Evalution, born as Evan Cazes in Tampa, FL., discovered his passion for music after playing his father’s piano at the age of eight. As Evalution continued excelling in music production, he began a DJ-ing career at 18-years-old. Within his first two years at Florida State University, Evalution earned himself weekly residencies at Tallahassee’s premiere venues; Potbelly’s Concert Garden, TENN Nightclub, Good Vibes Only, as well as a monthly residency at Recess Nightclub. Evalution’s signature style combines classic rock-n-roll elements with electronic music, particularly deep dubstep and experimental bass. Here is One EDM’s exclusive interview with Evalution, a rising star in Florida’s electronic music scene.
Kenny Ngo: How is your quarantine going so far?
Evalution: It’s been decent actually! Unfortunately, I had my last semester of college moved to online and both of my resident venues were forced to close down their doors for the next however many days. However, I have been making the most of it!
Have you spent a lot of time in quarantine creating new music?
That’s actually pretty much the only thing I’ve been doing aside from the occasional homework assignment and exams. Luckily, this has given me the free time and courage to try to venture into other areas of the EDM world. Because of this, I’ve also been making some tech house tunes in addition to my regular bass music!
You are going to release an EP called, “Railhouse Rock”. How was that like?
I had a lot of fun producing this EP and after having worked on it for more than six months, it was really rewarding for me, as a producer, to hear the finished product. Nothing feels better than seeing a vision come to life.
Anything notable about the music style of the EP that people should look out for?
It’s extremely instrumental and I think it’s the best representation of my developing style. Aside from my normal sound design featured in past songs, some of the stuff is definitely riskier and more out there in terms of normalcy and what we’re hearing repeatedly today. As a matter of fact, that was my main goal with this EP, to really challenge the standard bass songs you hear that every artist tries to replicate until the phase dies out. I wanted to see how far I could push the boundaries while still making sure people can enjoy the experience. The intros and buildups predominantly feature electric guitar and ensemble horns. I am also singing on 2 of the tracks and the other 2 have original vocal samples as well!
You recently played a guest mix on Lizzy Jane’s radio show, “XO Radio”. How was it like playing on her show?
It was absolutely amazing! Lizzy is super supportive of the underground music scene and local artists. She’s built up such an amazing show by featuring some huge rising talents. I was so thankful to be able to share a bunch of unreleased music with a whole new audience! If you haven’t already, go check out XO Radio!
You also released the remix of The Doors’ “Riders On The Storm”. What was one significant thing that you liked about producing the remix?
This is probably my favorite bass track that I’ve made to date actually. Firstly, Jim Morrison is probably my biggest musical influence of all time, and The Doors are, without question, one of my favorite bands. My favorite song actually (like any Doors fan) is “The End,” which I would’ve remixed; however, I didn’t see a 10-minute track with improv breakdowns being accepted by bass crowds too well, nor could I find a clean acapella for it. So I went with my second favorite track, “Riders.”
On top of my draw to the original song, the sound design on this one is unlike anything else I’ve done to date, featuring more high pitched plucked sounds overlapping long sustained bass notes. I also really loved the way I was able to use white noise in the drop to tie together different bass sounds. I had a great time making this one so if you haven’t yet, definitely check it out on my SoundCloud!
“Riders On The Storm” is going to be on a different EP called “XXVII”. In comparison to “Railhouse Rock”, what is the music style of “XXVII”?
Yes! So XXVII (27) is a remix EP featuring 4 remixes, all from members of the 27 club! It features a bass remix of The Doors’ Riders On The Storm, a house remix Sympathy For The Devil from The Rolling Stones, a bass remix of Jimi Hendrix’s Voodoo Child, and another house remix of Nirvana’s Lithium! I actually had the Hendrix and Doors one finished and planned on making an EP with a title relating to rock or the 60’s when my girlfriend gave me the idea of calling it 27 instead.
The 27 club features many famous musicians who passed at the young age of 27 and left behind a huge legacy. With the Stones (Brian Jones) and Nirvana (Kurt Cobain) tracks, due to the original BPM’s of the songs, I decided to try something new by making my first ever house songs. I am super excited to get them out! While bass music will always be my first love, I’m always open to trying out all sorts of genres and look forward to producing more house music in the future!
Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, there have been many virtual music festivals sprouting up. One of them being the Save The Scene Virtual Music Festival, taking place throughout April 3-20. What do you think about performing on Save The Scene?
I’m super excited to perform a set for a great cause! A lot of friends and inspirations are performing on this lineup and I’m stoked to see my name alongside them! David Bayne Trull, who started the event, reached out to me about performing and I immediately was on board! I’ll be running a GoFundMe during my set. All of the proceeds will be donated to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund!
If it wasn’t for the pandemic and the subsequent quarantine, what were your plans for 2020?
Aside from releasing music, I had some great opportunities coming up including opening for 3LAU in The Bahamas, playing my first shows in Georgia and Alabama, as well as opening for artists such as Blunts & Blondes, Subdocta, Bàwldy, Lost Kings, D3V, Christian Martin, and CID at my resident venues in Tallahassee! Although I was bummed about missing out on these opportunities, I am very happy that we are all taking the necessary steps to prevent this virus from spreading any further than it already has, and there will always be more shows! Perspective is everything and I’ve really taken this time to focus on my music. So with that I say, stay inside, stay healthy, and take the time to try something new and challenge yourself!
What is one thing that you would like to do first once the quarantine is lifted?
The first thing I’d like to do once this quarantine is lifted is play a show. I’ve played weekly at both Potbelly’s Beer Garden and TENN Nightclub now for 3 years and not doing so has made me antsy lol. While I’ve truly been enjoying all of this time to make more music, I really miss playing my music out for people and I miss my Tallahassee family.