Sixteen-year-old soulful pop music wunderkind Evie Irie has discovered the secret to success: Honesty. It’s a simple word that’s transformed into a mantra for the Sydney-born siren. As Evie readies the release of her debut EP 5 Weeks In LA, she brings a new style and a new sound to the musical forefront that’s been missing for quite some time.
Coming from a musical family helped nudge Evie into the songwriting stratosphere, though it was raw talent that truly brought her here. The youngest of three girls, Evie and her family found themselves moving frequently as her father was an entrepreneur. They often bounced between Australia and the States, though once settled back Down Under, Evie began to hone her craft at around 11 years old. She started on the french horn, though that faded quickly once Evie picked up a guitar. “The only way I could play the guitar is if I sung,” the young artist explains. “I would do covers with guitar accompaniment.” Oftentimes Evie would change the entire arrangement of the songs, inserting a style that would later become a valuable component in her signature sound. While she started her mission to learn the guitar, it was the songwriting element that fascinated her. She found her fodder through her older sister.
“My sister would come home from school with all of these interesting stories,” Evie remembers. “I would say, ‘Oh tell me this story again,’ and I would get her to write it down. Then I would grab my guitar and put lyrics to it. I was just telling a story with music on top and singing and melodies.” Her father heard the songs and urged her to study the song structures of some notable pop music singer/songwriters. It wasn’t long before she was crafting full-blown pop songs with vocals that had both texture and maturity.
When faced with the option to partake in a student exchange program or follow her dreams, Evie opted for the latter...back in the United States. She promised her family she would return to school, following what would become an intensive life-changing period of time in her life. Evie recorded songs, and with her father by her side, she would attend open mics with her guitar and perform throughout Los Angeles. Her dynamic stage presence caught the eyes and ears of a songwriter who asked Evie to delve further into songwriting in Nashville. With her father asleep on a blow-up bed, Evie compiled songs that reflected a skillset she was slowly sharpening. Then came the serendipitous series of sessions in Los Angeles with fellow Aussie, producer Michael Fatkin. During this time, the heart of 5 Weeks In LA took shape. “All of the five songs were written in the five-week period that my life changed,” Evie expresses of the five-track EP’s concept. “It was a strange start of emotions and stories of how I was feeling at that point in time.”
5 Weeks In LA is short and sweet, though its contents are impressively complex. Opener “Bitter” is about the realization that at times we are the root of our own problems, as she sings “Life will let you down, try not to get bitter” on the song’s hook. “I’m singing to myself because in the song I’m the reason why I’m being bitter,” Evie adds, “because I’m judging myself and I’m thinking everyone is judging me, when really I’m my own enemy. The song is me escaping that mindset.” Other songs like “Sink Swim” show how the dichotomy of our own emotions can often sway like a pendulum. “It’s about having really high days and really low days,” she says. Then there’s “The Optimist,” a song that cuts through the trendy approach to music where negativity leads and all else follows. “When I went in to write and was listening to the radio, song after song was all negativity,” Evie explains. “It was so upsetting, and I don’t think people realize how much music affects us. The more we hear things we start to believe them.” The track bears a light at the end of life’s temporarily dark tunnels. “Vulnerable” is a down-tempo ballad about accepting vulnerability and not mistaking it for frailty. “Don’t think I’m not strong when I’m weak,” she sings on the track. The closer “Stupid Things” is a playfully poignant track about Evie’s parents forbidding her from teenage temptations. “I could never do normal teen stuff because I have very strict parents,” she says with a laugh.
Each song is a piece to a puzzle that embodies the rising star known as Evie Irie. “These are the ideas and emotions of a 16-year-old girl in this world trying to be seen,” she says with confidence. “With feelings and emotions and relatable stories and messages that I try to convey, it’s a point of view from me and a snapshot of my life in this moment.”
With 5 Weeks In LA, Evie Irie is on a mission for greatness, though she comes armed with a gift many artists are still searching for. “I’ve found my sound,” she declares, “and that’s something that every artist wants to find, and I’m just so lucky that I found it so early on in my career.”