INTERVIEW: Eva Simons (2012)

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Dutch singer-songwriter Eva Simons exploded onto the scene with Afrojack on the massive international club smash “Take Over Control.” However,  she first gained notoriety with “Silly Boy,” a song that was often attributed to Rihanna and Lady Gaga.  Her single “I Don’t Like You” topped the Billboard Club Chart and is the first taste of her upcoming artist album, which is still in production.  In the midst of relentless touring, she toured with LMFAO and the IDentity tour and she continues to collaborate with everyone from Apster to will.i.am.   Topping the UK pop chart with “This is Love” (with will.i.am) proves that Eva Simons has the chops for club and commercial success.  Watching her perform live at the Promo Only Summer Sessions in Atlantic City definitely confirmed that.

DJ Ron: Hi Eva, do you pronounce your name Ava or Eva, Simons or Simmons?
Eva Simons: I pronounce it Ava Simmons, the thing is that A and E are much different in Holland than in the US.  I just figured I would let people say my name differently or I can teach people how to pronounce it how I say it in Holland.

DJ Ron: I am a huge fan of Amsterdam and go to the Amsterdam Dance Event every year.
Eva Simons: That’s awesome,  I have done it twice, it was fun. I think that they are doing a really great job; they need to have more hotels and clubs because it is getting so popular. We are getting really known for dance music, it is very exciting.

DJ Ron: Yes, there are a lot of big names there. I first heard of you from your song “Silly Boy.” When it first came out, everyone thought that it was Rihanna, how did you react to that?
Eva Simons: I did the demo for my friends and they wrote the track “Silly Boy.” They said they’d put a lot of autotune on it and just needed a voice and wanted to see who would be interested in it. There was a lot of interest from Rihanna’s team and the next day it was leaked, it was very weird. I got a call from the producers and writers and they told me that it got leaked and that we were going to be really big, like Timbaland. I got a deal and was shocked. I was working on a lot of things when “Silly Boy” came out, but it was a really good look for me. I am very blessed that I got that opportunity but I don’t really make that kind of music. I was telling my old label that I really wanted to do house music but people kept saying that there was no money in house music. I loved house music and one day I was in the studio with Afrojack and we made “Take Over Control.”

DJ Ron: How did you meet up with Afrojack?
Eva Simons: We met at a party and we both thought each other was English and started speaking to each other in English. We started following each other on Twitter and discovered that we were both Dutch. We found out that we lived twenty minutes apart and decided to get into the studio together.

DJ Ron: When you made “Take Over Control,” did you have any idea that you would become so big?
Eva Simons: No, I really didn’t. I was so excited with all of the positivity in my heart. Everyone was talking about how it wasn’t good and that the bleeps were so loud and annoying, I kept insisting that it was dope and people would like it. Luckily, Afrojack has his own label and said that he would release it. Before we knew it we were hearing from labels like Ministry of Sound and Robbins they all said that they could release it and that it could work. Before I knew it, it was anthem in the clubs and it opened up a lot of doors for house music.

DJ Ron: I interviewed Zedd and he said that when he had acappella vocals of yours, he just built a track around your song “I Don’t Like You.” How did you react when you first heard his version of it?
Eva Simons: I was so excited. His sound was so new and I liked that. These kids nowadays, I keep calling them these kids, I don’t know why.  The kids are just on their sh*t, they do what they want to do and say whatever they want to their labels and the labels obey. I love it and I love this whole new movement.

DJ Ron: Is “I Don’t Like You” about a specific person?
Eva Simons: Yes, I don’t want to say who but I was really pissed that day. We were in the studio with Benny Bennasi and his brother and we were making some dope tracks while drinking some wine. I kept saying how I was pissed and angry and since I was drinking I was brutally honest. They told me to just make a song about it. I kept saying “I don’t like you” and that is where the song came from.

DJ Ron: I have a tacky question, were any animals harmed during the filming of the video.
Eva Simons: No, we were thinking about taking that part out because it looks like I was harming that dog. It is my friend’s dog and he gets a haircut all the time so we decided to cut the sides and give him a mohawk.  The dog was not harmed, it was fun to do.

DJ Ron: Speaking of the mohawk, your mohawk is like your trademark. Was that your idea and where did it come from?
Eva Simons: Yes, it was my idea. I was in Tokyo and I saw all these Harajuku girls with their big, huge hair- and you don’t see that much in Europe but I loved it.  My Mom is from Suriname and the coat of arms from there is two Indian people standing with red mohawks. I decided to do it, and when I went to Berlin we decided to make it really big. I was embarrassed at first to have it so big but then I decided that it was cool. I like it.

DJ Ron: Talking about going big, what is it like touring with LMFAO?
Eva Simons: It was really cool. Not only do they work hard, they know what people want to hear. People can say whatever they want but it is really hard to make a party anthem that everybody feels. Everybody feels “Shots” and “I’m in Miami Bitch,” it’s dope, I really like them a lot.

DJ Ron: Congratulations on your #1 song with Will.i.am, “This is Love,”  did you write the lyrics to that?
Eva Simons: Yes, I didn’t write it all by myself but I helped.  Steve Angelo did the production, and a lot of people got involved with the track. It was very nice to work with him, we worked well together. He is very creative and a very young spirit, which I like.

DJ Ron: “Renegade” feels like your personal anthem, is that your story?
Eva Simons: Yes, when I got a couple beats from J.O.B and heard that one I loved it! I come from drum and bass and I knew immediately that I loved it. I saw myself using a megaphone and yelled “it’s renegade time” and ran to the studio to get in the booth and recorded it.

DJ Ron: What are you working on now?
Eva Simons: I am working on my album and doing some featurings.   I am meeting new people on tours to work with. I am on the Identity Tour right now and there are a lot of talented producers for me to meet and hook up with.  Everyone has their own tour bus and I like hopping buses.  ‘Are you working on a beat, let’s work on something.’   It’s really fun; I am doing a lot of cool stuff and can’t wait to drop more good songs like what people want.

DJ Ron: What would you like to say to all of your fans out there?
Eva Simons: Keep believing in me and doing your thing. I will come hard for you guys.

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