Essentially Pop Meets Mo Evans

Laughing with Mo Evans

We introduced you to Mo Evans a few weeks back, but recently had the opportunity to meet the man himself, and find out what makes him tick.

EP:  Give us the Mo Evans story in a nutshell!

Mo:  [Laughs] I grew up in Scotland. My family were quite musical, my Mum’s a singer, my Dad’s a producer, my Granddad’s an artist…quite a lot of…

EP:  Your Grandmother was a singer too wasn’t she…

Mo:  Yeah! I never got to meet my Grandma, she died the same year I was born actually – I would have liked to have met her. My Mum obviously thought quite highly of her, she was a real spirit…

EP:  And your sister was named after her…

Mo:  Yeah! Don’t know where Mo came from! [Laughs]

EP:  No! It’s Mo-an isn’t it?

Mo:  Mo-han.

EP:  So is it Welsh? Or Scottish? Or what?

Mo:  It’s Indian!

EP:  Indian! Okay!

Mo:  Well, I think so. I kinda asked my Dad, it took my Dad quite a while to actually tell me what had happened, but poor Dad, he was like, “We really didn’t know what to call you, I was sat there with the baby book and everything…” and whilst Mum was having me…they wanted to call me Mo – my Dad wanted to call me Cosmo – I would not have been happy, it would have made things quite difficult. [Laughs]

EP:  It’d be one of those names where you’d be completely ripped off at school…

Mo:  Yes exactly. Well Mohan was bad enough, to be quite honest…

EP:  But they can’t really question it, can they, it’s a name they’ve never heard of…

Mo:  It’s alright. I wanted to be called Gary Black when I was a kid, I wanted to be a rock’n’roll Gary Black – I think I got it from Digimon or Pokemon or something…[Laughs]

EP:  We should call you Gary for the rest of the interview!

Mo:  No! Please don’t !  Haha!

EP:  Is that it? You grew up in Scotland…

Mo:  I grew up in Scotland in a place called TPot Studio…I should probably explain that – my Mum and Dad met in the studio, my Dad was engineering for my Mum’s brother, who was producing my Mum’s record, so I think that’s right – they met, don’t know how long before they moved, Mum was kinda at her peak and I think her manager got in touch and said, “We’ve got this really nice place in Scotland,” but it was a wreck, it was a burned down schoolhouse…so they went to Scotland. My Mum’s side of the family, my Uncle Neil, Grandma Vicki’s sister’s husband, he came, and he and everyone basically built the studio – it was burned down, it had trees growing in it, and so now that is TPot Studios…which is a very nice place.

EP:  So does your Dad still produce up there?

Mo:  Yep.

EP:  So he’s still in Scotland…

Mo:  Yeah, so when they split up I moved down here when I was 10, I go back pretty frequently, me and Dad have got a pretty good working relationship.

EP:  He’s produced your EP, hasn’t he?

Mo:  Yeah!

EP:  What a dude!

Mo:  Him and Pete Brown, my Mum’s brother.

EP:  You’ve got it all sorted, haven’t you! Goodness me!

Mo:  Yeah! Blagged my way through the first EP, not sure everyone will be so nice the next time around…

EP:  No! It’s not a bad EP, though, so far as it goes, it’s pretty cool.  I was listening to it this morning – as soon as I heard it was out, I thought, I’ll go and buy that – I played it for my daughter – my daughter is probably not much younger than you, she’s 18 – and she went, “Oh his voice!  It’s so beautiful!” [Mo laughs].  So there you go!

Mo:  Woohoo! Amazing!  [Laughter]

Laughing with Mo4

EP:  So are you independent? Are you signed to anyone?

Mo:  I’m not signed, no. I’ve got my manager Jasmine who has just been the most amazing person in the entire world, she’s managed me for just under two years, and when we first me she offered me this tour in Rome, on the first day, and I did a week’s gigging for Harley Davidson, and we did the same for Austria as well, and that was kinda like, that just changed everything, because it was proper hardcore, it was three gigs a day, it was amazing to meet some really great people, and she’s just been constantly helping me out, I definitely wouldn’t have done anything like I’ve done now if it wasn’t for her.

EP:  That’s pretty cool!

Mo:  Yeah!

EP:  So in terms of your music – how important is it for you to retain creative control over it all?

Mo:  Think I always will, to be honest; writing – I don’t do anything else really. We never had a telly at TPot, and the studio is right out in the middle of nowhere, so it was like either climbing trees or playing instruments:  still do the same now! [laughs]

EP:  It’s a cool way to grow up though isn’t it!

