FEATURED ARTIST – Larry Anthony
Interview with Larry Anthony – By: Dennis M. Kelly
Dennis: Hey Larry! Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions for me today! How has 2023 been treating you so far?
So far, the cold and gloom are killing me; I’m so hopped up on vitamin D supplements, it’s not funny. Aesthetically, I love the imagery of winter but hate it in every other capacity.
Dennis: Your most recent single for “January” was released in late January, how has the fan reception been to it, both in streams and performed live?
I’ve been playing the song out and sharing behind-the-scenes content, which people seem to dig. The release show was rad! It had a great turnout and the energy was through the roof…lots of new listeners in the audience that night. I can’t wait to see them again.
Dennis: How do you cope and keep yourself productive during the winter months?
I try to remember that it’s not forever, so I use this time as a break from touring so I can experience life and prepare for the next touring season. I don’t get many weekends off throughout the year, so I use the few I have to catch up with friends.
Dennis: Walk me through your musical journey, your beginnings, touring, and the decision to make your solo journey that lead you here.
I grew up with lots of music in the house, so I was a fan long before I was an artist. I really owe that to my family. I come from a big household and everyone had their own taste, so it was great to hear it all. Once I was good enough to play out on guitar, I did.
The gigs started rolling and I used that time to hone my craft. After a few years, I decided I wanted to focus on my work as a singer-songwriter, rather than a side man. That was in 2021 when I released my debut EP. I’m grateful for all my experiences and am glad I was able to learn the ropes before jumping in all alone.
Dennis: How long have you played guitar and keyboards and have you had any formal training for any of your musical abilities?
Well, back in kindergarten, I used to tell people I played guitar, but I didn’t pick it up until about 7th grade, which is about the same time I started piano. I was always in band and choir but didn’t have many opportunities there with guitar, so I’m mostly self-taught. I would listen to my favorite records and learn them by ear. Then I spent a few years in college for music but dropped out. It didn’t make sense to stay in the flight simulator when I was getting opportunities to do the real thing.
Dennis: OK, ok… Most guitarists are known for this, how many guitars do you currently own?
About 10. I use all of them in the studio, but not all of them come on the road with me. My main guitar has always been a strat…it was originally a 2001 American Stratocaster that I scraped together money for from a high school summer job. It featured a few personal customizations, which included a neck with the finish removed. Over time the wood contorted beyond repair. I tried everything, including replacing the neck, but it wasn’t the same.
My main axe was out of commission and I had a big gig coming up on the Food Network. I went on the hunt for a new strat and played a bunch, but none of them spoke to me. Then I got my hands on a PRS Silver Sky. It was everything I loved about strat-style guitars with some additional upgrades. Ever since then, the PRS has been my main guitar.
Dennis: You released your EP, “How Far We’ve Come” in 2021, do you have plans on a debut full-length album anytime soon; hopefully this year?
Someday. I feel as though I’m just finding the sound I would want to dig into for such a big project. If I go that hard on a record, it has to mean something to me and be executed the right way. I’ve got a few more singles and probably another EP before then.
Dennis: Take me through your songwriting process, you’ve shown some parts of your [music] creation on TikTok, but for writing your lyrics, what takes precedence on what the song will convey as each word comes to mind?
I usually start with the music, but the lyrics are also very important to me. It’s a bit of a double-edged sword, because I don’t want to take myself too seriously, but I do want to make sure I’m saying something. I once heard someone say that a good song is like a joke: the verse is the set-up and the chorus is the punchline. I try not to record songs for the sake of it…it has to mean something.
Dennis: Most artists tend to be proudest of their most recent works, but do you have any songs in particular that have captured the essence of what you wanted to say better than other songs?
I think I have a pretty dynamic catalog; some songs are deeper than others. I think ‘How Far We’ve Come’ is a great introduction, but ‘Bad Girl’ and ‘Midnight Memories’ touch more on my RnB influences…this is a hard question because I’m constantly changing as a person and so does my music.
Dennis: For music videos, it seems you’ve always been comfortable in front of the camera like in “I’m Moving On,” all the way through to your video for “How Far We’ve Come.” How have you approached the video aspects of your music over the years? Do you sometimes write in more visually descriptive ways (with video in mind)?
I LOVE cinematography and use it as a tool when I’m producing/writing. Not in the sense that I’m planning for a music video, but in that, I’m visualizing the world within that piece of music. Even though I’m not great at it, I’ve always wanted to be an actor…so music videos are my opportunity to try that out while working on my brand.
Dennis: What have been some of the bigger challenges for you in your career?
Most definitely finding my identity. I feel as though I’m just stumbling upon it, but the music I’m making is better because of that journey.
Dennis: How supportive would you say the Chicago music scene is of original music?
There are a lot of small communities in the Chicago scene and it’s tough to establish yourself, but once you get the door open, you see who the other serious acts are. From that point, it’s just about making friends.
Dennis: What are three things that people could do to help your music career a lot easier for you?
Embrace your community. If you support your neighbor/friend in whatever their interest is, they will return the love. We’ve got to be there for each other.
Do that thing you’ve always wanted. It’s not too late and there’s no pressure. We CAN have that feeling of magic in our lives…you just have to go for it
You can stream my music wherever you prefer, follow me on socials (@larryanthony.me), and visit my merch store haha.
Dennis: How much time do you spend on social media and which have you seen the best results in promoting your music and live shows?
I hop on social media every day as a creator and consumer. It’s where a lot of people hang out, so it’s important to be present in the community. I’ve had mixed results with IG, FB Reels, YT Reels, and TikTok…I think YouTube and FB generally show my content to more people, but more people interact on IG and TikTok.
Dennis: Outside of music, what occupies your time?
Honestly, very few things. Music is pretty much ever-present for me. If I’m not playing out or working in the studio, I’m binging TV, playing video games, or traveling; I also love nature and try to spend as much time out there as I can.
Dennis: What can we expect from you for the rest of 2023?
I’ve got a lot up my sleeve for this year: a bigger live show, shows in new areas across the US, more online content, and some new music. I’m looking forward to another year of making music and friends!
Dennis: Thank you very much for your time once again and I wish you the best in your career!
Check out more great featured artists here!
A slow-burning groove. The itch of insomnia. A voice familiar yet new: Larry Anthony’s feel good groove of RnB soaked pop-rock is taking him from starry-eyed songwriter to non-stop touring artist. A young dreamer from the southside of Chicago, the stylistically dynamic artist was shaped by his city’s rich and diverse culture. Initially launching his career through extensive touring as a side-man, the singing-guitarist soon found himself on a stage of his own. Reflective lyrics, catchy hooks, and real soul remain constant as he reinvents himself with each release.
After building local momentum Larry Anthony has gathered over 1.5+ million views, played over 1000 shows, appeared on national tv, and many international media outlets.
He has also shared the stage with artists such as Ryan Cabrera, Thomas Ian Nicholas (American Pie, Rookie of the Year), B.B. King Allstars, Jon Walker (Panic! At The Disco), Mark Rose (Spitalfield), Chris Medina (American Pie), Puddle of Mudd, Trapt, 3 Days Grace, Lucky Boys Confusion, and collected production credit with Sean O’Keefe (Fall Out Boy, Beach Bunny, Plain White T’s) to name a few.
Fresh off the press is Anthony’s latest single, “Want Your Love”, an RnB/pop banger best personified as the illegitimate love child of Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, and Usher. Fusing thick RnB bass, a tight hip-hop kit, and the singer’s iconic smooth vocals, the track is about a specific shade of fresh love. Fans can expect two more minimalist leaning singles coming early 2023.