Rap artist Kris Evans found fame as part of the band The Mend after appearing on Britain’s Got Talent. After supporting Little Mix on their UK tour, the band parted ways and Kris began to launch his solo career by returning to the genre he started with at the age of 13. I caught up with Kris in the guild and asked him about his beginnings, his new single and how his solo career was going so far.
So welcome to Liverpool, tell us a bit about who you are, where you’re from and what sort of music you make.
I started making music around 13 years old, just writing and producing my own stuff, ended up going to college and studying music production in college, during college I got signed into a music band which was a vocal group and we did the whole Britain’s got Talent thing and did really quite well, we made it to the final, unfortunately we got beat by a dancing dog, but yeah, toured with Little Mix since then, just been making my own solo music this year. Describing my sound, there’s a lot of different musical influences, I grew up on rock music, but as a rapper, it’s like urban music but there’s a lot of rock influence as well.
What was it like being on national TV on Britain’s got Talent? Is it something that helped your career?
Yeah I was literally thrown in at the deep-end, it was an overnight change, as soon as we got shown on the TV the next morning we were like walking to the shop and heads were turning yeah it was just overnight it as crazy, out social media went crazy. We did quite well at first as well, our audition got good air time and yeah it changed overnight.
So whilst you were in The Mend you supported Little Mix on tour, how was that?
That was really good it was actually their first UK tour so we were supporting them, it was something like 28 dates, we did 3 shows then a day off, 3 shows then a day off etc so it was just over a month,
They were quite big venues as well weren’t they because they had just won the X Factor.
Yeah it was like the O2 academy and stuff, we got on at the right time. That was crazy. And the girls are dead nice as well so we are still friends.
Any funny stories about them to share?
To be honest we don’t have that many funny stories, we hung around with Leanne and Jesy quite a lot, Perry was actually going out with Zayn so she wasn’t allowed anywhere near us really, but yeah it was four lads and four girls on tour.
What made you decide to leave the band?
To be honest it was a contract situation, we signed a management contract and I suppose it just didn’t really work out, which was a shame really, I wrote and produced all the music in the band so I’m fine on my own, but yeah it was just contracts.
You have recently release the single ‘N.U.M.B’ do you want to tell us about that?
Yeah, everyone asks me and it’s quite disappointing what I wrote the song about, because I have a bad back, I have sciatica in my back and I’ve had the sciatica for that long and I’ve not had the time to have the operation because I would have to have three months out, so I wrote this song about my back, just saying like I’m numb to the pain and I have to just deal with it.
So you write all of your own stuff then?
I write all of my own stuff and produce it yeah, I just love making something from nothing.
What inspires your writing, apart from your back?
Just literally day to day experiences from being on the train, just looking out the window just seeing little things just triggers things off, I mean I usually get most of my ideas at silly o’clock in the morning so I grab my phone and just write little ideas down, I try to be a bit different and just do the typical love songs and stuff so yeah just day to day things that I experience.
What bands and artists would you say have been your biggest influences growing up, and are there any newer artists that you are into?
One of big biggest influences is, I grew up on Bon Jovi, my whole family are massive bon jovie fans, obviously as a rapper Eminem is my main influence, but as I say I grew up on Bon Jovi so I try to add a bit of rock element into the urban sort of music, it makes a unique sound and no-one is really making it anymore. New artists, there’s an artist I’ve been following recently called Russ, not many people have heard of him but I just love his whole background, he wouldn’t sign a record deal, he put a song a week on soundcloud for two years, he did 11 albums all just releasing them, no budget just putting them out and finally now he’s selling out shows.
What advice do you have for any 13 year old rappers out there?
Well, I would just say keep going, a lot of people don’t see music as a career, I’ve actually just opened up a recording studio in Manchester, cos I grew up on new services and stuff and I was watching Jay-Z and Eminem and thinking, how did they do it? I didn’t realise it could actually be a career, so yeah I opened up a recording studio, kept working, obviously being a rapper from the UK is quite difficult so just keep going and don’t let any negative comments put you down..
You seem to do a lot, you’ve got a recording studio, you’re producing and writing your own stuff and you used to be in the band, you must be busy all the time.
Very very very busy, I love being busy though to be honest I don’t like sitting down and thinking too much, I’m always tired though yeah.
So what are your plans for the future?
Well I’ve got 3 or 2 singles coming out before the new year, my next one is coming out next month, the one after that is coming out and then I’ve got my big one, that I won the competition with, that’s coming out Christmas Day, which is really personal so I can’t wait to release that one, yeah like I said I was in the Aloft Star competition in Liverpool, lucky enough to win it so in the next couple of weeks I’ll be out in New York performing.
How did you get to the Aloft Star competition? Did people vote?
I think I saw the competition online, and you had to just submit a live performance or a music video so I submitted this music video that I’ve not put out yet, it went to judges and then they got it down to the last like 20 acts, then it went to the public vote, and I’m lucky enough to have quite a good social following off Britain’s Got Talent so that took me into the last 6 when I performed for 3 judges in Liverpool last week, there was two rounds, I got through to the final and yeah I won it!
Sounds like it’s all going pretty well then!
Yeah I’m getting a great response and people seem to love the music that I’m putting out which is a good thing!
It was nice to meet you thank you so much!
No worries, thank you!
Kris’ music is available to listen and download on iTunes and Spotify, and you can listen to the full interview here.