“When people ask me what I do and I say ‘I’m a DJ and a model’ – I catch myself saying it out loud and I realize how ridiculous it sounds,” Eve Speciall tells me between sips of wine. “It’s too easy for people to make the assumption ‘this b*tch doesn’t know what she’s doing’…but it’s also really fun to prove them wrong.”
As a fan and a long-time friend, I can promise you that this b*tch definitely knows what she’s doing.
“Once, someone commented on a photo of me from when I opened for Tuxedo, saying that I ‘fake DJed’ that night,” she recalls. “This person chose to take one look at me and make that decision. People who are like that want to think you have no talent. When people bring you down, it’s because they’re afraid. They’re terrified of what you might be able to offer that they can’t. As long as you’re not afraid of what lies ahead of you, as long as you’re not afraid of failure or success, you’re not going to bring down other people in your path.”
Tall, blonde, beautiful to a fault and always having fun, Eve Speciall is the kind of girl that people love to hate. She makes it look so easy, after all. But the truth is, it’s been a long and arduous journey to get to where she is now.
Sydney born and raised, with an inherent love of music, Eve started out as a dancer in her hometown. “I could never have avoided or ignored how I felt about music, or how music made me feel. I used to dance, and when I stopped dancing, I felt like something was missing. I knew I needed to find another outlet for my musicality,” she says. “DJing allowed me to spend the time I needed with music; finding it, manipulating it, listening to it. It really filled that void.”
But as she began to make noise – pun intended – as a DJ, Eve decided that she wanted more of a challenge, and that she wanted to see the world. From Sydney she moved to Tokyo, Toronto and Hamburg before finding home in Hong Kong. “I love Sydney, and I love so many of the things it’s given me. Not to mention the talent in Australia – you’ve got Blue Mountain Boys, Hermitude, Flume, The Presets. It’s so strong sonically there,” she enthuses. “But at that time, Hong Kong was the right place to be for me. It gave me room to flex and chase what I wanted without feeling embarrassed or silly for doing it. It didn’t laugh at me for wanting to play music at fashion parties. Instead, the attitude was like, ‘go for it! Do it!’ Being able to mix fashion and music is one of the most important links I got in Hong Kong.”
“I love failure. I really love making mistakes because that’s when I grow the most. I don’t love it when I’m going through it, but sometimes the biggest risk is the one worth taking because it will always have the biggest payoff."
Not only has Eve been the Music Director for Hong Kong Fashion Week for the last 4 years, she’s (wo)manned the decks at parties for brands such as Givenchy, Chloe, Miu Miu, Nike, Veuve Clicquot and Christian Louboutin, to name a few. It was a gig for Topshop, however, that changed everything.
“I was invited to DJ the opening of Topshop in LA and of course, I said yes,” Eve recalls. Whilst in LA, her Sydney agency linked her with Ford Models, who signed her straight away and offered to bring her out to the City of Angels. Though thrilled by the opportunity, making the decision – and the move – wasn’t easy.
“There was so much to think about, so much to leave behind. It was heartbreaking for me because I had a great relationship, and me being in LA led to the demise of that. Also, I had finally found a group of really close girlfriends in Hong Kong,” Eve says. “Moving to LA meant starting all over again. I’d spent all this time building a life and here I was – alone again. Starting from scratch AGAIN. I got to this point where I was like, man, when am I going to put roots down and settle with the people I love?”
Though Eve’s career has been on the fast track in LA – playing gigs like the infamous Playboy Mansion Halloween Party, for example – she says the city’s slower pace and overall healthier lifestyle has been a blessing.
“My whole life has turned around. I was really sick for many years in Hong Kong and I just couldn’t figure it out. I was getting more tired, more unhappy, and really emotionally drained. I finally went to a holistic center and found out that I had leaky gut syndrome. I started taking probiotics and after about 6 months, I was healthy enough to start taking fitness classes. Getting all of that in check has been really big for me, and from there I started to address my emotional health. How do I become the best version of myself? How do I becine happier and healthier? How do I get out of this f*cking fog?”
It’s also allowed her to slow down and take some time to think about what she wants in the long run, like pursuing a career in music direction, music production, and working on various projects to improve the soundscape in Asia – which has ultimately given her the best of both worlds, as Eve now spends her time between LA and Hong Kong.
Despite all the hurdles, heartbreak and even health scares, there’s no doubt that Eve Speciall has come out on top.
“Sometimes in moving to the wrong city, being with the wrong person, taking the wrong job…sometimes you get it so right. You look back a year later and think, thank God that went wrong, because it led to this or that happening that would never have happened otherwise,” she says, adding, “I love failure. I really love making mistakes because that’s when I grow the most. I don’t love it when I’m going through it, but sometimes the biggest risk is the one worth taking because it will always have the biggest payoff."
Photos by: Nicoline Aagesen