This year has been a killer one for Canadian born, New York based DJ Eva Shaw. Shaw has long been known as one of the harder working DJs in the New York club circuit, performing regularly in the city’s top venues. Late last year, her first release, "Charizma", was put out on Calvin Harris’ label Fly Eye and a collab with Hard Rock Sofa followed shortly on Spinnin Records. Since then, Shaw has been touring non stop, working on new beats, and heating up a residency at Hakkasan in Las Vegas.
We caught Shaw spin a brutal set at Marquee in NYC last Saturday night. Openers Nick and Andres kickstarted the evening with muted, trance-y vibes at the club’s open which morphed into fiery, relentless dance beats as the dance floor grew increasingly packed. By the time Shaw took the stage midway through the 1 AM hour, the crowd was ready to dance the night away. While the booth was plagued by some persistent technical issues throughout her set, Shaw was not to be deterred. As sound techs ducked in and out of the booth, checking cables, the DJ worked double time to compensate, re-mixing songs on the spot to compensate for a choppy output. The end result was actually more impressive as an unfazed Shaw continued spinning her signature blend of hard, dance floor dominating bangers and eclectic samples to keep the crowd moving. Highlights of the night included Shaw’s take on "Turn Down For What", "Latch", Empire of the Sun’s “Alive,” and even a little taste of “Maps” by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
Shaw’s vitality and passion for her craft was clear as she smiled, danced, and sang along with a packed club—even graciously posing for a few photos with clubgoer and fan Ryan Sheckler in the booth. The DJ spun well into the early morning hours and turned a potential disaster into an unforgettable Saturday night. Shaw’s background as a working club DJ was evident in her ability to assess the moods of the crowd and sustain their attention with an energetic stage presence.
We caught up with the enigmatic tour de force following her set to discuss her upcoming projects, her background in the NYC club scene, and collaborating with other DJs.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: You're going to be playing a a HUGE event at Hakkasan Las Vegas on New Years Eve with Calvin Harris and Burns (where bottle service is reportedly going to cost $500,000!). Can you tell me a little bit about how that feels?
NYE is always a great time to play and especially in Vegas where everything is over the top. I've had some pretty epic New Years shows and I'm sure this one will be great. I'm on after Calvin Harris so I'm guessing it's going to be another late night!
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Can you talk a little bit about your experience as a working DJ for so long without management? How do you feel like that benefitted you? What were some of the most challenging and rewarding parts of that experience?
I'm still getting used to the idea of having a whole team since it's so new for me. I'm always very hands on with every part of my career but it's nice to have people working on specific aspects so I can concentrate more on the music. I feel like I've learned a lot about the industry in the past couple of years but it's nice to have people who have been through the building process before to guide me. I've always had amazing friends around to help and support me along the way. I have just been myself thus far and have built some great friends in that process. Everything has just been really organic.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: I can't stop listening to Space Jungle (official video below!) and noticed the version that was released was a Showtek edit. How did that collaboration come about? Can you talk about working with other DJs whose work you respect and the process of collaboration in general?
That's so great to hear! I made "Space Jungle" almost a year ago and just had it sitting around. I actually asked Calvin Harris for Showtek's email because I thought maybe they would like to sign it to Skink. It's funny, I still have never met them! We have a show together at Pacha coming up, though. They sent me an email back a couple of weeks after I sent it, saying that they opened Tomorrowworld with it and it went off. They signed it immediately and Hardwell premiered the Original mix on his radio show. We were going to just release that version but the Showtek guys had some ideas. They sent me over a couple of great parts and I immediately thought it was a perfect addition, so I just added that to the project and just went with that version for release. It wasn't really different enough to do a whole separate remix. I really like doing collaborations because sometimes you have an idea or even a complete track but then you bring in another set of ears and they just have a fresh view on it. I think this is also a benefit to having a duo so you can bounce ideas off each other. My usual preference as far as collaborating goes, is doing the song myself and then sending it to someone to put their spin on it. Although with "Get Down" (with Hard Rock Sofa) we had a blast sitting in the studio together. It was definitely more of a collab than "Space Jungle", but both worked out great in the end. The music making process can be so crazy- sometimes you do it alone, sometimes you do it with a bunch of people. What matters most is that the end result is dope!
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: When you are creating music, how much thought and preparation goes into tailoring a track to a live experience? Do you find yourself creating songs with certain venues/experiences in mind?
I absolutely think of the crowd and the performance aspect when making a track. Sometimes a melody or sound can be great in the studio but I'm always asking myself if that will work live. That's one of the reasons I'm really happy I was DJing before producing. I feel like I am always thinking of how it will sound in the club or festival. I know what vibe I want every time I make a track.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Of the shows you’ve played, what are some of your favorites? Which venues, festivals, or locations are you still dying to play?
I really like big spaces. I love playing festivals, like Ultra, which was amazing. I like spots that have real music fans who want to dance and party. That gives me energy and inspiration. I started playing some festivals in Europe and China this year and I'm looking forward to expanding more. There are tons of festivals in North America I haven't done yet as well.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: You've just released your tenth edition of EVAlution radio. Can you walk me through your process for creating each show? How do you choose which songs will be on the show.
I get a bunch of promos every day from labels and also from DJ friends, so I usually go through those and see what I think is cool. I like supporting my friends and I also like showcasing a few different styles of dance music. I do play a lot of heavy stuff because that's sort of my style I guess, but I love a huge range of sub genres. In my DJ sets I sometimes go into some deeper music or hip hop or something completely out there so I try to incorporate that in my radio shows too.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Do you have any exciting projects coming up you can share with us?
Right now finishing off some more original music is my priority. I'm not sure which will come out first but I have a couple of collaborations as well as solos that are almost done. I also have some great residencies again this year, so stayed tuned to my socials for updates!
Catch Eva Shaw perform tonight, December 29th at Pacha in New York City alongside Showtek, and on New Year's Eve at Hakkasan in Las Vegas alongside Calvin Harris and Burns.
AUTHOR CREDIT: ALEXANDRA BLAIR PHOTO CREDIT: JULIAN CASSADY @ MARQUEE NYC