Faith Evans has been a staple in the music industry ever since the 1995 release of her first, self titled album, and her rise to fame alongside some of the East Coast’s most prominent rappers and musicians. As an artist, Faith is known for her R&B soprano and ability to write lyrics that speak to the soul. In pop culture, she’s known as being one of the few things that made the hip-hop feud between Biggie and Tupac (East Coast versus West Coast), personal.
Now, Faith is opening up, sharing her thoughts on topic of the power of social media, making good music, and having a hustler’s mentality.
JET: What sound were you going for with this upcoming album:
Faith Evans: I was wanting to give my fans the same good music they expect from me. When I do music, I do what I feel is real and what feels real to me. I want my fans to be able to get that good “Faith Evans” vibe sound. I just try and keep it real. I worked with some great writers and producers, and I’m very excited about my track “Make Love” with my good friend Keke Wyatt.
JET: You were gone from music for 5 years. What made you decide to return?
Faith Evans: When I take a break, it’s because I’m dealing with real life. I have children and a real life to live; I’ve never let the music and this business consume me. I don’t hold myself to a tight schedule or anything. I make music when it feels right, and give my fans quality music, I don’t just release stuff to try and stay relevant. My fans are real and respect that. Don’t get me wrong though, I do hustle. I have a lot of different projects I work on, talent I work with, and so forth.
JET: Can you give us some insight on these upcoming projects?
Faith Evans: As you know, my latest album Incomparable is out now. I’m shooting a few videos for tracks on the album. I’m also doing a lot of promoting- doing live shows and things like that. I’m also putting together a 5 to 10 show concert series, featuring songs from the first album and onward. It should be a great time. Puff is putting together a reunion concert for the original members of Bad Boy Entertainment later in the year, so that’s something I’m looking forward to. Getting to reunite with some good people and great artists like the good old days. I have a couple of TV projects in development, including some with Queen Latifah and her production company (Flavor Unit). I’m also doing a pilot for a talk show, so stay tuned for that. Like I said, I’m always out here making moves. Hustle never stops.
JET: We recently observed the 18th anniversary of Biggie’s death. Does his music and legacy still inspire you?
Faith Evans: I think Biggie subconsciously inspires me. But to be honest, we only really ever collaborated musically on my first album. But yes, some songs still come from our personal experiences so I guess that’s influential in a way. I will say that nowadays I find myself thinking of him more often and shedding more tears when I think back on him and our time together. The memories are mainly of the happier times even though we had a lot of ups and downs. I just sit and think like ‘damn, that was such a long time ago,’ but to me it still feels like yesterday. Time is crazy like that.
JET: Who inspires you?
Faith Evans: My mother and grandmother are the two women who empower me the most. I’m blessed to still have both of them in my life. They raised me together. Even though they both approach life differently, they both influenced who I am today. From one I learned a ‘no-nonsense’ way of living so that’s where I get my tough skin from, and from the other I also learned to have an understanding spirit, so that’s where my gentler side comes from.
JET: What do you to do to get centered?
Faith Evans: I really like to take baths! I just chill in a bath with some music and candles and just relax my mind. I also work out a lot too, which helps release stress. I like to take that time to just find my center and open my thoughts. It’s not often I get to take getaways, so those private moments help a lot.
JET: What’s a typical day look like for you?
Faith Evans: My days start at 4 A.M. I get up, work out, make my son’s lunch and send him off to school. Then it’s phone calls, emails, housework, and meetings. If I’m working on a project, then studio time is in there somewhere. I’m kind of boring for real though, I’m normally in bed by 9 P.M then turn around and start the day all over again.
JET: You use social media a lot these days. What are your thoughts on the medium?
Faith Evans: I like to use it to promote and interact with fans. It’s a great place to share news and updates and stuff like that. But to be honest, I’m happy it wasn’t a thing when I was up and coming.
JET: What’s your mantra?
Faith Evans: I don’t particularly have a personal affirmation. But I like to live by the idea that if you’re coming from the right place, you can’t go wrong. At the end of the day, if I’m living my life, with every action coming from a pure heart and a genuine place, then I can rest easy.
Samantha Callender is a multimedia journalist whose work ranges from entertainment journalism to pieces highlighting social issues in multicultural communities. Samantha strives to find intersects between entertainment and social matters, believing that pop culture has the power to not only entertain the masses, but to educate them as well. Her goal when storytelling is to write pieces that serve as a catalyst to prompt dialogue and activism. Her work can be seen on VIBE, The Root, Madame Noire, HerAgenda, and USA Today College. For more information visit samanthacallender.com.