Anthony Evans is singing his truth with the release of his ninth studio album, “Everything Else.”
The album’s nine songs are a byproduct, he said, of difficult times in his life that he details in his newly released book, Unexpected Places: Thoughts on God, Faith, and Finding Your Voice.
As the son of internationally-known pastor Dr. Tony Evans, the worship leader had to work through self-doubt and depression.
“To be able to make any kind of substantial change in your life you have to first be able to own what you want to change,” Evans said.
“Everything Else” follows the 2017 release of his no. 1 Billboard gospel album “Back to Life.” In an email announcing the new project, Evans told his followers he chose to write about issues any person could encounter rather than exclusively focus on faith:
“For the last 18 years as I’ve traveled the world I’ve hesitated to make an album that was anything other than what people expected of me as a worship leader. I was consumed with what might be thought if I did anything else. Well, I realized that striving for approval, at times perpetuated me being disingenuous and that is the antithesis of who I want to be. Everything Else is an album that is an honest expression of where I have been and in some cases where I still am. I decided that instead of writing about my faith that I would write about my human experience as a man of faith and finally talk about #everythingelse that sometimes we seemingly ignore.”
Evans has been challenging fans’ expectations since competing on NBC’s “The Voice” in 2012 and working with artists such as Mariah Carey, Sam Smith, Kanye West, and 2 Chainz. Advice from his father helped the musician reject negative feedback from followers and his own uncertainty.
“He said, ‘Anthony you are salt of the Earth, not salt of the shaker. Don’t compromise your faith, but you were not made to be salt of the shaker,” Evans explained.
He credits producer Max Stark and vocal arranger Tim Davis with growing his sound while keeping the new record authentic. The mix of upbeat and heavy tracks focus on the hope and hardships of love, the weight of temptation, and the healing found in letting go of harmful situations. In one pensive ballad, “Sometimes Love,” Evans sings about prayer, lamenting over receiving an answer from God that was clear but not what he expected.
“My objective in doing what I do is to not just to make stuff for numbers. It’s to make stuff that’s going to make an eternal and long-lasting impact on the lives who are going to be taking it in,” he said.
The new author took the same approach when writing about his parents and siblings in Unexpected Places.
“I was very cautious in writing this book and very concerned with making sure I don’t ever come off like I’m trash-talking family members or anything like that. I wanted to be honest, but at the same time I wanted to honor my parents because they’re amazing people,” he said. “So I had them definitely read everything before it was released. Give me their notes, let me know if there was anything offensive and I could change the wording. And there wasn’t much they wanted to change. They were gracious.”
Supporters can look forward to more honesty and music from Anthony Evans Entertainment in 2019. In addition to 22 events he is producing for his father and sisters, Priscilla Shirer and Chrystal Evans Hurst, through his company Sherman James Productions, Evans revealed he plans to release another book and two more albums in the next 12 months.
“Everything Else” is available everywhere music is sold and streamed.
Anthony Evans was featured in Faithfully Magazine No. 4 (Summer 2018).