An industry newcomer she may be but for Evie Asio, it’s been a lifetime spent in music. She’s a music teacher by day and a music maker and aficionado the rest of the time. We spoke to her ahead of the release of her debut single about going from the bedroom to a full studio, her influences and why she feels compelled to bear all in her tracks.
How did you get into music?
Music has been there throughout the entirety of my life. I remember growing up and being obsessed with music and then when it came to GCSEs there was no other option. A Levels, I said ‘I’m doing this’ and at uni, I felt like I wanted to do something that I enjoyed. So I did music at uni. Music and education as well have been the two things that have stuck. I really enjoy having my life and my career surrounded by music because it’s fun. I wake up and I get to do music things every day. It’s great.
Tell us about your projects. What are you working on at the moment?
I went on a journey where I wanted to figure out how to express myself musically. Through that, I started doing a project called Songs from Home. That’s me just playing different instruments and singing, and recreating some of my old songs, and some covers as well.
But I have been in the studio recently. I am working on a project that I am super excited about. I’m not going to say too much about it but it is a musical body of work, which is quite different – something I want to push a bit more next year.
What influences the songs you write?
I have lots of different influences. I like to draw different bits and bobs from different people. In terms of worship influences or influences within church circles, I love United Pursuit, Rivers and Robots, Lucy Grimble. I really liked Junior Garr’s last project as well. Isla Vista Worship – their Soul Hymns – I loved that EP they did. There’s my friend Sharyn, who’s just started releasing stuff. I’m privileged to be able to know her and know what’s going on behind her music.
We’ve heard the stuff you’ve done on the Songs from Home project, but when you go to the studio, is it going to be different stylistically? Are you going to have a bigger sound or are you going to keep it acoustic?
I’m changing up the sound. It’s not going to be very acoustic – maybe the elements here or there. That acoustic sound is a different facet of what I do.
I’m very excited to take some inspiration from other things that are little bit less acoustic and a bit bigger and experiment with friends I love working with. It’s going to be different in a good way. I’ve mulled over these songs for quite a while and I’m very big on song writing. I’m a lyrics person. I love lyrics, I love stories so a lot of what I’ll be writing about is quite story-based. A lot to do with my life and it’s got a theme to it, which I’m excited to talk about soon. It tells a story through the project about dealing with growth and change and struggle and all of that stuff so it’s super-duper exciting to put all of that into song form to experiment and give the best sound I can to these songs that mean a lot to me.
Is it a big step to take to go out there with your personal stories?
I quite like wearing my heart on my sleeve. I like being open and honest. It’s part of who I am. Even in Songs from Home, a lot of the songs deal with personal things and deal with the things I’ve been through. But I love hearing them and you’ve got to be bold when you’re sharing to say ‘here I am and this is what I do’. If you do it with sincerity of heart, and you do it with honesty, then I think people are often ready to receive. I think it’s going to be nerve-racking in some senses, but I’m so ready to do it.
Being able to tell my stories and for other people to hear them and to get the love of Christ and something about the Christian walk in that as well is important. In the spectrum of gospel music or Christian music, people have different things that they have to share. My music can swing – sometimes I feel very forward about ‘this is Jesus and this is how I feel directly about Him’ and sometimes it’s very ‘this is what I’m going through and this is how I’m dealing with God through these issues in my life.’
I think there’s definitely a place for both and on this project, I’m leaning more towards that side of things and I hope that through being honest and open, people can see Jesus and what it means to be a Christian in this modern world through my stories.
Do you want to give hope in your music or do you want to share your story or is it both?
I think it’s a bit of both. Sharing hope is definitely a big thing for me as a person. I’m really keen on and love the idea of giving hope to the hopeless. I think there’s a lot of hopelessness in the world. There’s a lot of people who are struggling. It’s hard being in London and it’s hard being a young person in this world, it’s hard in every stage of life. It’s difficult. People feel like they’re alone. A lot of the time, people feel like they’re hopeless – Christian and non-Christians.
The Lord has blessed me with an optimistic spirit. I am grateful that God has saved me from so much. He has saved me from getting down about life and struggling with the way I see myself and struggling with the way He sees me. God has given me hope. It’s my desire that people will leave from listening to my music and feel hope.
But also sharing is a big part of it and I don’t deny that sharing a part of who I am is a part of what I do and what I like to do.
Where do you want your music to take you?
I’d love my music to take me to people. I’ve always been drawn to that idea of writing and discovering and finding out about people. So I would love for my music to open up a discussion about people; how people are doing, for people to be challenged and to feel encouraged but also to feel not alone and just to be able to connect with people.
Evie Asio’s single Beautiful Love is out now here ampl.ink/gqJwl.
Words and photography by DJ Fireman for the Sound Doctrine