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Artist Spotlight - Evan Petruzzi

(Photo Credit: Evan Petruzzi)

We had the opportunity to interview New York based singer/songwriter Evan Petruzzi for an Artist Spotlight! We're excited because her fantastic music video for her single "Warrior" drops TOMORROW (Friday, May 31, 2019)! Her lyrics give a powerful message to survivors as does the video for the single. Check out our interview with Evan below!

1. How did you come to pursue music and how long have you been at it?

"So, I was pretty much born into music. My dad is a professional trumpet player with his own big band and my mom is a singer. I’ve been playing my whole life but started singing and writing when I was around 11 years old."

2. Could you walk us through your process of writing music?

"For sure! My process is such a mess, haha. Honestly, there’s no set way of writing music that I follow. There are times I’ll have a melody or guitar lick in mind and then other times I’ll have a word, phrase, or even emotion that pops into my head. Whatever comes first, I just let it guide me and sometimes what I set out to write turns into a whole new story I’m telling. Writing has been a constant for me and it’s something I do everyday at anytime…seriously. When the insomnia sets in because there’s something niggling in my brain, I have to get it out by writing or singing into my phone even if it’s 4am."

3. What artists have inspired you in your career?

"There are so many artists that inspire me for so many different reasons. My top two have and will always be Foy Vance and Lily Kershaw. Their writing never fails to put me into a state of awe. I have such a big spot in my heart for Amy Winehouse and Fleetwood Mac. They’re on so many of my playlists. One of my all time favorite bands who inspire me through their writing, musicianship, and raw talent is Milo Greene. I can put any of their albums on repeat for days without getting bored. If I had the opportunity to write with Robbie, Graham, and Marlana, it’d be the absolute dream…I’m going to stop here before I write a novel, but believe me, I can go on, haha."

4. Do you have any favorite music gear (guitars, amps, effects pedals, keyboards, etc.) that you love to use? If so, what’s the story on them?

"I’m always down to try new gear whether that be new guitars or plug-ins or mics, etc. But, my favorite piece of gear that I use is my Acoustic PRS SE Angelus. I was in the market for a guitar years ago, and I was the kind of person who changed and traded in guitars all the time. I noticed the classic PRS neck with the bird inlays and thought, “hmm, PRS makes acoustics?” So, I took it down and played around with it and fell in love. PRS never fails to make great products so this is no surprise, but this guitar is a chameleon. It can morph its sound to suit any genre you are playing and the way it comes through on a recording is unreal. Remember me saying I always swapped my guitars out? Well, I’ve had this for 6 years now and have yet to look into a new one."

5. Can you describe the vibe at your live shows? Also, what do you enjoy most about a venue when you do a show?

"The vibe at my shows is always just fun and sometimes goofy. In between songs I’ll chat with the audience while we tune or while someone switches instruments and because I’m such a dork, I make dad jokes and puns as much as I can because they’re my favorite. The audience always laughs but I’m pretty sure they’re really just getting a kick out of how much I crack myself up. Honestly, the people in my band are so fun and we all just have a blast. We all dig the music and we all respect each other’s talents so I think when the audience sees that and feels the energy we feel on stage, it makes for a better, more connected show."

"While I love playing in bigger venues and just rocking out with my band, I can’t deny my attraction for more intimate shows. I played at the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville once, just my guitar and me, and it was unlike any show I’ve ever played. I think that’s also why I’m such a huge fan of playing at Rockwood Music Hall in Manhattan. It’s a smaller, more intimate venue, but it’s well known so true music lovers come down to hear whomever is playing that night. My band and I get on stage and it feels like home."

6. What is one thing that you want the public to know about your music?

"My music is, and always will be, an extension of myself. I love writing about real world issues and experiences whether they be mine or a friend’s. One of the more recent songs I wrote is about addiction and overcoming it. The song that I just released, Warrior, is about women empowerment and ending the silence. But the thing I enjoy doing when I write, is allowing the meaning of the song to be a little more subtle. Each listener has their own perspective, therefore they’ll understand a song in a different light. I’m always fascinated when I talk to someone who listened to one of my songs and hear their answer on what they believe it to be about."

7. Tell us about your new single “Warrior”, the music video you’ve created for it, and the significance of this song.

"My single that just came out, “Warrior,” is pure empowerment for women. It is about rising up out of the ashes and refusing to be victimized. With movements like #MeToo and Time’s Up, “Warrior” is a movement of its own, encouraging women not to cower when looking down the “barrel of a gun.” It urges women to speak up, stand up, and to become warriors themselves while owning their past, embracing the present, and having the strength to create their future. From the moment I wrote this song, I wanted this to come through visually when we made the video. I worked with director, Tom Flynn, who worked with me on my past two videos, and told him about the song and what I wanted to convey. He was just as passionate about it as I was and we set out to make the best video we possibly could. When a person is assaulted, they’re immediately deemed the “victim.” This isn’t necessarily wrong, but the word “victim” has such a negative connotation to it. I want to change the narrative and in this video I think we accomplish that. It touches on the assault and the aftermath, but the most important part is showing anyone who is watching that the “victim” takes back the power their attacker held over them and allows that power to fuel them into becoming a warrior who can defend themselves. The video will be released on Friday, May 31st, and you’ll see as the victim soon comes the survivor."

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