February 20, 2023 8.00 pm This story is over 14 months old

Evie Balfe: Lincoln singer champions authenticity in her songs

Music has been her cathartic release her whole life

By Local Democracy Reporter

Any aspiring musician has two wishes: to be successful while also remaining true to yourself. In the case of Lincoln’s Evie Balfe, she is trying to buck trends and be the latest local singer to become a star.

Evie Balfe, 29, was born in Lincoln and grew up in North Hykeham, attending Ling Moor Primary School and North Kesteven Academy for her education in our county.

It became apparent early on that she possessed talents in creative and performance fields, starring in musicals and theatre productions at secondary school – and this left Evie hungry for more.

Evie says some of her fondest memories are from school days, and praised the teachers for their encouragement of creativity and performing arts focus.

She said: “Mrs Yarsley was my drama teacher, and she pushed me to audition for drama school and be as creative as possible. Without her I wouldn’t have moved to London to pursue my dreams.”

Once she turned 18, she made the move that many aspiring singers and performers unfortunately have to make for career progression, leaving her semi-rural settings for the bright lights and big city of London.

“I have a love/hate relationship with London,” Evie told The Lincolnite. “I love the big city atmosphere but I also miss the community feel of a place like Lincoln.

“I love coming back to Lincoln to explore the Cathedral and Steep Hill again, plus I begrudge the cost of living in Lincolnshire compared to London!”

Evie during one of her live sessions.

It was here where Evie went on a journey of self-discovery. She started at Mount View Academy, studying musical theatre, but left after a couple of years after discovering a passion for writing music.

She was accepted into the British and Irish Modern Music Institute in 2014, and her skills were honed to the point where she has been able to find relative success as an independent artist.

Evie is inspired mainly by strong female vocalists in the dream-pop scene, whether it be London Grammar or fellow Lincolnshire musician Holly Humberstone.

You can hear a blend of her influences in her music, but a key aspect is that of authenticity – something which Evie focuses on heavily during her creative process.

Her debut album was released at the end of 2022.

Evie’s debut album Do I Feel Like I’m Happy Now? was released in December 2022, an eight-track project documenting her journey of self-reflection and struggles with self-esteem – made alongside her producer James Albarn.

“The album is about finding myself,” Evie told The Lincolnite. “It’s about how to get past a lack of self-esteem, and sort of a reminder to not give up.”

Lead single and album closer According to Maybe has become Evie’s most popular song, but it wasn’t supposed to be on the album at all.

Evie had been contacted by a filmmaker friend of hers who needed a song for the end credits of their short film, so Evie duly obliged and provided According To Maybe.

It would soon become her lead single for the album after realising just how well it fits into the narrative of the project, and it is one of Evie’s favourite songs on the record now.

This is the unpredictable nature of the industry. Commercial success is far from a guarantee, and more often than not it happens through an element of luck, as well as the obvious talents that go alongside it.

It’s been a long journey for Evie, but she is determined to make it work.

Evie said she is still figuring things out in the music industry, which she “naively thought would be easier than it is” – particularly in a post-COVID world.

“It’s so difficult to succeed now, there’s not much money in streaming, and less people are buying physical versions.

“Touring and merchandise is how artists make the majority of their money, and that was stripped away from us during the pandemic.

“If you aren’t Taylor Swift or Billie Eilish, the route to stardom is much harder to achieve.

“I’ve quickly discovered the reality of the industry is very hard, but I have still decided to give it a go and see how far I can take it.”

Being a modern artist requires you to be in tune with modern technology and social media trends, with TikTok continuing to dominate chart entries across the world.

However, this then ties into the discussion around originality and personality in music – which seem to be few and far between in the case of modern chart music.

Evie is preparing for an upcoming show in Earl’s Court.

Evie observed: “It’s much easier to go viral nowadays, but the majority of artists make it through record labels and need to move to big cities like London.

“I find it difficult to write a song designed to go viral on TikTok, because I write for me and what I want to create.

“I think that’s something that most artists will encourage others to do, listeners like authenticity and to know the artist through their songs.”

Music has always been about something deeper than making hit records for Evie, though.

She said: “Fundamentally for me, music brings out an emotional response no matter what I listen to, it is and has always been my cathartic outlet.

“On a human level it is this way for most people, especially when you think about how music brings people from different cultures together. It is a very communal thing.”

Evie will be continuing her music journey in the coming months, writing new tracks and performing live shows around London.

She is also in talks to create some remixes for her album tracks, as well as streaming on Twitch to directly engage with her fans.

You can keep up to date with Evie Balfe’s work by visiting her website, finding her on Spotify or following her Instagram account.

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