Mo:  Yeah! Oh man, I wouldn’t have it any other way! Certainly not! I don’t know whether that’s a conscious decision, but nothing appeals to me apart from playing guitar.

EP:  So there was never any time when you were like, “No! I’m going to become a doctor!”

Mo:  No!

EP:  It was always like, music? It’s certainly in your blood, isn’t it.

Mo:  I think I’ve never had any other ideal. As for independence, my point is I think I’ll always be independent, because I like to be in control of what I do. I don’t think I’d let anyone take that away from me, because it’s too precious! [laughs]

EP:  And if you’ve a good manager who’s looking out for you, who really cares, she knows what’s best for you, and your family’s backing you…

Mo:  Exactly!

EP:  I was going to say, that’s a really important thing, isn’t it, to have your family support you – if they were like, “No Mo! We want you to be a doctor!” [laughs] and you still went off, “No, I wanna be a singer!” that’d be really hard wouldn’t it!

Mo:  It would be tough! It’s been weird because Mum and Dad, and Granddad – he’s still really big, he came to see a gig of mine at Half Moon at Putney, for the first time, it was so lovely…

EP:  Did he get swamped by people? Like as soon as he walked in the door?

Mo:  He did, he always has…

EP:  He’s got his gaggle of fangirls…”OMG it’s JOE BROWN!!!” 

Mo:  [laughs] Yeah so he came along to that which is the first gig he’s properly seen:  he’d seen one before but I was a bit younger and it wasn’t really me as established as I am now. The thing about Mum and Dad is they’ve always kept the right distance away – like they’ve never been too involved, and they’re there whenever I needed it or asked for it, and there’s nothing else otherwise, and it’s given me a chance to explore and kinda figure out who I am without being force-fed the music industry and all that stuff.

Laughing with Mo8

EP:  Dream collaboration, living or dead, who would you like to collaborate with, if you wanted to collaborate with anyone? Anyone in this room? Amy Winehouse?

Mo:  You know, I’ve only just started to listen to Amy Winehouse! I’ve always loved her and always admired her, but I’ve never fully appreciated her music, but just the last couple of months I’ve been listening to her albums and stuff, and it’s like…I was on the way to Bristol and my friend was playing her and I’m like “Who’s this? This is really good!” and he’s like, “It’s Amy Winehouse, you idiot!” Wow…just never really paid attention that much to it…but anyway – collaboration – I would say…this is difficult…

EP:  Would you collaborate with Joe?

Mo:  Yes I would! It might be…obviously it’s been spoken of before, doing like a family song…

EP:  How cool would that be!

Mo:  It’d be a disaster! [laughs]

EP:  Your sister photographs, doesn’t she…

Mo:  Yeah, she also sings, plays piano…great didgeridoo player…

EP:  Goodness me…

Mo:  But she’s a model really – Mrs Perfect” [laughs]

EP:  One of those annoying older siblings… [Mo laughs]

Mo:  She was getting straight As at school…I was getting Fs…

EP:  “But Mo! We want you to become a DOCTOR! Come ON!” [Mo laughs]

Mo:  I’d love to do something with Granddad. I’d love to have met Jeff Buckley, even just to have a beer with him…anyone else…ahh…Stevie Wonder would be incredible…Mum’s kinda brought me up on Stevie Wonder a bit…

EP:  Jools Holland? Cos your Mum’s worked with Jools…

Mo:  Yes! I know Jools quite well…haven’t seen him in a long time…but I was thinking I’d love to get Joe on a record, I’m definitely going to try to. I think he’d be up for it as well.

EP:  Okay, so we’ll get the Brown/Evans family singers together [Mo laughs] and then you could also do…oh like a charity single! [Mo LAUGHS HARD], just your entire family and..STEVIE WONDER and JOOLS HOLLAND…just add a few people…

Laughing with Mo5

EP:  Okay – “Spilled My Love”. Take us through it – what’s your favourite song?

Mo:  I don’t know actually! I go through phases of liking different ones.  I think, “You Wanted Love”, the last song on the EP, would be my overall favourite…I wrote that a couple of weeks before we went to do the EP, and I was like, “I’ve really got to put this on”. It fitted really well with everything I was writing at the time. I just had a really big connection with it. But there’s different things I love about all of them. “Spilled My Love” is probably my least favourite, just because I’ve heard it so much, but “Close My Eyes” – have you seen Vicki’s video for it? It changed the song for me so much…

EP:  That video is TRAGIC! So sad!

Mo:  Yeah!

[youtube https://youtu.be/n39ap2ewCmc]

EP:  Do you believe in stuff like fate?

