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Eyelar

London-based singer-songwriter Eyelar’s new single Till You Hate Me is out now alongside its meaningful video. 

The guitar-led track is the first song Eyelar feels is 100% who she wants to be as an artist and talks about the fear of being let down. Feeling as if most relationships are doomed to fail, Eyelar says she wrote the track during a time when she was in a new relationship and scared to show her whole self for fear of it ending and them both hating each other. The video depicts two opposing sides correlating to the essence of ‘no light without darkness’. On one side of the wall is a soft, realistic realm full of light, characterising the love you feel; on the other a dark and gloomy territory representing the hate which often ends up at the forefront. The video is all about trying to get the two worlds aligned in harmony. Sonically the track starts off soft with only a guitar and Eyelar’s powerful vocals. As the song builds we hear distorted guitars and bright harmonies. The catchy track is reminiscent of 90s grunge mixed with some pop melodies and is an exciting taste of what’s to come from the Dutch artist. Eyelar has recently supported UPSAHL on the UK and Europe leg of her tour entitled This Is My First Headline Tour where she mentioned she finally felt comfortable on stage speaking about her songs.

Growing up in a small town in The Netherlands, Eyelar said how nobody did anything creative. Her Iranian heritage meant dinner parties were commonplace giving her and her friends a chance to perform for the guests.  Knowing she had to do something with music, Eyelar then appeared on The Voice Of Holland in 2012 making it to the semi-finals which served as a way into the music industry and proved helpful in building her as an artist. Afterwards, Eyelar spent years writing songs for other people–also moving to London during this time–but got to a point in which some of the songs she wrote felt too personal to give away so, with a little helpful persuasion from her manager, she began to release them as an artist in her own right for the first time. Having collaborated on tracks such as Fxck You Cause You Were The One and Good 2 You with Kid Brunswick, Disciples hit All Mine, and Breakfast with Yxng Bane, Eyelar is a force to be reckoned with and I’m excited to see what the future holds.

1883 Magazine sat down with Eyelar to speak about her new track, touring with UPSAHL, and what it was like growing up in a small town.

Hi Eyelar, your new single Till You Hate Me is out now alongside the video for it. Can you tell us a bit about the meaning behind the track, please? 

I was in a session with my friends when my friend Gigi started playing the chords and I started singing the chorus over them. At the time I had just started dating my boyfriend and I was how I always am when I’m seeing someone, I’ve never really been in a situation where I’m completely showing all of me and giving everything. A few of the previous tracks I have released have had a bit of a pessimistic view of romance and with this song, I am basically saying “I’m scared to show you everything because right now you love me but most relationships fail, they end up with people hating each other and the odds are against us”. 

You don’t really hear of many relationships getting to a point of getting together, settling down, and becoming the whole thing. I’ve definitely never been in a situation where I’ve wanted that so this was the first time where I’m like “Yeah, I would like to have that but you’ll probably end up hating me because that’s what people always do”.

 

 The video depicts two opposing worlds colliding, one is a soft, realistic environment and the other a dark and gloomy place. How did the idea for it come about? 

With this video, me and my friend were talking about it and we came up with the idea because the song says “You’ll love me till you hate me” so it was all about getting the two sides–the soft, love side and the frantic, hate side–across because duality if part of the experience of life. Light doesn’t exist without darkness and love doesn’t exist without hate. In the video we try to show the two sides that are really not aligned, they’re fighting each other. I think that is what also happens in the song because if you don’t accept all of yourself, the bad side and the good side–all of it–then that’s when you’re in an insecure place. When you accept your flaws and you accept every part of yourself, that’s when you can be super confident.

In the video, it’s about getting the two opposites to become aligned with each other and find peace with each other, that’s why they’re talking through a wall. The room is basically the same room but one is the ‘love’ room where everything is nice and soft and the other is the same but everything is foggy; the clock is broken, it’s all very dark, and they’re fighting each other. I feel like I definitely do that a lot where my two sides aren’t really aligned so that’s what we tried to achieve with the video, to get them to become friends and accept each other. 

