Like a cool,
ocean mist floating around the Space Needle,
Seattle sensation DJ Eva has been present
and rising on the international DJ scene
for the past seven years. James Lavelle
proclaimed her "the best undiscovered
DJ" in DJ magazine's Top 100 DJs
in 2003 and invited her to play Fabric
and snatched her up to collaborate with
Medway of Unkle's 'Invasion' (feat 3D)
for her first ever remix created exclusively
for James Lavelle Global Underground #026
Romania, available now on CD and triple-vinyl.
We had the chance to capture a few answers
to the usual questions via email, read
on as Eva is undiscovered no more!
How did you get started in music?
I come from a musical family. My father
was a bass player, and my step-father
a guitarist. Both are pioneers of the
Northwest music scene. My grandmother
sang with many of the jazz greats…
music is innate for me.
What were some of your earliest musical
My step-father practicing guitar for
endless hours every day taught me self-discipline.
I also played both the flute and clarinet.
I was exposed to all styles of music;
funk, soul, rock, latin, electro…
you name it. I was going to clubs at around
14. Many of my friends were also aspiring
musicians, like Stone Gossard from Pearl
Jam. Concerts, TV shows like Club MTV
and 180 minutes were huge influences too.
How did you decide to start DJing,
and how did you learn?
For me DJing has been instinctual. I've
always loved to dance and share music
with others. In high school I was involved
in a commercial free dance music station,
C-89-Fm. I was always trying to suggest
new artists to put into rotation, and
I became known for having a good ear.
At 15, I started going to a notorious
Seattle club called the Monastery. It
was black, white, straight, gay - all
walks of life dancing together under one
groove. That's were I first heard New
Order "Blue Monday". The Monastery
fueled my passion for dance music. After
high school, I worked at Tower Records
and was asked to help start a club called
the Underground. Concurrently, I was going
to Graceland in Vancouver where acid house
was just beginning to blow up. Then I
started working in the film industry,
and didn't' start DJing professionally
until much later. My friend DJ Roman got
me back into it, and Derrick Carter became
a huge influence. I left the film industry
to pursue DJing. I taught myself to mix
and never looked back. I scored my first
proper residency at a place called the
Power Plant, playing house in one room,
and intelligent drum & bass in the
What was the 1st record you ever bought
and how did you pick it?
I think it was the soundtrack to "Saturday
Night Fever". I was in love with
everything about that movie. It was all
about John Travolta and the infectious
energy of those songs!
You've spun with everyone from Oakenfold
and Pete Tong to Fatboy Slim and Basement
Jaxx. What were some of your most memorable
moments from those gigs?
Playing with Oakenfold at the Crystal
Ballroom in Portland a few years ago was
amazing. It was a sold out show, I remember
dropping "Drums For Better Days"
and the place erupted. In the middle of
my set I threw one of my records into
the crowd. At the end of the night the
guy who got it had me sign it. The vibe
and energy of that night was so unifying,
I can't even put it into words. Oakie
also gave me some Perfecto acetates, and
I was asked to sign a ton of autographs.
The first time I met Pete Tong I was actually
still playing drum & bass, but crossing
back over to house. That night he played
upstairs at the Last Supper Club in Seattle,
and I had spun down stairs. At the end
of the night some of us were hanging out
after-hours. I was throwing some records
on for background music. I put on one
of my favorite records, and I remembered
Pete liked it. So the next day he was
on his way into a Groovetech interview,
and I went next door to Platinum Records
and found the only other copy and surprised
him with it. The record was Chocolate
Puma, "I Wanna Be U". Pete took
it back to the UK and championed it on
his Radio1 show. It became a huge anthem
in the UK, and was signed to Cream. We've
been great friends ever since.
Where are some of the biggest/wildest/your
favorite places that you've DJ'd and why?
Memorial Day weekend on Fire Island with
Fatboy Slim rates as the wildest. It was
a huge gig, his whole team of people were
there, publicist, agent etc. I warmed
up for him earlier in the night, but was
asked to go on again because Miss Honey
Dijon hadn't turned up yet. I had just
taken a certain recreational substance
and I'm thinking, "If I'm going to
do this, it needs to happen now".
I'm just waiting to see what crazy
record he's going to leave me with. It
was "Stuck in the Middle with you".
I came out of it with a record that was
double-time and I remember Norman being
floored..."is she really gonna mix
out of that?!" Centro-Fly, Fabric,
and Embassy in Jakarta have been some
of my favorite places to play.
