I was blessed with an opportunity to catch up with creative genius Tommy Evans for a quick Q&A session. After a few years hiatus from the Rap game Tommy recently announced his comeback single “Flow (H20)” which drops on Friday (20/09/2019). I’m fortunate enough to have been one of the first people to hear it and cannot express in words how impressed I am and how excited I am to hear more. It really is that dope!
Fix – Why did you initially stop rapping?
TE – That’s a looong story that merits a book in itself to answer the question! In fact, I did actually start writing that autobiographical book and spent four years working on it only to take an extended hiatus to live life as opposed to writing about lived life, if you get the subtle distinction! I actually ended up writing another book: a poetry collection entitled “Medusa Wore A Weave (Or: In The Absence Of Magic)” – released in 2018 – whilst simultaneously composing my PhD thesis so my pen has remained sharp in the interim!
Fix – Why were you out for so long?
TE – This links to the previous question in that the timing never really felt right for a return. However, my innate artistry and love of creative expression manifested in other mediums from graphic design and filmmaking (in all its forms: screenwriting, directing, acting and editing) to spoken word and page poetry, to journalism and academia. It’s all about ideas, expression and editing: put simply, it’s more about what you leave out than what you retain, whether that’s a song, a short film, a poem, an interview or an academic paper.
Fix – Why have you decided now to rap again?
TE – Now the timing is right! It was all very organic, a graceful evolution of style gliding along a continuum of creativity.
Fix – The comeback single “Flow (H20” is fire (see what I did there) <I did!> I cannot wait for others to hear it and I’m looking forward to the full project. What can we expect from the album?
TE – Thank you! The album is a loose adaptation of my aforementioned poetry collection, “Medusa Wore A Weave”, so it’s been a fascinating process to adapt words intended to be read off the page to then housing them within the architecture of a track so that they may be heard: “From A4 to wave forms / I brainstorm, rains pour / Use flow to say more!” The LP contains 14 tracks of soulful hip-hop with some surprising sonic twists! I don’t want to give too much of the game away at this stage but I think you’ll enjoy it!
Fix – You’ve been shelling the spoken word scene for sometime. There are obvious similarities between Poetry and Rap but what’s the biggest differences and challenges when doing music as opposed to poetry?
TE – Wow, great question! I love both! One thing I’ve learnt is that every scene or industry possesses its own politics, protocol and personalities: be it rap, spoken word, page poetry or even academia which, believe it or not, has its own lyrical battles of sorts albeit in a bit more passive-aggressive manner and confined to the relatively safe confines of the academic journal! Having earned my stripes in the more gladiatorial hip-hop arena, the spoken word scene definitely feels a lot more inclusive, supportive and open-minded. That said, it has its own internal issues – as every subculture or genre does – so you have to take the positives and leave the negatives. That said, I’m more rapper than poet so it’s great to be back home with my perfectly imperfect first love!
Fix – You’ve done some great articles and interviews for afropean.com, put out an incredible book “Medusa Wore A Weave (Or: In The Absence Of Magic)”, performed spoken word at a very high level including a much publicised poem for Grenfell that was played on sky news for the world to see. You’re rapping again. I want to thank you for sharing your incredible mind with the world. With that being said my last question to you is a selfish one but Is there any chance you’ll creative brilliance will get into the podcast game?
TE – Thank you again for all the kind words of support. Yeah, I’ve given the podcast thing a lot of thought and loads of people have said to me I should do it but to be honest, I really don’t have the time at the moment. I’m just so busy making music and handling the business side of things as well – the grit behind the glitz! It’s an interesting point though, as in this social media age it’s not enough to be musician – especially as an independent artist – you have to be a content creator as well to cater to short attention spans and the incessant demand for 24/7 stimulation! In fact, in the coming years, I suspect it’s going to be a bit of a role reversal: “public figures” will make a name for themselves as content creators and use that as a springboard to launch their musical careers or at least dabble in making tracks; Lewis Capaldi being the most salient example of late but also, to a lesser degree, the likes of Chunkz and Liza Koshy. And that’s not to critique, it’s just an observation of the current climate. On the theme of podcasts, Killa Kela just invited me down to catch his podcast this week so that’s a great example of a talented, hard working artist bossing the podcast game too!
Follow Tommy Evans on Instagram @tommyevansofficial and Spotify: Tommy Evans. Once again, his new single “Flow (H20)” drops on Friday (Sep 20th)
Mr Fix can be found on Instagram @caffeineandhiphop and Twitter @mrfixhhbitd