We had the good fortune of connecting with Evan Shafran and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Evan, can you talk to us about the impact the Covid-19 Crisis has had on your business.
As an independent artist and original content creator I have lost all my work due to Covid-19. I have been a sag/aftra union member for 10 years now. March 2nd, 2020 I had just started My first day doing stand in work on the new Tina Fey and Robert Carlock NBC comedy Starring Ted Danson when the virus hit. I have also been touring for the past 7 years as my “EVeryman.” EVeryman is a rapper and dj live show with all original lyrics that I write. I also collaborate with other artists in the electronic and bass music festival scenes. All of my live shows and music festivals were cancelled for 2020. All of my union work has been haulted until further notice. I have lost almost 75% of my income for 2020. I was forced to be creative, as all artists right now have been, to find some source of release and work from home. I have been streaming on my twitch, YouTube, and Facebook accounts. Doing live original shows and asking for donations. I cannot work and I am still waiting for my unemployment card to come in the mail. Things have been rough to say the least. Making music and art has truly saved me in these tough times. As artists we can continue to create work to share with the world and we can help to inspire though laughter and music and education. We are doing everything we can to keep fighting the good fight. Art saves lives and I am so inspired by all of the art I have seen created during these current events and world crisis we are all experiencing together. I am grateful I am not as bad off as some. I feel greatly for all those affected by this terrible virus.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
As cliche as it sounds I have known since I can remember that I wanted to be a performer. I began acting young and I always planned on moving to Hollywood to be an actor in film and tv. I graduated with a B.A. degree in Acting In Theatre and Sociology from Manhattanville College in Purchase NY in 2005. Just after college I moved to Brooklyn New York and I started an Avant-garde theatre ensemble with some classmates. I then moved to Los Angeles in 2008 when family friend Nick Kroll was able to help get me my SAG union work on the very short lived ABC sitcom “Cavemen”, based off the old Geico commercials. The show was not well received and was cancelled just at the start of the writers strike. So there I was, all of a sudden blessed and working on a show Monday through Friday 9-5 as an actor doing what I always planned. Then it was over as quick as it started. But then I went to burning man and began working with some mutual friends. I got back in touch with my love for music and DJing and started writing hip hop songs again. I fell in love with Shakespeare at a young age and had a college professor, Alec Wild, who drew a lovely comparison from Shakespeare language to the hip hop urban language of today. Both tell the story of the times in rhyme and rhythm. Evan Shafran became EVeryman the rapper. Evan Shafran a.k.a. EVeryman delivers a fluid flow, with conscious optimistic lyricism. His high energy beats convey influences from old school hip hop and reggae which brings the crowd to life up on their feet. As a DJ, Everyman drops anything from breaks, glitch hop, sexy house, to drum and bass. Everyman is one half of ‘Little Giants’, a hip hop group formed with LA DJ/ Producer Pumpkin aka Nick Alvarado. EVeryman, aka Evan Shafran is also a screen actor, seen briefly in the oscar award winning film “Get Out.” He has most recently starred in Smashwerks Films “Storyteller.” The film was selected as a semifinalist for “Best Dramatic Short” at The Los Angeles Independent Film Festival. You can see also catch him in his hip-hop comedy web series entitled “Boyz in the Wood.” EVeryman plays in memory of Pumpkin, his best friend, Little Giants teammate, and musical comrade who passed away on March 25th, 2016. His sets include unreleased Little Giants productions, classic Pumpkin remixes, and some of Pumpkin’s favorite songs. Plus some brand new EVeryman collaborations and unreleased gems. In Honor, He has started a society called ‘Little Giant Acorn Foundation for the Arts’, a not-for-profit charity organization established to provide music and arts programs to children who do not have the means to attain them otherwise. To further the legacy, EVeryman will be realizing Pumpkins’ dream of having a music label and their music on vinyl – watch out for the full catalog of Little Giant Acorn Records singles and remixes coming out on “Little Giant