Eva Avila
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Eva Avila


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The best kept secret in music


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Eva Avila "Somewhere Else"


Feeling a bit camera shy


When shoppers in Ottawa’s bustling Byward Market stopped to watch a toddler struggling to sing along with her street-musician father on a sunny summer afternoon in 1990, they couldn’t have realized the tiny back-up singer was destined for stardom. This outdoor performance by the then three-year-old Eva Avila was her public debut and, as she laughingly recalls, any money made that day by the pair of buskers was certainly earned by her father.

“I remember the first song I performed with him was a Portuguese song called ‘La Lambada’,” she laughs. “I didn’t understand what I was singing at all. Actually, to be perfectly honest with you, I think I was just making up words most of the time. I’m not sure I was even in tune!”

That unpolished debut in the Market is at complete odds with the composed, dynamic vocalist Canadian audiences came to embrace during the 2006 Canadian Idol competition. As Eva battled her way to the Idol crown, she displayed a series of daring performances that showcased not only her incredible vocal range but also her ability to utterly take over a stage.

19 year-old Eva Avila was raised in Gatineau, Quebec by her Quebecois mother and Peruvian father. As a child, her father had a recording studio in the basement of the home and it wasn’t long before Eva was knocking on the door to put her voice on tape for the first time. “He was down there all the time rehearsing songs,” she remembers. “It was mostly Spanish music – Cha Cha Cha, Cumbia, Meringue and Salsa. I would always try to get in and grab the mic to sing along with him.”

By the time she was seven, she had progressed to recording covers of pop and show tunes in the basement studio.

“That was the year I did my first full songs,” Eva reveals. “I did a full version of the title song from The Phantom of the Opera and I also did Ace of Base’s “Don’t Turn Around.” I don’t know where those tapes are any more – I think I may have given them to my mom for Christmas that year!”

Eva continued to hone her stage skills as she entered her teens by performing at countless community events including high-school assemblies, Latin festivals and regional TV shows. At 16, she decided to enter her first high-profile singing competition and ended up taking the title in the prestigious, province-wide Jeune Diva du Quebec.
Despite all of her local success, Eva was surprisingly hesitant to enter when the Canadian Idol auditions rolled into Ottawa in the summer of 2006. “All of my friends and family were pushing me to audition but I was very uncertain about it,” she divulges. “I had worked for so long on my career that I wasn’t sure that going for the ‘instant stardom’ was what I should do.”

“But, the morning of the Ottawa audition I had this massive gut feeling that I had to go in. Once I involved myself in the Canadian Idol process I learned so much about the art and the business of music, and realized what a great platform it was for me to accomplish exactly what I had always hoped for as a singer.”
During the course of the Canadian Idol competition, Eva had a chance to interact with many elite members of the record industry. Some of those individuals contributed to Eva’s debut album Somewhere Else including Chantal Kreviazuk and Cyndi Lauper.

Chantal penned Eva's driving first single, "Meant to Fly," which quickly reached #1 on the single sales charts after being released following Eva's Idol triumph. The song was a perfect match for Eva’s soaring vocals and the words of the song resonated perfectly with her Idol experience. “I was so impressed right away with how catchy the song is,” she explains. “I saw such a massive potential if I could make it my own. I still feel great every time I hear that song.”

Cyndi Lauper took a hands on approach to working in the studio with Eva on the cut “This Kind Of Love” – which Lauper both wrote and produced. “She is so wild, I love her!” Eva enthuses. “She taught me so many things - from vocal exercises to stretching and warm-ups. She (literally) pushed things out of me that I didn’t even know I had.”

Somewhere Else fuses all of the influences that make up Eva – mashing pop, R&B, Latin and dusty Motown-era soul elements. The album was produced by Rob Wells (Backstreet Boys, Nick Lachey, Matt Dusk).
The official first single from the album is the Latin-influenced bumper “I Owe It All To You,” which Eva describes as being one of her personal favourites. “I am very sentimental about that track. It is the type of song that clicks with everyone. We’ve all had those moments when we feel so grateful to someone for what they have done for us and feel the need to reach out to give them thanks.”

Eva feels like the album is a fitting introduction to her as an artist. “I hope it will give people a clearer idea of what I am and feel and a sense of where I'm going as an artist,” she explains. “I think this album shows off of all the different sides of my personality.”

“I hope people will be able t