Evann McIntosh strolls down Derby streets like any other 16-year-old.
What separates the soon-to-be junior in high school is a rising music career. She first worked with producer Jesty Beatz two years ago, seeing her song “Better Now” hit music markets and platforms. She released her first full album, “MOJO,” last October and it has now been streamed over 15 million times.
McIntosh flew to Los Angeles, Calif., in February to film her first music video for “What Dreams Are Made Of.” The track has cruised to the top of her Spotify channel, amassing nearly 5.8 million streams by itself.
“I don’t think I’ve fully processed it yet,” she said. “I can’t even wrap my head around it most of the time. It’s so weird to me that people actually want to listen to my music because they want to. I’m so used to sending it to people to ask them what they think … but there are lots of people who like it, listen to it and put it in their playlists and that’s crazy to me.”
The music video was a new world for the Derby teenager. A studio full of directors and a day of recording made for a lengthy, but satisfying start to that experience. The director of her video was a good friend of her producer, Beatz.
“We were there from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and we finished it one day, which was cool,” she said. “It was a lot, but very fun.”
Her song and inaugural music video was also brought to prominence through the social media app TikTok. McIntosh said it was a bit of welcomed free promotion.
After numerous conversations, she also signed with indie label Mom+Pop in April, which will release her album on vinyl this summer. The Derby resident said it’s a tiring process, but important in building that bridge with a company she can connect with.
“They were one of those labels that wanted to talk to me and from there, they were willing to give me complete creative control over my music and what I want to do,” McIntosh said. “That can be scary for a lot of labels because it’s all about profits. We were on the same page and they had an equal respect for me as I had in them.”
Prior to COVID-19 and quarantine, she also was taking her music on the road and throughout the region. While most of her touring has been in Sedgwick County and surrounding communities to start, McIntosh said she has vision to spread her music and traveling nationally.
“Touring is a conversation after quarantine and we’d like to do some shows at the end of the year, but most likely next year,” she said. “We’d like to do a show here, but also a couple on the East and West coast. There could be Texas too.”
In the last week, McIntosh also launched a new merchandise store as well as footage from her music video shoot on her YouTube page.
Regardless of where her music takes her, McIntosh said her vision of making an impact won’t change.
“My biggest thing has been wanting a platform,” she said. “I wanted somewhere that I could speak on things that really do matter. Right now with the world in general, everything has shifted toward a very negative energy. There are changes that need to be brought up and that’s been my motivation. I want to do bigger things.”