Demetrius Savelio (born June 28, 1981), better known by his stage name Savage, is a Samoan rapper 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 achieve platinum certification status in the United States for selling in excess of one million units.
Savage’s first solo single – Swing – was released in January 2005. The hit would eventually crack the Australian singles chart 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. 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.
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 and re-entered the New Zealand singles charts, peaking at number twenty-three. By the end of January 2009, the song had sold over 1,500,000 units in the United States alone. Because of this; Swing was certified as a platinum single in the United States.
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 2009, Savage performed the Savage Island album track I Love The Islands, to raise funds for the Samoan tsunami relief effort.
Hot Like Fire