Woman Crush Wednesday: Livia Gazzolo

Always dressing fashionably quaint, in the middle of a crowd she appears as art, observing with wide eyes and a shy smile. She is not making any kind of fashion statement however, Livia Gazzolo patiently waits her position on stage and behind the mic. As violin and piano by her supporting artists fill the air she walks up to her personalized microphone. A vintage styled mic similar to that of Elvis Presleys studio mic, comparable to a Shure Deluxe. As soon as she starts singing softly, through a soft smile, to a classical jazzy style tune, her appearance and flow makes sense; perhaps she is an old soul unfiltered?

A woman of many talents and ambitions she is one of many to take note of in Chicago’s growing local music industry. Primarily a vocalist she uses that talent exotically and seemingly effortlessly, welcoming ears to a fresh novel sound. Stationed in Chicago’s Wicker Park area, popular for its vibrant local music and busy nightlife, Livia found the perfect spot to grow her talents and expand her influence. Working two events a month, one self produced and coordinating with her band mates, Stefen Hess, Mr. Eugene, Will McGing and Jake Gordon, she is definitely making her mark known; supporting the local industry as a rising artist herself.

Photo By Scott Anderson: IG @ScottyRocks

Not just any new up and comer, Livia is a seasoned vocalist putting in hours, dedication, education and practice into her craft. You cannot just wake up and possess her experience and knowledge simply put! Making it a serious commitment by the age of 15, Livia has studied and performed with David Lahm, a pianist from New york, since then. Now she is currently finishing her Bachelors in Professional Music, taking her talent and knowledge to a whole different level.

Adding some mystique to her image you can really only hear Livia’s music through live performances at one of her events or other shows. She produces her own in Wicker Park’s Flat Iron Arts Building called the Mouse House “When The Cats Away”. Appropriate to her chique, it is a cabaret styled variety show featuring local artists from Chicago and other artists she has connected with. She hosts, coordinates and performs at the Mouse House monthly, every 2nd Saturday from 8p to 10pm. It is the best way to catch her in action doing her thing!

You can also catch her performing at the Atwood Cafe with her band. This event is on the 3rd Saturday every month. She will be booked for random other events like her special featured performance for Empower Herstory at HVAC Pub in Wrigleyville. The more ears get on this unique spectacle and the more artists Livia connects with through supporting local on her own shows and others, you can bet there will be more opportunities to see her live looking ahead. Maybe you will catch her at your local cabaret music parlor, give her a follow on her social media links below.

Photo by Scott Anderson: IG @ScottyRocks

Livia Gazzolo | Facebook | Instagram

Ever Evolved | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Talkin So Deep With Mohawk Johnson

Connecting with Mohawk Johnson we got to talking about his music and his mission for a brief period of time. Getting into some history and details into his music intent and thought process. Painting a picture of human being going through his woes within his skin and his culture. Alleviating the pressure by fighting for noble causes and ideas through his music and empathetically connecting with listeners in mutual situations.

Within a short period of time from his starting point Mohawk gathered a collection of songs aimed to disseminate social and political constructs and to place awareness on ones mental state. Armed with an EP and music videos he does it again with the release of So Deep. With his words he mocks the typical hotep, breaking down and patronizing their behavior. Over a jazzy and vibrant hip hop beat produced by Shhh, Mohawk’s turns his heckling into a catchy, raw song calling out contradictory artists in his culture.

In our interview Mohawk Johnson breaks it down in a bit more detail with what he means with this song. We also go over his start in music and what motivated him into the industry and how that quickly grew into something different. You will get the idea that he is more ordinary than most artists claim to be, and he speaks it how it is. Connecting effortlessly with and giving voice to the unconnected and the voiceless. Whether it be through his music or social media Johnson fights for his mind and fights for better social conditions with his level and style of awareness.

When did you start rapping/handling the mic?

February 2018

Do you write and/or freestyle?

I write. I can’t freestyle for shit.

What got you to start releasing music?

I wanted my ex girlfriend to notice me and take me back. It didn’t work.

But you have new songs coming in. Did you figure forget it keep goin, did the music grow on you? What were you thinking then?

After I dropped the first EP some people I knew came out and talked to me about being suicidal and that my music inspired them to get help. So I kept making music. There have been people who didn’t care what I had to say but when I say it in songs they hear me. I have a lot to say and music seems to be the only thing that allows people to hear me.

Your profile on bandcamp says you are black and traumatized and you want to put that on display to help other similar people. Would you say your new inspiration is mental health advocacy through your music?

That and other things

Other things like?

