Up Close & Personal with U.K. HIP HOP ARTIST KRIS EVANS

Diving right in and bringing the Urban Music Scene up to a level so far above and beyond Hip Hop Artist Kris Evans is continually taking competition after competition! Scoring his emotive and transparent lyrics into true Hip Hop vibes.

A true artist at heart Kris writes/produces and mentors other artists as well in his own home studio. Creating his own signature sound and developing others who are reaching for the star quality level Kris Evans has set. Truly shining in multiple ways, Kris recently won the U.K. Talent Competition and is now heading to New York City to compete in the global finals.

BANGS!: How much influence has the Urban music scene been in the U.K? Overall how do you feel on the music coming from where you are?

Kris Evans: I think the U.K scene is on fire right now and it’s getting bigger and bigger! It took a while for some people to get used to the British accent in Hip-Hop, but the likes of Drake and French Montana have embraced the UK and collaborated with British artists so more people are starting to open their minds to it.  It’s in a great place at the minute and long may it continue!

BANGS!: That underlying tick of the streets comes through dirty and hard in your debut single ‘N.U.M.B’. What is the story behind this track, Kris?

Kris Evans: The story is about fighting through a painful struggle, whatever that may be. I’ve had many highs and lows in my music career so far and it’s sometimes difficult to keep trying when get up again after getting knocked down or rejected but I believe in myself and my music so even at the lowest point I focused on writing and producing and hoping that my work would speak for itself.

It’s important not to pretend that these lows can happen as that’s often not the best way to deal with them. Masking over pain instead of talking about it can sometimes do more harm so this track is really personal and therapeutic to me.

Also, inspiration for the track was my back - I know, not your usual influence!  I’d slipped a disc and for many years I’d not had the time to go to the hospital to fix it. (Don’t do this at home!)  The ’N.U.M.B’ to the pain’ was also about me having to deal with the back pain and push through it for my music.

BANGS!: Who did you work with on that particular production?

Kris Evans: I worked online with a fantastic producer name KontraBandz who’s from Russia.  As soon as I heard the guitar kick in at the star it immediately grabbed me and I knew it was gonna be special.

BANGS!: Along the way you it would seem you have had incredible support in developing your own signature sound. Who have been some of the folks who have helped build the foundation layers in your journey?

Kris Evans: The 3 Fs - My family, my friends and my fans. My friends and family are really honest and supportive. That helps me hone my sound. I’ve had incredible fan support over the years. I still get overwhelmed by people following my career, liking my music and coming to my shows.  I always try to make the time to thank as many loyal fans at shows as I can. Some even queue up outside venues hours before the doors open which I still can’t get my head around - it’s MAD!

BANGS!: You began this road to artist at a young age, 11 years old. How did you find yourself keenly interested in this style of music so young?

Kris Evans: I was listening to Tupac, mostly. I just loved the storytelling and how he expressed the way he felt through sound. I also loved Michael Jackson’s music when I was young too. It was amazing how he delivered emotion through his voice.  That’s what I try to do with my music, paint pictures with words and melody and deliver them in a way that’s more than just singing or rapping without true meaning - I want the listener to feel it and engage with the stories and emotion.

BANGS!: What have been some of the best pieces of advice and style/feel changes since your early days to where you are now with the release of your latest single ‘Mine?’

Kris Evans: Well, when I was in The Mend (UK TV’s ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ Finalists), I was younger and we made more commercial music. It was a largely different audience. We had younger fans so it’s naturally a different musical style but I’ve always been driven by the same key things like interesting and emotive lyrics and sounds.

I had to be more delicate with what I wrote back then. Now I feel more freedom. I can write tracks which are more grown up and the type of music I want to hear.  My audience has grown with me and I feel I’m getting a new audience along the way. My sound is a lot truer to me and very real. People actually listen and personally relate to what I’m saying in my lyrics which, as an artist, is fantastic. These are the fans that hopefully will stick with me for the long haul.

BANGS!: ‘Mine’ speaks to a social and cultural attitude or is it that heavy in its thinking?

Kris Evans: Personally, ‘Mine' is a record I wrote about my ex girl – unfortunately a bit of a ‘Gold Digger’ as Kanye would say! For me, if I let you in then what’s ‘Mine’ is yours but you have to be honest and open and not play with people’s emotions. If you’re not, watch out, you might get a song wrote about ya!

It also was inspired by growing attitudes towards what certain types of people value. Like how some value fame or possessions over everything else. It should be about what’s real and truly important.

I try to keep my work kind of ‘open' though so people can bring their own meanings to my songs. It’s basically about people wanting what they can get from you more than wanting you. It also relates to another situation… but we won’t go back there!

BANGS!: Your track ‘N.U.M.B’ won ‘Best R&B/Hip-Hop Song’ at the Unsigned Only Awards. With you being the only UK act nominated in the category and the only UK winner across all categories out of almost 6,000 tracks submitted you must feel that burning drive to push yourself even further. 

Kris Evans: It’s incredible and justifies the times of pain and all of the hard work.  I’m so overwhelmed with the support from everybody - I can’t believe it.  Seeing people’s reactions to my music and knowing they’re taking their time to go and vote for my music is crazy! I’ve always been one to keep pushing though, so I take every day as it comes and always look to push further – there’s only limits if you set them.

BANGS!: Accolades for ‘Best Unsigned Single’ have come with ‘N.U.M.B’ as well. Yet, Kris you still seem to keep everything in perspective and remain true to lending a hand up to others. Talk a bit about how you are reaching out to help other artists and some of the causes you have been involved with to lift others up.

Kris Evans: For sure. I grew up going to a Youth Centre where we could go and make music. Now I have experience in the bag, I decided it’s only right to give the opportunity to back to the future generations.  I help aspiring musicians in my studio. It’s so rewarding seeing people go through the whole creative process. I have a lot of crazy unsigned talent passing through, I’m sure you’ll be hearing some of their music real soon!

I’m also keen to support worthwhile causes and one way I can do that is to perform at charity events. I’ve recently performed at Musicians Against Homelessness and at an MTV Staying Alive charity gig. Both really deserving causes so I’m glad I can do a little bit to help.

BANGS!: 2018 is wide open, true 2017 hasn't closed, as of yet... Kris paint us a picture of things to come for you.

Kris Evans: Music, music & more music! With having my own studio, I create and record all of the time. I’ve got so much music ready to drop - I can’t wait to show everyone.  My next single is a big one but I can’t give it away… just yet!  I’ve got shows lined up as well for both this year and next year including one in New York City in November which I can’t wait for! I’ve performed in the States before but this will be my first big solo show so I’m looking forward to showing everyone what I can do!!

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