Evan Jacob
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Evan Jacob

Band Pop Singer/Songwriter

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


By Marissa Kristal

New York Editor

New York—As a kid, New York-based musician Evan Jacob quit piano lessons because he hated practicing. He wished his talents extended beyond pitches and musical notes. But as the Minneapolis native now realizes, there’s just no escaping your fate.

“I knew I liked music from a really young age. In elementary school I was always given the solos in choir. I liked the attention—and it was the one thing I was great at—but trust me, at that age I wished I was better at kickball,” says Jacob.

It wasn’t until Jacob took a college course in music theory that he finally began to embrace his love of music and hone his inherent abilities. “I loved my music theory class. After that, I taught myself to play piano. In fact, I was addicted to it. I couldn’t walk past a piano without sitting down and playing. And just like anything else, if you love doing it, it doesn’t feel like practice, and it makes getting better easy.”

So maybe his musical skills never helped him become a grade-A athlete, but they’ve certainly turned him into an incredible artist. It’s not only his growing fan-base that can’t seem to get enough of his refreshingly raw lyrics and passion-infused melodies, but he’s even grabbed the attention of another artist, Ben Folds (of Ben Folds Five).

“Ben Folds has been my hero from the moment I heard his first album about 10 years ago,” Jacob explains.

“Anyone who knows me well knows I like cheeseburgers and Ben Folds. Recently he sent me an email saying that my music was solid and real and that I’m talented. But more importantly, he gave me some crucial advice. He reminded me that this business can seem daunting and that’s why I always have to put the music first. He said ‘Music is your God.’ He was so kind and helpful; in fact, we still keep in touch. To realize your idol is also a great person is an amazing feeling.”

And now, the same singer/songwriter who spent his younger years denying his musical prowess confesses music is who he is. “When I’m writing music I don’t feel like I’m ‘writing,’ I just feel like I’m doing something Jacob does,” he says. “Some people read, some people exercise, I just play around on the keyboard. But nothing is better than performing my music for people. To actually make a connection with people from something I created is amazing; in that moment nothing else exists.”

For Jacob, the songwriting process comes easily—usually beginning with him playing around on the piano. “If I come across something I like I will develop it from there. I usually don’t craft the melody; I just let it come out as I play. As far as the lyrics go, typically I wait for something emotional in my life to happen. Sometimes I end up waiting a while and other times I finish in one day. When I write or even listen to music, I see colors – so when I’m writing my music, sometimes I feel like I’m painting,” he says.

A born artist, only recently has Jacob started receiving the attention and praise both he and his music deserve. His journey from the suburban small town to the big metropolis of New York City hasn’t always been smooth. But as he describes, in order to fully recognize his musical passion and sharpen his skills, the move was essential.

“I left Minnesota to attend college in Connecticut. I majored in theater and was certain I wanted to be an actor, but while I was studying theater my music-writing hobby became something too big to ignore; it kind of took me over. Following college I moved to New York City and after doing numerous theater shows, I realized my real passion was writing music. It sounds so simple now, but it took me a long time to figure that out.”

Jacob admits that the transition from the Midwest to the East coast was a little overwhelming. “I’m not gonna lie, moving from small town Minnesota to New York City was a bit intimidating. I had never seen so many people at the post office! But like most people, after living here for a while, I fell in love with it. I love how everyone here is so different but so the same,” Jacob says.

He realizes that in New York he’s a small fish in an enormous pond, but that doesn’t bother him. “Sometimes I feel like I’d be smarter to move back to Minneapolis and try to make a name for myself there, but everything is in New York. I have so many resources here. Sure, it’s difficult to be in a city with so many people trying to do the same thing as me, but I feel like if I just keep doing my thing and stay true to who I am and my music, those other people don’t factor into my success.”

Like most musicians, Jacob is inspired by the talents of his predecessors. “I do have my own style and sound,” says the artist, who labels his music Powerpop/Indie/Big Beat. “But some artists who have really influenced my music are, of course, Ben Folds, Tori Amos, The Beatles and Rufus Wainwright.”

Despite his recent accolades Jacob remains grounded. He laughs when people tell him he’s ‘making it,’ because in his eyes there’s still so much more to accomplish.

“One of the things Ben Folds told me was that no matter what happens in my career, I’ll always feel like there’s more to be done. But the support I’m getting from my fans keeps me very optimistic—at least now I feel like I’m going in the right direction.”

So what’s next for Evan Jacob? Next year he hopes to go on tour and eventually get signed to a label. “I probably won’t stop bothering people until I do,” he says. But for right now, he’s finishing up his first EP which should be available for purchase by the end of the summer.

“If you like piano-driven rock or music that makes you feel like sitting on carpet, then you should give me a listen,” advises Jacob. - Boheme Verite Online Magazine


Discography

Evan Jacob - EP

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Evan wrote his first song on an out-of-tune piano in his basement.

"My mom's an artist, so I think I inherited her talent but in another form. Because when I write music, or even listen to it, I see colors. I know it sounds crazy, but its true. So, when I write music I feel like I'm painting."

Evan Jacob is dedicated to writing music that will surprise his listeners. And that notion is the reason for his enthusiastic, cult-like following. "My major influences, Ben Folds, Tori Amos, Rufus Wainwright, The Beatles, and Guster all inspire me to...be"

He grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis, and though he was cold, he learned that music made people happy. And happy people are Evan's favorite kind of people. "I hated homework so I graduated from the Hartt School at the University of Hartford with a BFA in music and theater. It was there I developed a sickness that involves the inability to walk past a piano without sitting down and playing it.

Evan lived in NYC, and he could often be seen playing at places like The Knitting Factory, Rockwood Music Hall, and Kennys Castaway.

Now you can see him in Minneapolis.
"Feel free to let go, let go to feel free."

DOWNLOAD MY SONGS ON ITUNES