For Jared Evan, the path to success wasn’t a road he paved himself. The 23-year-old singer/rapper/producer went from clicking away tracks on GarageBand in his basement to being scouted by musical heavy hitters like Diddy and Polow da Don. But for the Nassau County rep, it wasn't the major co-signs of flashy lifestyle; it was creating an art form that he could call his own. After aligning forces with Interscope, he decided to risk it and go indy, not knowing where the path may take him.
“I was super young and before major labels were interested in who I was, I was doing a certain thing,” Evan tells VIBE. “There were no A&Rs or managers around me, no engineer even. It’s that thing that I was doing that led me to a record deal in the first place.“
That thing is what Evan does with his smooth vocals, evoking soul reminiscent of the Motown era while infusing old-school hip-hop but admitting that he loves singing and rapping equally.
“When I hear the music, the preference comes with the musical bed. However the musical bed sounds dictates my musical preference. It’s always different,” he explained when asked which genre he preferred.
His dual love for melody and bars is further showcased on his latest album Boom Bap & Blues where he partnered with DJ Statik Selektah, an unlikely partner that he was willing to gel with.
“I’m definitely a dude who always champions doing new things and going outside of the box," he said before saying he was open to experimenting with EDM. “It just shows where we are in music right now. In 1995, that would never happen. I don’t think Raekwon would have linked up with DJ Tiesto. It just shows the progression that music in general has made. That’s what 2013 is about and we’re headed towards a more united, experimental direction, which is awesome.”
Evan translated his willingness to experiment into the visual for his latest track "The Devil Wears Prada." In the visual, the smooth operator is seated with a naked woman in front of him but he assures it was done with the intent of creating conceptual art instead of raunchy lust.
“Everyone’s asking me about that,” he said, laughing. “It’s basically about how this girl continues to do devious things. The title is a metaphor for the idea that sexy girls are devious. The reason I decided to incorporate that mannequin is because I feel like a way to describe someone when you can’t trust them is fake, like ‘This isn’t real life. I don’t know who you are.’ At the end of the video, the mannequin evolves into an actual woman to show that they’re one in the same.”
Now the sexy clip paired with his stellar album are creating a buzz around the singer but Evan already has his sights set on dropping more visuals and a new project due this fall.
“It’s going to be really special. It’s going to incorporate what I did on my EP The 4th Chapter and ‘Boom Bap & Blues and I’ve never done that before," he explains. "The introspectivity and the funk coming together is going to be something really beautiful.”
Cop Boom Bap & Blues on iTunes here.