The first time she auditioned for The Voice, Bear resident Bria Evans sang Etta James’ “At Last.” For the second audition, she sang Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’.”
Now she needs to figure out what she’s going to sing for her third audition later this fall.
But you don’t have to wait to tune in on NBC to hear 15-year-old Bria, who, onstage, goes by Bria Noel: She’ll be the opening act for Friday’s Delaware Teen Idol at The Playhouse on Rodney Square in Wilmington, and she’ll also be performing a 30-minute set at the Eastern Shore AFRAM Festival in Seaford on Aug. 7.
She spent the past year touring nationally as a cast member in Mrs. Independent, a Priest Tyaire play that also stars Robin Givens, Tony Grant, Trisha Mann-Grant, Dottie Peoples and Christopher Williams.
Bria said music has always been a big part of her life, particularly because her parents, Joe and Kelly Evans, are math and music educators, songwriters and artist developers themselves. She plays guitar and piano and has been writing songs since the tender age of 8, she said, sometimes with the help of her musically-inclined parents. Things really got rolling when Bria was 10 and got an acoustic guitar for Christmas. After that, she began playing by ear at elementary school and community events.
She’s not just a live performer, either. Bria recently recorded three of her original songs with two Grammy-nominated producers and is already releasing music videos and singles on iTunes, Amazon and Google Play.
Bria loves many genres of music, but says one of her favorite artists is R&B singer Tevin Campbell. “You can feel the emotion in his voice, and also, he reminds me of a boy-Whitney Houston,” she said.
By many accounts, Bria is a typical teen. She loves to read, snap photos on Instagram, video chat, shop, hang out with friends and go for runs. She was home-schooled while she was on the road last year, but plans to return to high school in Bear this fall. English is her favorite subject in school, and she’s active at Simpson United Methodist Church in Wilmington.
But for Bria, songwriting, singing and playing instruments go beyond simple interests or hobbies. Music, she said, has helped her with a lot of her own insecurities. She hopes that someday her music will inspire others to feel empowered and more confident.
“I believe I’m here to help people—(my music is) not really just for me, it’s for everyone else,” she said. “That’s my goal, to reach as many people as I can through music.”