EVE is without doubt one of hip-hop’s most influential artists. Helping pave the way for some of today’s biggest female rappers, the American beauty has enjoyed over 15 years in the spotlight thanks to releases like 2001’s Scorpion and the 2002 follow-up, Eve-olution. Her collaboration with No Doubt front woman Gwen Stefani on the rappers signature hit, Let Me Blow Ya Mind, earned the musician a Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration in 2002.
With the past decade being taken up by TV appearances on her long-running sitcom, EVE, as well as parts in a string of films including Barbershop, Charlie Angels: Full Throttle and Whip It!, where she starred opposite Drew Barrymore, things have been low key in terms of music releases from the rapper, however, with a brand new album, Lip Lock, enjoying its long-awaited release last month, EVE has made her highly anticipated return to music with a fantastic collection of new tracks and collaborations with some of her hip-hop peers.
Speaking to us from London, EVE reserved some time especially for RenownedForSound.com to discuss her new album, her thoughts on the evolution of the music industry and her journey as an independent artist. Here is what she had to tell us:
Brendon Veevers: How are you Eve?
EVE: I’m good thank you
BV: Where does our interview find you today?
EVE: Right now I’m in London. It’s actually a rare beautiful day in London and that’s where I’m at.
BV: Your fourth studio album, Lip Lock, saw its release recently. How does it feel to be back at the forefront of the music scene once again?
EVE: Yeah, Lip Lock came out about two weeks ago now and it feels good man. I mean, its been a long time coming so I’m happy that Lip Lock is finally out.
BV: Have you done anything special to celebrate the release of Lip Lock?
EVE: I haven’t really done anything special actually. Maybe I should get a tattoo or something. Actually that is probably something that I will do (laughs) but I haven’t done anything special to celebrate yet. I’m just working and doing promo and working the album.
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BV: How did you decide on the name Lip Lock for this release?
EVE: I decided to name the album Lip Lock because I like things that are kind of like a play on words. Lip Lock kinda means a kiss, it kinda means smooches. My lips are one of my favorite features on my body or on myself and you know, as a lyricist it’s like lyrically locking the game down.
BV: Are there any favorites for you on the new record?
EVE: I actually have a Top 3 on the album. Number one would be E.V.E, number two would be Mum In The Kitchen with me and Snoop Dogg and number three would be Keep Me From You with Don Richard
BV: The album is your first in eleven years. You must be getting asked this question quite a lot but why so long since your last album release?
EVE: Yeah it’s been a while. Your right, it’s been like eleven years since my last album but you know, in that time I have put out music. I was acting; I had a TV show for four years. It took me a few years to get off my Interscope (Records) deal, I signed to EMI and it took me a few years to get off of EMI and now I’m independent. During that time, though, I did put out some music. I was supposed to put out an album after Tambourine but then I started to have legal problems.
BV: What was it about 2013 that brought on the decision to release another studio album?
EVE: Umm, it just felt like the right time, you know. I don’t know why I put out an album right now but honestly it just felt like the right time and especially because I was able to do it the way I wanted to do it.
BV: You collaborated with many other artists on Lip Lock including Missy Eliot, Snoop Dogg and Pusha T. Who was your favorite to work with and why?
EVE: On this album I was able to collaborate with some really dope people. I can’t really say I have a favorite but just on the girl power side of things I love the fact that Missy Eliot is on my album. You know, I felt like I had to represent some female hip hop and I’m glad she showed up.
BV: Lip Lock is your first independent studio release. How are you finding being an independent artist as opposed to being under the wing of a major label?
EVE: Being an independent artist is good in the sense that I’m able to do what I want artistically. You know, I basically am very, ahhh (thinks) you know, I’m the boss (laughs) so I am able to do what I want. It definitely has its good sides and it has its bad sides too but I’m enjoying it.
BV: Having been releasing records for almost 15 years now, what would you say is the secret of longevity for someone in the recording industry these days?
EVE: You know, I wish there was a secret. I don’t really have a secret. I think I’ve been lucky. I think it takes a combination of hard work, putting yourself in different circles and different things. I think the fact I act too and that I have a clothing line has kept me out there but I don’t know if there is a real secret.
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BV: The music industry has changed so rapidly over the last eleven years since the release of your last studio album, 2002’s Eve-Olution, with the digital format taking over music sales and major labels becoming an almost thing of the past over independent labels. What are your thoughts on the evolution of the music industry?
EVE: I think the evolution of the music industry is great. In the beginning, when I first came out, there was none of the downloading but there was people stealing music and now that has turned into a profitable thing. The think that I like about the way that music has changed is that as an artist you have so much freedom to put out the music the way that you want to put it out. You can get your music out to people as fast as you want. There doesn’t have to be a plan anymore. I can record something tonight and put out something tomorrow and I think that’s great.
BV: You performed a few shows in London recently to promote Lip Lock. How did they go?
EVE: Yeah, my performances in London were amazing. I really had a great time. The one at Love Dough was great. The one at G.A.Y was great. I appreciate everyone that came out. It was actually two really fun performances.
BV: As well as maintaining a successful recording career you have also featured in a number of films over the years. Are there any other acting roles in the pipeline that we can look forward to?
EVE: I’ve kind of put acting on the back-burner for a bit just with this album. I did two independent movies about a year and a half ago that should be out this year but right now it’s all about this album, Lip Lock.
BV: Are there any plans to tour in 2013 that you can reveal for fans?
EVE: The only plans right now that I can reveal for my fans is that I’m just gonna work this album. You’re gonna see me out there performing it live.
BV: What else is on the Eve calendar for 2013?
EVE: You know, I’m already thinking about the next album actually so I think I’m gonna be getting back into the studio before the end of the year.
BV: Thanks for your time Eve
EVE: Thanks Brendon
Eve’s new album, Lip Lock, is out now.
::: RenownedForSound.com’s Editor and Founder –
Interviewing and reviewing the best in new music and globally recognized artists is his passion.
Over the years he has been lucky enough to review thousands of music releases and concerts and interview artists ranging from top selling superstars like 27-time Grammy Award winner Alison Krauss, Boyz II Men, Roxette, Cyndi Lauper, Lisa Loeb and iconic Eagles front man/songwriter, Glenn Frey through to more recent successes including Newton Faulkner, Janelle Monae and Caro Emerald.
Brendon manages and coordinates the amazing team of writers on RenownedForSound.com who are based in the UK, the U.S and Australia.