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by Silke Hartung

NewTracks New Artist: Eve Kelly

by Silke Hartung

NewTracks New Artist: Eve Kelly

Whakatāne singer-songwriter Eve Kelly has been working with producers Hales and Christian Tjandrawinata in Tāmaki Makaurau. Her latest pop single Boy has a breezy, summertime, falling-in-love vibe that NZ On Air Music enjoyed – enough to add the song to their NewTracks compilation in December. 

What is your full name, where are you from and what instruments do you play?

Eve Kelly Lyford, Whakatāne, basic guitar and keys – mainly just the voice!

Was any high school or other music training especially important to you?

Growing up I did a lot of singing competitions, theatre shows, and gigs which definitely helped with my confidence. Music lessons in school were a big help, plus my singing and piano lessons outside of school are definitely important to me, as they shaped who I am and what I’m capable of doing now .

Any other projects that we might know you from?

You may have heard me at a wee bar gig, or from my other single releases Gotta Let Go, Dance With Me or Mr Big Shot. Or possibly have seen me doing some musical theatre – I’m currently in Christchurch doing The Court Theatre show Something Rotten.

What’s the background of how this song came to be? 

My very talented producer Christian Tjandrawinata suggested we try something a little different to how I did my last three tracks, which was really great as I am a very fresh artist, and I’m still trying to learn the ropes. We went to the studio, he had a listen to some tunes I like and came up with the track, and collaboratively with the help of Jeremiah Fale (Hales) we came up with the lyrics to Boy.

How has your writing (or music) evolved from your beginnings in songwriting to now?

Mostly through my writing journey, I’ve discovered some great bands that I really like and now listen to all the time, which helps a lot with trying to figure out ‘my sound’ and what I vibe with most. Their stuff is a little more complex instrumentation-wise to what I am capable of writing, but I’m still learning and l am very blessed to know some incredible musicians that have been helping me along the way.

What made you decide to go with Eve Kelly as your artist name?

My first name is Eve and my middle name’s Kelly! I was called ‘Eve Kelly’ a few times in school when new teachers would read my name out in class, and for some reason I didn’t really like it… but now I really do!

Aside from this release, what’s been the big highlight to date?

Highlight to date with my music would’ve been my gig in my hometown Whakatāne in September 2023! I felt so supported and loved by the community. Way more people showed up than I thought would, and it was just SUCH a great night!

What makes Boy stand out for you as a single?

It is heading more in the direction of the music I like to listen to, which is so exciting for me! Plus, I just love that it has a more chill easy listening to vibe, and I do think it’s quite catchy!

I started writing it with the intention of when you like someone, and you’re pretty sure they like you too, but neither of you want to bring it up, and that’s how my pre-chorus came about! Then throughout the writing process it fell into a wee quirky tune about falling in love with your insurance guy over the phone, and I LOVE it!

Who did you write/record/produce the song with and where? 

With Christian Tjandrawinata and Jeremiah Fale at Parachute Studios

What’s your favourite moment, musical or lyrical, of the single?

That is a tricky question! It has been different with every tune, but with Boy in particular lyrically it was a good challenge for me to try to come up with some lyrics on the spot with two other very talented people in the room! It was fun being creative and coming up with a little plot line of who the guy was, and what his occupation was, and trying to write into that.

What would you like listeners to take away from this song?

I mean, I don’t know if I’d recommend making up an excuse to call your insurance guy several times because you have a wee crush, or maybe… go for it?! But what I love about the tune is the fun bop to it, the catchy chorus melody, and the fun sing along aspect to it, and I hope the listeners also vibe to that!

How do you generally work out what song would make a good single?

I personally have been writing more for myself as opposed to thinking what others would like and what I think would “make a good single,” but in saying that after having completed Boy I did definitely think out of all my tunes that this one is a good single to stream, it gives off Lily Allen vibes!

Who else is in your team?

My producer/sound engineer for all my tunes has been Christian Tjandrawinata. I have had some incredible musicians that have played on some of my songs and made them what they are, but consistently I’ve been very blessed to have Nick Taylor and Stallone D’Souza involved in the majority of my work.

I also am very lucky to have the wonderful Kate Orgias from Lil Sister on PR, she has definitely helped my reach and I’m very grateful!

Are there any other musical endeavours you’re working on we should keep an eye out for?

My next summer single, coming early Feb! I’d also love to do another live show… so stay tuned!

Have any previous NZOA applications not gained funding or been included on NewTracks? Got any advice for others?

I haven’t gained any funding as of yet, and this is the first time I’ve made NewTracks! My advice is don’t give up, keep trying, if it is something you’re really passionate about you will make it work!

With being a very fresh artist on the scene still trying to get your music out there, there are definitely a few criteria that you just haven’t reached, yet, and that is because people are still discovering you and that is okay! We just gotta keep trucking along, and focus on the love for the craft which will hopefully show through your music.

Are there any musical blogs, Youtube channels or podcasts you’re super into?

I love watching the videos from the bands Lawrence and Couch on Youtube! The podcasts I listen to are just silly unrelated to music podcasts, usually it’s just someone chatting to a person from the reality series Love Island, haha.

Who did you make the video with?

The talented Shaun Greaves made me a fun quirky lyric video which I think fits perfectly with the song!

Any last words?

Stay tuned for an epic music video for the next tune!!