Eve - The Eve We've Been Waiting For
Wednesday, 9 April 2008
"Trust me, it annoys me like anyone else," a friendly Eve says. "We decided to go back in to do some things over. Then certain things happen on the side, just musically - right now music is crazy. So we're just waiting for when we all feel it's the right time to put it out. But it will be out this year - absolutely. I don't have a date yet, but it will definitely be out this year."
The MC's career has taken different turns over the years. Here I Am could be Eve's most musical effort. For Here I Am Eve is rumoured to have collaborated with everyone from Timbaland to The Neptunes to Dre. The lead single, Swizz Beatz' Tambourine, materialised last year. Eve has lately issued Give It To You, featuring Sean Paul - reggae being her favourite music.
There's a buzz on the track All Night Long, which Eve sings. "Singing is still something that I'm getting comfortable with, but I really do like it," she says. "I actually started singing before I even started rapping. You know, it takes a lot more 'hurt' to sing, a lot more concentration. I just feel like I'm at home if I'm MCing. But I decided to get out of my comfort zone because it is my fourth album.
"Pharrell [Williams] convinced me to do it. Now I love it. I am not Alicia Keys or Mary J Blige - and I don't even try to be. It's more of me holding a note over an amazing beat. It's kinda like dance club stuff."
Eve, once engaged to Bad Boy producer Stevie J, has blossomed since the Eve Of Destruction era. "I definitely have come a long, long way," she agrees. "I feel it's a natural evolution and a natural progression of just getting out of my teens and going into my adult years and becoming a mature woman and figuring out who I am in life. I think that's been my natural evolution."
Eve has had her share of label switches under the Interscope banner. She recently left Aftermath for the second time, Dre "too busy" to guide her, and is now on Geffen's roster. If anything, Eve considers her "brother" Swizz Beatz as a mentor. "Swizz would probably be the strongest influence on [Here I Am] and the person who I go to for his opinion and things like that."
The problem with Dre- He's a notorious perfectionist. Projects are stalled. "He's a super perfectionist but, at the same time, in his defence, him being a perfectionist brings the best out of you as an artist. No matter how much he may get on your nerves, or you're like, oh my God, I can't sing this one word this way again, it's worth it. It's worth going through his perfectionism."
Eve can't account for the absence of female MCs in hip hop. "I get asked that question a lot. I really do wish I had the answer. I don't know what's going on." She believes it's indicative of a wider malaise in the music industry. Eve isn't letting such a scenario distract her. Realistic about the embattled state of the music biz, she's diversifying.
The fashion icon is relaunching her clothing label, Fetish. "Fashion for me is everything," she enthuses. "I am obsessed with clothes. I am! I'm obsessed with shoes, bags, clothes - it's bad."
And then there's her acting. "I'm very careful about the roles that I take because I'm still so new to acting and because I see it as a future for me, [and] I also see producing movies as a future for me, so I'm very careful when it comes to that side of it. But I love it. I love how that door has opened up for me."
Eve has learnt to avoid the stereotypical parts offered to hip hoppers. She arranges meetings with producers and directors. No doubt her professionalism, and focus, is leaving an impression. Eve is astute. While traditionally no bad girl, Eve was arrested for DUI last year. The embarrassed MC was compelled to wear an alcohol-detecting monitor, which, bizarrely, inspired Chanel's Karl Lagerfeld to design ankle bags. "I was upset that they didn't do it while I had it on!" Eve laughs. "I was so upset. I was like, I could have been having that on! It's so cute."
This month Eve is destined for Australia. She'll guest at the MTV Australia Awards in Sydney. Eve has read up on Oz and hopes to be "a tourist" between gigs. And, in those same shows, Eve promises to preview album material, including All Night Long. People better get ready. "I like crowd participation, I feed off the crowd, and I like them to feel like they're a part of the show," Eve says. "I like to pull people on stage, I like to jump off the stage - I like an energetic show.
"I'm just really excited, and I'm honoured, to be coming, so I can't wait."
WHAT: Give It To You
WHEN: Out now through Universal