Canyon Crest Academy graduate and aspiring songwriter Evan Blum is hoping to help people through his music. His song “Everyone’s Got A Story” tackles heavy issues such as bullying, child abuse, bulimia, teen pregnancy and sexual assault, and the music video online has racked up over 90,000 views.
“The video touches on the issues that many people jump to judgments of people without ever knowing their back story and how they came to be the way they are,” Blum said. “My hope is for the video to inspire millions of people in the world to look past first impressions of people and try to get to know someone before judging them.”
Blum’s back story begins in Carmel Valley, where his family moved when he was 6 years old. Now 24, he lives in Los Angeles as he pursues a music career.
Blum began playing the guitar when he was in sixth grade and continued until he was a freshman in high school. He didn’t pick up the guitar again until he was 18, attending UC Santa Barbara. He found himself writing his own music, something he had never even considered doing before.
“As a freshman in college I fell deeply in love with songwriting. I thought about it every day…I had a writing obsession,” Blum said. “I knew I wanted to do this for the rest of my life as my profession.”
After graduating from UC Santa Barbara in 2013 with a degree in communications, he moved to LA and started writing for other people.
“I’ve grown to have an appreciation in performing my own songs and believing in my own voice and ability to deliver a song,” Blum said. “It’s been so hard for me to learn to sing. I’ve gotten a lot better but I still have a long way to go.”
Blum started to build a presence on YouTube with videos of his music: “I have so many songs I want to share.”
“Everyone’s Got A Story” started with just the chorus: “No one knows just who I am.” Blum thought at first it would be a country song on guitar, telling a person’s story — he had even perfected his country twang.
His producer suggested the song might be better on piano and instead of telling stories about the struggles of living in LA, he created two characters: 16-year-old Haley who was sexually assaulted by a teacher and little Johnny P, a boy who gets bullied daily at school and whose mother is a victim of domestic abuse.
“It really could be about anyone, everywhere,” Blum said of the chorus’ resonating line:
“Take a moment and get to know me cause everyone’s got a story”
The video’s turning point shows that the bullies, too, have problems of their own — as Blum said, he wanted to show people who are being victimized that it’s often not even about them.
The process of making the video was fun— he performed alongside singer Lauren North and it was cool to see the characters he created brought to life.
At the end of the video, there was a call to action: “Everyone’s got a story, share your story in the comments below.”
“I had no idea if people would respond but they are and at an amazing rate,” Blum said, noting people have posted about being bullied, dealing with their parents’ divorce, being abused, eating disorders and self-harm. “It’s simply incredible, people are sharing stories and showing support, love and understanding to other people. The comment section has become like a group therapy session.”
Blum said he hopes more people will view the video, share their stories and realize that they are not alone.
“As we all know, life can be really hard sometimes and it feels so comforting to know that there are others out there going through similar struggles,” Blum said.
Check out the video for “Everyone’s Got A Story” at youtube.com/blume6546 or visit the Evan Blum Music page on Facebook. Blum has also released an EP, “Cloudy Head”, available on Spotify and iTunes.