Ending racism, tackling poverty, fighting homophobia, etc…

Your newest release so deep takes on a different persona than your other earlier darker tracks.Any particular inspiration or what are u goin for?

I am critiquing hoteps who pretend to be problack but then engage in respectability politics.

Hoteps are?

Black men who pretend to be pro black but engage in respectability politics, homophobia, sexism, able-ism, etc… They don’t want freedom from white supremacy. They want the power to oppress black women.

Do you see alot of this in todays hip hop scene?

Yeah, it’s everywhere. Anytime someone critiques racism and then turns around and calls women hoes for having the same sex we been having

How would you say your music is helping combat this?

I attack it directly through satire. I embody the style like I did in so deep but then I rip their ideology apart.

Can we expect a more socially and politically motivated project similar to how your relapse EP is about the mind?

Absolutely.

Alot of your work is produced by Shhh. How’d you two meet?

My roommate is friends with him. They came to my first show. Shhh volunteered to work with me after that.

Can we be expecting more funk and jazz influenced beats like So Deep as well?

Maybe a few, I don’t know how I feel about it. I don’t do the genre justice.

I have to disagree! I really liked the new track and I think you flowed good in that genre with your style.

If you say so.

Tellin’ it how it is man appreciate you sharing the new music.

Mohawk Johnson | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Ever Evolved | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | Instagram

Rich Jones is The Should You Lean On

Radiating a vibe through his music that is so disarming The Should You Lean On is a fitting title for Rich Jones latest project. “No coin to toss won’t chance my love to game“, he repeats in his first track and I know I can trust this man and his playlist, he has been around. Dipping back into a hip hop flow with the next couple of tracks, bouncing between Soul, R&B & Hip Hop these 7 tracks Jones really shows his colors off. A refreshing LP following Light Work EP and Dangerous Rainy Days releases.

Always working with prominent names in the local scene he brings on some really talented individuals once again to help with the project. J. Kelr from Rellek Studio did work on recording and Joel Gutman at Fat Tongue Studios, Kenny Keys doing some production as well. On vocals joins Kiara Lanier and the super duper secret Nnamdi Ogbonnayya. All put in good work on the LP and Rich Jones talks more in-depth in an interview with These Days to really putting it in a broader perspective. Adding the cherry on top Jones puts up a release party at the Sleeping Village, but if you want to catch him before 2018 ends check out his calendar or start replaying his music!

Rich Jones | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Ever Evolved | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | Instagram

Sylvies Graceful Timelessness

Its always good to hear new music from Sylvie Grace. Although she has been sitting on this particular piece of work her music sounds timeless. Produced by Letsuo, the beat is smooth as Sylvie’s vocals dances across the melody. She uploads Pumpkins following Lately and collaborations like You Aint Shit (Shine On) with Kweku Collins. You can catch this Chi-town singer songwriter and cello artist performing downtown Michigan Ave or apart of shows if you are lucky; appropriately at Untitled recently where Soul, Classical, Jazz and Swing fill the atmosphere. Follow us as we await more new music and ways to use her name with wordplay!

Sylvie Grace | Soundcloud | Facebook Twitter | Instagram

Ever Evolved | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | Instagram

Late Night Radio Gets Manic

Alex Medellin of Late Night Radio from Denver makes funky instrumentals crossing electro and soul genres. Reflective Tangents is his most recent jazz filled project. The 8 track playlist includes features by Kevin Donohue, Clark Smith, Def3, Boraham Lee, and WildaBeats. Most notable our hometown electro soul igniter Manic Focus hits us with that collab amongst the project along with Donohue on All My Troubles. Adding some additional electronic bass influence to the LP, it is balanced well amongst the intro tracks leading to NoGrave with guitar licks and groovy basslines. Listen to the full playlist on Late Night Radio’s soundcloud.

Late Night Radio | Soundcloud | Manic Focus | Soundcloud

Ever Evolved | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | Instagram

Lili K Makes Magic

Adding some soul to Chicago with a strong voice. When Lili K sings she makes you feel nostalgic for an era you never lived in. Classic style with a city attitude this girl should fill opera houses music theaters someday soon. Recently adding new song to her playlist laced with a music video that is filled with nothing but soul and colorful imager. Lili K’s band doing a flawless job on brass, synth keys, drums and the guitar and bass. They add a wonderful diversity to our city’s spectrum of genres, keeping Jazz alive in these streets.



Lili K | Soundcloud | Twitter

Ever Evolved | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | Instagram

Brittany Nacole Is A Down To Earf Gurl

Anticipating her album release of Earf Gurl this upcoming 6th of September, Brittany Nacole drops bits and pieces of her project to satisfy ears. Nearly Twenty thousand heads to tune into her album titled track released about 4 months ago. In Earf Gurl Brittany is expressing her grace and piece of mind. Being a down to earth girl, living in the moment with carefree attitude. With soulful lyrics and the beat by DJ Earn Money the track sets the tone for the rest of the pending album.