 

Growing up in The Netherlands you said you didn’t come from a very musical family but dinner parties were a regular fixture which gave you and your friends the opportunity to come up with shows and perform them for everyone. At what point did you realise creating music was what you wanted to do with your life? What do you think you would be doing now had it not been for music, did you ever have a sort of backup plan?

I grew up in a really, really small town and no one was doing anything creative so my interests were not something I shared with anyone really. My parents knew I loved singing because not only would I perform, dance, and sing but I would also find out the lyrics of songs and memorise them all. I would just always be thinking about music and singing.Then I went to high school and no one was doing anything creative but I just knew I was going to do music at some point in my life, I didn’t know how, when, or with who but I just knew it was going to happen. I even found a little diary in my mom’s house from when I must have been around fourteen-years-old that I wrote a manifestation in and it said “When I’m 25 I’m only going to be speaking English, I’m going to be a huge musician, and I’m only going to be making music”. That was at a time when I didn’t even know anyone who was in music or was doing any sort of music at all but I was always writing songs, short stories, and handwritten poems which I still have at home.

 

Speaking of the old diary you found, it’s been 10 years since you wrote that manifestation you’ve gotten to a point where it has become reality. Do you manifest often? 

I manifest a lot, I have a notebook where I journal often and it’s really nice because once a year I go through my old journals just to see what my list of manifestations were and they always change. Most of the things I have written down though have all come true so I am a huge believer and even when I feel like I don’t believe in myself or when I’m really low in energy, I still do it because I just think it’s super powerful. Words are really powerful, especially when they get out of your thoughts and onto paper. I definitely believe in manifesting and it’s nice because the goals I have written so far in my life have mostly come true. You do kind of get to a goal and then your goal shifts and becomes bigger and more specific. You also grow as a person so maybe your goals change. I manifest every day. 

It’s always great to be able to look back and see that you have achieved your goals! I also think the more specific, the better. So I’m quite specific. I have the big goals but I also write down really specific things, years, months or even people. It’s quite specific.

 

Your music career began in 2012 when you appeared on the Voice Of Holland and made it to the semi-finals. You mentioned the reason you did it was because you had to do something when it came to music and it served as a way into the music industry. After the show, you spent time writing for other people before releasing your first single as an artist. Did you feel any pressure when beginning to release music yourself or did it come naturally to you after spending so long creating behind the scenes? 

Wanting to release my own songs happened really organically because in the beginning when I moved to London, I was in the studio every day and that’s what I wanted to do. It’s not like I didn’t want to be an artist, I just really wanted to write songs every single day. Also, when I learned what artists were doing and how to do it I was like “Whoa, I just want to be in a studio” so I did that for a while but after a few years I just wrote some songs I didn’t want to give away. It wasn’t a case of “Okay, I’m going to write and then become an artist”  it was more me just writing songs and then some of the ones I was writing I didn’t want to give up. It was actually a really cool moment because I remember having written a song and that was the first time I was like “Oh, maybe I should release this” but I only thought about it, I didn’t do anything. I was in West London in Sarm Studios and that day my manager called me about that song and he was like “Should this not be your song?” And I was like “Oh my god, that’s crazy” and that was the first time this whole process started happening, at a super slow pace.

I think there is definitely a certain pressure that I didn’t feel. There is always pressure when you’re in the industry but I’m also someone who puts pressure on myself, that’s just my personality. My parents moved from Iran basically because there wasn’t a future for me and my brothers so I always felt pressure to do well in whatever I was going to do so when I started releasing my own songs I felt the pressure of comparing myself to other people. I would be looking at the numbers, if you have 100 positive comments and one of them is negative, you tend to fixate on that one which is something that’s very unnatural and weird. It’s like a different kind of pressure you have to navigate your way through.

 

You take a lot of inspiration lyrically from things that have happened in your life and conversations you have had and said lyrics are the most important part for you. Does your writing process differ at all when writing for other people rather than for yourself? Or do the two tend to converge?

No, it’s definitely different because when I’m writing for someone else, usually I’m in a room with them and it’s more about writing a song that is the artist or collaborator’s story. It’s all about talking and usually, from that hour or two hours that we talk and hang out, there’s already a song concept–well, on a good day anyway! When I’m writing for myself, it’s less of a pop approach. It’s more a case of just letting everything come out and hoping that it’s a good song.

