You have to work ten times as hard to be just as good and even harder to be better, is a mantra every person of colour is taught from a young age. Navigating the homogeneous white male world of electronic music, Italo-Nigerian Ghetto-Techno Girly Evissimax was born for this; resilience is in her DNA.  Evissimax, a rising star, has avoided being placed in a box as a Black Female in the electronic music world because her talent can’t be contained.
From Ghetto-house, Jersey, and footwork to Afrotech, there’s no genre she can’t curate into a masterful mix. Evissimax creates euphoric sets that aim to liberate and unite clubgoers, providing a safe space where worries melt away on the dancefloor.
Evissimax shares insights on her musical journey, the influence of her Nigerian heritage, and her mission to create inclusive, safe club environments. Explore her creative process, collaboration stories, and future projects.
On Instagram, you’ve described yourself as a “ghetto techno girly for life.” Can you elaborate on what this persona means to you and how it influences your music and overall artistic identity?
Ghetto-Techno is the perfect combination of my worlds. Ghetto house, jersey, footwork, juke are the genres that have influenced me the most in my career. Meanwhile, Techno is something I discovered later in life, and I really had to find my sound and the rhythms that resonate with me within it, mostly hard groove and hardcore with some electronic or metallic elements. Ghetto tech (using it as an umbrella term for all the genres listed above) has so much soul and keeps me very present and in the moment. Meanwhile, techno is more mental and takes me more on a journey, but they both give me that same euphoric feeling of liberation in the club, and that’s why I love mixing them together. I just love playing black electronic music, and these, alongside Afro, are the ones that resonate the most with me.
You’ve mentioned that you make “hot music for hot people.” What does being hot mean to you, both in terms of your music and your overall artistic persona?
Hot means not caring. I like to play what makes me happy and try to create a club environment where we’re all together, present, sharing the same experience, and sweating away our worries for at least a few hours. Hot people don’t care and don’t judge. That’s what being hot means to me, and hot music is whatever makes my body move. I always try to create sets, especially for the club, that create and maintain movement. I want people to let go and feel free and safe in that space.
In a recent interview, you mentioned that with Reboot-Y, you aimed to create an EP that captures the essence of your shared experiences and artistic vision. Each track represents a different facet of your musical and personal journey. Can you elaborate on this idea and provide examples of how your experiences and vision are reflected in the tracks?
Being that I started off mainly as a DJ, the club experience is my main focus, at least with this EP. My DJ sets are a mix of different genres, and they all have their moments within my mixes, so all the tracks in Reboot-Y represent the different moments of my DJ sets. From OTT, that’s more afro, to Rave to the Grave, which has a darker techno feel to it, and Lowkey Slut, that’s super bouncy and fun. I wanted to share the sounds and influences that kind of created Evissimax.
The album cover art features you looking badass in a bikini inside a burned-out car. What inspired this bold choice, and is it your not-so-subtle way of saying this album is a hell of a ride?
(Laughs) I love that take on it! The inspiration was my Mum, she’s the blueprint. I wanted a cover that was very badass and strong but still sexy. Being half Nigerian on my mother’s side, I grew up watching Nollywood movies, and that’s the aesthetic that I’ve always loved and admired and wanted to pay homage to that. That’s why I did my makeup like that for the shoot, black lip liner with grey eyeshadow as lipstick is very 2000s Nolly baddie, and as for the outfit, I remembered this pic of my Mum with a leopard print bodysuit, and she looked amazing, so I had to pay homage to her, my biggest style inspiration, that way.
The burnt-out car is all thanks to the amazing photographer and artistic directors Francesco and Elaine; they understood my vision perfectly for all the cover art and elevated it. They found that car randomly and had the vision. I was terrified getting into it (laughs), but the end result was super worth it.
What was the dynamic like working with Ayce Bio? How did he complement your vision for the project? Can you share how the collaboration came together and what the process was like behind the scenes?
Ayce Bio is my bro, so working with him on my first EP was just perfect. I’ve always admired him as a producer and DJ, he knows so so so much about music, and I’ve learned so much from him, so being able to work together on my first project was amazing. He truly understood my vision and taste, and maybe because we’re also friends, I always felt comfortable saying when I didn’t like something or wanted to change something; it was just overall a great experience.
The process was basically me coming to him with an idea for a track, with sound influences I wanted to incorporate, and then writing and recording the lyrics. From that, we would work together on choosing every single sound and arrangement; he’s a perfectionist like me, so we would just keep going and trying different things until we got it just right.  He’s an incredibly skilful producer, and his knowledge of different genres, I think, really helped him fully understand my vision and what I wanted to create with each track and overall EP.
The track OTT is named after your mother and features her voice speaking Edo, paying homage to your Nigerian heritage. She also says in English: “This is my daughter. I love you; I am so proud.” How did it feel to involve your mum in your art and receive her approval? What was the most memorable part of working with her on this personal project?
OMG, love her. My mom is a G; she was so happy to be a part of it. Her and my dad live in Ghana currently, so we had to do everything via WhatsApp voice notes (laughs); I told her what to say in English, and she translated it into Edo. I was also telling her she needed to go into the wardrobe and put her head in so the sound could be as clear as possible, given the situation; she was a real trooper. I sent her a draft of the song, and the last part of OTT, where she says “I love you” and everything else, was her first reaction after listening to it. Having her and my dad so on board and happy for me means the world to me. They weren’t quite sure when I quit everything to become a DJ, but they came around, they just want me to be happy and they see that nothing has ever made me as happy and fulfilled as this.
