Mark Evans who is known as “Mark Discovered” or simply “Mark” is a 26 year old singer/songwriter from London/South East England. Mark comes across as a very realistic and genuine unsigned artist who has a strong and mature energy driven voice.
Mark has a lot going on at the moment with the launch of his debut video and album all kicking off this year.
We have been lucky enough to obtain an exclusive interview with Mark which gives us a real insight into his music, style and future plans.
So how did it all start? How did you get involved in Music?
Going back in time, for as long as I can remember I have been performing in one way or another. Back then it was a lot more stage performing and a heck of a lot of acting.
There was always something very appealing in being able to step on stage and be another character. It has then developed from there.
In terms of music, I studied it at school which had a much bigger classical emphasis which, although I enjoyed, I wanted to break free from and try something new. I just didn’t have a clue how to begin with. I would write my own tracks using basic midi systems and would really plod through things with very little technical know how. It wasn’t until a little bit later on when I entered an x-factor/pop idol style competition at a theme park did I really get going. The first year I entered I actually didn’t even get through to the final round.
I’ve never been one to give up too easily so I went back the following year having practised my stage performance a lot more and went on to win. From that, I got a day in the studio which really opened my eyes up to the industry I guess. Straight away I got the song up on MySpace and began looking at pushing the music further.
From there, I threw myself into getting my own tracks written and started by taking an Artist Starter Package at a studio in Battersea called Parkbench Studios. I don’t want to name drop, because it really isn’t my style BUT I got the opportunity to work with Ben Adams who is in the boy band A1. We went on to co-write more songs together. I learned a great deal from him in terms of song writing skill and technique and I am now in a position where I feel great ease in writing everything from the ground up.
Which artistes inspire you?
In terms of inspiration it is really hard to know where to start. I have had so many influences in musical taste because I have always made a point of getting to know people from all walks of life and therefore their musical tastes and so on. To begin with my parents have quite different musical tastes but they interchange so I learned very early on that it is perfectly acceptable to like more then one genre of music.
Nowadays it seems a lot of music fans get tied up in being totally biased towards a single genre and a belief that everything else is not proper music. When you come from a household that has 80’s Pop and Dance music like Madonna, A-Ha and Black Box playing one day and then Rock like Meatloaf or the Jam the next day you become very easily adjusted to all types of music.
Nowadays I will always lend an ear to something, regardless of what genre it is so it can sometimes be hard to pinpoint an inspiration.
Anyone who can bend the genres and take on different styles successfully is highly regarded in my eyes. The obvious being Michael Jackson but artists like Kelis, Meatloaf, Kylie Minogue, Justin Timberlake, Eminem, Melanie C and Lady Gaga have all given me moments of inspiration and ideas about my music. I can draw on all of them depending on what it is I want to achieve when I am writing.
Your due to shoot your very first video on 11th April.
I am indeed. The first video is for a new track that I have only just recorded called “Supernatural”. It actually launches on April 2nd on MySpace – the song that is.
I don’t want to give too much away because the whole story of the video and the song is about empowerment and self belief but that is something you have to find on out on your own. Sometimes you come across people in life that are so narrow minded and blinkered that try to hold you back or bully you when in reality you can draw power from that. It can make you stronger, almost to the point where you feel like a superhero or “supernatural”.
The video and song centres around that theme and most of all I want people to be able to draw on it and take away their own empowerment.
Additionally, you are also working on your debut album “discovered” – is this an long awaited ambition?
Most definitely. Originally, when I started creating “Discovered” I wanted to create something simply because I have always wanted to do it. I have always wanted my own album that I wrote that is a reflection of me. I was never really entertaining the idea of being famous or releasing an album even, I just wanted to create an album that was mine. It was only when people did start hearing it and responding so kindly that I realised that I should indeed share my music with anyone who wanted to listen. I have had such wonderful and positive feedback that I’d feel bad not sharing it, after all, isn’t that what music is for, for everyone to enjoy.
What’s your favourite track on the album?
That one is tough. As cliched as it sounds they are all my favourites. They are all different strands of thought and feeling. It really can depend on my mood. Turn It Up or 2nd Rate Love Song are great when I am getting ready to go out and party. Discovered (F.Y.I) is definitely one for when I need to remember what I am trying achieve and so on. I would say that right now, my favourite track is the new one, Supernatural. Simply because I feel it captures everything I am trying to say right now and the mind space I am in.
When do you plan to launch your album?
I haven’t set a date yet. Simply because I don’t want to get too bogged down in having a deadline for something and rushing myself to get stuff out. I am strong believer in letting the creative process flourish naturally and I keep writing with that regime in mind.
However, I do have a whole bunch tracks that are ready for the studio and from that I think it is safe to say that the album as a package is almost exactly where I want it to be. The other side of it is that of course, I am unsigned and the whole recording, mixing, mastering, printing and releasing of a record is a very expensive business and in this current climate I don’t want to take unnecessary and poorly judged risks in getting it out.
Don’t worry though, it isn’t far off and the first people to know when it is coming will find out directly via the MySpace page.
Do you write your own tracks?
Yes. As I mentioned earlier, a few of the tracks on the album have been co-written whilst I was still learning and getting to grips with how it all works. Of course, I was already writing alone long before then and I have continued on that way. I enjoy working with others but I also love the feeling when something is completely your own.
