With a growing discography of bonafide bangers with a serve of mash on the side, Evie Irie has continually proved herself to be one-to-watch. With over 20 million combined streams already, you better keep your eyes peeled because she’s ready to keep on surprising you with an impressive deep dive into her emotions while serving infectious pop hooks.
At only seventeen years old the Sydney based singer-songwriter has released three distinctive EP’s including ‘5 Weeks In LA’ which introduced her to listeners in a bold fashion, before continuing the story with ‘The Optimist’ and ‘The Pessimist’. Aimed to show listeners the two distinct sides to her personality, she wanted to vulnerably and candidly show what it’s like to be human with a shiny and honest contrast.
With the songs raking in huge attention on streaming platforms, they’ve also been played in TV shows like The Bold Type, The Hills and The Rookie. Taking these songs to the live stage she’s opened for the likes of Sigrid and Bastille, and has started impressing audiences with her own headline shows. And let’s be real, this is only the beginning for her.
I recently chatted to Evie Irie about showing listeners a different side of her through ‘The Pessimist’ EP that not a lot of people have seen yet, explored the personal struggles of stepping into adulthood while in the music industry, and discussed the creative process behind the song ‘Misfit’. Check it out BELOW;
THOMAS BLEACH: Your new EP ‘The Pessimist’ is a collection of tracks that you’ve explained as the side of your story that not a lot of people have seen. From outlining this part of who you are quite candidly, what is the biggest takeaway you hope listeners will discover?
EVIE IRIE: I think I just want people to know that I’m human, and everything isn’t always amazing, I’m not always well, I’m not always happy, and I don’t always feel good. I think people see artists and people on social media as some sort of being that isn’t human. They see them as someone that has it all and is picture perfect, when in reality that’s not us.
With the second EP I put out ‘The Optimist’, I think a lot of people felt inspired by it and felt like it was so uplifting, which is what the goal of it was. But I think people also thought “how is this girl happy all the time”, and the truth is I’m not. I don’t always feel great, and life doesn’t always go my way. I’ve been through some shit just like everyone else has, and I wanted to make that known through my music and highlight that there is always another side of a story that people don’t really show or tell.
TB: Do you personally find it harder to write the more darker vulnerable songs like on ‘The Pessimist’, or the more positively vulnerable songs like ‘The Optimist’? Because they are both vulnerable, but just in different lights.
EI: They are definitely both vulnerable in different ways. But I don’t find it challenging because when I’m in the studio I’m so honest about my feelings, and I say exactly what I feel. I try to never hold back, because the moment that you do hold back and try to shape what you’re creating because of insecurities or ego, that’s when songs become disingenuine. Like I say all the time, I ty to stay as genuine as possible to myself, and being authentic is being truthful to how you feel. So every time I’m in the studio I’m genuine about whatever feeling it is, and I will let it all out. I will cry, I will laugh, I will scream. Whatever emotion it is, it is out today *laughs*.
TB: Where do you think you’re sitting personally and creatively at the moment. More in the Optimist headset, or the Pessimist headset?
EI: Definitely more in the optimist headset today. But a couple of days ago I probably would’ve been a little different *laughs*. For the last month I’ve been so optimistic and genuinely optimistic too. I would say the last seven months before that I was VERY pessimist. At one point I was so sad, I didn’t leave my bedroom for up to a month. I was staying up to 5am every night not sleeping, and I look back at it now and I’m like “why?”. But sometimes there’s no reason, you just feel how you feel.
TB: ’Misfit’ is an angsty and honest anthem about feeling like the odd one out, which is something that so many people can relate to. So can you explain the creative process behind this track?
EI: I honestly don’t have a lot of friends, and I spend a lot of time by myself. But I have a close friend in LA who I hang out with practically every day when I’m over there, and we were hanging out one time and she had brought some of her other friends over and I felt this particular way of “what is this?”. At the time they were still in high school, and I would’ve been in the same grade as them, but for some reason I feel so uncomfortable around kids my age as I feel so different because my life, hobbies, work and levels are pressures are different to theirs. I live in a sort of adult world, and these kids still live in a high school world which is completely normal, I’m the one living the weird life.
So I was feeling so uncomfortable and weird around these kids that I felt like a misfit and that I didn’t belong in this social structure. It brought me back to how I felt when I was actually still going to high school. So when I was writing the song I had this image in my brain of myself back in high school sitting on a toilet eating my lunch and thinking “what the fuck is life?” *laughs*. So that was the sort of image that inspired this song. I have a bit of Synesthesia where I see colours to music, but I also see images very vividly. And that was the first image I could see very clearly with this concept, and I ended up turning that into a song.
TB: Last time I spoke to you for The Music Network, you said you were trying find that healthy balance between living a normal kid life and living this very mature music industry life. And you said this quote that I loved; “I don’t even know what the term ‘act your age’ means now,”. How do you feel in relation to all of that now?
EI: I still don’t know! To be honest, I feel like my relationship has been even more unhealthy *Laughs*. I’m not a good teenager, but I’m not a fully grown adult yet, I’m somewhere stuck in the middle. I’m still 17, but I’m about to turn 18 in a month and it’s so exciting but it’s also scary. Up until now, everything I’ve done has always been “Evie, you’re a kid, you don’t need to know this”. Like I’m not legally able to sign my own papers. But the day I turn 18 everything will swap from being “you’re too young” to “this is all now your responsibility”, and that’s terrifying. It’s one day apart! How are you meant to be a kid when you’re in an adult world? When you turn 18 you don’t automatically become an adult, that doesn’t make sense to me.
TB: ’Over Him’ is a break-up ANTHEM! And I’m obsessed with the lyrics “I had the time of my life getting over him”. So when you hear that lyric back now, where does it take you to?
EI: I wrote this song in London, so it takes me back to a very London, 90s inspired, female empowerment era. I think people associate breaking up with someone as a really negative thing, but I definitely don’t. I don’t see a break up as a sad experience of “I don’t have them anymore” because it’s all about perspective. If you flip the narrative, you can see it through a different perspective. The way I see it is; I’m not with this person because they didn’t make me feel good, and there was obviously a fault in whatever we were doing because it didn’t feel right.
TB: From writing and releasing ‘5 Weeks In LA’ last year to extending that story with ‘The Optimist’ and ‘The Pessimist’, what would you say is the biggest thing that you’ve learnt about yourself as an artist in between that time?
EI: I feel like I’ve mostly grown as a person, and that’s really shaped me as an artist. I wrote a lot of those songs last year, so they were written not too far apart from each other. So in that sense there is not that much difference of where I was at mentally with the music.
So I think I grew as an artist between when ‘5 Weeks In LA’ and ‘The Pessimist’ came out in the sense of the songs and me as an artist through that time spent. I didn’t feel like there was anything that fully shifted or shaped me in particular, as it was just the natural stage of growing and the way that life takes its course.
TB: ’Bitter’ was the song that saw you coming out of the gate with full energy, and immediately had me captivated. The explosion of production was EVERYTHING. And that song has kinda taken on a life of its own online with over 2.2 million streams of Spotify alone. So where is one of the strangest/weirdest/coolest places that you’ve heard the song playing?
EI: Oh my god, so, I was in Las Vegas at Planet Hollywood heading to see my icon Gwen Stefani and ‘Bitter’ started playing through the whole casino and the shopping mall. I couldn’t believe it, I was like “Dad can you hear this?”. It felt like a full circle moment as I was seeing my icon live for the first time, and I was also hearing one of my songs played in public for the first ever time. It was crazy!
‘The Pessimist’ is out now!