Makin Waves with Evangelia: “In the Digital Age’”

Evangelia will celebrate the release of her next single, “Windowseat,” on Nov. 1 at Bowery Electric in New York City.

  Jersey City-based, Bridgewater-raised pop songstress Evangelia will drop “Windowseat,” her fifth single in less than a year, on October 25 and celebrate its release November 1 at Bowery Electric in New York City with Big Apple singer-songwriters Aaron Taos and Lenii. The track is in collaboration with Sleeping Lion Music, an L.A.-based indie electronic duo.

  The excitement will continue for Evangelia when she performs with her Rutgers pals and fellow Jersey Cityites Cook Thugless Nov. 16 at the Second Annual Makin Waves Hunger Benefit for Food for Thought, a nonprofit that provides free dinners to the hungry and the homeless on Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter at Asbury Park’s Langosta Lounge. That also is where Evangelia and Cook Thugless will share the stage with Black Suburbia Music Group’s Drew the Recluse and Momo Da Gawd?

  The upcoming activity follows the excitement of Evangelia’s previous single, “Hello Again,” a collaboration with another one of her Rutgers pals, Christian Navarro, star of the hit Netflix series “13 Reasons Why.” The tune was inspired by a telephone conversation the friends had about Navarro’s character of Tony, who’s also the protagonist in the song.

  I first wrote about Evangelia above five years ago when she was a member of the great New Brunswick alt-folk act Little Rose, with whose members she remains friends and continues to collaborate. In the following interview, we chat about all those things, plus her rich Greek-Italian heritage and close-knit family, her strong management team, and much more. Apolamváno!

You have done a great job furthering your career releasing videos and singles without even dropping an EP. Comment on how and why that has done well for you, and do you think your audience and audiences in general prefer singles over albums and why?

  I’m still exploring my sound, so it has been nice to find a song that really clicks with me and then release it to the world. In the streaming age, there isn’t as much of an emphasis on a whole project. People like to hear one song. I like to think of it as each single is an installment to my project as a whole.

When will your next single/video drop, what will it be and what other details about it can you share, such as inspiration?

  My next single, “Windowseat,” drops October 25! It is a duet with the L.A.-based duo Sleeping Lion. It started as a song that we wrote together for my project, but then hearing them sing on it made us realize it could be a really cool duet. We revised the lyrics to match that feel.

Do you have plans to release an EP or LP in 2019?

  As of now it’s looking like I’ll be regularly dropping singles! I can tell you that each one is unique and holds a special place in my heart!

While at Rutgers, you helped form the great alt-folk act Little Rose. Do you keep in touch with those folks and have you worked with them at all on your solo material?

  Yes, we are all still friends and frequently collaborate. Ally, George, and Adam have played in my full band for my solo project, and Shimmy and I have written songs together. Adam also helped me finish writing my latest single, “Hello Again.”

Also, while at Rutgers, you developed a friendship with the members of Cook Thugless, some of whom are based in Jersey City. Did they influence your decision to move there, how do you like having friends like them there, what do you think of that music scene, how do you play a part in it, and has it helped you grow as an artist being in such an artsy city?

  I love Cook Thugless! We are all great friends and support each other in various ways. I love living in Jersey City, although my decision to move there wasn’t because of Cook Thugless. I love how artsy and cultural it is, and I especially love how easy it is to commute into New York City since my music career involves being in NYC almost every day.

Through Rutgers, you also developed a friendship with “13 Reasons Why” star Christian Navarro, who co-wrote your duet together, “Hello Again.” Did you take acting classes with him and the Cook Thugless guys at Mason Gross?

  I never took any classes at Mason Gross. I went to school for political science and education!

What did you like most about working with Christian on “Hello Again,” and how did working with him help you make new fans?

  I loved the idea of writing from the perspective of his character, Tony. Having a concept like that really gets creativity flowing. It was fun writing a song with someone who has never written a song before and guiding the process. Working with him helped generate new fans who love him and the show. They have shown me so much love, and I appreciate it so much.

Evangelia is pictured with Rutgers school mate Christian Navarro, star of the Netflix hit series, “13 Reasons Why.” They collaborated on a song entitled “Hello Again” that they released as a single earlier this year. PHOTO COURTESY OF EVANGELIA

Who is your manager, how did you hook up with them, and how have they impacted your career?

  My manager is Mark Conklin. I met him at an event where he was a guest celebrity judge for a singing competition I wasn’t even a part of. I met him after the show, and we exchanged information after my friend’s mom told him I sing and write music. He came to see me perform at an open mic and the rest is history.

Evangelia in her ancestral homeland of Greece, which she visits nearly every summer. PHOTO COURTESY OF EVANGELIA

You originally are from Bridgewater and come from a very close-knit Greek family. Comment on what you love most about that and how and why you love to visit your family’s homeland often.

  I am very proud of my heritage. My mom is Italian, and my dad is Greek. I mostly love the food! I also love being able to speak Greek fluently — it was my first language — and maintaining strong connections with my family and friends in Greece. I typically go every summer when it’s absolutely beautiful.

What do you think of the Second Annual Makin Waves Hunger Benefit for Food for Thought, and why did you want to be a part of it?

  Makin Waves has supported me for a long time, and I wanted to be a part of something special. I think it is a great cause.

I know you’ve worked on videos with Cook Thugless, but have you ever performed live with them?

  I have performed at one of the concerts they host at their apartment in Brooklyn. I’m really looking forward to sharing the stage with them. They are a fun group!

You have done modeling gigs around the world. Do you act as well?

  Acting is something that helps with any performance and writing so I use it to better myself as an artist. Who knows, perhaps I’ll audition for something on TV and land it!

Bob Makin is the reporter for and a former managing editor of The Aquarian Weekly, which launched this column in 1988. Contact him at And like Makin Waves at