INTERVIEW: Eve Conway | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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In this job I’m fortunate to see and hear a lot of music, but it’s not often that I’m completely floored by a musician on first listen. At Twisterella festival in 2017 I stumbled upon a live set from Darlington’s Eve Conway – the young performer stood alone on the stage, looping her vocals until the entire room was vibrating with sound; there were no musical instruments, just her voice which rose to a cacophony of rich, almost gospel-like expression. I was totally blown away.

Eve has been a staple of the scene for several years, but under the recent tutelage of producer Rob Irish, and with a steady management hand guiding her, she’s starting to make serious waves. Performances at high profile events like Evolution Emerging, Stockton Calling and Tramlines festival have led to plaudits from Huw Stephens and Tom Robinson, and her recent performance at Middlesbrough’s BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend elevated Eve to a level it seems she should always have been at, although she takes it all in her stride. “I treat every gig with pride but Big Weekend was just something else!” She enthuses. “It’s really set my own standard because I felt something on that stage that I’ve never felt before. Nothing is daunting as long as you prepare!”

She’ll perform another high profile festival set on BBC Introducing’s stage at Hardwick Live on Sunday 18th August, which will also coincide with a new single release, Vanilla Ocean. A big, bold and haunting statement of intent, Eve’s stunning voice is underpinned by sensual synths and looped vocals; it’s a love song that’s part edgy pop, part soulful R&B, and effortlessly captivating. Eve explains that it’s a track she’s had in her repertoire for over five years, but the time felt right to release it now. “Someone once said to me that your songs are your children and you have to get to know them and help them grow, and now is the time for it to be set free.” 

I make up characters in my head and then I lose myself in their stories

It should be said that Eve isn’t alone in her ability to stop people in their tracks with her voice, she cites Newcastle’s Martha Hill (“there is something so compelling and captivating about her”), rapper Leddie MC and fellow loop artist Girl From Winter Jargon as musicians she feels an affinity with.

Eve has worked with producer Rob Irish to help fully realise her sound. “I never thought the sound would be so full and strong, if anything it has changed the way I write because I now write to portray a strong sound that I know will be replicated in the recording. And Rob has patience! I make him play with so many sounds before saying THAT’S THE ONE KEEP IT.” 

Brought up on a steady diet of The Waterboys, Bruce Springsteen and 90s hip-hop, Eve’s songs are often story-driven. “I make up characters in my head and then I lose myself in their stories,” she says of her inspiration, “especially female characters, I love to show the powerful side to them.”

Eve hints at “some cool stuff” coming later this year, and for now it seems she’s just where she wants to be: “Working hard and pushing boundaries and just having too much fun.”



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