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Notion 064 Dialogue: Eve

In the storied annals of music, very little happens straightforwardly. Just ask EVE – after a decade out of the musical limelight, she’s back with a new record and ready to take on the world, as she tells SEB LAW. Get your copy of Notion 064 here.

It’s not easy, being Eve. After breaking out with Ruff Ryders to produce some of the most forward-thinking hiphop of the early noughties (and paving the way for out-there gals Nicki, Azaelia et al) and working on Grammy-grabbing commercial smashes like the ‘Let Me Blow Ya Mind’ with Gwen Stefani, she’s had a quiet few years. Since the release of 2002’s ‘Eve-Olution’, she’s guested on a scattering of singles, and starred in her own sitcom as well as all sorts of films, but it’s fair to say that Eve has been a little off the radar. Now she’s switched her attention back to music, having “put acting on the backburner for now because I’ve been so focused on trying to get this fucking record out.” Even that’s not been plain sailing. She does however tell some awesome stories.

And she’s on superb form when we meet at her PR’s swishy offices, a stonesthrow from Pall Mall. We’re sat down, drinking tea and chatting about her experiences with the legend that is Prince. “I got a phone call and I thought it was a joke: my manager was like ‘Prince wants to work with you’, I was like ‘whatever’, and he was like ‘he’s gonna call you, and when he calls you, you just have to drop what you’re doing and go’, and I’m like ‘alright, whatever’.”

Eve’s conversational, relaxed way of recounting anecdotes makes me feel like it’s the first time she’s ever told anyone this, although I’m absolutely certain it’s not. She continues: “so a month later I get this call and he’s like “Prince is ready for you now”, and I’m like “really? This is a joke”. So I went and it was at Electric Lady in New York, which is obviously just a legendary studio, and I was just in awe, like ‘you’re Prince!  And you have a regular voice’! I was thinking all kinds of weird shit; like I secretly think he’s an alien…”

It’s rare to find a star of Eve’s status as relaxed and disarmingly candid as this. She’s opened up enough to tell anecdotes like this and provide excellent quotes, but not so heart-on-sleeve that I feel like I can ask her anything. This is partly down to her now being the captain of her own ship: “I am the label now,” she tells me, “and I can’t scream at anybody if the shit fucks up!”

That label has just released ‘Lip Lock’, Eve’s first record in over a decade. Has the delay been frustrating? “Yes! Horribly frustrating! When I made ‘Tambourine’ (back in 2007), a whole album was ready to come out, and then it just got shelved, and I was just like ‘okay what the fuck does that mean?’, because I’d never experienced that before.” She goes on to tell me that made her feel “deflated as an artist” and “knocked her confidence 100%”, and it’s only at that point that you realise what it means to “have a record shelved”. It’s like a really, really annoying version of when you type out an entire email and then lose it. It’s worse – because the material is not just lost to the ether, it’s stored in a label vault somewhere and – barring a miracle – it’s unlikely that you’ll ever see it again.

It’s reassuring to type that ‘Lip Lock’ is bursting with ideas, collaborators and talent, and she sounds properly thrilled with the results “It is completely ‘me’. I don’t think I’ve ever done an album that was so much of myself.” So much so that she’s already looking forward to the next one, a sure sign of someone back in their rightful place: “I feel like I’m a good melodic singer, but it’s something I actually want to explore. I’ve already been thinking about the next album, which is crazy, and that’s something I want to explore more for that record.”

It seems like this new optimism has been sparked by something, and I’m putting it (at least partly) down to her relocation to England. Like so many big US stars, her relative fame here is significantly lower, and it’s telling in the way that she approaches the city. “I feel like I can disappear here, in a sense that if I want to go walking forever, I can just go walk and discover shit, and that feels amazing.” If that’s not fuel for a fighter like Eve then who knows what is. What’s certain is that she’s back, and she means business.

Field Notes

  1. Eve’s new single, ‘Make It Out This Town’, and album ‘Lip Lock’ are both out now.
  2. Maxmillion Cooper, Eve’s other half, runs the enormously successful Gumball 3000, an adventure road rally in which lots of people with awesome sportscars race various part of the globe.

Like what you see?! Well of course you do. You can see the rest of the pictures from this fab shoot in the latest copy of Notion 064 available here or on your iPad/ iPad mini through our wonderful app



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