Kris Evans

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Every Monday we will be bringing you an unsigned singer or band as part of our Independent Music Monday feature. This week, we caught up with Kris Evans find out more about him…

Where are you from and how did you first get into music?
I'm from Middleton, Manchester. I've been making music from an early age. I was spotted by Shotty Horroh who encouraged and supported me and that was when I realised that making music was what I had to do with my life. I've been doing it ever since.

Later I was scouted by Nigel Martin-Smith, the man behind Take That, to be part of the band The Mend. We entered Britain's Got Talent and ended up making the final but the show was won by Pudsey the dancing dog - none of us stood a chance! We then went on to have a hit single and support Little Mix on tour. It was a fantastic ride and I learnt a lot but now I'm back to my roots making my own music independently.

Who were your musical influences when you were growing up and who are your influences now?
When I was growing up I was a big fan of powerful music no matter the artist or genre. I like songs with stories and emotions and with lyrics that people can relate to so I was heavily influenced by the likes of Michael Jackson, early Eminem, Tupac and, this may surprise some, Bon Jovi! I grew up on Bon Jovi so I like stadium-sized songs with big meaningful hooks.

At the minute people who I listen to and who inspire me are artists with heart and passion like Emeli Sande, Pink and Russ - his whole backstory of how he has got to where he is today is incredible (watch his interviews online to find out more!).

How would you describe your sound?
People tend to categorise my music as 'Hip-Hop' which I don't have a problem with. I love 'Hip-Hop' but I do feel that my music crosses a lot of genres. I'm really into melodies and unusual chord structures and I'm inspired by all sorts of music from Soul to Rock and from Pop to Jazz. To me my music is about my personal experiences and inspirations and where that leads musically. It’s not about any specific genre. I have a spoken word track that’s coming out at ‘Kristmas’ - I just go with wherever the music takes me!

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What is your latest single called and what was the influence behind it?
My latest single is called 'Mine' and it's OUT NOW – please go support that!! It's a personal song that I wrote after a difficult time which led me to be cautious about some people's motives and actions. It's about how certain people don't want you for what you're really like. They want what's yours or 'Mine' in my case. I feel that it's a fresh sound which has been influenced by classic jazz and soul.

What’s your local music scene like?
Manchester has always had a fantastic, vibrant and varied music scene and I'm proud to be a part of that. There's obviously been a lot of huge music acts that have come from Manchester and recently there's been major breakthroughs from the likes of The 1975, Blossoms and JP Cooper. On the Urban front you've got Bugzy Malone who is doing great things and lot of other acts bubbling under who are going to blow people away.

What do you have planned for the next 12 months? Any albums or festivals?
I've got a lot of tracks completed and ready to go and there's more that I'm working on which hopefully will lead to my debut album next year. I did my first headline show at SONDER Music Festival this summer and then went on to perform at Sundown Festival. I've got more solo live dates coming up which I'll be announcing over the next few weeks and then more festivals next year. Keep an eye on my website and follow me on social media for some exciting announcements!

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Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with?
I collaborate with anyone creative with a big passion for music. I would love to work on a track with someone like Rag’n’Bone Man. He’s come from a rap background too but has broken through by his singing ability and breaking the mold. I’ve heard he’s doing a rap album next so I’m all for a feature on that! But yeah, I love music so anybody creative really.

Any funny stories surrounding your live performances?
Well, there was this one time that I was performing at a Christmas Light Switch On event. I was all hyped up and I jumped off the stage to go meet some fans. Bearing in mind it was huge event, the stage was BIG. The drop to the floor felt like leaping off a cliff! This wasn’t the problem though… It was when I ran and jumped to get back up. As I wear my jeans like many rappers do, they near enough came down to my ankles - luckily I was in the Christmas spirit so I had long johns on! Still, not a pretty sight for the front few rows!

What is the one thing that you want readers to know about you?
Well, first, I wanna thank whoever is reading this right now. I’ve had a rocky, roller coaster of a ride throughout my career and I still feel that I'm only just getting started. I'm truly grateful to be able to do a job that I love and for every single person who's supporting me. I hope your readers can join me on my journey and enjoy the ride with all of the exciting things that I've got to come! Thank YOU for having me too!!

You can find out more about Kris at his website or via Facebook, Instagram, Soundcloud, Spotify, Twitter or YouTube.