Originally hailing from Zurich, the now Berlin-based eclectic Evelinn Trouble has just released her newest single “Hope Music” via Radicalis. Born in Zurich to a Swedish jazz singer mother, Trouble grew up in the city’s vibrant squat scene, where her musical talents were battle tested living and playing in occupied houses. Four albums and three EP’s later, she has emerged, and channelled her shadow-self into a vast sonic universe of dark poetry and breathtaking beauty, never bothering about genre boxes or playing it safe. She is renowned for her visual work, directing her own music videos as well as videos for other bands, her poetic visual language being traceable to the DIY background she is from. Citing the likes of Frank Zappa, Nina Simone, Karon Dalton and Jimi Hendrix as influences, Evelinn Trouble’s sound begins at the intersection where Thom Yorke meets Patti Smith.
Tell us about you, how long have you been producing music? What did inspire you to start?I have been singing since the moment I could think, my mother is a jazz singer and music was always around. I formed my first band when I was 13 and started my solo project Evelinn Trouble a few years later. That is ten years ago today.
The music industry is super competitive these days, was there a moment in your life that you wanted to give up on music? How did you manage to stay focused and achieve what you want?I could never give up on music even if I wanted to because I have no other skills nor education or university degree. It’s the one thing that I came to do here, more of calling than a profession to me. What motivates me when times are hard is the music itself, those moments when a new song or melody comes to you and you don’t know where it came from. Or when someone tells you that they are moved by your music. Those things keep me going.
How would you describe your creative processes? Who writes the lyrics to the songs? Are the music and lyrics written in conjunction, or separately?
In an ideal case, melody and words come to me at the same time and all I have to do is figure out accompaniment on either piano or guitar. Then I add the other parts, which can be anything from a bassline to merely a weird sound that enhances the atmosphere. I am a strong believer in the power of words, so I tread carefully when I write lyrics, that’s usually the birth of the song and takes most of the time.
Where the inspiration comes from?
I think of inspiration as a state of mind, and when I’m in that state of mind, anything can be an inspiration, literally anything; a conversation with a friend, strangers smiling to themselves on the tube, visual impressions of any kind, drugs and parties, sounds of the city, silence, books, nature, anything. I’m not always inspired, unfortunately, I don’t think you can be. But when it happens it’s like a gift and writing is effortless and pure.
What’s your favourite track from the upcoming album and what other bands/artists are you listening to right now?
I really like “Goodbye” because it is so simple. I don’t think I’ve managed to break something down this much before. I told myself when I wrote it; use the least amount of words you can find to describe what you are feeling. I narrowed it down to what it is, a universal Goodbye. I love singing it because it is almost non-personal.
What’s next for you?
The EP HOPE MUSIC will come out in May and then I will start work on my next EP, entitled NO HOPE MUSIC (for now). You gotta keep some balance, right?