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Ahead of SummerTyne Americana Festival, Eve Selis opens up about how tragedy has shaped her music

Posted on 12 July 2019

Home  →  Media Room  →  Ahead of SummerTyne Americana Festival, Eve Selis opens up about how tragedy has shaped her music


Last time award-winning Americana singer Eve Selis performed at Sage Gateshead was in 2016. But when a series of tragedies struck not long after her return home, she became incapable of listening to music never mind singing.

Thankfully, with determination and positivity, Eve will be joining a special line-up at this year’s SummerTyne Americana Festival and will once again be entertaining some of her greatest fans.

The Festival runs from Friday 19 to Sunday 21 July and is in its 14th year. k.d.lang is the headline opening act for the Friday whilst Strictly Country featuring Eve Selis, The Wandering Hearts, Lauren Alaina and Catherine McGrath will headline the Saturday night. Kiefer Sutherland will close the weekend on Sunday night.

Strictly Country, has been specially curated by SummerTyne Americana Festival with a selection of the best current country music from both sides of the pond. As part of this, Eve Selis will return and sing music from her previous four albums as well as new emotionally charged songs.

Eve, from San Diego, told Sage Gateshead how recent personal events have had a huge impact on her music.

Two weeks after I returned from my tour, my husband had a seizure when driving and later we found out he had brain cancer,” she said.

“We’ve been going through all of that with chemotherapy and radiation, have survived 18 months of MRIs which show stable and no change, and that’s all we’re focused on right now, hoping that there’s a cure.

“That stopped me working. My husband needed me to be here. I wanted to be here. I can’t even remember what I was worried about the day before. The things that were meaningful before it happened are meaningless now. Perspective is ‘hey we may not live until we’re 100 years old and die in our sleep’. You focus more on being more present in your life.

“One of my brothers is in stage four of colon cancer which happened three months after.

“Three months after that my other brother died tragically. Life happens and every one of us has gone through tragedy and every one of us knows about pain and loss. I’m now on a mission through music to help share what I’ve been through and my healing process in the hopes it might help someone else. It’s what music is for all of us. Music is very healing. It’s why you listen to a song over and over when you’re sad ‘cos it makes you cry and then you feel better and then you move on from there.

“When my brother died I couldn’t even listen to music for a month. It was so painful. When I finally started writing again it came from a space of healing for myself and I was like ‘I gotta get this out and I’m figuring out what’s helping me’. No one teaches you how to grieve.

“A lot of the songs I’ve been writing come from a dark place and some from a light place and I’ll be sharing those. My approach was about how to make any of this matter. What I’ve discovered is how healing music is and how music gives you permission to feel.”

At this year’s SummerTyne Americana Festival, Eve will be performing for the first time in Sage One where she will be accompanied by a special SummerTyne choir:

Something I have decided for myself is to say yes to everything that makes sense and gives me peace. So, when they asked me if I wanted to sing with the choir, oh my gosh, absolutely.”

SummerTyne attracts visitors from across the world for a celebration of Americana music in and around the spectacular setting of Sage Gateshead, on the south bank of the river Tyne. SummerTyne is a must for all music fans, bringing together established and new artists from America the UK and beyond. With two popular free stages outdoors and indoors (on from 12pm each day), music-filled river cruises, films, family activity and a food village all make-up the festival weekend.

You can listen to the full interview on the podcast via Sage Gateshead’s website, Spotify, Acast, iTunes, Soundcloud and YouTube.



For further information, interviews or images please contact:
Gaynor Ellis, PR and Communications Manager, Sage Gateshead

  1. E. T. 0191 443 4690
    Emily Taylor, PR and Communications Manager, Sage Gateshead
  2. E. T. 0191 443 4617  M. 07793 762 879