toto, etc. Lately, I am digging some Lake Street Drive, Scary Pockets, and Walk off the Earth for their creativeness and drive to keep their covers extremely unique. Lead singer Hayley Williams from the band Paramore is so entertaining while she sings, dances and engages the crowd.
Tell us about a time when all good vibes came together and you rocked it—that moment you felt on cloud-9.
I was in a girls’ vocal group when I was a teenager, and we managed to book more than 60 gigs in one summer. We had amazing opportunities to open for country artists like Rascal Flatts, Porter Wagoner, Cledus T. Judd, Trick Pony, Darryl Worley, and Neal McCoy, just to name (drop) a few. Afterwards, we signed autographs and met the crowds as the main show started. That’s where cloud-9 is—meeting the fans who enjoyed the show!
In your artistic pursuits, what is your proudest moment so far?
OH MY GOSH! My voice is on an episode of “Teen Titans Go”! The original song (by Greg Critchley, thanks Bud!) called “Take it Down Low,” is featured on one of the episodes. It was a shock to find out they liked it enough to keep my original vocals in it, when normally they use the character’s voice for it. Look for it on YouTube! While you’re there, also search “Broughton Knows Cool” to see me in a Broughton Dairy commercial. (I am on the far left.) Yes, dairy. The singing cow makes it!
What’s something you’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t done yet?
The Super Bowl halftime show. I mean, if I have to pick, that’s the biggest I can think of. I would settle for the National Anthem, though! Or I would love to play the role of Mary Poppins, since I have the whole movie memorized from childhood. She’s feisty and confident, so that would be fun.
What do you want to scream from the mountain tops about the importance of art?
I don’t want to scream it, I’ll sing it…DON’T MAKE ME DANCE BY MYSELF!