American Idol finalist Evelyn Cormier has just released her first faith-based single 'In The Garden' and Louder Than The Music chatted with her to find out all about that TV experience that saw her voice praised by Katy Perry and Lionel Richie, and how she hopes to bring peace to her listeners through the music she writes.
Many people will remember you from your time on American Idol, tell us a bit about that experience and what you learnt from it.
American Idol was a really amazing experience and a great opportunity for me especially as an independent artist trying to make my way in the music business. I learned a lot on my run on American Idol. It was really intense and very stressful but it definitely forced me to be more comfortable on stage in front of a bigger audience. It pushed me as a performer and an artist in big ways in a very short period of time. Now I feel like I’ve done the scariest thing I can think of and that I can do anything else now. I still get stage fright right before a show but Chris Isaak shared with me that he still gets nervous and that it is something that will probably always be with me for the rest of my career. He said the nerves are what pushes your performance to be something real and alive, so embrace it.
How did you first get involved in making music?
I think I’ve always been involved in music in someway my whole life. I was always singing and I started playing violin at age 4. My family is also very musical and I was brought up listening to a real eclectic group of music - from singing hymns in church to listening to The Cranberries or The Cure. I knew I wanted to be a singer by the time I was 10 years old and begin writing my own songs at 13. I was in a band with all adults who believed in me and supported me at age 14, by age 15 I was playing paid gigs out at restaurants. By age 18, I released my first EP of original music called “Ghost”.
Tell us about your new single ‘In The Garden’ and what the inspiration behind it was?
“In The Garden” is my first faith-based single. Many people who have been following my journey asked me to write a wedding song and being newly married myself, I was able to pull from my own thoughts and prayers about marriage. I drew inspiration from the first marriage of Adam and Eve. They would walk in the cool of the day with the Lord in the garden in perfect communion together. This song is a prayer asking the Lord to join, lead and direct our marriages, to bring us into perfect communion with Him. I hope that it is an encouragement to all those who hear it.
What message would you like people to take from your music?
I always like the idea that I’m writing something that will bring peace to the listener. My hope is that when people turn on my music they can take a deep breath and relax.
How would you describe your style of music and what are your influences?
I would describe my style as Indie Folk and that I’m really into creating acoustic music, really stripped back, not overproduced, just real, raw music. My influences are constantly changing but some of them are - Crowded House, The Cranberries, Dinosaur Jr, Lana Del Rey, Taylor Swift, Andrew Peterson, Rich Mullins and Keith Green, to name a few.
If you could work with any songwriter, who would it be and why?
I think if I could work with any songwriter I would want to work with Julia Michaels. I really like her song writing and she has even written songs that you have probably heard but wouldn’t necessarily think that she has written. She writes for a lot of people on the radio right now but she also for herself. I’ve just really admired her style and I actually got to meet her very briefly on American Idol and she was really nice.
How would you define success in your career as an artist?
I would define success in my life as an artist by having a consistent audience and fanbase who want to listen to my new music and feel inspired by me and my artistry. I’d love to be able to continue playing shows for my whole career and write music forever. Having a sustainable career would be considered a success for me.
What is your favorite album of all time?
My favorite album of all time is probably 1989 by Taylor Swift. It was her first attempt at coming out into the pop music genre and it was just incredible and I’ve continued to listen to it since it came out in 2014.
You’re stuck on an island, it’s hot, you only have enough battery life left to listen to one song on your phone. What track is it?
I would listen to the song “Fear Of The Water” by Syml. They make me feel really relaxed and chill.
What does the next year hold for you?
I can’t say for certain what the next year will hold for me. We are in a very interesting but weird time in the world. I know what I would like to be doing in the upcoming year. I’d like to continue writing music, working in the recording studio, working with songwriters and producers and just keep creating art. Everybody needs music in their life and music is such a huge part of everybody’s life that many people are turning to it during this crazy time as a therapeutic escape.