Hannah Evyenia Karydas, best known by her singer-songwriter moniker ‘Eves Karydas’, is slowly making her way back out onto stages across Australia, after being one of the many musicians who have had to put performances on halt during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Her most recent shows included sets during Brisbane’s Wildlands festival and Melbourne’s Beyond the City Festival in late December 2021.
“I felt quite disconnected from it all and I really had to think, ‘I’m going to play songs in front of people’. Conceptually it felt very out of the ordinary, and I think I’ve just gotten used to not doing it. So going back and doing it I was like ‘Oh my God, okay! This is really fun. I’m really good at this’,” Ms Karydas told Neos Kosmos.
“This this is my job, so it was good. It’s good getting back into it. I’m looking forward to my future shows.”
Her current setlist boasts a collection of her singles from her September 2021 release EP Reruns along with others from her 2018 album summerskin.
“I’m really, really loving this set at the moment…Even in 2020, when I played a couple of shows, the set still had a few songs people didn’t really know, but this time around because the EP is out and with the full album before that it’s like really solid. I’m really excited about it,” Ms Karydas said.
As each music artist brings out a new body of work, so to come new sounds, new revelations and life experiences which all get poured into the mix of their new music.
The single Complicated, which features on the Reruns EP, “heralded a new era” for the 27-year-old, who explained to us how her own sense of style evolved during her creative process.
“It just spoke to a larger audience. This EP has felt a little bit different than the album I put out a few years ago which felt very, indie more in the alternative, Triple J world. To be honest, putting the EP out, like with anybody of work it’s always a little bit anticlimactic. You put so much work into it and then it comes out and you’re like, ‘Oh, what do I do now?’ Suddenly you don’t have the deadlines, or people on your back trying to get things out of you and get things done, so it’s been pretty nice actually,” Ms Karydas said.
“I’ve actually been taking a little break, but I’ve been working on the next body of work which I want to put out pretty quickly as well.”
The quest to uncover her next hidden gem in the rubble of new ideas, is often seen as the most difficult aspect of songwriting, plucking out a song out of thin air and, in a way, turning nothing into something is something this artist thrives off.
“I love creating. When you’re in the studio and you stumble across an idea, to me, that’s the best feeling in the world. I mean, that’s why I do this is my job. When I think of having an art and creating music, or anything for that matter, I see it as digging. You’re just digging and a lot of the time all you’re going to dig up is dirt. But there are those very few times you find little bits of treasure, and it just makes everything worthwhile,” Ms Karydas said.
“I love the other end of it too when you’re performing and people have created their own sort of memory and meaning to what you’ve made, and seeing that, that’s really special too.”
Writing from her own experiences and stories in life, it was inevitable that mention of her Greek heritage would make its way into her discography.
Ms Karydas’ song Complicated, makes mention of her paternal grandfather, touching on how he served in the Greek military and had a challenging upbringing, having grown up in Greece during World War II.
“Pappou was this sort of ‘godfather’ like figure to all of us. We admired him and he had nothing you know, he had family but he wasn’t rich, he wasn’t ambitious and thought let’s create this huge career. He just wanted to provide for his family and have a good life and good relationships. I cherish that and I cherish having him as my role model growing up and I see that in my dad as well,” she explained.
It is through the Greek side of her family that she was able to see a world outside of the heavily anglicized Cairns she grew up in.
“It’s a small town and it’s very white, largely middle class, so I grew up and had this whole other side to my life that no one really knew about. You go to Greek church and they speak a kind of ancient Greek you can’t even understand. And you go to midnight mass, and they have all the incense and everything is gold. I just feel like it showed me how much more there is to life in terms of culture and diversity from a really young age, whereas in a town like Cairns, I probably wouldn’t have seen anything like that if I didn’t have that side to me and my family,” she said.
It was with this admiration for her pappou an her family’s rich heritage, namely from the island of Samos, that she and her cousins went ahead and applied for their Greek citizenship.
“We’re very close with that side the family, so my dad and his sisters and all of the kids. We have a big family chat, it’s called “my big fat Greek family” and I feel like most Greeks understand this, but Greeks get together and they talk about being Greek. I don’t know why Greek pride is like extra strength. We’ve always wanted to become Greek citizens.We’ve all got plans to go over there and maybe build some property or build on the property we have over there,” she concluded.
You can keep up to date with Eves Karydas’ music by following her at instagram.com/eveskarydas.