Ingenious Performer Kellylee Evans Channels Inner Simone
Students weren’t the only community members in attendance at the newest ground-breaking series presented by CES and UPC, On the Edge. Both residents of Frostburg and awed fans showed to support soulful artist Kellylee Evans as she expands her career into America. The inaugural On the Edge event took place in a Jazz-themed atmosphere: dim lights, a lounge, a bar, and small treats as well as beverages were available to accompany the performance. The On the Edge series is the newest installment from CES and UPC, aimed at creating a relaxed, club-like environment for an enjoyable performance by a cutting-edge artist. Recognizing the efforts of the student organizations that put on the first performance, Evans praises how blessed she feels for the opportunity to be a part of the latest invention of On the Edge, “thank you for this beautiful school that’s doing so much for the community and the arts,”
Kellylee Evans is a break-out artist in America, but in Canada and Europe her voice is already idolized and highly noted for its astounding individuality, as well as its reputable similarity to that of Nina Simone, who actually is quite an influence for Evans. Contributing her career to her mother, Evans began singing only a few short years ago and has since been dedicating much time and hard work into her career, while also supporting her family. Nothing can stop Evans from thriving. Even when she was struck by lightning two summers ago, she kept marching on with her tour and did not back down from a single concert, giving her best performance each time. Prospering rapidly, her rarity of voice is a treasure to the music industry, and her drive to share her music is inspiring to many.
Evans is an artist who cannot be fastened to one genre of music; singing anywhere from rap to jazz, she puts her own soulful spin on it and adds something special to the table. Simone, Eminem, and Snoop Dog are just a few of the countless artists that leave her breathless. One of her albums from a few years ago, Nina, was entirely made of Evan’s verve for Nina Simone, and a few of the chosen songs for the premiere On the Edge were that of Simone with an Evans twist.
“I think we all came here to loosen up, to party a bit,” Evans says, trying to gain a chorus of audience members. Eventually reaching the point of who can hit the note better, the audience and Evans shared a laugh in the midst of the joyful piece “Feeling Good,” also by Simone. Surprising the audience with a well-known rap, Evans set the stage on fire with her stylish twist on “Lose Yourself” by the famed rapper Eminem. Jaws dropping everywhere, Evans continued to sing, bright-eyed with a wide smile. Her enthusiasm was infinite, always bringing a smile out of the audience. “I thought she was really good; she totally rocked the stage,” senior Caitlin Taylor declares after an amazing concert. Following her performance, audience members could share a cup of coffee with Evans, asking her questions, snapping a few pictures, or even just a quick chat. There is no doubt Evans will continue to thrive and leave the world in awe.