Evita Manji

Phoenix Central Park in Sydney, AU

Grief, the Human Condition and Live Performance

Greek musician and vocalist Evita Manji is part of a new wave of underground club music producers that began her career in Athens and since then has performed in multiple countries across Europe. Her music is a mixture of contemporary club music, baroque pop, and experimental sound design which she uses to explore themes of death, grief, climate change and the human condition. 

Manji launched her platform myxoxym in 2021 and has collaborated with multiple artists, across various medias. One of her most recent collaborations with the artist duo dmstfctn was at HQI in London at the Serpentine Gallery, where she performed a live soundtrack for a interactive audiovisual performance titled, Waluigis Purgatory which follows an AI sent to purgatory. NR joins Manji in conversation about her practice and recent performances. 

Phoenix Central Park in Sydney, AU

You mentioned that your process has involved you locking yourself in your apartment for long periods of time to work on your music. What does the day-to-day process of this look like?

It includes the necessary human functions, eating and such. Also a lot of silence and thinking. The thinking gets out of hand at some point and that’s when the music-making begins. Small breaks here and there for cuddles with Heidi (my cat), a cigarette and herbal tea refills until I get sleepy and crawl back to bed.

Phoenix Central Park in Sydney, AU

You stated that your experiences with loss and grief have influenced your creative process, is that still the case and do you draw on any other emotions and experiences to create your work?

It still is the case. However, if you imagine grief as a city, I was only hanging around the center when I was making Spandrel?. I’m more into exploring the suburbs and the countryside these days. Travelling to other cities too but always staying within the country of uncomfortable emotions.

You were part of a church choir for many years, has this had any influence on your music and if so how?

It has influenced the way I understand and create music a lot, especially when it comes to singing. But in the way I compose my melodies too, though the effect is more abstract in this case. It’s not always there but it’s like a solid part of my identity I can return to when I’m not sure which way to go.

Phoenix Central Park in Sydney, AU

Considering your father’s involvement in music production and songwriting, do you believe this has provided you with certain advantages or unique opportunities in pursuing your music career?

Being surrounded by music and encouraged to pursue it from a young age is definitely an advantage I wouldn’t have if it wasn’t for my dad but if we’re talking about actual career opportunities then no, it hasn’t played a role.

Your live improv style debuted at the Aurora Live Ambient Show, in September 2023, in Berlin. How did you feel before the performance, and did the experience meet your expectations? Did the spontaneity of the improv provide a sense of freedom, and is it something you would like to explore further in your music career?

I was excited but very stressed and seriously lacking sleep. It was such a last-minute request, I sketched out the live set on the plane on my way to the show, I was still editing 10 minutes before performing. I did enjoy the performance very much though, it was very special, I felt fully immersed in the music and sort of lost touch with reality.

Aurora Live Edition in Berlin

You recently performed at Londons Cafe OTO with artist Sarahsson. What were your hopes and expectations for this performance, and do you think you achieved them in the show? 

I was initially planning to present an elaborate version of my Aurora set but my hopes and expectations changed pretty much 2 days before the show when I decided to create a whole new live set. I wanted to play something not entirely related to Spandrel? , so I put together a bunch of music I made in the last few months and a couple of new versions of songs from Spandrel?. I was just hoping I will have it ready on time and I did manage to.

What advice do you have for young creatives looking to work in the music industry?

“To walk backwards and enter the circle looking outwards.”

Interview · Nicola Barrett
Photography · Clément Beaugé and Ruby Boland
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