Many DJs & Producers are big
in the UK and Europe, but relatively unknown
in the US or their hometown. Is it like
that for you?
I've always had an underground mentality,
and never cared about notoriety. I've
never paid much attention to the business
side of things, until recently. I've
always been focused on finding artists
and records no one knows about and breaking
THEM. I've never focused on promoting
myself. I'm known in the UK mostly
by industry people, and I get a lot of
love in Seattle. I'm always shocked
when I go to a new place and people know
who I am. In Jakarta I was amazed…
I was like wow, how do all these people
know?! Having a track licensed to an esteemed
label like Global Underground has brought
about more global recognition as well.
What's the club scene like now where
Seattle has been on the verge of blowing
up for a while now. Seattle has a lot
to offer, and we've had some great
shows come through recently, We also have
some great venues such as Neumos, The
Showbox, and Chop Suey. Seattle is extremely
cliquish and critical though. I've seen
world renowned DJ's/producers who have
moved here to break into the Seattle scene,
but have found it next to impossible.
If you can make it here you can make it
How have you seen it change over
I've seen it go through many stages of
evolution. New promoters, new DJ's, shifts
in musical preferences. I remember when
it was all about the Wicked Crew here...
everyone wanted that dubby, psychedelic
San Francisco sound. Everyone wanted to
be Jeno. I was involved in drum &
bass scene when it was first emerging
stateside. The 360 BPM crew, Tasty Shows
and myself were responsible for putting
drum and bass on the map here. We brought
pioneers like Grooverider, Doc Scott,
Goldie, as well as Dieselboy and Ed Rush
and Optical. Seattle still boasts one
of the best Drum and Bass scenes in the
country. My night "Definition"
with DJ BPM (Groovetech founder) has also
always tried to push the city into new
musical directions. We've brought
a variety of guests, many of them who
were only just breaking, and would have
been considered too risky by most promoters.
I've always believed in being involved
in many scenes, rather than being immersed
in just one. Groovetech.com was innovative
and provided a great platform globally
for many DJ's, only now that it's
gone do people realize how special it
How long have you lived in Seattle?
Have you lived anywhere else?
I've lived in Seattle my entire life,
but traveling has allowed me to experience
other cities and cultures.
Why do you choose to live there?
Seattle is a beautiful city with an incredible
musical history. I've met amazing people
here, which has made it possible to be
involved in lot of amazing things. I've
been to plenty of places that are great
to visit, but I wouldn't necessarily want
to live there. I don't plan on staying
in Seattle forever though.
How would you describe the type of
music you play when you DJ?
My style is versatile and edgy. I prefer
to play long sets, because then I can
really play across the board. The majority
of what I play depends on when, where
and who I'm playing with. Or whether I'm
headlining or playing by myself. I wouldn't
play the same type of music opening for
Oakie, as I would for Felix Da Housecat
or James Lavelle. I feed off the crowd's
energy and let the music take control.
I love dropping records that make you
stand up and take notice, records that
make you go what the F**K is that?!
Where do you find/buy your records?
I buy a lot of records online, as well
as from labels direct... obscure labels
and legal downloads. I also get a lot
of music given to me by DJ s and friends
who are producers. I try to support the
dance music industry by purchasing music.
I even bought "Invasion" on
vinyl, although I probably could have
gotten a promo copy through the label.
Your remix of UNKLE feat 3D "Invasion
(Medway Vs Eva Coast to Coast mix)"
is getting all sorts of critical praise
and was on a Global Underground release.
Was that your first remix?
Yes, it was my first remix. After playing
Fabric last year (July), I was inspired
by songs I heard from the new U.N.K.L.E
album. I called James from New York and
asked him if I could do a remix. Sasha's
mix of "In A State" had been
released, which was brilliant. I didn't
think there would be an opportunity anytime
soon. I received a text from James in
November (4 months later) asking if Medway
and I could do a mix with in 2 weeks for
his GU album. We turned the mix around
in one week. The same day the mix was
finished James played it at Fabric, and
said it sounded amazing! I'm very
glad James is happy with it. Medway is
brilliant, and it's satisfying to
see it supported by DJs across the board.
What kind of role do you play in
the remix process? (Technical? Creative?)
