Remember when Pop Divas such as Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, and Paula Abdul exploded in the music scene with their power, talent, charm, beauty, and perseverance millions of fans took to their music. Their legacies are what still keep millions of music lovers around today as fans. These Pop Divas re-invented the essence of Pop music. A newer generation of Pop Divas like Kelly Clarkson is casting their own spin on Pop music with tons of successes. This next artist will make the same explosion into the music industry with her own special flavor that mixes elements of Pop, R&B, Urban, and Dance into one fantastic sound.
Our Webzine is proud to introduce to the online readers of this e-zine the new generation of Pop music, Apryl Evans. She comes to the music scene with an enormous amount of talent, passion, and tenacity that will take her to the top of her game. Check out what this new Pop Diva had to say about her music in this spotlight. Enjoy!
Isaac: I just listened to several songs off your new EP/CD. What was the inspiration for making your new album?
Apryl: There was so much inspiration behind this project from personal triumphs to utter heartbreak and everything in between. This EP has been many years in the making and I had written so many songs during that time, but this is a collection of some of the songs that best define who I am as an artist. It shows my many sides, both weak and strong. Although I do think of myself as a strong woman, as you can hear in most of the album, I do have my weak moments, which songs like "I Shouldn't" really illustrate. That's what's really cool though because we all have a large range of emotion, and I think this EP is a testament to that.
Isaac: Who were your influences?
Apryl: I am a child of the 80's through and through and can remember my earliest days sitting in my parents' living room, singing along to Paula Abdul , Gloria Estefan and Janet Jackson with my mom, wishing I could be just like them. They were "so cool" to me and not only could Paula and Janet sing, but they were also amazing dancers. I have been hooked on pop music ever since. So I guess it's safe to say that I love the music of the 80's, and I have been told my musical style is indicative of that. But I also love classic rock from bands like Journey and The Eagles and artists like Van Morrison, which my dad introduced me to as a kid, and I try to include a little bit of that flavor in my songs as well.
Of course, there are some current artists who have a lot of sway over me. First of all, Kelly Clarkson turned the music industry on its head when she broke the mold and proved that not every artist has to follow the unspoken "rules" of the industry to make it big. She brought a lot of diversity and one serious powerhouse of a voice to all of us via the American Idol platform and wrecked the predictions of the naysayers and made a legitimate name for herself. I adore that girl! I have also recently discovered an artist on Blue Note Records named Amos Lee, who has one of the most honest and real voices I have heard in a long time. He brings so much intense emotion to his music and really gets into your soul and that's something to truly strive for as an artist.
Isaac: What do you consider to have been the highlight(s) and lowpoint(s) of your career to date?
Apryl: I would actually say that right now is the high point in my career and I am very fortunate to be able to say that it just keeps getting better - though I am knocking on wood while I say that! The release of this EP has really catapulted my career into full speed and with the determination I have right now, it really seems as if the sky is the limit. I really wouldn't say that I've ever had a lowpoint in my career because, honestly, what others would consider to be a lowpoint, I considered being a learning experience.
You aren't always dealt a full house, but it's what you do with the hand you're given that counts. When I was too poor to record in the studio it really upset me, but I used that time to write songs and I used any negative emotions I had to find myself as an artist and a songwriter - and you can't be a true artist until you really know who you are. I wouldn't trade the life experience I've gained during periods of both professional and personal hardship for the anything in the world. It sounds trite, but it is absolutely true. The best artists out there wear their scars as their favorite accessory.
Apryl Evans Photo by Ryan Sands
Isaac: Brief history about your background plus the style of music you play.
Apryl: My humble beginnings really sound cheesy because I share the same story as so many other pop music artists out there - my singing talents were discovered by my elementary school music teacher and I accidentally stumbled upon a talent I didn't know I had possessed, at least not at that level. It really sounds scripted to say that, but that's the honest truth. I guess that just goes to show you how important it is to keep music programs in schools.
