Content featuring Eva: How To Find The Right Musicians | Artistry & Vision with Eva
“We’re better together like clouds and stormy weather.” – Eva Mikhailovna
The Vagabond Tales is a multi-instrumental music project centered around the songwriting of Russian born Eva Mikhailovna. The songs combine western, old folk, and ragtime into a musical melting pot, creating an alluring sound that transcends time and continents. Building its sound from the foundations of old time music and melancholy storytelling, it bends the laws of traditional songwriting to become a sound all its own. Since the start of the project in 2011, Mikhailovna has self-released a full-length album entitled “Letters From the Moon” and the EP “La Douleur Exquise”. Her new album “Uncharted Ocean” on Brooklyn’s Mother West label is available everywhere. To get in touch with Eva, feel free to send her a message.
Eva, thank you for joining us today at VQS. Take us back in time to how you first fell in love with music.
I started writing music at a very young age. I remember loving movie soundtracks, figuring out how to play them on our living room’s out-of-tune piano. I always imagined strings paired with sad, distant melodies when I hit the notes on that piano. I started writing poetry in my teens. During a trip to Russia, I found a beat up guitar in the closet of my grandparents’ apartment that I learned to play on. I will always remember that guitar. When I returned to California, my poetry and guitar playing came together and I began writing folk-style songs with lyrics. Later in college I started “Eva and the Vagabond Tales” when a friend asked me to play my songs for an Earth Day event. From that day on, I’ve been writing and performing my music regularly all over the west coast.
What core values do you believe are necessary for success?
Honesty, ambition and contentment. I think as long as these three work in harmony together, a person can be successful. When you’re honest with yourself and your abilities, you can visualize areas in which you need to improve and grow. Then, ambition will help you achieve all of your goals and create new ones. It will also help you be creative and industrious. Finally, using honesty again, you can look at everything you’ve achieved so far, see your real value, and be content with your success, because at that point it will be YOUR success, without comparison to anyone else’s
Who have been some of your favorite people/projects to work with?
I really enjoyed singing and playing some instruments on one of the Lonesome Wyatt and the Holy Spooks albums. He was one of my favorite artists, so it gave me a lot of confidence just to be able to work with him, and I learned a lot about how to find my role in another person’s piece of work. I also really enjoyed working with producer Charles Newman on my album Uncharted Ocean. The way that he rearranged some of my songs really opened my eyes to the new directions my music could lean into. I also recently loved working with Dynaudio Unheard, which is a traveling studio built in a shipping container. My band and I got a chance to record a live performance in it at the 2019 NAMM show, as well as a full production of one of our songs in Joshua Tree National Park.
What future opportunities would you like to be involved with?
I would love to do more collaborations and co-writes with more experienced song writers to learn from them. I would also like to tour opening up for artists that I really like, and I would like to get a song of mine placed in some kind of film. Recently one of my very vivid dreams is to be able to sing in a Post Modern Jukebox video!
Currently, “The Vagabonds” (as Eva refers to her musicians) accompanying her live are long time members Jake Pflum (percussion), Alan Arteaga (banjo, electric guitar, ukulele), and Jasmine Capitulo (accordion). As the music continues to extend its fan base across the US and with the release of Uncharted Ocean last spring, the band will continue touring, and performing around the west coast with plans to head east in the summer and fall. They are currently doing a residency at Disney in Anaheim, CA where they can be caught playing their songs as well as some special takes on some Disney classics.