With over 500 guests gathering at Le Poisson Rouge in New York, last night’s [December 2] annual holiday party for non-profit organization Women In Music was a great success. The organization celebrated its 30th year of working to both advance and celebrate the opportunities, contributions and success of women working in the music and entertainment industry.
Midway through the conversation-and-cocktail-filled evening, President Jessica Sobhraj took a moment to thank those involved for their support, including sponsors, members and partners alike, and introduced the all-female Board Of Directors. The crowd was a considerable mix of both veteran and rising industry professionals, executives and musicians, with DJ Shannonigans and DJ Kelly The Bruce providing the soundtrack for the evening.
Getting its start in 1985, Women In Music’s mission is to advance the awareness, equality and opportunities of women in the musical arts. The organization achieves this through its seminars, panels, showcases and achievement awards that celebrate the female contribution to the music world and strengthen community ties.
Prior to taking the stage as a special guest for the evening, vocalist EVVY shared a few words backstage.
How do you describe your music to people who haven’t heard it before?
“It’s indie pop, definitely, but has a lot of electronic elements and a lot of live elements. Usually I say its ‘ethereal swag!’ I brand my own music so people can find it and dive right into it. My music has a lot of those live, lush synth elements, and organic sounds as well.”
How do you prepare for your live performances, especially like this evening where it’s not your typical crowd?
“I wasn’t as nervous when they told me that I was playing this event, until last night it hit me and I was like, “Oh darn, this is crazy!” I just try to be calm and collected backstage until I have to perform, so I’m just composing myself and relaxing. I brought my meditation coloring book but I don’t think I’m going to be able to focus on that right now [laughs]. I just need to do some vocal warm-ups and then I’ll be ready.”
What else have you been up to recently? What’s up next for you?
“My last show was at the Knitting Factory, about two weeks ago. It was a really cool audience. We played with the Flavr Blue from Seattle. This is my last show for the year. I’ve been mostly playing in New York so right now the goal is to do a little tour, maybe open for some artists, but in the meantime, I am going back to LA to write. I was there to play a couple of shows and I kind of fell in love with the city; it was my first time out there. I’m from New York and live in Long Island, so this month, I’m going to go back to LA to be in writing mode and work on new music. I love performing, so being able to do a live experience is always the best and I want to play as much as possible.”
Being a female in this industry, how do you feel you’re treated? Do you find people question you, or treat your differently, and if so, how do you combat those things?
“First of all, it’s hard for everyone [in music.] But sometimes it can be a little harder for women as far as your image and the kind of music you’re writing. For me, I just don’t really let that kind of stuff get in the way. Or well, I try not to. It can get to you sometimes but if you just look at it like whatever and brush it off as someone’s opinion and just do you thing, you’ll be good. I just like to write and do my thing and not let any negative opinions get in the way of what I’m trying to accomplish. For me as a woman in music, I want to be a role model to younger girls.”
What advice do you give to your younger fans?
“Never give up. There are days where you may want to, sure, but if you have a serious goal in mind, don’t give up on it, no matter what. Also to be yourself and don’t let people form something else out of you. That’s the best advice I can give, to be you.”
Who are some of your favorite female artists?
“Growing up, I spent all my time listening to Gloria Gayner. Alanis Morissette is bad ass. And of course, right now, Adele is killing it. She’s not so immersed in some of the other stuff and is just really focused on her music. I think that’s really important.”
Anyone in Hip-Hop you’d like to collaborate with some day?
“Right now, I’m obsessed with Jon Bellion. I know he’s not strictly Hip-Hop but I would love to work with him. Drake makes my list too, why not. I’m down to collab with whoever. If they have an open mind, let’s do it!”