There's a bold, provocative side to your work with tracks like Lowkey Slut. Growing up, were you encouraged to express yourself freely, or did you have a strict upbringing?
I had a very strict upbringing anyone who has an African parent can understand me, (laughs), so I wasn’t really able to express myself freely, and I was also really, really shy and introverted growing up like I would walk and only look at the floor type of shy. Different things happened in my life, and I kind of decided I wanted to take back control of myself and my body; that’s when Evissimax was born; it was me coming into a new phase of my life and wanting to be fully myself without fear of being judged or judging myself. I started feeling more confident in my body and overall persona, and Lowkey Slut kinda expresses that. Lowkey Slut is a reference to the shy slutty people out there, (laughs) I still get kinda shy sometimes, but I own it now.
Your lyrics can get pretty risqué at times. What’s the most outrageous line you've written that would make your mum blush?
It’s actually a song that I wrote for a future project; I’m actually still thinking if I’m ever gonna release it or not, (laughs), cause it’s a bit out there compared to anything on Reboot-Y. I feel like the lyrics on this EP are pretty tamed; I like to allude and play around with words and describe a feeling more than an explicit act.
The track Loud Whisper is inspired by the Ying Yang Twins’ Wait (The Whisper Song). It has a distinct Detroit and Chicago footwork and house vibe with its fast-driving drums and infectious hooks. How did you approach blending these regional sounds and transforming them into something uniquely yours?
I’m obsessed with that song; one of my all-time favourites! Initially, I wanted to use the OG sample for Loud Whisper but still wasn’t 100% sure of the final product; then Ayce Bio actually suggested I sing on it, also to not have any issues with copyright, and once we heard the version with my voice, we were sold. Loud Whisper also inspired me to sing and write on all of the other tracks, and I discovered my love for songwriting. I used to write poems as a teenager, so I guess that's finally paying off (laughs).
As for blending the sound, I wanted a mixture of different things. I wanted it to have a distinctive footwork ghettotech feel, but I still chose elements and synths that had a more modern sound.
Rave to the Grave showcases your ability to incorporate elements of trance and drill music. Is it your intention to create genre-less music that pushes boundaries and reflects the future of sound? If you could pick one genre or scene to really dive into and experiment with for a future project, what would it be and why?
Exactly that. I always say, No genres, just vibes. I love songs where I can hear different elements of different worlds in them, maybe things that are polar opposites but somehow make sense together. I feel like music should push the boundaries of what already exists. Maybe because I come from different cultural backgrounds, I’ve always liked mixing things, and I’ve never seen it as something having less than but having added value and depth.
As a society, we’re becoming more connected. It’s so easy to discover sounds and new things from cultures that are on the other side of the world compared to the past, and that’s such a privilege. To be able to learn about different cultures and scenes, so I love hearing music that takes me on a deep dive into all the different influences present.
I would love to experiment more with Afrotech in my future projects; it’s a mixture of like noise and afro, kampala, kudoros and qcom; it has a very unique sound where it was an afro rhythm but combined with distorted noises, very aggressive sounds. I feel like compared to the usual Afrobeat that Africa is known for, which is very happy and carefree, which I love, Afrobeats is literally one of my absolute favourite genres. I feel like this new wave of Afrotech kind of shows the anger and darkness present. There’s a producer I found called Chrisman, and all of his tracks truly give me goosebumps; there’s so much emotion.
As a Black female artist in the electronic music world, what challenges have you faced breaking through barriers? How do you respond to those trying to put you in a box?
I’ve had people trying to discredit me because I’m a woman or because I’m black, Saying I get booked because people need to fill a quota on diversity, and I tick all the boxes, not because I’m good at my job, which is so insulting.
I know, and I’m happy that, finally, there are lineups with diversity and more POC and Queer artists are getting booked, and yeah, maybe it might be for a quota, but those artists are also maybe talented?  And the fact that that is never a thought these people have baffles me. In the beginning, yeah, maybe I got gigs because of that, and no one listened to my mixes, but I proved I deserved to be there. I’ve always worked hard to show that I deserve what I get, and not because I’m a woman or black. Anyone who’s part of a minority needs to work twice as hard to get a chance and harder to prove they deserve that chance. People always put me in a box. I don’t even care anymore. I just do my job with passion and care, and the people who get it get it.
You mentioned the importance of creating a safe and fun clubbing experience for the queer and Black community in Milan. How do you see your role in shaping the future of the city's club scene? Do you feel any responsibility to use your platform for social commentary through your art?
Absolutely yes. Music is political; music is social. It stems from resistance against a system that tries to put the little ones down. That’s why I say that with my DJ sets, I want to create a safe space where, for a bit at least, none of those matters; we’re all together, dancing, we’re all present, and the worries from the outside world don’t exist, at least for a bit. That’s what the club means to me. I try to use my platform to give opportunities to as many up-and-coming artists as I can, yes I do give special attention to people who are part of minorities because I know what it feels like to be discriminated against over something that is out of your control, but also everyone I’ve picked, whether for my Street club event or as guests for my radio show, is because first and foremost, I think they’re extremely talented and should be given a platform to showcase that.