On the U.N.K.L.E remix for example, Medway
came up with that great b-line, and I
wanted to turn the mix on it's head
a bit by having it go from a 4/4 to a
breakbeat, We did everything over the
phone and internet due to him being in
Orlando and me in Seattle. I had a lot
of creative input and ideas, and Medway
worked his magic doing all the arranging
and technical aspects.
How did you come to work with Medway?
I've always liked Medway's production
work. I brought him to play Definition
in Seattle, and we got on really well.
I sent him a recording of his set and
we just kept in touch. James is a big
fan of Medway so when he heard we were
friends he instantly wanted us to collaborate
for the GU mix.
Will you be doing more remixes? What
about your own tracks?
I have some tricks up my sleeve, but
I'm keeping them under my hat for now
How has your creativity and style
changed over the years?
It's constantly evolving. I played House
first before I played drum & bass.
House music has had a profound impact
on my sound. Even when I was playing drum
& bass my style had a house/techno/electro
influence. I will always gravitate toward
new sounds, or even old sounds that sound
new… I'm a sucker for synths
and Moroder-esque basslines.
What are a few of your current and
all-time favorite records and artists?
Kraftwerk, Giorgio Moroder, Madonna,
Prince, Depeche Mode, New Order and Arthur
Baker are some of my all time favorites.
I love bands like U.N.K.L.E, Audio Bulleys,
The Streets, and Radiohead. Felix Da Housecat,
Laurent Garnier and Lee Burridge are amazing.
Miss Kittin is a wicked DJ and all around
superstar. Gwen Stefani is an artist I
have a lot of respect for. Greg Vickers
and Nic Fancuilli (Skylark) are really
going places. As far as favorite albums
there are just way to many!
Can people hear any of your music
or mixes online?
The U.N.K.L.E remix on James Lavelle's
GU Romania CD/ vinyl can be found at all
fine record shops and online. There will
be mixes added to my site soon. www.dj-eva.com
What is your current goal as a DJ...
and as a producer?
As a DJ, I'm constantly trying
to push things to new levels. I'd
love to play the UK and Asia more, as
well as Ibiza and South America. As a
producer I'm focused on learning
more on the engineering side. I want to
keep a fresh perspective, and most importantly
to keep evolving. I've been interested
in A&R for a while, and I'm
beginning to slowly add it to my repertoire,
alongside everything else.
What would you be doing right now
if you never bought that 1st record and
became a DJ?
I'd probably be a film director
or a forensic scientist.
-- written by Claire Maxwell
EVA'S OFFICIAL BIO
A driving force in the dance - music
community and always on the cutting -
edge, EVA is known as a pioneer of underground
sounds. Her musical style is consistently
fresh, diverse and defies categorization.
She mixes up house in all its forms to
techno, electro, breakbeat, progressive
and beyond like no one else. Eva is renowned
for her energy and enthusiasm, her natural
ability to connect with her audience and
her passion for championing virtually
unknown records into massive anthems.
Highly regarded by her fans and greatly
respected amongst her peers, Eva's popularity
is associated with achingly memorable
sets alongside Oakenfold, Hernan Cattaneo,
Pete Tong, Fatboy Slim, Basement Jaxx,
Christopher Lawrence, Josh Wink, Felix
Da Housecat, Layo & Bushwacka!, Darren
Emerson. Meat Katie, James Lavelle, and
Uberzone to name but a few. She's played
some of the worlds most respected clubs;
Release @ 1015 Folsom and End-Up in San
Francisco, Ice Palace on Fire Island,
NYC's Centro - Fly, and in the UK at London's
prestigious Fabric. Industry greats continue
to recognize Eva's forward thinking instincts,
open-mindedness and relentless passion
for music. James Lavelle invited her to
the UK to play FabricLive, (the only female,
as well as being American) for the release
of UNKLE's 'Never, Never, Land'. He also
noted her as the best undiscovered DJ,
in DJ magazine's Top 100 DJs 2003.
Eva's exclusive Friday night residency,
Definition, with partner BPM (co-founder
of Groovetech) is a hot spot for touring
DJs, and a platform for showcasing brilliant
new talent, as well as international superstars.
Special guests include Darren Emerson,
Bill Hamel, Medway, Nosmo of Grayarea,
Tyler Stadius, Sean Cusick, Chris Domingo,
Greg Vickers and Hybrid. Her collaboration
with Medway of Unkle's 'Invasion' (feat
3D), is a special mix created exclusively
for James Lavelle Global Underground #026
Romania, released in early March 2004.