Chase Von: Barbara, on behalf of myself and the Student Operated Press! I thank you for doing this interview! I know from speaking to you, you have various things on your plate so thanks so much for squeezing this in!
Barbara: Thank you and the Student Operated Press for taking time out of your schedule to give me this opportunity!
Chase von: Just from speaking with you on the phone, it`s obvious you`ve lead what some would call a fairy tale life! Going to model in Europe and living there all those years and even becoming fluent in various languages!
How many languages do you speak? And what was it like for you initially going to a foreign country and not only having to deal with the very demanding profession of modeling, but also while at the very same time, adjusting to what must have at least at first, have been an entirely new world, literally?
Barbara: Initially it was quite a challenge. It was all so new. Everything! From traveling to a foreign country, professional modeling, dieting, getting by in a brand new language...whew.....! I was lucky because at the time I had an Italian boyfriend who possessively stood by my side. Thanks to him and my ability to adapt I was able to stay focused.
I spoke Spanish before I left the states. Spanish helped me with the basis of the romantic languages which include Italian, French, Spanish and Portuguese. Now I can communicate in each of those languages. I particularly embraced Italy`s culture and became fluent in Italian.
The modeling profession has changed drastically in just the last 10 years. Back then they still wanted models with "meat on their bones". Thank goodness for that because I was not what they call "slim". The average size was an 8. I measured in at a whopping size 10 and still worked. I was excepted because they said my "pretty face" and "features" saved me. Whatever the case may have been I was happy. Now...the designers demand an average of a size zero no matter what your face looks like!
Chase Von: What were your younger years like? I know from interviewing Shawn Richardz who is also a model as well as actress, she knew very early in life what she would eventually be doing. Did you know you would enter into the entertainment field at a very young age? Or were you drawn to it later or "Discovered" by someone with an eye for talent? Also, how supportive have family members and friends been of you pursing your dreams?
Barbara: I`ve always been a clown and always loved to make everybody laugh. Being the youngest of 11 kids I guess that was my way of getting attention. I love to see people laugh and be happy. Even today I feel that laughs cause an abyss of positive energy and a spiritual connection that spreads throughout the atmosphere.
When I was 5 I knew that I wanted to be in the entertainment business. My siblings always thought that if anybody in the family would "make it" it would probably be the kid sister since I always was a clown. If I hadn`t become a model and singer I probably would have become a comedian! But wait...! Maybe it`s not too late...!
Chase Von: Being an American and in a foreign land now regardless where it might be I`ve heard from some is not smiled upon. Did you run into any of that or was it something you didn`t experience at all?
Friends of mine that travel pretty regularly have told me that generally where ever they go, there isn`t any hostility directed at them per say, but people are curious as to what they themselves think because the genuine consensus seems to be more anger towards our government, vice individual Americans because there are plenty of Americans that aren`t pleased as well.
Barbara: I spent most of my time in Italy so I can tell you about my experience living there.
I ran into some people in small Italian villages who had never seen black folks before in their entire lives. Maybe on TV but never in person. Some were receptive and open and some were narrow-minded and ignorant. In Italy you get a mix. However, I must say that Italians have issues amongst themselves. Many northern Italians are racist towards the southern Italians. Be it because southerners are darker skinned or they talk differently etc...
Does that ring a bell? Many of the northerners have it out for the southerners because they say the southerners are lazy and don`t like to work. Consequently, the northerners have to pick up all the taxes. But hey that`s totally political.
In several occasions I was looked at differently than a brother or sister straight from Africa. Even some of the Africans in Italy looked at me differently. I accept our cultural differences but we are still one.
Ever since the 1950`s or so the Italians looked upon America as the "American dream", Hollywood - the "land of opportunity". I explained to my friends that although America was the land of opportunity for many of their Italian ex patriots, opportunity was not equal for all.
Many Europeans see America as "The Land of Oz" - a kind of utopia composed of exaggeratedly large buildings, highways etc. Some of them find it fascinating but many others like to come here on vacation and head back home! What America lacks in culture and history it makes up for in diverse opportunity.
Chase Von: One of the reasons I asked that was you were a very public person overseas, not only modeling, but also appearing on television there as well as performing music for live audiences.
In Milan alone you appeared in Scherzi a Parte "You`ve Been Punked", "Come Thelma & Louise" A Reality Series, Diretta Stadio a Sports TV Program, TG Rosa - Italian Celebrity News as well as Re x Una Notte, a Look-a-like Talent Show just to name a few.
All this while also performing back up singing for the likes of Mariah Carey, and various other engagements with the San Remo National Italian Music Festival! You`ve also worked with Timbaland and
music sensation Wyclef`s videos as well as a celebrity Psychic!
