SHE CAME, SHE SAW, SHE CONQUERED - EVA B, THE ARTIST TAKING PAKISTAN’S RAP SCENE BY STORM
Despite being in the industry for only sometime, Eva B has quickly taken the center stage and has a grip on her audience not just in Pakistan anymore but globally, thanks to her recent successes like ‘Kana Yaari’ and ‘Rozi’ from 'Ms. Marvel.' Her poetry is shaped from the struggles and strengths of being an artist from often neglected place Lyari, a young girl fighting the stereotypes of the society and at the core of it all, a woman. In this interview, we speak with Eva B on the evolving hip hop scene in Pakistan, her commitment to paving the way for other female artists to find their place in the world and why everyone should move on from their focus on her ‘naqaab’ and only appreciate her as an artist, an extremely talented one might we add. Read on as she pours her heart out in this very special interview...
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better.
Starting your career in 2014 with Eminem as your inspiration, when you look back today, what advice would you give to your younger self who initially gave up her career due to family/societal pressures?
I would advise my younger self that let the world talk because that’s what they’ll always do – when we were struggling and didn’t have enough money to buy food even then the world talked so let them do so and you continue to focus on achieving your goals.
You’ve worked with many notable musicians and recently became a household name with ‘Kana Yaari’. Did you expect the song to be this huge and blowup globally like this?
‘I never would have imagined the success of ‘Kana Yaari’ reaching these heights even in my wildest dreams especially because it was in a different language, Balochi. But God has been kind’
Sometimes I would be scared for some reason, perhaps because in Pakistan Hip-Hop music is considered a ‘boys thing’ and I wasn’t sure if I were going to make it as a female Hip-Hop artist. But the tremendous success of the song is certainly overwhelming.
What’s your most favourite line from the song?
It’s ‘Hma Mni Mukhalifa Hma Tai Bit Doost’ – (you befriended my enemies, it’s obvious you were never loyal to me).
First ‘Kana Yari’ then ‘Rozi’ from ‘Ms. Marvel’. Tell us how both the songs came about and do you remember what were your initial reactions after finding out you’ll be doing them?
Both these projects seemed like distant dreams that came to me too early and I thank God every day for always blessing me with the best – I also thank myself in fact for believing in me and never giving up. I felt extremely lucky when Xulfi bhai approached me for Coke Studio and same goes for ‘Rozi’ as well.
Hijab is part of your identity but does it bother you that it’s always a subject of discussion and perhaps sometimes more than your music as well?
I don’t understand what’s such a big deal about my ‘naqaab’? It doesn’t come in the way of my work and it’s as normal as anything else so let’s stop focusing on that.
Who are your current inspirations? Who’s one person, dead or alive, that you’d want to work with?
Every struggling artist out there is my inspiration and I would love to work with all the real artists. (Smiles)
Where is one place you want to travel to perform?
(Laughs) I actually haven’t thought about it yet – I am yet to experience the magic of doing concerts and performing for the live audience.
What’s your earliest memory of music?
Earliest I am not sure but my best one has to be my time at Coke Studio. I had the most amazing time there and got to make some really great friends like Shae, Payam, Sherry etc.
You’re from Lyari, a place known for creative/talented people but often neglected. How has growing up there influenced you as an artist?
I and my friends from Lyari really waited for a long time to show our art to the world – the place is full of talented people. I guess now everyone knows what’s it like there.
What’s the greatest fear you’ve had to overcome to get where you are today?
I can never see my mother hurt – as long as she’s happy, I don’t care about the rest of the world. When my mother held my hand and said ‘Be who you are’ then I fought like a warrior and opened my wings to fly.
How does rap music influence female confidence? What is the message you are trying to give with your music?
Unfortunately us women suffer everywhere whether we’re working or just walking alone and it makes it harder for us to combat all that and still make it with confidence. That’s why in my music I talk about my struggles, societal pressure so many girls and women out there who have the similar stories to tell, get inspired by it and continue to fight – never give up.
What other hobbies or interests do you have?
I love going to the beach and enjoy the serenity of it which I can do literally for hours. I love listening to Hip-Hop beats and I also love shopping (worst habit ever). (Laughs)
Lastly, what’s next on the horizon for you and what’s THE DREAM Eva B?
I want to be pride of my parents–I just want them to always hold their heads high and swell with pride because I am their daughter. That’s all I want, always.
INTERVIEW: SUNDUS UNSAR RAJA
STYLING: STYLISTS IN THE CAPITAL
WARDROBE: SANIA MASKATIYA
HAIR & MAKEUP: PENG'S SALON
PHOTOGRAPHY: ARHAM IKRAM
ON-SET COORDINATION: SANEELA SWALEH & UMAMAH ASIF BURNEY