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A conversation with HappyHappy: a DIY musician you should listen to

HappyHappy (she/they), also known as Eve, is an Indiana-based musician who has released eight full-length albums in the last six years and has 5600 monthly listeners on Spotify. She describes herself as “folk punk adjacent,” but notes that none of her recent albums really fall into the same genre. They vary based on what she is listening to, which can be anything from hyper pop to ska to electronic music. Eve describes her songs as “emotionally vulnerable,” with lyrics discussing meaningful things that happened in her life, from people she feuded with in college to her stay at a psych ward.

Eve’s music is completely DIY, meaning she does all of her own music production. “My family got a Mac when I was really young and there was GarageBand on it, and I wasn’t allowed to play video games or anything like that, so I would play with the GarageBand, and got into music production and never really stopped doing it. And I ended up majoring in sound design.” Since her music rarely comes from a positive headspace, Eve said everything after writing and recording is the most fun. She plays a wide range of instruments, but guitar and vocals are featured most prominently in her songs. 

After releasing two albums in the last year, HappyHappy’s music production has slowed. “I’ve started to realize … it’s like a weird hyperfixation that I leave and then come back to, where like I’ll leave it alone for a while and then all of a sudden I have one song idea, and then I’ll bust out like twelve songs in a month, and then I’m like alright I’m done for the year … I’ll write a whole album in winter and then I’ll release it in spring, so I’m kinda waiting for that to happen.” Music also is not Eve’s primary job, nor does she plan on ever becoming a full-time touring musician. She noted she is not the biggest fan of concerts in general and feels that doing it professionally would be too much stress: “I’ve been on tour a little bit and it just wore me down. Like, it took me a year to recover from it.”

Eve may not have the biggest following, but she still is not sure how people find her in the first place. “I have no idea [how people find my music], I have no idea where they came from or how they find it.” When I asked her how she would react if she went viral, HappyHappy told me, “I would think it was really cool. I would be really excited, that would be really funny. Just cause like people don’t really expect anything from you when a song goes viral, like I feel like I have all the material there to let a song go viral and just kinda let it sit, where people can be like ‘oh wow there’s other songs there too’ and like I wouldn’t really have to do much with it.” Still, as her music stands now, she said, “It’s bigger than I want it to be… it’s weird. I think everyone can kinda tell, I mean I’m never really on social media, I never play shows really.” She likes when fans reach out to her and always appreciates questions about her lyrics, but for the most part, Eve is the most comfortable in the shadows. 

I feel extremely lucky that I got to talk to Eve as she is one of my favorite musicians and has been for the last two years. I found her through “Overreaction” and “Father” being recommended to me on Spotify. While it is hard to pinpoint what exactly makes any musician good or worth listening to, there’s something about Eve’s lyrics that sticks with me. The way she talks about her mental health, or addiction, or experiencing toxic relationships feels so honest and blunt. Her music is relatable and emotional even if you have never been in her situation. Her switching of genres and aesthetics from album to album also serves to make her music more compelling. Songs do not blur together or become repetitive, they all tell their own individual stories. The fact that Eve’s monthly listeners keep growing based on nothing but her music should speak for itself. Her music is unique, entertaining, sad, angry and beautiful and more people should give it a try. 

Eve’s personal recommendations for people just discovering her music are “Once a Loser Always a Loser” and “A Few Thoughts Moments Before I Fender Bender.” While she is not currently writing new music nor does she have any planned tour dates, a new album or a short tour seem likely sometime next year.

 

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