Allow me to reintroduce your 2012 Rat Rock Girl for 95.9 WRAT. Behind that pretty face, fiery red hair, and glowing eyes is a soulful voice complimenting her extraordinary talent and audacious personality. Apryl Evans has reigned as the Rat Rock Girl at the Jersey Shore for the last year and is ready for people to hear her before they see her. Always wrapped in a smile and exuding a warmth to anyone she meets, Apryl proudly portrays herself as a triple threat in the industry and graciously owes it all to hard work, dedication, and a want to be the best at anything she may decide to pursue in life.
At the young age of 9, Apryl found the power of a female voice and her innate ability to immediately capture and hold an audience when she was cast as Belle in a school play of ‘Beauty and the Beast’. Since then, she has maintained a love affair with the stage and breathing air into her songs. This lifelong rocker finds her sound in country soul and acknowledges all the greats that have blazed this path before her like Miranda Lambert and Patsy Cline but offers a twist of Adele and a splash of Amy Winehouse to complete the Apryl Evans echo. I had the chance to sit down and talk with this rising star about all things music, life, and caffeine.
“If you’re going to do something, do it right.” Embarking on a debut EP is something many musicians struggle with and rarely find the means to pursue. Armed with talent, a fan base, and a skill for networking, Apryl designed a project on the fundraising website sellaband.com and fans poured in to be a part of her process and to buy a ‘share’ in her project. After a Google search fueled a dream to record in Nashville and her sellaband venture appeared to be lucrative, she booked studio time at Blackbird Studio in Nashville, TN. Recording her first album, Things You Left Behind in a studio owned by John and Martina McBride allowed her opportunities once trapped in hopes and wishes but now her reality. “I couldn’t believe all this was for me! There had to be a mistake, I mean, I had people doing everything for me.” Grammy Award winning producer David Hall and Reba McEntire’s drummer Tommy Harden created a country soul sound while songwriters Rachel Thibodeau and Jason Sever worked with Apryl on lyrics close to her heart. The result is a 5-song EP and a true reflection and extension of this chic country chick.
To celebrate the release of her debut album, Apryl Evans chose to share the spotlight with the New Jersey based non-profit organization ‘Students Against Being Bullied’ (S.A.B.B.) founded by Ashley Craig, a 16-year old high school student. Implementing a teenage friendly texting system, S.A.B.B. hopes to create a report line where administrators will be alerted of inappropriate behavior by victims or bystanders. S.A.B.B. also suggests securing a ‘safe room’ in schools where students can go before the first bell rings to avoid being bullied in the halls. It’s impressive to hear Apryl talk about this charity and about her volunteer work in general. “I always think about everything I’ve been blessed with, and know that people are out there that need an extra hand.”
Come celebrate Apryl Evans and her new album Things You Left Behind at the Stone Pony on November 16th. Also performing that night will be Rockit graduates Xero Gravity, Going Dark performing their anti-bullying anthem Stand Up, and solo artist Bobby Mahoney. Co-headlining the benefit show will be Dead Fish Handshake, a rock band fresh off studio time with Clint Lowery from Sevendust. DFH singer Matthew Paul expressed excitement to be on the bill and spoke about the importance of this platform in music. “The lyrical undertones of our music speak to those who have endured and overcome personal struggles. I personally believe no one should allow themselves to be victimized by the ignorance of others. DFH is about self-empowerment. In order to achieve that status you must have an outlet that allows you to find your true potential as an individual; skin that you feel comfortable in; the confidence to stand up for yourself and what you believe in. Music did that for us. Hopefully being part of this show will continue to allow us the opportunity to spread that message to those who need a reminder.” This promises to be a night buzzing with positive messages and good music. Tickets will be $12 in advance and $15 at the door with all proceeds going to ‘Students Against Being Bullied’.
Apryl Evans’ debut album will drop on November 13, 2012 and will be available anywhere you can find and buy music. Be sure to pick up your copy and see her live at the Stone Pony.