Eva Simons’ Exclusive Backstage Interview
elektro’s Fall Issue includes a fashion spread featuring Eva Simons; she’s the dymanic, energetic vocal force behind the classic “Take Over Control” and hard-hitting solo singles like “Renegade.” Despite her towering hair and commanding presence, Simons is down-to-earth and incredibly enthusiastic about any and all types of music; in our interview, she gushed about everything from Nero’s “Me & You” to Toto’s “Africa.” Read on for more with the Dutch diva.
elektro: What’s it like working with big-name dance producers like Zedd and Afrojack?
ES: We’re all like nerds, we’re all the losers from high school. It’s weird, like we’re just very serious. We just like to make music, cool music. Zedd is a very talented person, he’s classically trained. Even Afrojack is classically trained. You need to have a base.
elektro: Do you feel like you’ve been moving from the “guest vocalist” stage into your own career as an artist?
ES: That’s what girls fall into, the guest artist. It’s safe to be the guest vocalist, but I want to be [my] own artist. It’s how you show your soul a bit more. It’s all about being real. But it’s hard for people to be freaking real.
elektro: A lot of your songs have a “girl power” angle. Is that intentional, or do those emotions come out as you write?
ES: I think we all want to be superheroes, but we’re not. So you have to be true to yourself. If I go through something tough, I have to write about that. So with songs like “I Don’t Like You,” you’re just telling a story, like you’re talking to Dr. Phil. Even guys are singing the lyrics. And that’s what I want. I want it to connect. That’s the only way I can be an artist. Otherwise, I’m manufactured. I don’t want
to be that.
elektro: Is it difficult to be a female in such a male-dominated industry?
ES: It’s hard. Like when Will [of the Black Eyed Peas] found out that I was mixing all of my own shit and writing my own stuff, he was like “What?!” You always have to prove yourself a bit, which is okay, I’m cool [with it]. That’s why I still look up to people like Missy Elliott, who opened doors for female producers, mixers, girls who can do it themselves.
elektro: What’s your songwriting process like? Do you write the lyrics or melodies first?
ES: Mostly melody with words. Like with “Take Over Control” it just came… I just vibe it out. When I have a dope beat, I’m trying to be as dope as the beat. I always try to keep the first emotion in my head when I hear that beat. If it’s super exciting, I want to keep it exciting. I try to create the vibe that is real. But that’s why I like EDM because there’s always something to do and discover, some dope vibe to create.
elektro: What are you listening to right now?
ES: Dubstep is straight up like, hip-hop with metal, with some reggae kind of swag. You have to be into that kind of music to really dig that. Excision is always in my head right now. I really like Skrillex too. He knows his stuff, he was in a band. Again, that whole package that everyone is bringing with them… and like, Knife Party, Pendulum. Their stuff makes so much sense. You need to know something to make [music] like that.
Check out Eva’s full fashion fashion spread in the Fall Issue of elektro, on newsstands now!
Image by Sarah Colgan