SPOTLIGHT ON: Glasgow-based Zimbabwean songwriter, singer and rapper Eyve
Earlier this month, at Glasgow’s Transmission Gallery, Eyve launched the exceptional Axor-produced Um, Indecisive, the lead single for her forthcoming new EP Sista! Beyond the Sky isn’t the Limit, due in the new year.
Starting with the soothing sounds of the mbira, it’s not long before things get bouncy on Um, Indecisive, with Axor’s dynamic production perfectly emulating the softness and strength of Eyve’s commanding vocal flow.
Needless to say, it’s a brilliant introduction to her new project. To find out more about Eyve, Um, Indecisive and the EP, we catch up for a short Q&A.
For your latest single, as well as the forthcoming EP it features on, you say you’ve “explored and woven together ballroom culture with the deep rooted threads of your Zimbabwean heritage.” Can you tell us more about this exploration in your music-making?
The ballroom scene is where I found family in Glasgow. I had this pain that I was suppressing from my experience growing up in Zimbabwe where the family was not stable and supportive. It wasn’t until coming to Glasgow – now ten years later, since leaving Zimbabwe – that I felt free enough to include my culture in my music. I feel supported within the community and House Ball Scotland has members that are now my chosen family. I loved every moment of making the EP. It has opened creative areas in me; I didn’t even know I could merge with my experience as a commentator in the ballroom scene.
You’re also working alongside Cross Borders to release this new EP; can you tell us more about your work with them, and how the project came about?
I’ve been working with Soizig and Beulah, the Cross Borders team at Scottish Refugee Council, from the day they awarded me the commission in 2022. My proposal was to include queer women of colour in the project. I knew I wanted to make a music video with a song of celebration, growth, self love and acceptance. Soizig and Beulah were very understanding and it took me some time to finish the work. The support I received helped me to dig deeper and to hone my sound.
Lead single Um, Indecisive is powerful; it does a really exceptional job at showcasing two very different sides to your art – there’s a softness in the way you sing the titular line, but elsewhere there’s a lot of rage in your delivery. Can you tell us what the song is about, and why it was important for you to show these two different sides to Eyve?
Um, Indecisive is a captivating anthem that delves into the depths of inner turmoil and the struggle to make choices. It reflects the raw emotions of anxiety and the quest for self-identity. Through intense introspection, the song unveils a profound sense of self-awareness and the realisation of one’s desires and needs. It beautifully captures the power of seeking support and love from the people who surround us when faced with overwhelming pressure. Um, Indecisive is a triumphant journey, where the battles fought lead to a sweeter taste of victory.
I wanted to start off by being soft and subtle as this is a feature that I used in the past to hide my pain before I started rapping. The rage delivery comes from when I started rapping; that was my main anger outlet. But now that I have healed a lot, things have changed since then; I am surrounded by love.
On Saturday you’re releasing the single and video for Um, Indecisive with a special listening party at Transmission Gallery. What can be expected on the night?
Expect some new upbeat music; this EP is all about celebration and acceptance of what is. Expect some African fashion, with a blend of Steampunk fashion. These are all small parts of what interests me in life and is also reflected in my work.
With the EP due in early 2024, what does the rest of the year look like for you?
The rest of the year looks like rest from performing to focus on my studies. I have one other performance at the Scottish Alternative Music Awards on 1 December. I will be writing new music as well, winter time is a big motivator to write. Scottish winter can be depressing, I find that when I write, I feel much better.