Celeb Interview: Eva Simons
She comes from a long line of musicians and has been in the industry over a decade. Her trademark hairstyle embodies her fiery personality and she’s nothing less than a powerhouse of talent. This is Eva Simons, who’s worked with some of the biggest names in the business such as Beyoncé, Afrojack, Zedd and Will.I.Am, and been at the helm of hits such as Take over Control and Policeman. Ahlan! catches up with the talented vocalist ahead of her performance at the Saadiyat Beach Club, Abu Dhabi on April 29. Eva opens up about her childhood struggles, married life, being star struck and even an alternate career! Read on to find out more.
You come from a long line of musicians, when was it that you knew you wanted to follow in the footsteps of your parents?
My father was a pianist and encouraged me to take up playing. I started at the age of five, so I’m a classically trained musician. I was diagnosed with ADHD a few years later, and lacked focus when it came to school work. However, my parents noticed that piano was the one thing I still focused on. I was at my happiest when playing, it was very healing.
When did you realise you could sing?
My mother is a singer, and she has a huge voice, comparable to Whitney Houston or Aretha Franklin. She would always encourage me to sing, but my voice wasn’t as powerful as hers, so I didn’t take her seriously. When I was 14 or 15, Destiny’s Child was on the rise, and when I would listen to Beyoncé belt out hit after hit, I realised ‘hey, she doesn’t have a big voice either, maybe I can do this!’ And that was the push I needed to actually start singing.
When would you say your musical career really kicked off?
I wrote a song for Afrojack titled Take over Control, I think that was what really put me on the map.
What about your time with Dutch band Rattfish, do you think that contributed to your success?
Have you ever heard of Rattfish?! I think that would answer your question!
You opened for Beyoncé during the Dutch leg of her World Tour, what was that like?
As I mentioned, I’ve been a fan of Beyoncé since her Destiny’s Child days. She’s the one who inspired me to start singing in the first place! You know, it’s funny, when I was about 20, I opened for the Backstreet Boys, huge artists in their own right. When the time came to actually meet the band, I quickly brushed off any jitters and realised that hey, they’re people too! With Beyoncé however, I was so starstruck she actually noticed! Honestly, she was amazing, so sweet. She went out of her way to make sure I was comfortable and I think that’s what makes her such an amazing artist. She genuinely cares about the people she works with.
You’ve worked with some of the biggest names in the industry, who do you want to work with next?
Someone completely out of the box! Someone who isn’t afraid to do new things. I’d love to collaborate with FKA Twigs or The Weeknd. I just want to go into the studio and make music people will love.
Your fiery red hair has become a trademark, what inspired you to adopt the hairstyle, and what does it mean to you?
I generally love experimenting with my hair! It was green a few weeks ago, I had it in braids before that. Now it’s back to red, and it’s very empowering. It represents who I am, I love fashion and experimenting and expressing myself through my clothing and hair.
The past year has had everyone singing along to Policeman, it’s been a massive hit. How does it feel?
Thanks so much! Thanks really, it’s great to hear you say that. It’s been a journey, and I’ve loved every minute of it. I just hope to continue making music people will love.
You got married around two years ago, how has that changed you?
I think it’s given me both balance and peace of mind. It’s nice to be grounded and have someone I can build a future with, I love it.
You worked with your husband on Policeman, what was that like?
It was so dope. My husband is just such an amazing producer. We just click on a creative level. It’s fun too, we can just go home and work together or bounce ideas off each other. There’s really nothing better.
What are you currently working on?
Well, I’m always touring, always singing, but what I really want to do is put on a show! That’s what I’m working on at the moment. A show that’s going to be ready by the end of the year. I can’t wait to really put on a performance!
What are you looking forward to doing in Abu Dhabi?
Well I was in the city two years ago performing at Sky Bar. Have you been there? It’s dope. I love Abu Dhabi but it’s just so hot! You go outside and you feel like your shoes are melting off. The people there are super friendly and really know how to have a good time. I can’t wait to be back.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I want to continue doing what I’ve been doing the past decade but just on a higher level. I want to find my sound, experiment, put on shows, perform and just do what I love!
If you weren’t singing what would you be doing?
Well last night, I was leaving a club in Amsterdam at around 4am and the streets were empty, the city was deserted and it was just the most beautiful time of night. I spent 2 hours just taking pictures of it all, so I would say photography. I love art in all its forms, but photography would be my pick after music.
Quick Fire Round
- What is your favourite colour? Peach, peach is a colour right?
- If you could eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? Avocadoes and coconut water!
- Where do you want to travel to next? Hawaii
- What embarrassing songs might I find on your MP3 player? Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom!! - Vengaboys
- Where would you most like to perform? Coachella or Glastonbury, that’s the dream for me
- If you could dabble in another genre of music, what would it be? Classical, where my roots lie
- What genre of music can't you stand? Modern Classical