Rising Star, The Talented Bre’ly Evans: Bre’ly Evans isn’t new to the entertainment industry. After being signed to Polygram Mercury Records and going on tour with the Backstreet Boys, Bre’ly took a break from singing to pursue a career in real estate.
Since returning to her entertainment roots, she’s appeared in movies (Just Wright) and commercials (Twix and Jenny Craig).
This month she joins Jordin Sparks, the late Whitney Houston and Tamela Mann in the Sony Pictures release of Sparkle. As one of the curvy actresses on set, we spoke with Bre’ly to get to know her, discuss her role in the film and to discuss her journey thus far.
You’re considered a triple threat. You act, sing, you’re a comedienne and a voice over talent but if you had to choose between the four which one would you choose?
Wellllllll…..you forgot one!! LOL I am also an Inspirational Speaker!!! Nooooooo, I can’t choose. They all just ooze out of me. I do each without even thinking about it. I have not tried stand up yet (I respect that mic and stage!) But comedic acting just comes natural! So at the end of the day I’d choose ACTING because I can then ACT like a singer or a comedienne or voice over talent. LOL!
How long have you been performing and how did you get started?
My first time being in front of a crowd was at 3 years old at Berkeley Mt. Zion Baptist church in the Angel Choir! I sang “Jesus Loves Me” as a solo and when I felt that energy of the audience I was Hooked!!!!!! I even cried if anyone else sang that song because I figured THAT was MY SONG! My Granny had many stories about me wanting to be up front at inappropriate times. Then growing up I was always in shows anything where there was an audience I signed up!
By the time I was 10 yrs old I had formed my own group called Studio II. My Aunt Sharron had my cousin Stacy and I singing at any event from weddings to birthdays and funerals! I’ll never forget her older sister Sherron bought us our first box of business cards!! A 10 year old with business cards!! LOL! Hilarious!! Then at 13 my 2nd group was formed Pazazz… this was a 3-girl group that I had to audition for. My audition was over the phone. I had to sing for a 14 year old. She heard about me, got my number, called and auditioned me on the spot! My deep alto voice was just what she was looking for to hold down the bottom note!
Now fast forward to my last 3 girl group called Emáge… we rehearsed daily with no shows on the calendar and had a coach named Butch Stafford who worked tirelessly to get our harmony super tight. Well all that practice paid off. One day we were walking down the street and Dres from Black Sheep stopped us and asked if we wanted to be in his music video because we were pretty! We said NO! Then he asked well can you sing or dance? and We said YES! We sang on the spot and not 3 months later we were off to New York to meet the A&R rep at Polygram Mercury Records where we got our first record deal without having a DEMO! We sang live in Lisa Cortez’ office! Long Story short…… DREAMS DO COME TRUE! That’s how I got started!
Our first album was called “Soul Deep“ and we toured the US with the Backstreet Boys! Our First single was ” The Choice is Yours” you can see the video on You Tube.
Do you still take on singing engagements?
Funny thing is I say YES to a singing engagement but my butterflies go outta control!!! I keep saying yes because I HATE FEAR…
In such a short time you’ve worked with some heavyweights. Many people can’t say, “I’ve worked with Queen Latifah, Phylicia Rashad or the late Whitney Houston.” Please tell me about your on-set experiences with these individuals?
First off Queen Latifah is my BIG SISTER!!! I have loved her since *singing* U.N.I.T.Y. I was blessed to have known her previously from being in Emáge. So when the time came that I landed the role in Just Wright I was head OVER HEELS! She was so proud of me that I was spreading my wings in other forms of entertainment.
On set we were shooting and we did like 5 takes of one scene and I leaned over to her and said can I change the line up a little bit? She said…”That’s how you got here Boo Boo, DO YOU!” She released the chains off me to soar! I then DID BRÉLY and my one line they hired me for turned into 4 scenes and a spot on the blooper reel (on the DVD) I just love me some Dana Owens!!
Now the Great Phylicia Rashad… I’m just glad my name is in a sentence with hers. We didn’t shoot on the same days so I didn’t get to be on set with her. However, we did meet at the premiere and she was just as lovely as anyone would imagine.