Are you really Psychic or was that just acting, and who are some of the people you truly enjoyed working with and performing with and ones you hope to work with in the future?
Barbara: I was called in for the Celebrity Psychic commercial to speak to another person who had a reading done. I believe everyone has the ability to tap into their right brain hemisphere and develop the so called "psychic abilities".
I did some research and found out that apparently the human race communicated telepathically long before we had the ability to speak!
The San Remo National Music Festival was a blast. I was fortunate to perform there 3 times. It is "THE" music event of the year. It`s kind of like the Grammy`s, Oscars and American Idol all rolled up into one! In San Remo I sang backing vocals for different artists and it helped take my career to another level.
Mariah came to Milan for a show on her European tour and at the very last minute she requested a gospel group to back her on her hit "Make it Happen". I was called in with a number of other performers. We did rehearsals and all and didn`t get to see the girl until she set foot on the stage! Can you believe that?
I saw Mariah for the first time on the same stage singing together with her! It was exciting.
I spoke to her at the meet & greet and she was social. That was the year she was receiving bad publicity, had a breakdown, her movie plummeted and people were dissin` her. I remember telling her "no matter what people say about you, you keep doing what you`re doing in your music career because you are making a difference - even for your brothers and sisters overseas!" She then smiled and asked where I was from.
Many artists come to Miami to record and to film their videos because of the low production costs in the calm laid back atmosphere of Miami. I was an extra in Flo-Rida`s (feat. Timbaland) "Elevator" video plus the Wyclef`s "The Sweetest Girl" video. It was cool being on the set chatting with those guys but it only fed the fire in me. I then started taking my songwriting more seriously and decided to become a recording artist in my own right.
Chase Von: There`s no doubt that your stunning good looks have and will continue to carry you far in the modeling world but singing and acting are too different animals so to speak. Yet you`re excelling in both of those also and even produce and publish your own music! In the future will you be producing others with your company? Or are you doing that now?
And who is this famous relative of yours that won Star Search? Minds drawing a blank. (Smile).
Barbara: The Italians have an old saying: "L`occhio vuole la sua parte" which basically translates "it`s nice to see beauty/beautiful things". This may be true but just like those old church people used to say "It`s not the outside but the inside that counts".
I feel that modeling, singing & acting go hand in hand. They compliment each other and have the same basis - the projection of emotion. Whether it be a beautiful fashion shoot where you have to project a certain emotion to get the right shot or projecting your emotion to interpret a certain song or even projecting an emotion to portray a certain character.
As of 2006 I became an official ASCAP publisher. I collaborate with some of Italy`s top house music DJs and co-produce house music for Europe featuring the likes of soulful international vocalists from around the globe. Together with my partner Roberto Livesu, we produce some of Europe`s hottest club tracks. The web site is www.cool-live.com The 2 latest tracks Roberto and I produced were signed with the German record label Kingdom Come.
And.....that famous relative mine who you mentioned who won Star Search is Tiffany Evans. She`s my big brother`s daughter and is signed with Sony/Columbia Urban Records. She`s collaborating with Ciara and Bow Wow. Shout out to Tiffany! Props to you!!
Chase Von: I know you just released four songs and there all hot! Angel, Some 1`s Talking, Its Your World Now and Rare Sensitivity. Was there any thing that is taking place in your own life that is being reflected in your lyrics?
Also, what are some future projects you are going to be working on you can share with our readers?
Barbara: Right now I`m spinning 12 plates on long sticks...
Chicago`s Radio Station V103 together with Clear Channel is providing my first national platform. They are providing 400 national internet radio stations to play my songs but I need everyone who`s reading this to help me get airplay.
Click and listen every day to your favorite song. I need your help to climb the new charts.
It`s all up to you now. Let`s make it happen!
"SOME 1`S TALKIN" http://www.v103.com/cc-common/artistsubmission/player.html?art=185808
"IT`S UR WORLD" http://www.v103.com/cc-common/artistsubmission/player.html?art=186310
"RARE SENSITIVITY" http://www.v103.com/cc-common/artistsubmission/player.html?art=186307
Anthony Mac a. ka. "Trac a Minute" of Sikol Entertainment N. J. and Daniele Manca (Nutkee Productions, Sicily - Italy) recently produced these brand new songs that haven`t been released yet. We`re actually looking for a record label! So if any of you major and/or independent labels out there are reading this... Holla at me and check out those beats at:
Some of the lyrics reflect situations I personally went through but all in all I keep positive and prevail. When I first started writing songs I`d shut a part of myself off. Now I write with my heart on my sleeve which can be somewhat disconcerting but I`m at peace with myself when I do.
