It's been a busy past few months for EVAN GIIA. She's played major festivals including EDC Las Vegas in May and Electric Forest in June. The Brooklyn-based performer also released the single "Rabbit Hole," as well as "Don't Let Me Let Go," a collaboration with Illenium and Dillon Francis. Signed to legendary dance label Astralwerks, she's just as comfortable with radio friendly pop as she is with EDM.
We caught up with the versatile singer-songwriter in New York on a break between gigs.
Tell me about your journey from fitness instructor to musician.
I was lucky enough to have a career in fitness while I was starting EVAN GIIA. The hours allowed me to work on my music as much as I needed while also getting a steady paycheck. I fell in love with coaching people and giving them an environment where they could release all their stress. I was known for my playlists and quickly grew a following in the Brooklyn area. The day came when I was touring too regularly and had to leave but I will always think back on my years as a coach.
How does music help you foster the connection you have with movement?
In my opinion without music, there is no movement. I need it to truly hit my fitness goals. That’s why it became my goal to make music for people to move to. I want people on their treadmill, at the show, in their living room, on their walk, skiing, whatever it is, to turn up my songs and go for it.
What drew you to making music?
I have always been a singer, I started as a classical trained opera singer from ages 7-16. I competed in the greater Boston area. But once I graduated from Berklee, I moved to NYC and started to have the itch to write music like the songs I was listening to. I met my now husband and we started to write (really bad songs at first), and EVAN GIIA was born.
Your latest solo single "Rabbit Hole" is a powerful declaration of independence and confidence that you can dance to! You sing “tired of sitting and waiting, looking pretty and asking for permission.” What inspired you to no longer ask for permission and to take up space?
The past two years, I have done a lot work understanding myself and what makes me me. I started personal and couples therapy and I quickly realized that I was letting life control me instead of the other way around. I have been finding my power slowly but surely with a lot of hard, honesty, and tough self work. So when 2022 started, I decided I was going to approach my music and my business differently, instead of asking everyone around me “Do you think this is a good idea?” I told them it was a good idea, and I made it happen. There is always room to grow but I’ve never felt so powerful in my own skin.
Tell us about the process of writing this song, and what it means to you.
The lyrics of "Rabbit Hole" are my favorite lyrics I have ever written. Instead of filling my spaces with random words I chose to choose each word carefully and make sure that I really truly meant what I was saying. The lyrics paired with MEMBA’S production gives it that badass feeling I wanted.
You recently collaborated with Dillon Francis, tell us more about the process of working together.
I got to meet Dillon last week while shooting the music video for “Don’t Let Me Let Go”. He is so sweet, easy to get along with, and funny. I am so excited to be on this song with him and Illenium. I am really hoping that this song will bring a lot more eyes to my project!
Who are some of your greatest musical influences?
I grew up listening to Natalie Merchant, Paul Simon, Sting and so many amazing artists. But I would say Dua Lipa, MØ, and Charli XCX are my three biggest inspirations right now.
What does it mean to take up space in today’s world to you? As an artist? As a woman?
Can I just say I’m so happy this is a question! Taking up space as an artist means owning your craft and believing in it even when there are people who just won’t get it. It means never apologizing for pushing what you feel is right in your gut. As a woman, it means advocating for yourself even when it seems impossible to speak your truth and building boundaries that you can flourish around.
You will be on tour soon, what is your favorite aspect of performing live?
There is a black hole space that I go into when I perform where the lights are hitting, the visuals are on time, I am moving my body to the beat and hitting the notes. There is no other place on earth where I am more in my element. I know I was born to be on stage and that energy exchange I get to have with my fans each show is something I will never take for granted. And to be honest, after four years of opening the show for other artists, I am so excited to have my OWN stage now!
What do you look forward to during the tour?
I look forward to watching the GIIA GANG grow--the messages I get after the show telling me how that show changed their life and they are now a lifelong fan. I love knowing that my group of believers is growing. It gives me strength during the grueling tour schedule and being away from home.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I see myself in a new house in Brooklyn, with (hopefully) a new baby, EVAN GIIA still growing and climbing. The shows are bigger, I will have released an album. I see myself even more in tune with who I am and what makes me happy.
EVAN GIIA - Rabbit Hole (Visualizer) www.youtube.com
Upcoming Tour Dates
7/22 | Seattle, WA | The Capitol Hill Block Party
7/28 | Chicago, IL | Lollapalooza
7/29 | Montreal, QC | Osheaga Music and Arts Festival