Joel Evan is one of the hottest male personas to hit the Los Angeles dance scene. His chiseled mythical god-like looks coupled with his performance and artistic endeavors, make Joel Evan a celebrity on-the-rise in Hollywood. For several years, his image and voice have been seen and heard in the media, while building a solid fanbase of loyal followers. We sat down with Joel to really get to know the man behind the hoopla.
Your first single release with a remix package, “STORM,” is a very addictive pop/dance hit. How does it feel to switch gears from your last CD and work within the dance community?
JE: I have to say it was really a dramatic change for me. With my earlier work, things were very casual, for example, when performing live and shooting the video for “I’ll Keep Smiling,” I just wore my own clothes, listened for the cues, and sang my songs. I was also kind of bored though. Nothing was ever much of a spectacle and seemed almost too easy. With this new dance song, I’ve gotten to have costumes designed for me, perform the track with dancers, and even wear make-up! Through this work I’ve really developed a stage presence, and so it’s not just going through the motions; working with dance music is fun and really gets me thinking about the performance and what people would like to see of me in general.
What was the last current pop song that you listened to that you honestly enjoyed?
JE: Definitely the new Natalie Imbruglia song, “Want.” I have been a huge Imbruglia fan since “Torn,” and I love that even though, like me, she’s switched gears with her new album going from acoustic pop to dance pop, she still maintains that creative songwriter in her, making lyrics worth listening to, within this incredible melody her and her team created.
What are you currently listening to in your iPod/ mp3 player?
JE: So many different things! My ipod is always a mesh of songs that move me through the crowds and help me explore my own feelings with ease. There’s J-pop from Dream and Goto Maki, Spanish pop from Christian Castro, Thalia, Noelia, and OV7, plus a few current things like the new Backstreet Boys album and the new tracks from Aqua’s greatest hits album, and I’ve also traveled back to the earlier part of this decade adding Faith Hill’s “Cry,” Celine Dion’s “A New Day Has Come,” and Erasure’s “Nightbird.”
What was it like working with producer Rod Carrillo and songwriter Ronnie Sumrall in the studio?
JE: It was fun working with them. Rod and Ronnie have a great chemistry and great senses of humor. We got the track created and completed in less than two days with plenty of laughs in between takes!
“STORM” reminds us a lot of David Bowie and Depeche Mode and other big 80’s stars. Who are some of your favorite 80’s artists?
JE: I have tons of 80s favorites! Definitely, number one for me was Roxette, followed by Erasure in a close second, and I took a great deal of inspiration from listening to Madonna’s “Like a Prayer.” One of my all time favorite albums is Cher’s “Heart of Stone,” and of course “Moonstruck” is one of my favorite movies! Someone once told me in an interview that they saw me becoming the “male version of Cher.” Just being a huge presence on stage with costumes and a great booming voice taking over a crowd is very sexy to me. Ever since that dream was put upon me, I’ve been fascinated by Cher and her music. I really hope to make that vision a reality!
The “STORM” music video is a vibrant sexy escapade. Can you tell us what inspired this video concept?
JE: The director, Matt Aaron Krinsky and I went through several concepts for the video before we landed on that one. I think what finally made us choose what we did was seeing the costumes Maggie Barry had made for me. The burlesque came together with the leather and the wet dancing bodies once my fittings commenced. As soon as I slipped on those black leather “Storm pants” and those chunky leather biker boots the whole concept of the “manly gothic super hero” came into my persona and I really understood what the song was about.
If you had to pick ONE artist to sing a duet with who would it be?
JE: I would love to do a duet with Celine Dion. I don’t care for most diva acts, but there is something about Celine Dion that I think is wonderful, and that is, when she sings, she sounds like she means the things she is singing about. I don’t know how to describe it, but there is this quality to her voice that you don’t hear too often in other artists that simply says “I understand the words of this song I am singing.” And it’s not something natural to her, I don’t hear it so much in her earlier work as I do in the things she did in the late 90s and onward. I think she has learned to express that empathy through her experiences as a human being.
Do you have any performances coming up that our readers can check out?
JE: I’m scheduled to perform at both Los Angeles and Sacramento gay prides, so I’m looking forward to those!
What is your favorite type of music to perform LIVE?
JE: I love to sing songs that are challenging vocally. I was someone who didn’t make use of their voice for almost a decade, and so those moments of being on stage and letting myself go, hearing that loud high note hit and held out, feeling it throughout my whole body is true euphoria to me.
Are you working on any new music? Is there a CD in the works?
JE: I am always working on new music. Ideas for songs just come to me and if there’s a notepad nearby I write them down. The next album is going to be called “Out of Inner Self.” It’s about my experiences working in the dance genre and coming to live in Los Angeles. The title itself has several meanings, but I’m waiting until it’s finished and released to reveal them!
You’ve been making the rounds at Hollywood red carpet events and recent Oscar Parties. Any acting aspirations coming on?
JE: Yes, definitely! I’ve been taking scene study courses at Howard Fine and comedy improv lessons at Bang!, since November. I’ve really developed a love for acting and look forward to when I can put what I’ve learned to work.
What can Joel Evan fans expect next from you?
JE: Fans can definitely be on the lookout for “Out of Inner Self” before the end of the year. People have also recently been encouraging me to finally share my story of dealing with depression and how I didn’t talk for ten years with the world, so I am trying to find the right outlet for that, whether it be a book or an interview on a television show. I also have several movie auditions lined up so we’ll see if I’ll be making my film acting debut soon too!
Keep tabs on Joel Evan at http://www.joelevanmusic.com