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Eva Shaw Talks Evolution, Touring, & Tips to Make It in the Music Business at the NY Music Expo [Interview]

Photos Courtesy of Eva Shaw Facebook
Ciara Graves

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Eva Shaw is a multi-talented DJ, music producer, and songwriter, hailing from Toronto, Canada. After moving to New York City for school, she taught herself to DJ, earned consistent show bookings, and eventually signed her first single, “Charizma” to Calvin Harris’ label, Fly Eye. Now, she is taking the industry by storm with new music on the rise and a fresh new direction with her sound overall.

We had the opportunity to sit down with Eva at the NY Music Expo this past Saturday July 13th, to talk about changes with her music, advice for new producers, and her new approach to touring. Many big names in the music industry attended, including music publication companies, record labels, and producers. During the event, she spoke alongside other industry professionals on a panel and spun a set on the Digital Music Pool Stage at the official “Summer Music Festival” that was hosted by the Expo that ran from 12-8pm.

Eva Shaw has always had a busy show schedule, and she had a lot to share with us on her balance between releases and performances. In the coming months, she has a lot planned for her music and was excited to share more on what is to come.

Read The Nocturnal Times full Q&A with Eva Shaw below:

Nocturnal Times: You just spoke for a little bit at the artist management panel, so tell us a little bit more about your background on how you began as a producer and DJ.

Eva Shaw:  I started producing and DJing for fun in Toronto, and then I moved to New York for school and I was modeling. Then actually one of my friends told me I should start DJing, since he knew I was a good DJ. I opened up for bigger people like Avicii and Tiesto, but I didn’t just show up and open for them, that eventually happened a little bit later in my career. I gradually started getting more gigs with a lot in new New York and Atlantic City along with a residency at HQ. It was going well, so the same people that started up the residency, started up Hakkasan in Vegas, and they told me to come over to Vegas. It just kept going from there!

Nocturnal Times: Very cool! When you were just starting out with a lot of booked shows lined up did you try to play your own original tracks?

Eva Shaw: I definitely played them, but I didn’t have anything signed. The first song I signed was in 2013 and I was DJing before that in clubs. I think that’s common, you hear what you have to improve when you play your songs live.

Nocturnal Times: Absolutely, so what advice would you give to an up and coming producer to gain attention for their music today?

Eva Shaw: I think it also depends on what style they do, especially if it’s EDM. It really helps to hear it out in a club on a sound system. It’s one thing with how it sounds on your headphones or speakers. Depends what you’re trying to achieve as well. If you’re not trying to have a big room heavy hitter than maybe you don’t need to. I would say definitely try to listen to it on a million different speakers. I even listen on laptop speakers because your song should still sound cool on laptop speakers. Yeah because it’s not always about the best mixing, sometimes it’s just the vibe. I’m not somebody who needs to learn every technical aspect. If it sounds cool to you and other people like it, then go with it!

Nocturnal Times: That’s an interesting strategy, and it definitely seems like everybody has their own way depending on the style. Have you felt that your producing style or musical genre has changed over the years?

Eva Shaw: Definitely! When I first started producing, I started out with simple Tech House stuff with less elements in it since I found that to be easier than EDM. “Space Jungle” and “Moxie” took a really long time because those have to be really loud and sound amazing at a festival. The other stuff was just more for like a house party. In terms of style, I think since I was DJing EDM clubs the music I was making was catered to my shows. Now, I am trying to do more of actual written songs with a top-line, vocalist, and more of an entrance. I am doing a lot more Hip-hop. I grew up with Hip-hop and I have always been playing it. All genres have a totally different approach to them. I like all different types of genres, but I think I’m better at Hip-hop production, so I’m going more that direction. I love EDM and playing it, just not producing it as much.

Nocturnal Times: It’s so interesting to hear about your evolution in music. A lot of successful artists show talent in their ability to go between genres. Have you found that your fan base has been accepting of this new direction with your music?

Eva Shaw: I definitely have some people that are like, “Oh can’t you do another song like “Space Jungle?” and want me to do that again. I also think that certain songs do well at certain times, but you can’t always just go back to a certain moment, not just with your career, but in music. This style of music from 2014 with EDM is so over-saturated now that nobody really wants to hear that now. I think that it will come back again in different ways, but as an artist you want to expand. As a DJ, I have been DJing a variety of styles, so it’s not that weird for my fan base to hear me play Hip-hop or Trap in that way.

Nocturnal Times: For sure, expanding music is important for an artist! Do you see yourself staying within these genres over the next few years, or continuing to evolve even more with your music?

Eva Shaw: I am also doing some Pop music as well, not as Eva Shaw the artist, but the producer. I have been producing for other people or other EDM artists without my name on it. I think I will always do a variety of things. Some of it will be more mainstream in style. I don’t love really typically Pop stuff. I surprise myself sometimes, though!

Nocturnal Times: Since we have talked a lot about your music recently and its relationship to your shows from the start, what can you tell us about how touring has been for you now?

Eva Shaw: I have had an interesting kind of tour schedule. For most of my career, I have been DJing a lot, playing all over the place, and being totally exhausted. I definitely was not focusing enough on the production. Performing and production are totally separate and require so much time. If you are a DJ and producer, you need to make time for both. For a few years, I was not spending enough time on music, and I was too comfortable just doing shows. Now, I kind of stepped back from it and I have like 20 tracks ready to release and I am going to approach it differently. DJs sometimes get into this thing where they feel like their life is just one constant tour. I am going to take time off, finish records, and go tour more like an actual artist.

Nocturnal Times: That’s amazing, and it sounds like a great balance between touring and releasing music! There has been a lot of changes in recent years with the ways that an artist can make a living in the music business due to streaming services, so they often turn to touring for major income. Do you feel like that was a pressure for you or have you found a lot of success with those?

Eva Shaw: I actually make way more money now off of Spotify and streaming platforms. Being independent now, it’s better than being with a label because they take a lot of your royalties. Generally speaking, I think more people make money live. You do have to pace yourself though. I know a lot of DJs that get to a certain point that maybe at one time they did a lot of production by themselves, but eventually they start to bring on certain people because it takes up so much time. 

Ciara Graves (Graveheart) is a DJ, producer, and writer for The Nocturnal Times based out of Wilmington, DE. She currently attends school at Elon University and is a thriving artist under Limelight Records, the on-campus record label. After graduating from Elon’s Music Production & Recording Arts Program, she plans to take the industry by storm with her future bass sound and passion for the music business.

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