While most 14-year-old, music-obsessed girls sit in their bedrooms making playlists, Sevi Ettinger was instead writing songs to fill these playlists. And not just tunes about boys and, well, boys. No, Ettinger—an American living in Shanghai—was penning tracks like “Salty Water,” which addresses the Syrian refugee crisis that was upsetting her so much that she felt the need do something about it. So she picked up her smartphone and recorded “Salty Water” via an app and utilizing a backing track she found online that was written by Texas musician Nate McCray. Within an hour, the song was done.
After her father posted the track online, it was discovered by Phillip Jarrell, who co-wrote ’70s smash “Torn Between Two Lovers” (ask your grandparents, kids) and helped the now-15-year-old Ettinger make a video for “Salty Water.” Jarrell introduced Ettinger’s music to Grammy-winning producer Jeff Bova (Celine Dion, Cyndi Lauper, Katy Perry), who signed on to make a record with her. The result is the four-song Salty Water EP, out August 24 via Sevillana.
We’re proud to premiere the remarkable video for “Salty Water” by this up-and-coming talent today on magnetmagazine.com. Says the wise-beyond-her-years Ettinger, a successful fundraiser for UN refugee agency USA For UNHCR, of “Salty Water,” “I create music to give others a chance to be heard. When I was sitting in my room watching the Syrian refugees fleeing their homes, leaving everything behind, I knew they needed to be heard. My hope in writing the song is to share their voice, express their pain and show their tears. My dream is for all people to be free—to be who they want to be.”
Mission accomplished, Sevi.