Continuing with that, Saturdaze is a another good vibe track written and performed by Brittany Nacole herself. A talent not expressed by much mainstream artists so the authenticity is refreshing. It makes an artist more relatable to young girls especially in her more recent track Her. Not to exact on if that song will be on the new album but it does follow the flower and nature theme on the cover art. Saturdaze however is the 2nd preview for the upcoming project and is such a catchy beat that, over ambient synths and drumming, Brittany’s vocals and lyrics can leave you in a trance. Catch the rhythm and feel those good vibes.


Brittany Nacole | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Ever Evolved | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | Instagram

THROWBACK THURSDAY: A TRIBE CALLED QUEST

tribe called quest 4

Four Guys (Left to Right) Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Q-Tip, Phife Dawg and Jarobi wore hip Afrocentric clothes and rhymed to jazz infused beats, formed a phenomenal hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest in 1985. QUEST was the original name of the group but was later given the prefix A Tribe Called by their high school friends.

ATCQ formed a crew with House music group Jungle Brothers and hip-hop group De La Soul, called The Native Tongues. Because of their live energy during performances, they created a buzz in the city of Brooklyn, New York which led them to get signed with Jive Records in 1989. This began the journey of a rap group prodigy for the 1990’s decade.

A Tribe Called Quest made it popular to talk about social issues that could be related to young African Americans such as sex, politics, relationships, stealing your parents car to joy ride and also the use of the N word. while still having fun encouraging positivity through it all. Unlike other hip-hop groups at the time ATCQ was in their own lane. They greeted jazz with bass-heavy rhythmic vibes and eclectic sampling. They have several memorable songs including Bonita Applebum, Can I Kick It and (above) I Left my Wallet in El Segundo. When you listen to ATCQ music what message do you get from the song? How does the beat make you feel?

At this current time, A Tribe Called Quest is still performing at some events, making appearances with their old school friend’s on stage (Busta Rhymes, De La Soul) and new school artist as well. On November 13, 2015 they released a special 25th anniversary edition collection of the group’s classic debut album People’s Instinctive Travels And The Paths of Rhythm.

The album is a cool artsy looking trunk filled with remastered original tapes re-released with exclusive new remixes by a few of today’s biggest hip-hop artists who have credited A Tribe Called Quest as a major creative influence. Unfortunately it has sold out everywhere at this point so you may have to borrow a friends. Until then they are on social media so follow them below. It’s the Tribe Yall! Real Live Yall!

Follow A Tribe Called Quest @ Website, FacebookInstagramTwitterYouTube

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Brasstracks Work On Their EP and Others

This Brooklyn based duo, if you are unfamiliar with them, are live performing artists specializing in brass and percussive instruments; or horns and drums and stuff as they like to loosely put it on their soundcloud. Premiering on Pigeons and Planes, Brasstracks unleashes the first of many track to their upcoming EP. Production on See U Won’t is wonderful as well with groovy synth and bass drives accompanied with  trumpet horns and lively drums. A soulful balance and arrangement of live and synthetic sounds.

Aside from working on their own EP, Basstracks has had a hand in crafting music on artists in their local and international circles! Most recently working on Nobody Else featuring Niya Wells, with Jarreau Vandal of Netherlandsthe track will be included on Jarreau’s EP coming out early 2016. The duo will also be given credit to on fellow New Yorker Natalie Cressmans EP Traces, also being released early 2016. Natalie premiered the title track on the NEST HQ platform alongside Ivan Jackson of Brasstracks and JNTHN STEIN, another producer from the big apple, to preview the EP


Brasstracks | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Natalie Cressman | Soundcloud | JNTHN STEIN | Soundcloud
Jarreau Vandal | Soundcloud | Niya Wells | Soundcloud

Ever Evolved | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | Instagram

Manic Focus & Break Science – Funky Style Ft. Lettuce

Originally from the Twin Cities but is currently reppin the set in Chi town, we know him as homies. Manic Focus, the young producer known for his dope live music sets and funky beats released yet another one. This time hooking up with Brooklyn’s finest Break Science and Lettuce on Funky Style to make a song that is just that. There is no time you cannot vibe with this. Its undisputed, it is rhythmically smooth and beautiful. Try not to move to this, its pretty hard.

Follow Manic Focus | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram |

Break Science | Soundcloud | Lettuce | Soundcloud |

Ever Evolved | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | Instagram |