We had the good fortune of connecting with Anthony Anderson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Anthony, how do you think about risk?
Risk taking is what led me on the journey I am on now. Since the inception of my drumming career, when I was young and anxious to pursue drums, my intention was to be apart of a band, a unit. Throughout my teens and into my twenties, I predominantly played in a full band. Through some truth but with some common misconceptions, drummers have notoriously been more of a “back up” musician, of course with the mission and enjoyment to provide the beat and the heart of the music. Perhaps it was complacency or my want to be apart of a family unit, I became almost dependent on unity, assuming that you needed to be apart of something big for a small voice to be heard. The reality was, like businesses or entities, there are changes that can occur, which require you to adapt. Those changes and forced circumstances put me in a position that I had to start a new chapter on my own. With no experience on how to manage myself, my music, or the brand I intended to build, I had to take risks. Moving on from a band dynamic to becoming an independent musician, had put me on a path of homelessness and joblessness, simply because it has ended so abruptly, I had no time to prepare. Still, through family and friends, I was supported and given shelter when I needed, which led me to find short term employment to get back on my feet. When I was settled and after the hardest reality of losing my mom to cancer, I put everything into educating myself, readapting to independency and learning how to promote myself into becoming the best artist I could be. It was and still is, the biggest risk I’ve taken in my life.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Hailing from the Hunts Point section of The Bronx, the city has always been my soundtrack. I learned and started to play the drums when I was nine years old from my Dad, who was also a musician. Our time together was cut to a close unexpectedly, when he past away the same year near Father’s Day. I continued to play not only in his honor but because he truly introduced me to the instrument I connect with as if it were apart of my body. The drums set the tempo of my soul. It is my biggest reflection of self-expression and I have not stopped playing since. After losing both of my parents, my Dad in my youth and my Mom most recently in my adult years, I think I found myself putting my energy more into my craft, probably as a part of my grief too. When I became a solo artist in 2018, I think what people heard was my sound. I don’t think specifically there is “something that sets me apart from the rest,” because already as individuals we differ greatly. We have our individual sounds, look, and mission to why we do what we do. For me, I am a LEO by nature, I walk with huge Afro, air drumming in every part of the city when I get on the subway. My sound has a mix of my two loves, Rock and Hip Hop. I am covered in tattoos that each have a significant importance to me and I stand at 6’3. When I play with a DJ or a playlist, every time, I get lost into what I am doing. I play so hard sometimes, I believe my parents can hear me. The lessons I’ve learned is the preciousness of life. That it’s short, It can change abruptly. It will break you and make you stronger. It moves with intention for every minute you put into it. Every day I learn a new lesson to apply to my life, but it always goes back to the simple notion to never move without purpose. I want the world to know that the life I live is my story alone. A boy from the Bronx, with 19 siblings from a force of a mother and dad that led me to my purpose. That I play with heart and I want every part of the world to hear me and learn about the drums in their country too! I hope that my story is one to relate to and be motivated by and to most importantly know, that I am still writing it. I am proud to have experienced touring, that I have led to partnerships with incredible and notable venues, products, businesses and changemakers in this industry. I am proud to have mentored or continue to connect with the youth through drumming. I am proud of the platform I have built and who’ve I have connected with online. And I am proud that this journey has led me to extending my sound and reach.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
NYC never sleeps! I’d take them to best gems of international cuisines from the LES to Uptown. We’d cast the evening off at some unique speakeasys and tour of the best buildings in Manhattan. I’d bring them to Bronx for a continued night of dancing and hopefully a surprise show that I could play drums for them in their honor. All my favorite spots I share on my socials.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
This shoutout, without a doubt goes to my partner and soulmate, Jihan. I believe that people, save people and that there are individuals that are destined to be in your life to make you become great for they show you what greatness can be.
Greatness is in love, in support, into learning and living for people that give you purpose. She is that that entity in my life. In addition to having love in my life, my shoutout also has to go to all the strangers that have become family, be it online or in person attending one of my shows. When you reintroduce yourself to the world or something you believe in, not all the time will you get support from people you know. The real ones always remain but it’s through strangers that simply followed me online, shared a post, or dedicated their personal Saturday to come to a show. They helped build the bricks that I lay today and continue to so. Recognition comes from those who are willing to take a hold of the rope and help you elevate a bit more. I am just thankful to all who continue to stand beside or follow the beat of my feet to my next destination.
Facebook: Anthony M. Anderson
Youtube: Anthony Anderson Drums
Jihan Antoine Fernando Alvarez Mudassir Khalid Joshua Poyer Daniel Rivera