I`m also collaborating with Theos Eaton. He`s an international songwriter and performer. We`ve formed a group with some of the meanest musicians ever! The group is called "Master Classe". We perform a review of the 40`s cotton club, 50`s & 60`s Motown, 70s Funk, 80s old school up to today`s hits. We`ll soon tour south Florida and hit major cities in the U.S. & Europe.
WWW.MYSPACE.COM/THEREALBARBARAEVANS to see some of the images!
Chase Von: How do you stay in such fantastic shape and what are some of your favorite European Meals? And were there any American Meals you call favorites you had to miss out on while there?
And are you filling that void now that your back? (Smile).
Barbara: On a good week I`ll go to the gym 3 maybe 4 times. I love the Italian Mediterranean cuisine and all the local specialties you find in the different regions. There`s much more to Italian cuisine than just pasta. At first it was new and different. They don`t put mayonnaise on their sandwiches! I remember eating those dry panini. You`d almost choke on that dry bread if you didn`t quickly wash it down with some cappuccino or something. I quickly got used to it because "models didn`t need to eat that stuff anyway" they used to tell me. Whew....!
Ironically, today I don`t use mayo or any condiments at all except for olive oil. By embracing the Italian culture I adapted quickly. Even now whatever I cook, I prepare it "Ala Italian". I must confess.
I have a sweet tooth but my diet mainly consists of no meats, no pork etc. I eat only organic whole foods and drink lots of water. However I still eat fish. Can`t take EVERYTHING out all at once now can we...?
Chase Von: Normally I would just say, who are some of the people you truly admire, and an actress would name normally other actresses. But in your case, who are some of the actresses and actors, singers and models you truly admire and look up too?
Barbara: I admire people who are in the entertainment field and some who are not in this field but as far as actors I feel many have mastered their craft. There are too many to mention but to name a few I really admire the work of Morgan Freeman, Jack Nicholson, Angela Bassett and I can`t forget my fellow Italian Americans like Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino (by the way their ancestors come from the south of Italy).
Those guys are phenomenal. I`d really love to work with them in the near future. I`m ready to pay my dues!!
In the music world, if I could just MEET Michael Jackson. If I could SING with Michael just once, I`d do cartwheels and backward flips across the stage. Michael can sleep in a tank, be Peter Pan or dangle his baby I don`t care. I love him.
I`d also absolutely LOVE to do at least 1 song with Prince. Come on Prince...let`s coronate just once! Patti La Belle (my idol), Madonna, Ne-Yo, Timbaland, Missy Elliot, Pharell Williams (I met Pharell in Rome) and many others I`d like to work with.
Chase Von: How important is family to you, and what is your take on the state of our current world?
Barbara: Coming from a family of 11 kids just the mere existence of my brothers and sisters is sacred to me. We don`t see each other as often as we`d like but we share an unconditional love and respect for each other. Our mother passed away when I was a little girl. I naturally counted on the older ones for the support, comfort, friendship and the love that our mother gave me. Our father passed away 12 years ago but throughout the years he was able to instill his values upon us.
Just like many other families we`ve been through trials and tribulations but love saved us in many occasions and that`s what I feel the world need now. I agree with all those tree huggers and hippies from the 60`s. All the "Wood stockers" out there that spread the love that exceeded racial and cultural diversities and transcended geographical boundaries.
Who knows...maybe the enlightening effects of Woodstock helped to curb the Vietnam War. Who`s to say? But after that something else happened in society and up until this day I look around and see how many people still need love. It may sound corny but I feel love conquers all...
Chase Von: What would you say, if you were standing in front of a microphone that could be heard by every child on the planet and regardless of what language it was they spoke, they would understand you? What positive advice would you give the children, if that were possible?
Barbara: I would prefer to give a message to the adults because we are the ones guiding, molding and teaching those children.
I`d tell the adults to wake up at once. Take charge of your own mind, efforts and decisions. Develop self esteem, self respect, seek evolution and create values and most importantly - spread love!
Chase Von: Where are the best places our readers can find out more about you and all the various projects you have worked on and are working on?
Barbara: Everybody can check me out at www.myspace.com/therealbarbaraevans www.impnow.com/Profiles/BarbaraEvans and www.cool-live.com
Chase Von: On behalf of The Operated Student Press and myself Barbara, Thanks again for fitting us in so our readers could learn more about you and all the various things you are doing.
It was a true pleasure personally to speak with you on the phone and I hope we do that again some time soon. Love and light to you and continued success in all you do!
Barbara: I thank The Operated Student Press, and thank you Chase Von for taking time out of your schedule to talk to me. Peace, Love, Light and Music.