Name: Evoni J.
Genre: R&B, urban pop
Favorite artists: Rihanna and Billie Eilish
As a singer and songwriter, describe who Evoni J. is in three words.
Aware, honest and descriptive — if we’re speaking of my artistry as far as lyricism.
When did you know you wanted to go into the music industry?
My mom used to have good relations with women in the WNBA, and therefore got acquainted with members in the NBA as well. One day, after a big Lakers game, all the team’s family members met back in the family room. Kobe Bryant was there with his family, and they all heard me singing. I received many compliments, but I definitely knew something was special, when Kobe Bryant paid me $1 to sing in the family room as a child.
It was not until age 16, when I officially knew. I was at a shoe store with my mom, and I was just singing for fun. I happened to bump into a producer named Gino, who heard me singing. He told me I should take singing seriously and record in his studio. I did come to a few sessions, and that is when I knew I wanted to take music seriously.
Later, Stream Cut took me under their wing and I began to work with them. Stream Cut is a record company in Atlanta, where I reside. It is like one huge family when I am with them. They really take pride in developing the artist and not just the label.
As far as songwriting goes, how important do you think it is for artists to write their own music these days?
It’s not. At this point, a hit is a hit. Personally, I don’t like sharing credit for my thought process. I try to write all my songs, but you have to be very open to change in this industry. I’ve done so in the past.
Artist development is a rarity now in the industry. Do you have a team that works with you, or are you self-made?
Self-made as a woman, yes. As an artist, I’ve had help. I appreciate the guidance when those people point out my strong points. When my team does that, they build up their “artist,” especially, when it comes to confidence.
R&B is making a huge comeback. What new sound do you want to bring to the music industry?
An abstract vibe and a new sound. Something that tells a different story every time it’s played.
Tell us more about your single “SipSlo.” What do you want listeners to take away from it?
I want them to be aware of their surroundings when drinking. It’s a party song but also an awareness song. I feel as though everyone has had that one night where alcohol reminds them why they should not abuse it. I wouldn’t say I abused it, but I was at an age where I should not have been drinking the way I was. Now, I can’t take a shot without gagging. I had one very bad night drinking and [to] this day, I thank God I made it home untouched. I won’t go into detail, but be responsible, please. Sip slow, baby.