Her 2004 self-titled debut album, which included Ciara on its lead single "Promise Ring," made a small splash on the charts but never received the hype it deserves. Fortunately, Evans didn't let that deter her dreams. She forged ahead and continued to create great music. In the years to come, she would join and leave Mathew Knowles' Music World record label, calling that time in her life a "season" and saying that she was "grateful" for the opportunity. Since then, Evans has been quietly working on a new EP, Take 1, which is the first of two installments. Evans tells ESSENCE.com exclusively that Take 1 will be released later this month and part two will be available by summer's end. Read what the R&B singer has to say about the first single, "If You Love Me," which is available below. Plus, she's got big news for her fans – she's expecting a little bundle of joy this October!
ESSENCE.com: You've been quietly recording new music for a while now. Tell us about your new new EP, Take 1.
TIFFANY EVANS: Over the last two years, I've been growing and going through things like love. I don't want to say this EP is exposing, but it is to me. When I first came out I didn't write anything. My fans have never heard any music written by me. I thought it was important to do so this time around. I also thought it was important for me to experience life and go through things to write about them from a true place. I wanted this project to be organic. I had to take myself down a notch and go through love and write about it. The direction of Take 1 is very funky, very soulful, very R&B. It's womanly. It's me starting over. It's me reintroducing myself to everyone and finally establishing who I am as an artist. It's a real coming of age project for me. This EP was also the quickest way to give new music to my fans. I've been working on it all by myself, I feel like that chance now to really establish who I am music wise and who I am as an artist. This is that chance for me.
ESSENCE.com: You mentioned love quite a few times and your first single is titled "If You Love Me." What is it about?
EVANS: It's about a couple breaking up. When I hear a lot of songs, it's about men pursuing the girl, saying he wants to stay with her. This time around I'm not asking for another chance, but I'm the one pursuing him. I tell him let's get real. Let's stick it out. Let's get strong. The song is really about sticking by someone, loving someone through it all. It's one of the most emotional records that I've ever written and it's one of my favorites. I just hope it helps someone. I wrote in 15 minutes because I was going through that situation. (Stream single below)
ESSENCE.com: You've been around for nearly a decade. What do you want to accomplish this time around?
EVANS: I really want more people to hear who I am and get to know me. I think for as long as I've been around I feel like I've never exposed myself. I feel like I owe that to my fans. Not just through my music, but my life as well. This EP is allowing me to open myself up musically. It's allowing fans to hear what's in my head. I think from this EP they will know what type of person I am outside of music.
ESSENCE.com: How do you fight the need to compete against the Rihannas and the Beyoncés of the music industry?
EVANS: They are amazing artists and I respect them for their craft. But honestly, I do not focus on other female artists. Sometimes when you're looking at other people you can lose yourself. I just want make myself known for my fans. I just want them to know who I am. I don't want to compete with anyone. I want to push myself. You truly can't do that if you're competing with everyone else. I really want to be the greatest I can be.
ESSENCE.com: Who's your celebrity crush?
EVANS: Well… might I say, I don't have a celebrity crush considering I'm married! (giggles and laughs) No one knows. I've been married for two years. He is the love of my life and I love him very much. His name is Lorenzo. He's a really a cool guy and we're expecting something else as well – our first child together. I am six months pregnant. No one has seen me and I've been waiting the proper time to say something about it. I'm so happy and I'm so excited and I'm having a girl. It's so big and wonderful to me. It's an amazing experience and I wish guys could go through this. It's life changing.
- "If You Love Me" by Tiffany Evans