The electrifying Eva Lazarus performed for the first time at The Camden Assembly, our go-to destination for discovering new superstar talent.
Eva's set at The Camden Assembly was strong, passionate and unapologetic. With a singing voice as equally smooth and free-flowing as her slick verses, and a modest but purposeful stage attitude, the night was in safe hands.
The lovely Eva, who is set to return to perform at Outlook Festival 2017, sat down with us for an interview over a hearty burger and chips before her kick-ass performance.
When did you realise you wanted to be a music artist?
I've always kind of been able to sing. My mum and aunt would always ask me to sing for them when I was a kid but I was also painfully shy so I would always find singing on demand totally embarrassing. It took me a while but once I found my confidence at 23, I realised I actually gave a shit about music, and that's when I pushed myself into doing it professionally. I think that's another reason why, up until very recently, I felt most comfortable collaborating with others. My family encouraged me and supported me, so it feels very similar to having your family on stage with you when you're in a collaborative team.
Which musicians do you admire and why?
Top of the list I'd have to say Erykah Badu, I'm totally in love with her. I met her in New York at an after party she was DJ-ing at, and I got to give her a handmade necklace that my mum made. Her manager let me give it to her personally so I was nervous, such a fan girl haha. She unwrapped the necklace and said it was really beautiful and asked me how long I was there for etc. I felt myself having this conversation with her and I just stopped and thought 'oh my god, this is amazing, quit while you're ahead, don't say anything stupid!' So I just politely said that I'd had a really great time in New York but that it was nice to meet her and I was going to leave her to it and I just left. I'm so glad I did because I saw her leaving the venue later and she had fans trying to take selfies as she left at 4am and she was so that into it. I also obviously admire the classics, you know, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone and also Lauryn Hill, she's incredible ... Not sure if you can sense a theme here, but my idols are definitely strong women. I'm also really digging The Internet too.
You're playing at Outlook Festival this year. What do you love most about performing at festivals?
Each one is like a different world for people to escape into. The fact that I play at a lot of festivals means that I get to enter into all these different worlds. I love it because I get to be like, 'oh let's have a look in here at this festival and see who's here'. The crowd that go to Eden Festival are very different to the Secret Garden Party crowd, and again different to the Boomtown or Glastonbury crowd. All of them have such amazing vibes. I also love the attention to detail that goes into creating these worlds; it is unbelievable. Now that I've done the rounds a few times, I'm starting to pick up more on what goes into the whole festival experience and not just the music side, because the social and visual elements are just as important as the audio. My top pick for something really different in this country is Boomtown Festival. The concept of what they do is incredible.
What has been your most memorable festival experience so far?
Funny you should ask that! I'd have to say my performance at Boomtown Festival 2016. I look back at the photos of that show and I can't get over how many people were there. I played with Mungo's Hi Fi. We were playing some live versions of the tracks we'd been working on together. Charlie P, YT and J-Man were also there as vocalists. My brain must have gone into protection mode and told me to go out and 'do that singing thing I do', because if I registered how many people were there I think I would have had a meltdown! I just remember having the best fun and coming off stage shaking with adrenalin. It was a next-level show, Mungo's Hi Fi are a next level crew!
More musicians and artists are coming together to help each other get off the ground and make music happen without a manager or label. How have you found your self-made journey?
It's been a giant learning curve. Basically, if people are dope, they are busy. In my experience, you have really got to make your case, hard. My Crowdfunder campaign says to people I'm really serious about doing this properly. For me, I wish I had set up Crowdfunder a really long time ago. I spent a long time trying to put together an EP alone and it became really frustrating trying to coordinate, especially when they are helping for no money. It can be difficult to get things to move along. 18 months ago I was unsigned and unmanaged and I found it really hard. It's not the fault of any particular person or label, it's just the way it is. When you've got a team and a machine helping you, things get done. When you've got funds, things get done. So you either need funds, a team or both, which I'm now lucky enough to have.
Another lesson I've learnt is that willingness goes a long way. I'm addicted to work and I love having something to do, but often this means I want to do everything myself and that's unrealistic. I had to get over asking for help. Not asking for help and not being clear with what I needed to get the job done was my mistake. Once I got over that I was more open to the CrowdFunder concept because that really is the ultimate shoutout for help. I still have incredible amounts of help now and I'm lucky to have people who believe in what I'm doing.
What do you love most about the London music scene?
I like that there are different pockets of very talented people doing incredible collaborations and running epic nights and takeovers. London is the home of amazing projects that kick off and go all over the world. It's such a vibrant and diverse musical city. There is a sick reggae and jungle community here such as Unit 137, Gentleman's Dub Club, Natty - vibes and pressure, Congo Natty aka Rebel MC, Nanci & Phoebe etc. The are the originators of jungle music scene live right here in London. Then you have thriving indie scene, rock scene, hip-hop, blues and soul, CW Jones and Jack Chard are jewels in the crown, check them out. London's got everything in abundance which is what makes it special, whereas when you move out of the capital you tend to find cities become hubs for select overriding sounds or scenes. The dance/reggae/hip-hop music scene is strong in Bristol but, for example, comparatively there aren't as many metal or rock nights.
Your music spans multiple genres and therefore multiple audience types. Would you tie yourself down to any genre more than another or do you love them all equally?
It's like breakfast; I don't want to eat the same breakfast every day. I don't want to listen to the same music or make the same music every day. I get different things from each genre so I can't compare an acoustic gig with hosting a jungle set. They are totally unique energies. They're like your 5-a-day in that you need all of them to live; I need all of these genres of music to live.
How would you describe your fashion style in 3 words?
I think I'm quite lazy, I like being relaxed and comfortable so anything that's easy to get on and off is good with me. I love anything metallic or covered in sequins. I guess I'm quite loud as well, I mean my hair is big and my tunes are big and I suppose I quite like my style to reflect that. I'm not afraid of colour, pattern or texture. So yeah, I'd say lazy, metallic and loud sums me up!
Who would you most love to collaborate with?
Again, there is a really big list of people! I would love to collaborate with Nai Palm or Jordan Rakei! Who wouldn't want to collaborate with Lauryn Hill? Even if I couldn't sing I would still want to be in the studio watching her write, the finer details that she puts in her backing vocals are incredible, that would be the dream. I'm not sure how it would work on a record but I would have LOVED to just jam with Jimi Hendrix. It would be sick to have a drink jam with that guy!!
Follow Eva Lazarus on Instagram here
Missed our last blog story? Read up on our 'Q&A with Raquel Sutherland'