Acorn Records” in 2018 with new remixes from Fort Knox Five, Qdup, Pumpkin and more! He’s performed and toured with acts such as Pretty Lights, Odesza, Mark Farina (to name a very small few) and has graced some massive festival stages, such as Coachella, Burning Man and Lightning in a Bottle. I was back making music and everything changed the day I met Nicholas Alvarado aka Pumpkin. Nick and I instantly became best friends. We met at Lightning in a Bottle 2010 and formed our hip hop group quickly. We called ourselves “Little Giants.” We are both small guys with big characters and kids at heart. The name seemed fitting. We released one single, a resizing of Nappy Roots’ “Good Day.” After that we made a full length album entitled “Don’t Quit,” in memory of my mother. We worked closely together and began traveling to music festivals to perform. Nick was already a well known dj so he was touring more than I was. We were almost done with our second album when he was in a car accident and killed on his way to a show in Texas. His loss was felt throughout our community greatly. I still miss him everyday. I didn’t know what to do after he was gone. A few friends and I decided to create a children’s charity in his memory. We started The Little Giant Acorn Foundation for the Arts to provide free arts and music education for children and communities without access. We also created a music label, “Little Giant Acorn Records.” We have released all of Pumpkin, EVeryman, and Little Giants music on all online platforms. Anytime you stream or download you are helping to support arts and music programs and education. Art saves lives. All of this loss in my life has been had, but I have chosen to keep going and doing my best to keep the memory of my mother and of Nick alive. I am filled with love and sadness but I use it to fuel me to do good for the world and leave it better than when I got here. That’s all we can do. Our best differs from day to day. We need to treat others how we want to be treated. The golden rule. I recently wrote my first children’s book with a couple friends and I’m so excited for you all to read it. You can get your copy of “The Little Giant Acorn,” on Amazon Books. They will ship right to you. It’s written by myself and Ryan Wink, with illustrations by Ashley Steeves. It’s a rhythmic story book about a tiny acorn with big dreams who learns to have faith in herself. This is a story about facing your fears. I’ve faced many fears in my life and overcame them all. I hope this book inspires you and your little acorns. May you all grow to be mighty oaks. <3
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I would take them to a ton of hikes! There are so many hidden gems in LA. Ernest Deb’s park in Highland Park is my personal favorite. Moon Canyon in Mt. Washington. Then get some sandwiches from Dave’s Chillin and Grillin’ and some Taco’s from the Aztecs Truck. I have lived all over LA since moving here in 2008. Hollywood, Downtown, Reseda, Sherman Oaks, Mid City, bur my favorite place to live by far is the Highland park Eagle Rock area. I grew up in Portland Maine so I feel very at home in these cute areas. You’re so close to the city but you would never know. I would also show them my friends the Dirty Beetles! They are an amazing art collective that I am a part of. Boogaloo, or Boog as we lovingly call her, is an art car that goes to Burning Man often. She hidden in a special art space in Los Angeles.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would not be where I am today if it were not for my family, my dad Jeff and my brother Brad. We made it through the loss of our Mom, Theda, together. My amazing, supportive friends, teachers, and fellow artists I have collaborated with over the years. I started performing at the age of 7 when my mother brought me to my first audition for the children’s theatre of Maine. She helped me to follow my dreams and taught me to never quit. Even when things seem hopeless. That’s when you keep going. You never can tell how close you are. It may be near when it seems so far. Stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit. It’s when things seem worse that you must not quit. Shout out to my Old Port Crew, Manhattanville College friends and professors, Andrew Oleck, Boyz In the Wood, Pumpkin, The 2KC, The Dirty Beetles, The Do Lab and Lightning in a Bottle Family, The Canada Shambhala family, The Funk Family, and everyone who you know who you are! I could not be the man and artist I am today without you all and your love and support over the years.
Other: Soundcloud.com/EVeryman_music Spotify https://open.spotify.com/artist/6krNDVOGgGBzGJdhevtPiP
Peter Leffre Dee Bee Daniel Zetterstrom