Talk about an overnight ubersuccess story. 21-year-old NYC native Jared Evan just recently signed to Interscope Records and has already been hitting the studio with the likes of Timbaland, Dr. Dre, Pharrell Williams, Fred Durst and Polow Da Don (his debut album is due next March as of now). But that's not his most impressive movement. The pop newbie’s first video for the rock-tinged jam "In Love With You" (viewable here) had 3 million hits in it's first week on Vevo after the song appeared on ESPN and HBO’s Entourage.
I was lucky when the singer had a few minutes to chat with me about his rapid rise and not so predictable influences before his packed show at NYC's Mercury Lounge last night. Read on for the 411.
UsMagazine.com: Let's start with your track "Frozen." It was featured on LeBron James documentary and that received huge feedback. How was that?
Jared Evan: Yea, that was crazy. It was a real blessing for me to be a part of that project because it wasn't planned out. "Frozen" was actually the song that got me a record deal. That's what got Interscope interested. It was really a blessing for me to be a part of that.
US: That's awesome! And you recorded that by yourself, in your basement right on your laptop?
JE: Yeah it's crazy. I made the beat on an M-audio keyboard connected to Garage Band with a drum loop that I had and then I recorded the vocals with the computer's internal microphone.
US: Wait -- didn't you start in the business as an intern?
JE: I started interning at Fader Magazine where I really learned the culture of music, and I met a lot of great people. Rik Cordero actually didn't know I did music when I first met him. He just thought I was a really good intern, and we were tight. He thought I was cool so he would bring me out to a lot of his video shoots. A lot of people don't know he's a music video director.
US: Did he work with you on your videos?
JE: Yeah, it was crazy. One day I sent him "Frozen" right after I had started making it. He was like, 'Dude we need to shoot this. Lets shoot this next week!'
US: So who are your biggest influences?
JE: I hate it when I get that question because it's so hard, but if I had to pick one person I would say Keith Moon or John Lennon. I would say either one of those two.
US: How have they influenced you?
JE: John Lennon, to me, is the pinnacle of music, like the Beatles were in general. I feel like I know John even though I've never met him, obviously. I could relate so well to what he's saying. Keith Moon has influenced me in a different way. Keith, as weird as this sounds, is someone I've always dreamt of being. He was someone that played the drums -- he wasn't the front man, but he actually was a front man. He had a character about him and I was always just so fascinated by him. When I was like five or six, I had a dream of like being what he was.
US: Have you gotten to work with anyone you really idolize now?
JE: Yes, especially a month ago when I was out in LA and walked into a room with Pharrell! I had met him before but a month ago, when I was out in LA, we actually were able to like sit with each other in a room for like 10 hours a day for like 7 days.
US: That’s awesome. So did you guys make some music?
JE: Oh man, we made some of the best music ever made! Yeah it was crazy. It was so dope because I just feel so comfortable with Pharrell. We're very similar. We just want to be in the studio because of music like before money or fame or any of that. Music just makes us feel good. He's just so optimistic and positive with his day because he's in the studio making music and I'm the same way. So Pharrell is definitely an influence that I've had growing up. We did three songs and really got to know each other.
US: So tell me a little bit about your album coming out. What can we expect?
JE: I love it. It’s the most proud I've ever been of something I've created. It's called "Fourth Chapter."
US: And what does that mean, "Fourth Chapter?"
JE: It's crazy because you know the name wasn't planned. I didn't sit for like hours and look in the dictionary The song itself wasn't even supposed to happen. it was just a freestyle and it ended up being the title of my album That's the heart of my album. And I think that what people can expect from it is a sense of nostalgia It brings you back to a previous time in your life.
US: Right, right. And is there anyone that you would like to work with in the future?
JE: Oh there are definitely so many people that I would love to work with. I'd love to work with people like Mos Def. I'd love to work with people like Kanye. I'd love to work with people like Thom Yorke or John Mayer. There are a lot of people. If I went down the list I'd be on the phone with you for another two hours probably!