Local act mars hojilla (pronounced “oh-heely-uh”) has risen since their Iowa City debut last September. They performed at events like the Refocus Film Festival in the city last October. Lead vocalist Myles Evangelista (he/they) applied for Mission Creek with his track “Pinocchio”, recorded in the SCOPE studio. He was ecstatic when his act was accepted—but realized he needed an ensemble. He recruited his friends Chloe Weidl (she/her) on drums and Iowa City local legend Paras Bassuk (they/them) on bass.
Raised on pop classics, Evangelista fostered passion for music while exploring vulnerability through his songwriting. Mars hojilla draws their stripped-down sound from acts such as NoSo, who performed at this year’s homecoming concert, and “emo folk-adjacent” artists like Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus. The new boygenius album sparked inspiration in Evangelista to see how each member’s sound can expand in the trio.
Myles advocates for more representation in the music scene, a space dominated by white male voices. They find artists like NoSo, a non-binary Korean, inspiring and are excited to take their act to the big stage. As a biomedical student at the University of Iowa, Evangelista works through tight time constraints to play as mars hojilla and Two Canes, a hard-rock band that showcases grittier sounds.
Mars hojilla plays at the Trumpet Blossom Café on Saturday, April 8th at 3:30 pm. The show is free to the public. Trumpet Blossom is located at 310 E Prentiss St. For tickets and scheduling information, check out Mission Creek’s website.