Music Star Anthony Evans On The Five Things You Need To Create A Highly Successful Career In the Music Industry
…First, know what you’re best at. Going in the direction of what you’re best at creates a ripple effect for what you enjoy or are good at.
Second, you can’t get ready for a role after you get it. If you’re going for a role, look like the role you want when you walk in that room.
Three, define what success is to you. For me, it’s about peace. If an opportunity doesn’t bring peace, I’m out.
Four, be mindful of the company you keep. Hang out with big-minded people who won’t hold you back.
And finally, celebrate your uniqueness. There’s something about you that’s specific, and pursuing excellence in that will eventually bring the spotlight…
I had the pleasure of talking with Anthony Evans. Anthony is an accomplished Gospel artist, producer, performer, author, and vocal contractor/arranger, renowned for his work in the music industry. He gained significant recognition on NBC’s “The Voice” and has achieved notable success with his #1 Billboard chart-topping albums. His latest single, “Even If,” from his upcoming album “REVIVE,” showcases his talent and passion for music. The album is set to release globally in early 2024.
Evans’ previous album, “Altared,” released in 2020, also topped the Billboard Gospel Album chart. His vocal production in career has been marked by collaborations with renowned artists like DJ Khaled, Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, 2Chainz, Tyler The Creator, Kirk Franklin, and Tori Kelly. He has also contributed to Grammy-winning projects and performed on some of the world’s most prestigious stages.
Raised in a family deeply rooted in faith, with his father Dr. Tony Evans being an influential pastor and his siblings also engaged in spiritual leadership, Anthony’s faith has been a cornerstone of his career. His work spans studio recordings, songwriting, worship leading, vocal arranging, touring, acting, and authoring. He has been part of productions like NBC’s “The Voice,” and Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” concert series at the Hollywood Bowl, showcasing his versatility and breadth of talent.
Apart from his musical achievements, Evans is also a published author. His works include the memoir “Unexpected Places: Thoughts on God, Faith and Finding Your Voice,” the USA Today bestseller “Divine Disruption: Holding onto Faith When Life Breaks Your Heart,” and “When Faith Meets Therapy: Find Hope and a Practical Path to Emotional, Spiritual and Relational Healing.”
Currently, Anthony serves as a global ambassador for Food for the Hungry, an international relief, development, and advocacy organization. His commitment to his faith, musical artistry, and philanthropy make him a respected and influential figure in the music and spiritual communities. For more information about his work and upcoming projects, visit https://anthony-evans.com/.
Yitzi: Anthony, it’s a delight to meet you. Thank you so much for joining us. Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn about your origin story. Can you share the story of your childhood and how you grew up?
Anthony: Yeah, I grew up in Dallas, Texas. I’m a preacher’s kid, and preacher’s kids are always, for the most part, either really good, or barely gonna make it. I leaned more toward the barely gonna make it side growing up. But I have faithful parents — gracious, kind, forgiving, and loving. So I’m very grateful to come from the family I’ve come from. Then singing for me started a little bit later. My parents heard me singing around the house, and they were like, “Did we miss something?” They heard me later in life just singing, and they thought, “Oh my gosh, he looks like a football player, but he sings like that.” We didn’t know because I didn’t care that much about being on the stage. So they heard it later and started perpetual motion trying to support me and move me forward in that. And then I started a little late, but they created opportunities for me, and I went into them full throttle. Fast forward all these years later to 10 albums and amazing opportunities.
Yitzi: That’s a great story. It’s amazing how your parents believed in you and helped you find your calling. You probably have a lot of fascinating stories and memories from traveling across the world, touring, and creating albums. Do you have a favorite story or memory that you’d like to share with our readers?
Anthony: The first memory that came to my mind when you said that — and I haven’t thought about this story in a long time — is when a guy walked up to me. He held out his arm and had a tattoo of one of my song titles. My first thought was, “Security, what’s happening?” You know what I mean? But he proceeded to tell me that at that point, everybody had their little iPods they carried around. He said, “I was sitting on the edge of the Hudson River about to take my life. My iPod was on shuffle, and your song came on. It kept me from taking my life that day.” That’s one of those moments where you just kind of, you never know what your songs are doing, and what impact you’re having. But those moments are like a wind in my sails because it’s like, “Anthony, there may be other stories of people you’re hoping that you’ll never hear.” So on your hard days, your discouraged days when you want to quit, when the song didn’t work at radio and all that stuff, remember that there are people like this young man right here who kept me going.
Yitzi: That’s an amazing story. It’s been said that sometimes our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Do you have a story of a humorous mistake that you made when you were first starting and the lesson that you learned from it?
