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A chance to communicate

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Singer Anthony Evans, a former contestant on the NBC hit series “The Voice”, is living proof that even after one door closes, another can swing open.

Mr Evans spoke with local middle and high school students last week about the importance of setting goals and building the right foundation for success, as part of an assembly organised by pro-kindness programme Chain Reaction Bermuda.

He also shared about how his time on “The Voice” — including his elimination in the battle round portion of the televised series — opened up bigger and better opportunities for his music career.

Mr Evans admitted that taking part in the singing competition was “a very interesting experience” for him.

Raised in Texas, he grew up singing in the church and always dreamed of becoming a musical artist.

His father, Tony Evans, is a popular Christian author and the pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas.

Mr Evans began making a name for himself as a highly sought-after worship leader, working with the likes of Grammy Award winning gospel artist Kirk Franklin, and went on to release several albums of his own.

But then got a phone call from a casting director in Los Angeles inviting him to audition for ‘The Voice' — and expose his talent to an international audience.

Mr Evans was initially hesitant about taking part in the new show, but said a few friends encouraged him to try out.

The process started with 50,000 people, but was narrowed down to 100 contestants, including Mr Evans, who was selected to be on a team led by pop singer Christina Aguilera.

“Being on the show was a chance for me to communicate to people that you can dream big, think outside the box and pursue what you are passionate about,” he said.

“After I lost the battle round I went home, which was crazy, but soon after that CeeLo Green called me and I started working with him on a Christmas album.”

Since his time on the second season of the show, Mr Evans has been able to work with powerhouse singers like Mariah Carey and Celine Dion.

He also landed a job as Talent Producer on “The Voice”, which gives him the chance to travel around the US and help spot up-and-coming talent for the show.

If that's not enough, the singer said the experience inspired him to write and create more of his own music — with his latest album “Real Life, Real Worship” due to be released on April 8.

Mr Evans said if local students could take anything from his message, he hopes they will aspire to dream big.

He told The Royal Gazette: “I'm hoping the young people, even if it's just one of the kids, they are inspired to go after their dreams, no matter how unattainable it may seem at this point.

“There were times when I was starting out in my career that I felt my dreams were unreachable.

“I was a different artist for the genre I was in and some people said they didn't get me or understand what I was about because my music was Christian and pop.

“But I had to keep doing it with the belief that people over time would connect with it, as long as I stayed passionate and real.”

Mr Evans told students that his career highs and lows had taught him importance of building a strong foundation for success.

Just like construction workers have to build deep in order to create a solid foundation for a tall skyscraper, people also have to make sure they are mentally and emotionally prepared to reach the height of their career.

“A lot of us want to go this high in our lives and build a lot and accomplish a lot, but we don't want to go deep,” he said.

“I have had to work hard at my craft in singing. In the same way we have to work on our character and our integrity and build deep in those areas so we can be sure when the opportunities come we can hold on and stand up under the weight.”

He admitted it can sometimes be hard to prepare for something that isn't there in front of you yet, but you have to believe it's going to come and get yourself ready for that moment.

Mr Evans was able to sing two songs: “What Could Have Been” and “I Found You”, from his latest album during one of his visits to CedarBridge Academy.

S1 student Brandon Wilson said both the lyrics of the songs and Mr Evans' words resonated with him.

“He just inspired me to keep pushing in life and to know there are no limits to where you can go,” the teenager said.

“It reminded me that I am worth it and anything is possible. And if you want something you have to try and achieve it and can't let anyone stand in your way. My dream is to become a police officer.”

Chain Reaction Bermuda, also known as Rachel's Challenge, is an international Pro-Kindness Programme for school aged children.

It's designed to disarm bullying and potential violence in schools by promoting kindness, respect, and understanding.

For more information on the programme, visit: www.chainreactionbermuda.org/

Photo by Akil Simmons Anthony Evans, who was once a contestant on NBC hit show The Voice, visited CedarBridge Academy Friday to talk about his time on The Voice, setting goals, dreaming big.
Photo by Akil Simmons Anthony Evans, who was once a contestant on NBC hit show The Voice, visited CedarBridge Academy Friday to talk about his time on The Voice, setting goals, dreaming big.

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Published March 17, 2014 at 9:00 am (Updated March 17, 2014 at 12:34 pm)

A chance to communicate

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