Directed/produced by Ambar Navarro
Written by: Victor Valle
Nothings gonna hurt you, baby whispers August Eve on her track “In Whose Image”. And honestly, even if temporarily, I believe her.
A blanket of elegance seems to drape over you when listening to August Eve. Something between her lucid vocals and her minimalist production illusively transports listeners into a warm blanket of comfort. The sound is dreamy, but by no means lo-fi – as is typically affiliated with that misnomer. She is clear, up-front, and heard in her music, just as she should be.
Photo by Max Flick
‘Ashes in a Vase’, August Eve’s most recent EP that was released in November 2019, features musical motifs that carry the release on one, fine high wire thread. Eve sings about resilience in many different aspects over the backdrop of a 70’s glam prom soundtrack (in the absolute best way possible). It all sounds like one large dreamscape where August Eve walks you through different rooms in an old victorian-century house (with different chic outfits to match).
Photo by Max Flick
We sat down to talk with August Eve about her history with music, becoming a front-person out of necessity, and her most recent signing to Mad Decent.
Talk a little bit about yourself. Who is August Eve?
Unhinged when making music. Centered when doing literally anything else.
What was your childhood like? Where did you grow up? What were some things you were interested in?
I was born and raised in Los Angeles and I grew up with my mom and my brother. When I was entering my teen years we moved around a lot and music were one of the only stabilizing things I had in my life at the time. I’ve always loved classical music, I loved movies, I loved dance. When I was younger, I think I considered myself a person with really highbrow sensibilities but the reality was that I was really just this stoner kid who ditched a lot of school. You know, balance.
When did August Eve’s solo project first start? What was happening in your life that pushed you to start your solo project?
I played around in a couple of bands when I was a teenager and I’m super insubordinate so I think I just reached a point where bandmates would tell me what to sing to how to sing and I just wasn’t having it anymore. And once I started as a solo project, I ended up enjoying it so much more and really felt like I could express myself.
Many people compare your voice to Sade, among other well-known artists. How would you describe your voice and sound?
If Henry Mancini grew up in the late 90’s in LA and made r&b.
You’ve stated that your music is 60’s and 70’s inspired, but with a modern twist. Did anyone close to you introduce you to this era of music or was it more of just exploring it yourself?
My introduction to that era really came from watching movies and old television. I’ve always loved this bygone world of the 60’s where full orchestras would be present in the music, people dressed beautifully, and a sense of high glamour and luxury was felt everywhere. I definitely would not be down to live in that era, but I think everything from the music to the films to the style of dress just has this elegance to it that I really love.
How do you see yourself fit in today’s LA scene?
I’ve been in it for a long time. I’ve been performing since I was 13 and it’s really beautiful to see how so many of the people I grew up sharing the stage with are making such amazing work now. In some ways, I feel like a vet but I’m also very much so just getting started.
You are currently a part of Mad Decent, a Los Angeles-based record label spearheaded by Diplo. Talk about how that came to be and what it means to you?
To be honest I can’t say I saw that coming but when It happened it definitely felt like a personal milestone. A lot of what being an artist feels like screaming into the void half of the time so joining Mad Decent felt like this crazy validation.
Since your release of “Ghost” back in 2015/16, you’ve shown your gift of songwriting and singing and carried that into your recent release of “Ashes in the vase”. Do you feel like you and your music are still growing? And if so, in what ways?
Always. When I started I couldn’t really produce and I was basically limited to what I could do on my keyboard. In the time since I began writing music, my godbrother -who goes by Cowboy Lanksy- got really good at engineering and producing so in the past few years we’ve grown a lot together. So there’s definitely been a crazy shift from the piano-driven ballad type music I started with to what I’m doing now. I think the music I make now is a lot more colorful.
I noticed you’ve directed a few of your own music videos. Walk me through what that is like and where did your interest in directing films begin? Can we expect more that in the future?
Definitely. I wanted to direct before I ever thought I’d pursue music so when I started creating content and making music videos, it really came together super seamlessly. My dream is to direct a film one day.
Being in a management team with Cuco, would we ever get a chance to hear a collaboration between you two?
It’s actually crazy how we’ve toured together and I’ve been in his music video but we’ve never actually done a track together. I love everyone on our roster and would be so down to collaborate with all of them so I suppose it’s really a matter of time at this point.
If you could collaborate with one artist from LA, who would it be and why?
All of them! I love San Cha, I love Kitten, I love Midnight Sister. LA has a beautiful music scene, I really couldn’t pick just one.
During this strange time we are currently facing, has it been easy for you to work on music? Can we expect anything new soon?
New music definitely in the works! I feel really privileged to be able to still make music during this time although it’s definitely a balancing act between feeling this pressure to be as productive as possible and other times finding it difficult to get out of bed. Our collective instinct is to be available to our communities during challenging times and It feels counterintuitive that the best thing we can all do for each other right now is to stay home and I think we’re all feeling that.
And lastly, finish this sentence: If I had to listen to one artist for the rest of my life, I would pick ______.