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December 2018 - Evix

Evix Sheds the Electronica Light on Michigan Music

Story by LCC Radio Michigan Music Programmer Matthew Zak

Kevin Learst a.k.a. EVIXWhen it comes to EDM, Michigan is typically not the place you think of. With industry leaders including Calvin Harris, Diplo, Zedd, Martin Garrix, Marshmello, and Odesza hailing mostly from the west coast and Europe, trying to make a name for yourself in a state mostly known for Motown and rock can be difficult. However, that hasn’t stopped Howell, Michigan native Kevin Learst, known by his stage name Evix, from trying.

Growing up in Howell, Kevin first started listening to EDM music in middle school. After falling in love with the genre, Kevin started his music career by messing around with beats and making songs. Inspired by artist like Porter Robinson, Kevin says he’s always “loved musicians that can really capture the artistry of music and do it for all the right reasons”.

Even though Kevin has started to make a name for himself, he says the music industry can be a harsh reality, “Too many people look at an artist’s numbers rather than their actual work. It’s a shame that the music someone makes, even if it’s quality work, isn’t enough sometimes”. Still, Kevin continues to make new music and remains optimistic. This optimism has led him to some amazing opportunities, including performing next to huge names in the industry such as Marshmello, Diplo, and Michigan native group Griz at the Spring Awakening Music Festival 2017 in Chicago. Kevin has also recently, had the chance to perform with DJ Pauly D at the Intersection in Grand Rapids and Krewella at the Royal Oak Music Theater, which Kevin says is a “show I’ll never forget”.

As for his creative process, Kevin says he constantly looking at moments in life and imagining songs that fit the moment, “I try to create a moment in my head and make a soundtrack for it. I think that’s something that’s really important, if you give your song a story and can convey that, it’s a really powerful Evix at Spring Awakening Concertthing”. In fact, the creative process is Kevin’s favorite part of being a musician, “there’s nothing more gratifying than being able to put your thoughts into a song and create something that has never been made in the history of the universe. It’s kind of deep but it’s a really unique thing if you think about”.

The best advice Kevin has ever received is to stop comparing himself to others. Struggling with that early on, Kevin has learned that “comparison is a useful tool at times, but it’s an easy way to get down on yourself when you’re constantly comparing your work to someone else’s”. Sticking to that advice has paid off. Kevin continues to produce music and partner with other emerging artists like Jake Herring, Duelle, and Hvnnibvl. As for advice Kevin would give to other up and coming artists “keep working, it’s an industry that, while it has its upsides, can be very daunting and stressful. You won’t get a lot of help on things, but if you stick to it and just work to be the best musician you can, it will pay off”.

With regards to the future, Kevin plans to take a break for the rest of 2018. He says he has some major plans for 2019. Although he can’t reveal too much at the moment, he says he has a lot of music already prepared and ready to release. According to Kevin, he’s learned a lot over the last year and it’s time for an artist rebrand. Even though he plans to retire the name Evix in the New Year, that doesn’t mean his musical career will be over. Evix was the starting point for Kevin and after learning so much in the past year, a New Year calls for a fresh start.

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