Mo:  I do, yeah. I’m not sure that…My Dad’s quite a spiritual person, so I’ve been brought up on all that sort of stuff, but I think I have my own take on it, I’ve had the best of both worlds. But I do believe in fate, I do believe in Karma, but most people do, I think.

EP:  In every religion there’s that element of “things happen for a reason”.

Mo:  I’m not religious at all, I don’t follow any religion…

EP:  …you can see stuff happen in your life…

Mo:  I’ve got my own ideas and beliefs and stuff…

Mo and his Pint

EP:  Now – you opened for Bonnie Tyler! We do a lot of Eurovision stuff on EP, I saw her in Malmo – was it cool? Was she amazing?

Mo:  Yeah! She’s pretty outgoing!  I’ve got some really great memories of her when we were in Rome…

EP:  So if you were asked to do Eurovision, would you do it?

Mo:  I’m not too familiar with Eurovision…

EP:  You’d probably be a pretty good contestant cos you know nothing about it!

Mo:  How does it work?

EP:  Well it started just after the war, to get Europe back together peace through singing…

Mo:  I probably would do it, if I was asked. I don’t really know where I’m going with everything, what I’m going to be, I’ve never thought about things like, seeing myself in Eurovision…

EP:  You just want to play your guitar sitting in a tree…

Mo:  I could do that! I could hang upside down in a tree…

EP:  That could be your Eurovision act! 

Mo: [laughs] …trees and vines and stuff…

EP:  What’s your advice for other young hopefuls wanting to get into the music industry?

Mo:  My advice…let me think about this…well…my honest experience, is that I went into education, I tried to do music, I went to BIMM, which was amazing, and it was great and it was a really great experience, and I urge anyone who wants to get into music and be a singer, to do that and learn as much as you can, but really – I personally don’t think it’s going to get you to where you want to be – you have to be a people person – you have to treat people kindly, you have to go out and you have to – the way I found it is when I decided I was going to tackle it head on, things started happening. Before when I was preparing, I was doing all these things around it, like going to BIMM and all that stuff – as soon as I made the conscious decision to just DO it, I went out and…you have to just be strong about it. It’s all about who you know and who you get to know, and all that stuff. And although I’m quite privileged with my background, I’ve met some amazing people, and all the people who’ve been interested in me recently have been people who’ve had no idea what I’ve done or where I’ve come from, which is really nice.

EP:  That’s what we loved about your Twitter Takeover the other week, because we didn’t have any clue, we didn’t know who you were, where you’d come from, but we liked your music and so we decided to let you have a go…and then you put that video on of your Mum and Dad and sister from before you were born…and we were like…hang on…he’s Sam Brown’s son…what the hell…That was really good because we all came in with no expectations and just appreciated you for who you are.

Mo: I really enjoyed that Twitter Takeover, it took me a second to get into it, but as soon as I did I started having a bit of fun with it.

EP:  Where are you going to be in five years? You don’t know do you!

Mo:  I have NO idea! Older…might have lost my hair by then…really hope I follow Granddad’s footsteps rather than my Dad’s, I always heard it jumps a generation, so I should be okay. [haha]

EP:  One more question! What do you wish people would ask you – but no-one ever does?

Mo:  No-one has EVER asked me that question before!

EP:  That’s not your answer!

Mo: [laughs] Well…I feel like I’ve got a lot to share, all arrogance aside, I’ve always been like so in love with where I’ve grown up, and I feel like I’ve got a lot to share of my experience of that part of the world, and I never tell it, because no-one ever asks and it’s not in my nature to boast about it, but I feel like I’ve sat down for hours with photos of when I was a kid and before I was born, and my life and music up there, I’d love to tell people about that, and what it’s like to be in that environment…

EP:  I think people would like to hear it as well!

Mo:  I think it’d be something worth hearing! So if anyone would like to know what it was like growing up in the studio, that would be a nice thing, because I could talk about it for hours! It was an amazing way to grow up.

EP:  We can do that another time! Because I think it would be brilliant. It just looks like a really idyllic way to grow up.

Mo:  Yeah – cos I feel people don’t know my full story – I feel like, because I’m here, and I’m young, and I’m doing what a lot of other people are doing, it’s quite easy for people to dismiss…I feel like I’ve got a lot to share. I’ve got a good story to tell, I think, and I’d love to tell it as well, but I’ve never been given the opportunity.

EP:  We’ll give you the opportunity!  Thank you so much for talking to us Mo! And we’ll definitely do that follow up interview with you!

Mo Evans is on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Soundcloud, and his website. Spilled My Love is out now!

[youtube https://youtu.be/ACJKVGIwmGU]

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