 

Rather than thinking within a pop formula, just let everything out and see what happens…

Yeah, see what happens and maybe it’s good, maybe it’s not but it’s definitely more a train of thought where I just let it all come out. When I write for other people, whether they’re in the room or not, it’s a different approach.

 

You mentioned when you came to London that you had quite a bit of inspiration from listening to bands like Nirvana and Hole. Who would you say are some of your biggest inspirations, musically?

That’s a really hard question because I’ve written so many songs in different genres. I’m from an Iranian background and grew up in Holland before moving to London so I grew up on hip hop and R&B and have so much music I love. For me, I think it’s if the storytelling is good. That’s why I really love Kurt Cobain, with his lyrics it feels like you’re inside his mind and I really love that. Equally, I think Taylor Swift does it as well. Those are things I really love but I also love artists who make you feel like you can express freely so for that reason I love Madonna as well, she’s done so much for female pop culture. I think there’s inspiration everywhere, even with Tupac, I love listening to his songs and looking at the lyrics. Sometimes I read the lyrics as the song is playing because Tupac is also a really good storyteller. For me, it’s any artist who is a great storyteller.

 

Having collaborated on tracks such as Breakfast with Yxng Bane and Dopamine with German producer Purple Disco Machine, are there any artists or producers you would love to work with in the future? Anyone you think would suit your style and artistic vision perfectly?

I would love to work with Charlie XCX again, she’s actually a really big inspiration and I love the way she works. We wrote a couple of songs together but I would love to collaborate with her. I love The 1975 and Beabadoobie but I also really love working with rappers because I feel like, with rap, I can really get my dark side out so I love that as well. I also really love mixing genres and I enjoy when artists collaborate with someone you would never expect. For me, it’s not really about finding someone who is similar to me, it’s more about finding someone I can create something unexpected and really cool with. Something unexpected and authentic.

 

Sonically, do you feel like you would ever put yourself into a specific genre or would you prefer to traverse a multitude of sounds and styles? Some of the things you have done already sounded very different from each other which I love!

Organically, when it comes to my own stuff I have leaned towards more guitar and indie sounds but I also love pop music and naturally have pop melodies. For example, when I’m in the gym they play this spa sound and sometimes I drive myself crazy because I’ll be there and they’ll be playing this shaman music and in my head, I’ll be singing melodies on top of it that are very pop and I’ll think “Oh, that could be a good song” but then I’m also like “Oh my god, just stop. Chill.” Naturally, I just have that sort of pop-melody vibe. When I first started releasing music it was very experimental so I then tried to find my way a little bit and released a few things I wasn’t too sure about. I feel like where it is now and the music I’m releasing which has pop elements and a live feel, is where I think the base for me to be like “This is 100% me” is. I don’t really like to be put in a box though, I don’t know what I’m going to make in two or six years so for me, the most important thing is that I can get my story across and play it live. Then we can cross that bridge when we get there.

 

At the time of speaking, you are about to play the last show supporting UPSAHL on the UK and Europe leg of her tour. How have you found the string of shows?

It’s been really interesting, way more than I expected. This is the second support tour that I have done but this is the first time where I feel super comfortable on stage talking about my songs. The songs that I’m playing are songs I stand behind 100% and it’s just super nice because I didn’t expect so many people to connect to it. Every time I’m talking about it or every time I come offstage, I get so many messages from people saying they really love the songs and because I’ve been in the studio for so long, it’s a crazy feeling to think people like my songs and they mean something to them because they definitely mean something to me. The fact that my story can affect someone else is such a different feeling. There have been a few people who have even tattooed this [shows her own tattoo of the Till’ You Hate Me smiley face artwork].

I never thought that my music could affect people like that so it’s really amazing.

 

Finally, what can we expect from Eyelar in the near future?

A lot of great music. I think I’m just going to perform, play live, and not stop until I have made my dreams happen. So whenever that happens somewhere in the future, that’s something you can expect 100%.

 

Till You Hate Me is out now. Follow Eyelar @eyelarx

Interview by Gabi Oates 

Photography by Joe Magowan

 

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