Anthony: Oh, my gosh. A humorous mistake from when I first started…I think one of the mistakes I made was trying to do what I thought I was supposed to do vocally to fit in. It was related to everything I was singing for Kirk Franklin on stage. Kirk had these wild vocal gymnasts with him, and although I could do that stuff, it wasn’t innate for me. What was innate was my tone, my warm vibes. One time, trying to be like everyone else, he handed me the microphone to end one of his songs nominated for a Grammy. He whispered to me, “Stay there. I hired you to be like you.” My mistake was trying to be like other people, which took away the uniqueness of what I have to offer. It’s well articulated. We often hear the idea of being you, but the way he said it, “I hired you to be you,” was impactful.
Yitzi: That’s great. Yeah. Could you share with the readers the exciting projects you are working on now? Any new releases or albums, EPs?
Anthony: Yeah, I’d love to share. There’s a lot going on right now. I have a new single out called “Even If,” the first from a new album, “Revive,” coming out in February. “Revive” was born from a time in my life where I did the hard work through therapy and honest conversations, learning not to compromise my soul. I realized I couldn’t fix everyone and be their savior. I learned the art of preserving myself while helping others, the healthy version, not the co-dependent one. This project, “Revive,” stems from that realization — it’s about not losing yourself. Also, this Christmas, I worked on a movie with BET where I acted and produced the music for “Favorite Son Christmas.” Another movie, “Christmas Ringer,” is also releasing. So, between the new music and these films, there’s a lot happening. It’s a busy but fantastic time.
Yitzi: If you could summarize the overarching theme/message of your music into one bucket, what would it be?
Anthony: The overarching theme of my music would be perpetual hope despite circumstances. Hope in spite of what life brings — that’s what runs through my music.
Yitzi: That’s brilliant. So, why do you think music, in particular, the art form of music, has the power to change people and create a social impact of all the different forms of art? Why is it that music is so effective at that?
Anthony: You know, I don’t know what it is about melodies that make messages more memorable. I have no idea why. There are phone numbers right now that are jingles from TV commercials that you can remember from your childhood. I can quote a phone number for an insurance company in Texas because they set it to a song. So, putting messages of hope to melodies, it helps lay the concrete inside of you for what the message is. That’s what’s different about music compared to just telling someone something or saying, “Read this.” When there’s a melody, it sits deeper in your heart. Music is a tool to encourage the hearts of people who listen to it. That’s the bottom line — it’s an amazing way to frame it, how music sinks into your brain and connects permanently.
Yitzi: This is our signature question that we ask in all of our interviews: You’ve been blessed with some success. Now, looking back to when you first started, what are the five things you need to create a successful career in entertainment?
- Just off the top of my head, first, know what you’re best at. Going in the direction of what you’re best at creates a ripple effect for what you enjoy or are good at.
- Second, you can’t get ready for a role after you get it. If you’re going for a role, look like the role you want when you walk in that room.
- Three, define what success is to you. For me, it’s about peace. If an opportunity doesn’t bring peace, I’m out.
- Four, be mindful of the company you keep. Hang out with big-minded people who won’t hold you back.
- And finally, celebrate your uniqueness. There’s something about you that’s specific, and pursuing excellence in that will eventually bring the spotlight.
Yitzi: So, can you share with our readers what self-care practices you do to help your body, mind, and heart thrive?
Anthony: I spend as much time working on myself as I do with my music. It helps ensure I’m not coming from a broken place. Through therapy and self-work, I’ve become more aware of my needs. I make sure I’m well-rested, but I don’t shy away from difficult conversations. I believe the way out of a circumstance isn’t around it but through it. So, I allow myself to feel emotions and deal with them. It gets me in the optimal place to do the work I’m meant to do. If my mind is cloudy and I’m not dealing with myself, I can’t perform in life as I should. Facing hard things leads to unexplainable joy on the other side.
Yitzi: So this is our aspirational question, our final one. Due to your platform and influence, if you could spread an idea or inspire movements that bring the most good to the most people, what would it be?
Anthony: I believe I’m already doing it. I work with an organization called Food for the Hungry. It’s about passing it on, realizing we’re here not just to accumulate for ourselves but to help and build others. I’m living that through this organization. I think that’s why we’re here.
Yitzi: For readers who want to purchase your music or watch your films or support you in any way, how can they do that?
Anthony: They can find me on any social platform at Anthony Evans Jr or Anthony Evans Junior — Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, anywhere. They’ll find more about me there.
Yitzi: It’s been an honor to meet you. I wish you continued success in your great work, and I hope we can do this again next year.
Anthony: Thank you. Pleasure meeting you.
Music Star Anthony Evans On The Five Things You Need To Create A Highly Successful Career In the… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.