She stole the show. Back in February of this year, Evvie McKinney won the very first season of The Four: Battle for Stardom, coming in at the second to last episode and then winning the whole competition the following week. The Memphis native not only won a recording contract with Republic Records, but she's also now become iHeartRadio's newest On The Verge Artist as her debut single "How Do You Feel" has officially arrived.
Evvie exclusively tells iHeartRadio of her OTV status that it's "an automatic, immediate blessing" and that she's "honored." She says, "As an artist, we need the radio. This is a vessel in my career that I'm going to need regardless of what type of music I'm doing. I need the radio in order for the world to hear me. If I don't have the radio, I don't have fans. I don't have people who I'm missing, you know, people who need to hear me. It plays a major key in my career."
Growing up singing in church, music has always been a part of Evvie's life, and she shared her gift with fans via videos posted to social media. But her career reached new heights after winning The Four. Evvie explains, "That moment when Diddy called my name, the first thing I was thinking was, 'Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus,' because, man, it was a moment that ... [it was] a joy that's so unexplainable. It's like my dreams were in arms reach and I actually got 'em now."
On her debut single "How Do You Feel"
Evvie just released her debut single, "How Do You Feel," which she worked with Sean "Diddy" Combs on. She says of the music mogul, "If it wasn't for Diddy and this whole process, with Diddy being Diddy, with so much respect, with the highest respect, none of it would be possible." Evvie adds, "So, it was just a process where I really had to put my trust in him, to be honest. I put my trust in him and Diddy [is] a man of God, and my trust is fully in God. So, I just let him help me make this big decision. And I was really going to rock with him whichever way."
"How Do You Feel" hits home for Evvie, and her own past experiences brought out her emotions while singing the song. She tells us, "It's very personal and I sing the song with so much passion. I chose 'How Do You Feel' to be my single because I wanted something that the world could listen to. I wanted to make the world listen to me. When my song is playing on the radio, I want people to have no choice but to listen to the whole song from start to finish. And 'How Do You Feel' is so much. I sang that song with so much passion and so many emotions, and I just know that it's really gonna touch somebody. I wanted something that would tell a story, walk people through a little bit of my life over here. Because I sing aggressive. I sing with so much pain and so much passion for a reason. And 'How Do You Feel' reaches them in that way."
Evvie adds, "I am very passionate about 'How Do You Feel' because some of my past experiences as a woman, as a young teenage girl, I've been in love, I've had my heart broken. But 'How Do You Feel' ... When I was recording this song, I recorded it just like I was talking directly to that man that broke my heart and I really do think that is what brought so much of the pain and the passion out in my voice because it was almost like going back to that moment when I was actually in that relationship."
Listen to Evvie's "How Do You Feel" below.
On What Fans Can Expect Next
Evvie describes her music as "pop, but I'm going to throw in a dab of soul. I'm going to throw in a dab of rock, throw in a little R&B. I can really go wherever God wants me to go at whatever time in his revelation he want me to go in." And she's got a lot up her sleeve, as she is preparing an entire album.
The 21-year-old Memphis native explains that she has already recorded over 20 songs for her debut LP, including two songs written with Meghan Trainor. Evvie tells us, "It's so hard to choose which ones I want to be on my album, but this is going to be an amazing record. A really, really good introduction to who I am, Evvie, as an artist. And I want people to vibe with that."
Evvie adds of everything that she's experienced over the last six months, "This is a dream. This is legit a dream come true. I was praying for something to happen over a period of time and it's happening exactly the way God wants it to happen, and above all else that is. I'm good with whatever God's will is for my life. I'm good with it. And if this is in his will for me, then I know that it's so much that I'm about to do. [There is] so much he has in store for me."
Fans can also catch Evvie perform live in Las Vegas this September during the Daytime Stage at the iHeartRadio Music Festival, alongside a lineup of incredible artists.