E.V.I, or Eva depending on whether you're lucky enough to call her a friend, is the singer who's incredible range and tone will certainly soon take over the music industry. She oozes music from every pour and manages to carry herself in a way that tells everyone she's going to be a star.
Lead singer of the band A Broken Camarilla, and general girl boss of other solo projects, Eva has recently become a close friend of mine. She's the kind of gal any girl gang would be lucky to have, and was one of the first people who told me to go ahead with The Other Half. We met up with other total Girl Boss Vilijah, who snapped some photos of Eva while we wandered around Manchester and sat in cute tea gardens.
First, who is E.V.I?
I've been sitting on this alias for a while now and last year I got to the point where I thought to myself its time. After years of relying and jamming out with musicians and producers I said to myself do it yourself! E.V.I is raw, stripped back, experimental and the truest form of the sounds and types of music that I adore, my production is progressing and I'm excited to see the evolution of E.V.I myself.
I go with two alias', EVABEE which is my ABC nickname if you will, and E.V.I is more solo influenced.
What do you think are the largest obstacles you’ve had to face compared to your male counter parts?
This is the main one, and because i'm in a band with three boys I envy them a little when I see this but the boys have their like boys club, when networking and meeting people it seems like the industry is full of blokes in our industry and they all back each other, especially in Manchester. As much as their all safe and what not, I'd love to vibe out with some women, talk about our industry and the things we are faced with and support each other. As much as my boys are down for me, it would be nice to see more ladies supporting each other.
What women do you think are really smashing it right now?
I watched 'Stillness in Wonderland' about an hour ago so I've got to say this lady first, Little Simz is an incredible artist who is absolutely smashing all sides of the industry right now, she gives me so much inspiration how she came up as an independent artist in a scene that was predominantly run by guys and just threw herself into it with pure creativity and passion in her work. Its going to be sick to see her growth. Etta Bond is one of my favourite artists and has been for a while so i have to include her in this section. It's so good to see her getting the recognition she deserves. The girl gives me goosebumps and I probably gunfinger 20 times throughout her songs. Her music is as timeless as Sade's and it's all on repeat daily. I'm gonna name a few names now because we'd be here all day otherwise...
Nai Palm, Ray Blk, Bonzai, I'm going to go ahead and say Willow Smith because 'Female Energy' is a flippin banger that kids need to be raised listening to, my Manchester queens Layfullstop and Iamddb who are both smashing life! Ruby-Ann and her Family Ranks and there's many many more which is an incredible thing.
Who was your biggest inspiration growing up?
Britney fucking Spears.
Nah joke, well kinda.
I'd say my mum, as cliche as it is she's an absolute angel who supported me through all of my days. She's the person who made me listen to amazing artists such as Sade, Badu, Miles Davies, Curtis Mayfield, who have influenced my whole life not just my music. We saw and got through a lot growing up and it was always music that was the healer, she would slam an old wax on and we would just dance and sing away our troubles. She puts love first and always does things out of love which I've always tried to do myself, even for people she doesn't know, she's always said.. Were here out of love, so we must give it back.
Oh and Wendy from my Chinese takeaway, never met a happier lady. Think she's been 90 since I was a kid and she's still grafting making the best damn salt and pepper chips that money can buy.
Who is your biggest female role model?
This is a hard one, I have quite a lot; musicians, activists, poets, entrepreneurs, even one of my managers Kim from my amazing Warehouse Project family is a major role model for me. The biggest though? Erykah Badu. I feel as an artist she does everything to kinda help me to cope, every song is meaningful and she's not scared to dwell into her eccentricity.
2016 was pretty shit, but what was your favourite bit?
Closing the opening night at Beeswaxx, It was the best gig we've (ABC) had and the energy was proper. If you're about Manchester on the 27th Jan come to Joshua Brooks for round 3. I'm excited.
What are your goals for 2017?
Keep making bad boy music, create some visuals for both E.V.I and ABC.. Get a fucking van and kit it out so we can raid some festivals. Overall, Smash life!
You grew up in Manchester, what do you think is so brilliant about the music scene there?
It's a very special place and you can see the authenticity within every band, DJ or musician. No matter what the stature artists show love to artists and they really do push new artists coming up. There's a lot of love in Manchester, our history is rich and our hearts are too.
Do you think it’s an especially good place to be a woman in the music industry?
I think there are a lot of false ideals, moulds and paths a woman may be expected to take within the music industry. I'm going to say yes, for the fact that I love surprising people. Shocking them with knowledge or talents that may be seen as a male dominated area's or skills. I don't think its easier but I think if your heart and mind is right, and your in the music industry for the right reasons then yeah, it's a great place. I'm in it to give people inspiration to say you can do whatever you put your mind to.
What does having music as a creative outlet mean to you?
It keeps me alive.
Tell us about your band A Broken Camarilla?
My squad that, never met anyone like them. We were all mates first really, then we would have little parties and stuff where we would be spinning tunes and Cee and I would be writing and freestyling and I guess we just knew we wanted to create our own music together. We're now living in a very creative bubble with a load of good people around us. Were looking forward to smashing 2017. Go listen to our tunes, were pretty good.
Describe your sound in 3 words?
Raw, Relevant and Universal. Woi.
What advice would you give to young women trying to break the music industry?
Remember your worth, stay true to your art, and trust the voice in your head.
Interview & Words by India Opie Meres
Photos by Vilija Kašiginaitė