Listening to your tracks available from your MySpace at myspace.com/markdiscovered you showcase a wide variety of catchy tracks, along with powerful ballads such as I’ll be there. Does this song have any personal reflections from your life?
Oh without a doubt. I always write from personal experience and reflection or even expectation. I’ll Be there was written for my other half as a Birthday and Christmas present.
Romantic? Ever so slightly.
At the time I was going through a real tough time and felt I was being a bit unfair to my partner so I wanted to get down in music the way I feel towards him. I think to say something with a song can be really capture an emotion if it is done well.
Do you prefer singing the ballads or pop related songs?
Again, it really depends where I am at emotionally. I absolutely love singing something that engages a response from someone.
Quite often I find that singing a ballad is real chance to show off some technique and really convey an emotion that can sometimes be frowned upon for a man to have. On the flipside, the mood can carry me to want to just have a whole lot of fun and dance a lot which is where a great pop or dance track comes in handy.
Have you any up and coming gigs coming soon?
Well, I am actually performing on Monday 12th April at POP-REVUE! Which takes place at the Freedom Bar in Soho and it is a really big deal for me. I have found it very difficult to find nights that cater for a pop act or for someone that isn’t playing acoustic or in a band. This gig is my first major gig in London and is a massive opportunity to perform alongside some of the unsigned or newly signed talent that is out there. Naturally, I am always on the look out for more gigs and performance opportunities.
Do you enjoy the audience atmosphere?
The audience atmosphere is really important in any gig. I drive off of that atmosphere. I remember the gig where I launched the track Turn It Up. Although the audience was quite small they were electric. It is really difficult the feeling that gives you. An audience buzzing for you. I definitely felt that my performance went into total overdrive that night in a brilliant way. I can still feel the energy from that sort of gig days later.
What’s your favourite type of audience?
Having not had a massive amount of experience in larger venues it is hard to say. I have sung in many bars and pubs and the audiences are fantastic because it feels that much more intimate. When they respond well you can really feel it. I like to believe that if you have a much larger audience you may not have that intimacy but the energy is amazing. It is a flipside really and I would definitely like to keep a trend of catering to different audience sizes and venues.
Every artist whether signed or unsigned have had unexpected encounters on the stage. Can you recall an unexpected encounter on stage that wasn’t suppose to happen?
Ironically I haven’t had any encounters that were unexpected whilst singing. It has always been a real positive experience.
However, I have had some really bizarre experiences whilst I was in college.
We were doing panto and I would have to run up some stairs directly from the stage, chasing Cinderella. Near the top she would drop a shoe and I was supposed to pick it up and bring it back down the stairs. On one performance I got the slipper, turned and headed back down the stairs beginning my line “the slipper…” and when I was about 4 steps away from the stage I tripped and literally flew down the rest and landed in a heap on the stage. I could hear the audience gasp as they realised it wasn’t a set up and all I could do was to raise the slipper and finish the line as if it was all planned “…your majesty”. Half of the cast and myself ended up in heaps of laughter the moment we got backstage. It was hysterical. Things like that can actually make a performance, you just have to learn the art of picking yourself up, dusting yourself off and get on with it.
Although you are not world class recognised. Myself, and I’m sure all your fans would agree that your music is world class, especially the professionalism of the songs showcased on myspace and I’m sure your future album. Would you like to be recognised as a world class performer and artist?
Wow. Thank you for that! I would love to be recognised that way most definitely. I wouldn’t say I necessarily want the celeb culture that goes along with that though. Being plastered all over the tabloids isn’t my idea of fun. I just want the world to hear my music and enjoy it, take something from it, whatever that might be.
Have you ever considered auditioning for reality programs for shows like X Factor?
I always wondered how I would respond to a question like this. I think I possibly consider it for about 2 milliseconds. Simply put… NO. I have too many ideas and things I want to do in a certain way and I honestly don’t think that X Factor offers that kind of versatility.
I am a tad selfish like that, but I know how I would want to do things. This isn’t taking anything away from shows like that though! If people really disliked them then people wouldn’t watch, simple as. Shows like X Factor give so many people an opportunity to get into the industry where they may have never been given that chance before. I mean seriously, Alexandra Burke is fantastic. I’ve heard people say things along the lines of “well if she was so good, why wasn’t she noticed before?”. Perhaps because she was never in the right place at the right time, who knows? The point is, she very much deserves to be up there on that stage doing what she does best as much as (and in some cases more than) some of the other artists around.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?
Hmm, I honestly couldn’t guess it or even take an educated stab at answering that fully. I know for sure that I will still be singing, I’ll still be writing and I will still be putting music out there for the world to hear. I have no idea what circumstances that will be under though. I wouldn’t want to be so presumptuous as to say I’ll be rocking the o2 and all that stuff but I can certainly dream about it.
Do you have any future plans once you have launched your debut album?
Well the first thing is to either settle a record deal or release the album under my own steam digitally at the very least. From that, I would really like to go on tour with it. Whilst this is all going on I have also been asked to play a villain in an independent movie. I can’t really reveal too much because it is in it’s early stages but I am certainly up for the challenge. I’ve always wanted to play a bad guy in a movie so this is a must do really. After that I want to continue writing more material and start looking forward to a second album.