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Growing up in a city that is known for having a, “Crab in a Barrel” mentality, I like to show the opposite of that by shedding light on artists and entrepreneurs every chance I get. I’ve learned that a lot of artists want to be put on but don’t actually put in the work to stay on in this industry. This guy, Mike Evenn, on IG known as @evennsound has been beyond consistent. His content is always engaging and he’s always very supportive of all the creatives that are around him (including me); which is why I wanted to return that love by sharing his talent with my Q-Community!

Raven Paris: Hey Mike, I wanted to ask you a couple of questions, so we can really get to know you and your brand. I want to start off this interview by tapping into #MicCheckMonday. How was the idea created and how do you create your concepts? cause they’re never the same.

Mike Evenn: The crazy thing about Mike Check Mondays, is when I first decided I was going to do this, it was right in the middle of the pandemic. I was in a place where I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to do musically and, uh, where my career was getting ready to go. I had somebody in my head telling me to do something weekly for awhile, but I was like, man, I don’t feel like doing that. I just didn’t want to do it. It started off frustrating because I wasn’t necessarily inspired then a beautiful thing happened, I started falling in love with music again. I started realizing the marriage of one shot take videos and music; how they both always been my niche, you know what I mean? So Mike Check Mondays, was like a self discovery kind of thing, that ended up being dope. I also started realizing how I could include it in my branding. As far as your second question, like coming up with the ideas, I don’t know. The truth is, it kind of just, sometimes come together. I’ll have an idea for a song then immediately see it; or it’ll be a song I got sitting in the tub then a conversation will happen and I’ll be like, oh, this is a perfect opportunity to like cross brand with this person. I’m always trying to figure out ways that I can cross market with my peers. We all can just lift each other up.

Raven Paris: I love that. Now, you briefly spoke on this pandemic, and how we’ve been stuck in the house. What is one of the newest things you’ve learned about yourself and as an artist during this time?

Mike Evenn: Hmm, I started realizing how antisocial I really am. I was liking it a lot at first, not having to deal with people. I have a love/hate relationship with people. I started getting a little bit too comfortable being isolated. I started to realize, I need to get back outside, you know what I mean? with people. Now what I learned as an artist? I think, I learned how important it is to push through not being inspired. I think that’s one of the biggest things I’ve learned. I think most artists or creatives in general, can be very emotional. People in the business always say artists are crazy because it takes a different kind of personality to come up with this kind of stuff. As an artists you have to be passionate about art. You only want to give your best and want to feel like your most inspired self. I really started understanding how hard it is to like push past that, you know what I mean? You have to learn to create even when you don’t feel like it, and even when you’re upset.

Raven Paris: Most certainly, I get that 110%. I feel like I’ve gotten too used to just being in the house now. Eventually, we’re gonna have to learn how to, you know, start mingling again. Moving along, let’s go into, Which Way is Up, which can be streamed on all platforms right now.

Mike Evenn: Streaming everywhere!! I actually started working on that in 2017. It’s a good album, you know, it’s kind of a dark album, but, um, it’s kind of a journey about duality, direction, the path towards success, happiness or whatever it might be to the individual, you know what I’m saying? It could be getting rich or it could be, becoming Tik Tok famous. It’s just about the journey of trying to find your way to whatever it is you aspire to be.

Raven Paris: What moment or memory can you express of one of those dark moments that really helped you create this project?

Mike Evenn: Hmm…you know, I started writing in 2017. It didn’t come out until, um, March of last year during the pandemic. Even that was disappointing because I had been holding onto this body of work for so long and strategically wanted to put it out. I was planning a tour, I had everything set then everything shut down and we couldn’t go outside anymore. So, I mean, it was just a lot of little experiences like that, you know? Loss, family stuff, my budget not really being there and just all these different things put together were dark moments for me. These are typical things that artists go through or, you know, grow and develop from, it’s not easy.

Raven Paris: How would you define your sound in three words?

Mike Evenn: That’s a good question. Um, I would say, uh, intimate, smooth and I don’t know what the third word would be. I play around and experiment with a lot, you know, sonically, but it all kind of does have like a very intimate vibe-y rhythmic, you know what I’m saying? Kind of like pop to it, so I guess that would be the third word. 

Mike and Bridgette

Source: Mike Evenn

Raven Paris: If you could collab with someone locally and if you could have your ideal collab whose mainstream who would they be? 

Mike Evenn: Locally…Um, I’ve been a fan of King Midas for a long time and I kinda got a record in the tuck that I feel like we would fit well on. I’m in the process of working on that, but that’s somebody who I definitely been wanting to work with for awhile. Mainstream, I want to do something with Ari Lennox. I know Ari Isn’t like super mainstream, but I’m a huge Ari fan. Imma manifest that this Ari feature is  getting ready to come down the pipeline; that’s what we going to do. 

Raven Paris: Ari is mad dope, lets put that into the universe! Now, what are three tips that you can give music artists to help them really stand out from one artist to another?  These would be three tips you’ve been able to use that have helped you stand out. 

Mike Evenn: I always feel like, answers to questions like this is always so cliche, but the truth is, the cliche stuff be true. The first thing I would say to stand out, is to go the extra mile. If I could give an example: So I’ve won like a couple of challenges that went viral or whatever, and obviously going viral is like a big deal for promoting your brand and getting those views on you. When you go about approaching things just don’t do, take the extra step. If everybody is doing one thing, think about how can I take this one thing to the next level? It could be as simple as having your friend hold the phone versus you holding the phone and shooting it, you know? Possibly you shoot it on the train, as opposed to in your bedroom. Always think about how you can do something that’s gonna set you apart but allow you to still be authentically you. Go the extra mile. This is going to sound cliche also, but try your best to be yourself; that’s not always the easiest thing to do. It’s a lot of pressure on the average person to be somebody else, let alone as a creative, to be somebody else. You are already unique. Try to be bold by just doing what you like, you know what I’m saying? The third thing to standing out is to be consistent. It might take a long time, but eventually cream rises to the top. If you keep doing what you’re doing, somebody is going to notice, you know what I mean? Somebody like a Raven Paris, may ask you to do an interview if you keep working hard enough. 

Raven Paris: Tell us how we can continue to support you and how we can follow you?

Mike Evenn: Oh, man, well you can absolutely follow me on Instagram at @evennsound I put out a new video every Monday, hashtag #MikeCheckMonday, share it ,comment. I don’t know if people know about how the algorithms work, but support your people in the comments so everybody can see it. I have some merchandise coming soon and I feel like an album might be on the way and some other stuff, stay tuned