Introduce yourself to one of the brightest rising stars on the music scene today, Christine Evans. At age 16, the singer/songwriter, performer, advocate for youth, and student from Canada has already had her first national tour, as well as released her second album – the passionate, rock inspired Push. Read on to take a look behind the scenes at this budding artist.
First of all, congratulations on your second record Push - quite an amazing accomplishment at 16.
So just to get things started, can you tell us about the roots of your musical talent, and how you got involved with music?
The roots of my music started when I was pretty young - it was one of those things where I think about it all the time, and I wonder why I started doing it, and most of the time I can't really come up with a very good answer, because it just was something that I did because it was natural, and because I liked to do it. So I took voice lessons, and piano lessons, and I sang in the choir when I was like seven, and I found that I could express myself through music in a way that I couldn't express myself through words, which I think is something translates even into my life now. And I know that it was God leading me on that track, and the coolest part of that is that it was before I realized it, and I can look back and see it now, but it's one of those things that you know in the depths of your heart, and I feel really fortunate to be where I am now.
How has your family fared with their daughter being such a prolific artist already?
My family is wonderful, they're really supportive. They give me the space that I need while at the same time, they're not trying to kick me out of the house or anything, which is important for me that I've been able to make these sorts of decisions, like I decided that I wanted to go away to boarding school and I decided that I wanted to start this music career and to really pursue it. And they don't really push me, they allow me to do it, and I know that they really love me and I love them to bits and pieces.
So you're a singer songwriter, a recording artist, an advocate for youth, and a student. Can you tell us a little bit about what a day in the life of Christine Evans is like?
A day in the life hmm, well I go to school in New Jersey right now so and a normal day for me is I go to school from 8 until 3 ish and on the weekends, I'll go into New York for lessons, or for music, or for a show or something like that. And also there's a Christian community on campus, and so we meet as a group a couple times a week, and we sing music. So it's important for me to have that balance - to have time for God and have time for myself, to be able to stop, because life can get so busy, especially when you're living in school. If you think that going to school during the day is stressful, living at school is twice as bad! Yeah, so I just think it's important for me to find ways to just stop and to enjoy music and write in my journal or whatever it is. That's what keeps me going.
Do you plan to finish out school completely before you start doing any major touring or anything like that?
Usually they schedule album releases and things like that for me right before summer, so I can do most of my touring and performing during the summer and keep it to a minimum throughout the year. And that's because school is very important to me. I feel like God gave me this gift of music, and it's what I'm good at and it's what I want to do. But He also gave me the tools, and I think I need to use the tools and to make the most out of them, and I think for me that means going to school and being educated so that I can make the right decisions and so that I can really hone my craft and develop. It's one thing to have talent, but it's another thing to really work at it, and I think that's very important. So I'm hoping to finish school and to finish college and all that good stuff.
You've been writing songs for a while now. What inspires you to write?
I really like to write about the things that I feel personally about. Sometimes it's something that happened in my life and I want to share that experience, or sometimes it's just something that I see going on, and I have to say, “Whoa wait a minute, there's something wrong here." And so I try to write about it in a way that's approachable, in a way that all sorts of people can approach, not just Christians. I try to make my music something that people can listen to and feel comfortable enough to put it on, but hopefully it will make them think as well, that it will also make them go back and think about their life and what their life means. That's a common theme in my music, that it would even be enough if everyone just stopped in their day and thought about why we're here and what what we're doing and what it means to be human, because those are big questions. And it's funny how it's so easy to just go through our lives and kind of blow them off and not even really think twice about it.
I know that you're involved with a couple groups, Operation Respect and the Kids Help Phone, can you tell us how you got involved with them?
I've been working with the Kids Help Phone for a couple years now I think, and they're a wondeful organization. I got involved with them because I really wanted to represent kids and be a voice for them. And then Operation Respect is a group that I started working with recently. Peter Yarrow, who's a good friend of mine and who's actually the founder of Operation Respect, I've been watching him from a distance for a while, and it's pretty cool now for me to actually be a part of what he's doing. He's going all over the world in schools to create a respectful environment among young people just so people can feel safe without worrying about what they look like or what other kids are going to say about them or their financial status or how attractive they are, you know, all that stuff that's just extra. And that's something that's really close to my heart too, and I hope that I can inspire youth to not feel like other people are the enemy, because we shouldn't be enemies of each other, we should be advocates of each, we should be helping each other.
Are you particularly targeting the youth with your music?
In a sense, my music is directed towards youth, but I think at the same time, I think it's directed towards everybody. And I think it just works out that way, because when you think about it, a lot of adults are just big kids, and we never learn everything. And I think that my message can apply to adults as well, because there are important life lessons that we never really get perfectly, and my music, it's more of a reminder, you know? I think that's kind of what I'm doing in a way, and hopefully, my message just reminds everybody to just stop and think and to evaluate their life, and to try and just make this life a little better for living.
There was one interesting quote that I read from you about your album Push, and you mentioned about the theme being about pushing the boundaries and ourselves to the limit. And I know that as people of faith, that might be different from what we normally think, and I wanted to see what your own perspective was on what it means to push the boundaries and ourselves to the limit.
I think there, I was kind of hitting on the point that it's very easy, especially in our culture today, to just kind of cruise through life. It's easy to be caught in comforts and in distractions, and I think it takes a person of faith to really take that extra leap of faith to maybe give up some of those things and to really push ourselves and go outside of, perhaps, the accepted truths and the accepted rules even - to go outside of those things and to just walk by faith, and to just give everything that you have in what you can do. And those are the sorts of things that don't really line up with the logic of today's culture, and so in order for change to happen at all, it takes that extra push, pushing ourselves to the limit beyond what might be comfortable. And that's why we need God's help and God's strength in order to see those things through.