Photo by Chris Basford
In the video for her new single “I’m Not Done Yet,” New York singer/songwriter EVVAN wanted to visualize what it feels like to be ostracized as part of the LGBTQ+ community. That inspired the monochrome color palette and uniform costumes–white masks and jumpsuits for everyone.
“Society as a whole tends to look down on you when you show your true colors; that’s the undertone of this video,” says EVVAN. “How interesting would it be to create a world of black and white where everyone dresses the same and aren’t allowed to show their individualism? I wanted to visually portray some of the hardships I’ve experienced and sing about in this song.”
She wrote the song, off her upcoming debut Home EP, as a coming-out anthem. It was a way to address the hurt that she and other members of the LGBTQ community face in seeking acceptance, but also an affirmation of her continuing drive to fight for it, hence the declaration that gives the song its title: “I’m not done yet.”
“So many times in my life I’ve heard the exact phrases I wrote in the song from friends who’ve experienced the same, from people who I thought were friends and didn’t accept me, from absolute strangers on the street who noticed I was different–it is exhausting, and while there are times I feel beaten down and without hope, I remember this is who I am and I should be proud of that.”
EVVAN worked with director Chris Basford to develop her concept for the video. She says they were on the same page from the start, with Basford using his visual talents to realize EVVAN’s emotional vision.
“It was so much fun to work with a friend like Chris because we were able to keep a positive vibe as we filmed something that held such a deep meaning, which he treated with the utmost respect,” she says. “We shared a similar vision and he knew the ways to bring it to life. He is truly an artist in his craft; I’m so happy with how this video came out.”
The video ends with her embracing individuality, represented by blasts of rainbow-colored powder paint breaking up the black and white. For others struggling to express their identities, EVVAN, who is pansexual and nonbinary, says her advice is to go at your own pace and to not get hung up on the terminology.
“There is no rush to come out. Do it on your own terms because you’re entitled to that. I’d also say it’s okay to be confused. When I was figuring out who I am, I felt plagued with trying to put a label on myself. At first I was gay, then I was bi, then I was gay again, only to finally identify as pansexual. You’re allowed to change your mind because for some people, coming to terms with who you are is a difficult process. There was a point where I simply would tell people, ‘I like who I like,’ because that was the easiest way to express myself.”
The making of the Home EP, slated for April 30 release, came at a time of reinvention for EVVAN, who used to perform under her given name, Evan Petruzzi. With this new batch of songs and a new moniker, EVVAN is putting more of herself into her music than ever–coming out was part of the process, and a sense of community has been key. As she encourages others on their own coming-out journeys:
“You’re allowed to be afraid, angry, sad, etc. No one can tell you otherwise. But I’d urge you to remember that you’re never alone in this. I’m still new at being fully open and out, but I’m embracing it and letting myself be embraced by those who love me for me. Find your people. They’re out there waiting for you with open arms.”