Where are you right now?
I’m in New York City. I’m actually at work right now.
Where do you work?
Right now, I’m working for a stylist named Kate Young, so I’m just in the office doing some random tasks.
I’m looking at your EP cover right now, and it’s looks very fashion-leaning. How much of a role does fashion/visuals play in your music?
Fashion is everything for me. I started working in fashion before I got into music, actually, and I thought it would be full-time. But now it’s a side hustle for me, and music is my main focus. But I’m kind of clothing-obsessed, always have been. It’s definitely very closely tied to the project. Even when I’m recording a song, I need to be dressed up and in high boots just to get in the mood properly. But yeah, for pretty much all of my songs I have a pretty good idea of what the clothes should look like for music videos and visuals.
You've done backup vocals for a number of huge artists. How did you get into that?
It’s a pretty amazing story, actually. I was working for my friend Gordon Von Steiner, who’s a fashion filmmaker. And I was also living in his studio in Brooklyn. A friend of a friend was managing Solange, and she reached out to me to ask if I could host the background auditions in that studio. So I said yes, of course, and kind of as a joke, I was like, “I’m going to audition, too,” because I was very obsessed with Solange at that point and had listened to her album on repeat and knew all the words and harmonies. So we had the auditions, and I came in at the end and did an audition. Solange wasn’t there, but my friend recorded me on the phone. I really didn’t think anything of it. It was kind of just a “Haha” thing. But I kept getting asked back for more and more rounds, I think there was four. And then the final audition was in front of Solange, and she hired me. Our first show was like a week after that.
That’s a dream.
It was really, really a dream. At that time, especially, she was my all-time favorite, and not only because of her music but also because of her fashion sense. I really admired that. So it was really crazy.
This is a controversial question, but do you think Solange is better than Beyonce?
It’s funny because they’re so, so different. But I was always a Solange fan. I was never a big Beyonce person. When Solange came around, I became obsessed with her. They’re both incredible, but for my music taste and fashion taste, Solange is definitely my cup of tea.
Your song “Another Lover” is about bringing a third person into a relationship. Do you think this topic is under-discussed?
It’s funny because, in a way, people talk about it all the time, but it’s usually in secret or late at night after a couple bottles of wine. I had a few girlfriends bring it up with me, and it just got to a point where it’s like, “This is so ridiculous.” We’re all in amazing relationships, but we’re all thinking about the same thing. It seems like literally everybody has either thought about it or knows somebody who is in an open relationship… It just seems way more common than we all think.
Have you ever brought a third person into a relationship?
I actually haven’t. It was more of a fantasy than a reality, I guess. The logistics of it just seems a little bit crazy. I don’t even have time for that right now. But I have discussed it with my boyfriend before just out of curiosity. Who knows… maybe one day, now that the song is out…
Tell me about the video for “Another Lover”.
It was actually shot in the studio where I had my first audition for Solange and where I lived when I first moved to New York. I actually lived there with no shower for the first year and a half, which was crazy. So it was really special to shoot it there. Firstly, I wanted lots of dancers and wanted to create a dance that was as simple and addictive as the Macarena. So we came up with this very simple dance, and then we just built a story around it. I was very inspired by some old fashion commercials that Richard Avedon did in the ‘70s—they were very humorous, playful and casual, and the colors were also very beautiful, so I took a lot of inspiration from that, too. Everything came together in this amazing, beautiful way. My friends all pitched in. We did it on a very low budget. We made do with what we could get. I didn’t spend any money on the clothing. It came together how it was meant to be.
I’m interested in the recording process of the EP, especially since you’ve been so involved behind the scenes with so many artists. How was it recording this EP, and did you pull inspiration from other artists you collaborated with, or was it more solo?
So this EP was completely recorded, produced and written with my best friend Eric Cross. It was done in a very DIY way. I do have amazing resources, but the way we wrote it and recorded it was just by setting up studios and Airbnb’s. It was done on a very low budget, actually. It was completely a collaboration between the two of us. He would send me beats, and I would write over them. With “Another Lover,” I just wrote that in my head one day, but the whole thing was a collaboration with him. And in terms of style, I’ve definitely been influenced by Solange and Blood Orange. I’ve been touring with them over the last five years, and I just love their music, and pop music in general. My music is definitely more pop than them, but yeah, there’s definitely an influence there.
There are three songs on the EP. How would you say each song separates itself from the other songs? Are there individual stories you’re trying to tell?
The three songs are all about relationships. Not necessarily the relationship I’m in now, one of them is about an old relationship—a relationship with a friend who had fallen in love with me, and I had to tell him that it wasn’t going to work out. That’s “Wishful Thinking.” It’s a very honest, direct way of telling someone that they have to let go of their wishful thinking and move on. The next song is called “Evergreen,” and this song is definitely about my current relationship. It’s this idea of how relationships are never ever green and wonderful and happy—this idea that things are up and down, but ultimately we’ll always be together even though we’ll go through really difficult times. That idea of “never ever green” really encompasses all three songs and my moodiness when it comes to relationships and being in love, and always wanting different things.
You said you would describe this EP as Pop. Do you listen to any mainstream radio pop?
I don’t listen to a lot of mainstream pop. I work as a music supervisor and DJ on fashion sets a lot, so it’s usually only then that I start listening to the mainstream pop because I need to figure out when to play for people. I mean, I love Rihanna, SZA… But that’s probably as mainstream as it gets. Especially since I started writing music, I really stopped listening to other people’s music. It just gets confusing, and I don’t want to be too influenced by what I’m hearing.
So you don't listen to music while writing your own music?
I don't. I have a playlist of maybe 1-5 songs that really influenced each of my songs, and I’ll listen to them over and over again. But a lot of them are old songs. I listen to a lot of old music. That’s where I get my inspiration from.
Eva plays Elsewhere on March 14. Get your tickets here.