I was hooked on music after that accidental discovery in elementary school, cultivating my talent in any way I could - taking classes, performing any chance I could get - you name it. It wasn't until after high school though that I really buckled down and got serious about becoming a recording artist. For a while before that, I thought about going the Broadway route, but I realized I am far too rebellious to follow a script, and I need to write my own songs and throw my personal style into those songs in order to really release my inner demons.
My music is 100% rooted in mainstream pop, but also draws influence from my very eclectic music library. I love everything from Journey to Carole King to Rihanna to Bon Jovi and back again - and that doesn't even touch on some of the indie artists I love. And while the root of my music is pop, you can hear a lot of R&B and Soul in the mix, as well as a touch of rock. I have yet to hear someone tell me that my music sounds "exactly like" any artist, but, to me, that is a good thing. It's really my own signature sound, yet with enough of the vital elements needed to make my songs possible Top 40 contenders.
Isaac: How easy is it to gets gigs for you as an artist? What is the live music scene like in your area?
Apryl: I have been very fortunate to be able to book gigs in a city as big as New York fairly often and easily (knocking on wood again), especially for a pop singer. There aren't a whole lot of gigs available to those of us who are solo artists and do not play an instrument well enough to get away with it in public. The live music scene is mostly comprised of singer/songwriter types and bands, so I don't always fit in amongst the masses when it comes to being included in certain showcases. But I think the soul influences in my music have really helped me to stand apart from many of the other pop artists in this overly saturated NYC market and although I may not always "fit in", it's still best to stand out in a crowd in this business.
Isaac: What do you think of the state of Indie music at the moment? Do you listen to radio much at all? Has the Internet helped music grow or hindered it in your opinion?
Apryl: Indie music is so cool and I have to say that the best thing about the indie artist communities that I am a part of is that not only are the artists out there to promote their music, but everyone pretty much supports each other as well. I have found that listeners are becoming more and more open to music that isn't necessarily playing on the FM stations. A lot of them are looking for something real that they can really find a connection to, and if you know where to look, you can really find those artists on the indie circuit. The Internet has been such a catalyst in this movement providing every artist with opportunities that they would not have been afforded twenty years ago - like reaching fans from different parts of the world with the click of a few buttons. Of course, given the ease of access to these platforms, the internet has become oversaturated with unsigned artists and it can be difficult to sort through everything to find that artist whose music really moves you. So of course, there are positives and negatives, but overall the internet has really helped music to take a very new shape.
I have to say that I do still listen to the radio, but I love to follow the current trends in music and see what is really selling right now. And every once in a while I discover a new incredible artist on the radio. I do, however, love the search the indie circuit and discover the more obscure artists as well. What I listen to is kind of like a musical trail mix.
Isaac: If you could create a fantasy band - what would be the line-up and why?
Apryl: If it's MY fantasy, can I pick a lineup that I would love to record and play live with? I mean, what's a fantasy if I can't be a part of it, right? In my wildest dreams, I would love to share the stage with Phil Ehart of Kansas on drums, Richie Sambora of Bon Jovi on guitar, and Jesse Carmichael from Maroon 5 on keyboards, with myself and David Cook on vocals. Granted, they are all rock musicians, but I am such a huge fan of crossover songs that span multiple genres and if I could be a part of a record like that with that lineup...words could not express how I would feel…
Isaac: What CD's do you currently have available and where can they be purchased from?
Apryl: "One of Those Girls" is my first official release and will be available for digital purchase on iTunes, CD Baby, and Rhapsody by April 1st. I also have a limited number of physical copies of the CD that will be available as well. Of course, you can always purchase a copy from me by attending one of my shows - I will even sign it for you!
Isaac: Where can fans access your music, videos, blogs, and anything else about you online?
Apryl: My website, www.AprylEvans.com, is currently under construction since I decided to give it an overhaul, but should be up and running within a couple weeks. In the meantime, I can be found on MySpace at www.myspace.com/AprylEvans, as well as on ReverbNation and on a website called Sellaband at www.Sellaband.com/AprylEvans, where fans can help fund my next album. And I am definitely google-able!
Isaac: Message to your fans?
Apryl: Love what you do and do what you love. Learn what you can from the trials and tribulations, and savor every success you find - big or small. And smile - you never know who's watching…