A new name to the gospel scene ANTHONY EVANS in fact has clocked up quite a bit of experience working with acts like Kirk Franklin. Tony Cummings reports.
New gospel artist Anthony Evans has his debut album Even More released here in August through Integrity Music. Evans is no newcomer to ministry circles. He is the son of Pastor Dr Tony Evans, the founder of syndicated radio and television programme The Urban Alternative and a regular speaker at Promise Keepers events and at conferences around the world. Growing up surrounded by the Christian faith, hardly surprisingly the Dallas native made an early commitment to Christ though it was veterinary science, not music, which first attracted Anthony when he was at college. It was his father sending a video tape of his son singing to a university which got Anthony involved in music ministry.
"It actually kind of started as a fluke that I got into this," Evans said with a chuckle. As a student, Evans joined the public relations team for Liberty University and developed a passion for travelling and singing. He joined the now-defunct, multi-racial group Truth. Anthony got his break in 1998 when his father met up with gospel superstar Kirk Franklin. "My dad, as dads do, told Kirk I was on a music scholarship at a school in Virginia and I was like, 'Okay, that's enough about music.' I was familiar with who he was, of course. and later on he heard me sing." Anthony was asked to travel and sing with Kirk Franklin, which he did for two years. "I did an 85-city tour with Kirk, who taught me so much," Evans said. "He let me know that success may not be measured in record sales or how much the music industry accepts you. Sales may not be where I am blessed; (God) may need to teach me something else. But I am looking forward to connecting with people."
After his time on the road with Franklin, Evans moved to Nashville and began writing music for the first time with friend and artist Jason Ingram. The two were "PKs" ("pastor's kids") and could relate to each other well. After years of struggle, Anthony feels he is finally free of being in the shadow of his famous father. "A lot of where this record comes from is based on realising that I don't have to perform. Being Tony Evans Jr, riding the coattails, smiling, kissing the babies.I really struggled with that internally. But my parents have always been very involved and supportive. They really live what they preach."
Stylistically, Even More is defiantly eclectic, moving through a wide range of styles. Said Anthony, "One of the songs, Restore Me, has 10 different versions! So, yes, it was a challenge to meld all my styles." Whatever style, smooth balladry or hip-hop derived R&B, Anthony is keen to see the album bear spiritual fruit. "I hope this record encourages people to take off the facade and find real connection with God."The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.