Auntie Whitney, Auntie Whitney, Auntie Whitney!!! I am such a fan first… then to have her meet me, embrace me and call me niece was when time just stopped! From day one we hit it off. Singing, harmonizing and acting up! On the Set of Sparkle she gave me a ‘run a day’ to learn to sing… I was like, “I can’t do that,” and she’d say, “Yes you can… now do it!” WOW… as I think back, Whitney made sure the atmosphere was that of support love and very GOD driven.
Every morning when we’d get to the hair and makeup trailer she’d blast gospel music to set our day; we’d all be singing and praising at 5am. The coolest part is that she would have lunch with us in the lunch room. Lord knows she didn’t have to eat with us but we had become a family and it was important that the family ate together!
I’m forever changed by her light that shined my way and I will forever pass it on to others to encourage them to live their dreams.
You would be surprised, but there is a generation of people that aren’t aware that Sparkle is a remake. Before being cast in the movie Sparkle were you a fan of the movie?
Yes I was!! Remember I was in a 3 girl group, so my mom made sure I saw the original long ago! That movie can never be “RE-DONE” as it is a classic. That’s why this version of it is closely based… not a duplicate. Its even set in a different time and city.
Tell me about your character Tune Ann?
Tunt! (as Jordin Sparks calls me) is a loyal friend to Sparkle. I am there through thick and thin until my mama gets involved. Surprisingly, I LOVE TO EAT. I like to believe they call me Tune Ann because I can keep a tune! I always know my note and yours too!
How do you want this role to help advance your career?
I believe this role is letting the world know I’m alive. Half the battle in Hollywood is getting someone to notice you. I think people will see it and say, “Oh there goes the Jenny Craig Girl!” LOL
You’ve recently signed on as a spokeswoman for Jenny Craig. What made you make that decision and what do you want the outcome of that to be?
Well after playing the role Tune Ann in Sparkle, I decided to expand my reach in this industry. I figured that if a director needs me to run top speed through the woods to get away from a killer (because I don’t want to be killed in the first 2 minutes), I need a body that will facilitate LIFE! But for real…. I’m not married! (Fellas!!)… I want kids one day (3)… and I want a career that is not type-casted due to my cheese burger habits!
Jenny Craig was awesome enough to support me in my goal to be beautiful inside and out through teaching me portion size, the frequency of eating, and encourage me to GET MOVING!!! We say if you’re doing a little something now then DO MORE and if you’re doing nothing then DO SOMETHING.
If you want your body to move 30 years from now you MUST MOVE IT NOW. My life is not my own so I will put it on display for all to be inspired to be their greatest self as I strive to the Best Brély!
Has your size made you work even harder, why or why not?
No, I will work hard at any size. Work ethic is something that’s on the inside of you. I have beautiful ultra successful women with curves to look up to… ever heard of Oprah or Queen Latifah… Nothing can STOP us.
In one of your Youtube videos (which are hilarious, by the way), you made the statement “Big Girls Do It Better”. Have you always been a little curvier than your peers and how has that affected your career?
YES. I have always been Thicker than a Snicker (as I’ve heard people call me… LOL) I celebrate my curves. I feel like Big Girls are sometimes counted out due to size and it’s sooo unfair. So I take on the FLAG and I wave it high… “Big Girls Do It Better”! Surprisingly, it has NOT affected my career. The roles that say “willing to wear a bikini” my agent just doesn’t submit me for… LOL! I’m loving you for watching The Brély Show. Youtube is the BEST!
You’re one busy woman, what else are you currently working on?
I’m excited for the release of Sparkle Aug, 17th so be sure to get out to the movie the FIRST WEEKEND so we can ROCK the box office as the #1 film!!! The more chocolate films we support with big box office numbers the more films there will be. Simple supply and demand….. Sorry, I get on a soap box quite often!
I recently completed a made for TV stage play with the awesome writer director David E. Talbert called Suddenly Single starring Garcelle Beauvais and Isaiah Washington.
Also I played the best friend to Latoya Luckett (formerly of Destiny Child) in a coming of age movie called Note to Self. Amazing cast with Lead actor and writer Christian Keys. You guys will really like this one!
Annnnnnd I started my own headband line called Halo. If you caught me on Kimberly Kimble’s show La Hair on WE TV then you saw one of the designs! Go to my website www.BrelyEvans.com and click Brély Bands! “Buy a Halo for every Angel in your LIFE! “