Eva Violet Wadzinski

Chicago, IL |

Artist Statement

I started playing piano when I was four years old. I remember dangling my feet off the bench, barely able to reach the pedals. A few years later, I spent a lot of time doing the same, but now my feet firmly worked the pedals, and I’d sit there for hours with my notebook, playing combinations over and over, to create my own compositions. It was where I felt comfortable enough to explore and express my different emotions by creating tones and rhythms. After my Dad died, my family was in a state of chaos for a few years, and the piano was my cocoon of calm. I started to put my words to those rhythms, and then a wonderful woman in our neighborhood, Jane,  taught me that there was a lot more to singing than words and piano notes. She started me with scales, breathwork, and understanding how to use my diaphragm. Then, Italian opera and musical theater, and finally, contemporary songs and songwriting. 

I was ten years old when I really started writing my own music.  I’d have journals sprawled out on the top of my piano, full of lyrics, and then I’d input the harmonies and write and rewrite the combinations, recording everything on my iPhone. Around this time, I started having seizures and was then diagnosed with epilepsy. My vocals coach, Katie Kadan, got used to timing my seizures, helping me through them, and sitting with me while I recovered. Then she’d encourage me to channel my fear, sadness, and anxiety over the many pieces of my life stolen by epilepsy into my music. Her support and the love, constant advocacy, and encouragement from my Mom gave me the courage to write and record a brutally honest piece about how I experience seizures and epilepsy. 

Piano and singing have been a keystone to help me through the relentlessness of epilepsy and living with almost daily seizures for the past ten years. A lot of people love music and singing along to their favorite songs.  Playing piano, singing, and writing my music, keeps me alive. 

I wrote ‘Keep Breathing’ at 17, before my first brain surgery, to help me process my fear and sadness and to also help people understand that epilepsy is sitting on my shoulder every single day. People don’t realize how heavy the experience is day in, day out, having seizures, the medication side effects, the exhaustion, the brain fog, the depression and anxiety, the stigma and lack of awareness, the embarrassment, the loneliness. A lot of the time, it feels crushing.  Through my song, I hope people will understand it’s not “just epilepsy”  or “just the seizures.” It’s also all the in-between moments. It never stops. I often remind myself to take a deep breath, walk slowly and Keep Breathing.

Vocals, piano, and Lyrics by Eva Wadzinski
Background Vocals by Katie Kadan
Produced by Daniel Robbins