It may seem a little cliché but there’s only one word I could think of when thinking of Anthony Hall and that is the very usual word: DIFFERENT. What an oxymoron huh? Well Anthony seems to think of himself as an oxymoron, so it’s fitting.
When I got to OZ Studios in NYC, Anthony and some friends were sound checking, but he stopped and introduced himself very politely and assured me he would be with me in a few. The setting was melodic, literally. The sound check (which included guitars, drums and distinct voices) mixed with small conversation and incandescent lighting make for a very cozy atmosphere.
Guests slowly started to pour in, every two minutes there were new faces and the volume in the room would go up a notch. After making sure everything was set up, and that his guest artists were prepared for their performances and the arriving guests knew where to find wine and pasta, Hall was ready to go.
Anthony has a slew of music videos on YouTube and so of course I checked ‘em all out before meeting with him. My favorite was a cover he did of BlackStreet’s “No Diggity,” so naturally I brought this up first. R&B, Anthony says, has been the most influential genre for him, with favorites like Usher, Brian McKnight and R. Kelly. He adds that the shock effect is always fun and that the first time he decided to perform his version of the song he was playing for an urban crowd who he knew wasn’t expecting it from “this white boy.”
Although he sites these artists as inspirations, he makes sure to mention his love for the Goo Goo Dolls, Slim Shady and Simple Plan. What he loves most about music is that it’s exemplified in his taste: it has no rules, only the freedom to be as creative as you want.
Hall’s love for music has existed as far back as he can remember. He attended G-Star School of The Arts in South Florida as a child. There he was raised by parents who have always supported his musical ambitions as well as the goals of the rest of their 9 children! Yes, Anthony is one of ten children who have all chosen very different career paths, there’s a lawyer, a nurse, a high fashion model. Anthony is the only one in his family with a passion for music—told you he was different.
Anthony’s style is soulful, it’s deep, it’s Rock n Roll and it’s Hip Hop. So I had to ask him, what demographic he sought to reach with such a dynamic format. “All the ones that you wouldn’t expect me to, I want to blur the lines.” Then he seemed to ponder the idea of picking a certain group to aim at, has a small epiphany and then says, “I want to reach my peers, we all seek validation, anyone who sees me as peer, I want to reach them.”
As a talent signed to MBK Entertainment, Hall uses social networks like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter to advertise his new stuff. “It’s harder when you’re not with a major label, he says, you’re always being underestimated, whereas artists on major labels get immediate recognition.” He doesn’t use this as an excuse or see it as a handicap, instead he ceases the opportunity to work harder and be more interactive and hands on with his career.
Despite what could seem like a rough journey for some artists, Anthony is enjoying the adventure. He’s come a long way from the point where he was at age 15 when he realized that music was what he would whole heartedly pursue in life. “Oh man, I was terrible when I started!” he admits with a serious chuckle.
What’s kept him motivated and continues to is his family. “They’ll say ‘oh shit, he really did it’ you know, something that most people see as a shot in the dark.” From what I can see he is well on his way to achieving this, he demands the utmost professionalism out of his creative partners and his view on choosing music to use, he says, “if it’s not amazing, it was good practice.”
The showcase was amazing, with fresh and talented artists gracing the audience with their sounds. Acts like Mree, Lydia Caesar and Mateo, were all unique and awe inspiring. Lastly, what everyone was waiting for, Anthony takes the mic and agrees to do just two songs, insisting that the event wasn’t for him but for his guests.
He performs “Emotional” and “Not Ready For Love” two songs that fit him well. If he could tell the world one thing it would be “don’t blame me if I contradict myself, I’m very emotional and sensitive, I have my demons but I’m really just a sensitive, loving, loyal person.” His advice to the young kid with the same dreams he had at 15, “work hard even when you don’t see the results, there’s light at the end of the tunnel, sometimes you have to walk into the darkness before finding it.”
Follow Anthony on twitter and instagram @AnthonyAcoustic and check him out on YouTube!
Also Check Out:
Goapele – Still Doing It Her Way
Curtis Fields – Discovering Music In New Ways
Elle Varner’s Wonderful Performance for SOB’s Summer Concert Cruise
Mateo – Familiar Face, Bright Future
Derek Minor Welcomes You To Minor’s World