There’s something about Adriana Evans. That “something” enraptured me (yet again) while I was finishing my last final exam this weekend. Within the first few bars of “Waiting,” the first track off of her latest album “Walking With The Night,” I was spellbound by her rich musical landscape. Her music is an intoxicating mix of classic soul, funk, hip-hop, jazz, and Afro-Cuban and Brazilian rhythms. Her voice–an instrument that is reminiscent of the preeminent jazz vocalists of our time–is the soulful, sweet, sublime element that brings everything together. Like all great singers, she could sing anything and make you pay attention. It’s artistry. It’s realness. It’s music from the heart. And you can feel it. Whether it’s the latest album or one of her previous efforts, it won’t be long before you can’t get it out of her hypnotic music out of your mind. Aside from “Waiting” and the title track, songs that stay on repeat are “Surrender,” “Midnight,” “Set in Stone,” “Never Thought” and the album closer “El Sol” (which is one of several songs from her catalog that I believe provides an excellent snapshot of her artistry). Like her previous releases, I’ll be jamming to “Walking Into The Night” for life.
Evans made her self-titled debut back in 1997. This effort was one of several to lead the pack of what was being dubbed “neo classical soul” in the mid-to-late 90s. Her singles “Seein’ Is Believing” and “Love Is All Around” received moderate airplay on urban adult contemporary stations. But just as she was making headway, she disappeared from the “mainstream” music scene. I had been wondering for years when we’d be graced with her presence again. And in 2004 while finishing my final quarter undergrad, I came across some music from her “Nomadic” album. I was ecstatic. Fast forward to 2006 when I discovered that Adriana Evans “Remember The Love” (from the “Nomadic” album) was chosen to be the theme song to Patrick Ian Polk’s “Noah’s Arc” series. A black gay series on television with a soundtrack supporting indie and underrated musicians – it was a win-win. The series featured several other songs from “Nomadic” and Evans 2007 release “El Camino.” Thanks to Polk Evans and other artists music was exposed to a wider audience. It’s still a shame that music like this isn’t flooding the airwaves. However, unlike the non-believers whose ears aren’t to the ground, we know that real music still exists. Therefore, we must continue to support it. We can’t wait for mainstream to pay attention. We must talk it about, blog about it, tweet it, and share it on our social media and networking profiles. Keeping good, real, authentic music alive is a necessity!