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Eve Simpson, songwriter, storyteller, and collaborative community artist from South Shields, situates her Geordie lilts in the Celtic surroundings of Edinburgh. Her new releases seek creative liberation from being torn between two places, romanticising her 20s, and her ongoing fascination with people and their stories. Her songs are inspired by the piano-centered storytelling of Carole King, the soaring vocals of Kate Bush, and the honest lyricism of her hero, Joni Mitchell. From magic, to love, to societal observations, Eve writes about everyone and everything, as a means to navigate the world.

Returning to releasing in 2022, Eve has received critical acclaim across Flex, and Names Magazine, continuing to feature on BBC Introducing, adding to prior support across Introducing festival stages and BBC 6 Music. In addition to previous tours with Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, Eve debuted her new live material in Paris and across the Scottish Central Belt this Summer, including performances at Sneaky Pete’s and Sofar Sounds. Previous collaborations have seen Eve gig with Beth Nielsen Chapman, Kathryn Tickell, and The Lake Poets, as well as scoring the North East segment of a FOCAL International award-winning film. Eve is currently an In The Room representative for the Ivors Academy, working on the impact of working outside of a major music city on the mental health of music industry workers.

Who is Eve Simpson as a musician and practitioner? What’s your background?

I would say I’m a songwriter/storyteller first and foremost, using the landscapes and people around me, to very much influence what I write about day-to-day. My day job is within alternative education and community music, and I maintain a songwriting and researching freelance career as well, specifically focussed on the North East of England and Scotland. I grew up in South Shields, and now I live in Edinburgh - my heart is very much torn between the two places. I adore writing about everything: from love, to societal observations and injustices, to mundane tasks - people fascinate me! My writing is very much rooted in folk/singer/songwriter style, taking inspiration from Joni Mitchell, Carole King, and Laura Marling; however, I love collaborating and experimenting with different genres, and my latest single crossed more into classic pop/ballad style.

Who would be your dream collaboration?

Oh this is a hard one! I would love the theatrical melody writing with someone like Freddie Mercury, or the lyrical naivety of Cortney Marie Andrews.

What are your key comments on the music industry?

I’ve just finished up a research project in partnership with The Ivors Academy, looking at the impact of working outside of a major music city on the mental health and well-being of music industry workers, and it unleashed a massive passion of mine to focus more on the links between geographical location, cultural capital, and mental health. Almost all the dominant themes I uncovered were related to financial capital in some way (economic, social, cultural), having a direct effect on mental health and well-being. With key bodies in the music industry targeting the North East as a key area for national funding for the arts, I think research like this is more important than ever, in order to consult/inform this very needed support so that it benefits those of us who work in the regional industry/ies. I could go on and on: fair pay, providing the start-up capital for regional organisations to implement standard rates of pay, gender inequality in the industry, disability rights… As a young woman, who started navigating the Newcastle scene at 15, I have a lot to say about the music industry, specifically regional scenes, and how that has changed/remained stagnant over the past 8 years. We’d need days to discuss!

Any events or things we should watch out for ahead of the New Year?

Yes! I’ve just confirmed a really exciting gig (keep your eyes peeled), and I’m also releasing my Youth Music funded EP: All Her Strange, early next year. This will be supported by a mini tour, and I’ve got a brand new trio which I’ve started to debuted up in Scotland. I also hope to continue some work on the findings of my research. Lots and lots happening!

Highlights of 2022?

Being successful in my first national bit of funding! Taking part in the Ivors Academy In The Room programme. Releasing again for the first time in 3 years, and reconnecting with an old fan base, whilst creating a new one for myself.

This year has been good to me, and I’m so grateful and just ready to keep working very hard, and shouting about the things that matter.

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