DJ Evo is many things: self-proclaimed record addict, aspiring barber, label boss and music journalist. He plays The Charles Bar every month with DJ Hubbz, an all 45s set called Brand New Bag. On top of all that, he volunteers his time with Fortknight Barbers to give haircuts to the homeless once a month: this man is passionate, concerned and driven, an integral part of Vancouver’s music scene.
From the age of 5, Evo already knew that the Bryan Adams tracks blasting from his older siblings’ rooms weren’t for him: “Jazz, funk and soul were the things I gravitated towards,” he explains, reminiscing about the “American Classics” tapes he would buy at Esso Stations. What started with Louie Armstrong and James Brown led into Run DMC, “and then I got into hip-hop.”
As a DJ, Evo embraces many genres and his favorite gigs are the ones where “you can play across the board.” For him, this means “funk, soul, jazz, hip-hop, reggae, boogie, disco house, afrobeat, brazilian funk, house music…more of the soulful tip. Electronic music definitely catches my ear as well.” His prized record collection contains everything from “James Brown’s “Ain’t It Funky” to Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On”, Miles Davis’ “Kind Of Blue”, and A Tribe Called Quest’s “Low End Theory” – not to mention some classic Coltrane, “Afro Blue Impressions.”
Having a strong history with DJ Flipout and Vinyl Ritchie, Evo marks a good DJ as someone who is “really diverse” and can “rock any party,” a trait which he feels Vancouver DJs have in spades. Incidentally, working with DJ Hubbz at Beat Street led to a certain musical chemistry, or as Evo explains, they were “musically cut from the same cloth” and 7 years later the two still run nights together as Evo & Hubbz.
Evo sees himself making some big moves over the next few years, starting with the launching of his record label, Adventures in Paradise. Partnered with Soulstice, another Vancouver mainstay, the two are focused on “pushing good music, working with good folks” as they press some 45s – starting with some of the international connects, and eventually hoping to push local, original music. In addition to the label, Evo is primed for radio, ready to be a voice for “the new cutting edge music of many genres,” on CiTR.
For all the many talents and involvements in Evo’s life, it’s clear that his focus is on being part of a community, and giving back within the space: he hopes to “constantly evolve and continue to grow within the Vancouver scene.” The upcoming Brand New Bag this Thursday at The Charles Bar will be taking beanie and sock donations for the homeless, plus promoting the monthly Sunday haircuts for homeless at FortKnight – a perfect time to stop on by, sip a drink and enjoy a night of 45s.
Brand New Bag: Holiday Edition goes down this Thursday, December 18th at The Charles Bar
– Amalia Nickel