Jared Evan’s musical range runs deep. The 23-year-old Great Neck, New York native is a jack-of-all-trades, who sings, raps, plays the drums, and produces a soulful catalog of whimsical tunes that attracted many including hip-hop’s reigning mogul Diddy.

Evan passed on the Bad Boy general’s attempt of signing him however, and inked a deal with Polow Da Don’s Zone 4 imprint, which resulted as a road bump with the label’s incessant attempt to control his sound led to his departure.

But it was a blessing in disguise as Evan took on the road of independence. After releasing three mixtapes and an EP, he most recently churned out Boom Bap & Blues, an ear-catching, soulful collaborative effort with DJ/producer Statik Selektah. Earning rave reviews amongst fans and the blogosphere, Evan’s long-delayed moment of shine is imminent.

XXL caught up with the astute upstart on his musical upbringing and whether or not he regrets declining his Bad Boy offer. —Michael Nguyen (@xmikeynguyen)