Interview: Anthony Lewis Talks Finding Love for Music, Remaking “Candy Rain”, Signing with The Chemists
Everything is in place for Anthony Lewis to be the next r&b pop star. He’s got the look, he’s got the voice, and he’s got the talent. The success of his remake of “Candy Rain” has solidified the fact that his music is respected and he’s here to stay. Originally establishing himself as a star by building a fan base on YouTube, he recently signed with the newly minted label The Chemists to take his career to the next level. YouKnowIGotSoul caught up with Anthony to discuss his origins in music, the bold move to remake “Candy Rain”, how his debut album is coming a long, and much more.
YouKnowIGotSoul: Let’s start out taking it back to the beginning. Tell us where you first developed your love for music.
Anthony Lewis: I first started developing it when I was like 13 after I did a talent show. That’s when I felt like I wanted to take this career to the next level. I started doing music videos on YouTube just to get people to know and who I am.
YouKnowIGotSoul: I was reading that you took it as a hobby at first but then took to YouTube to further your career. How did YouTube help take it to the next level?
Anthony Lewis: YouTube helped so much because I had been to a lot of meetings with record execs and they always ask if I have anything on YouTube. I really didn’t have anything to show them. They wanted to see content and what I really did. So that’s why I started doing that ever since then and kept doing it, even until now.
YouKnowIGotSoul: Who were some of the artists who influenced you early on in your career?
Anthony Lewis: Chris Brown, Michael Jackson, Usher, Justin Timberlake, just all of the greatest.
YouKnowIGotSoul: You recently signed this label deal with The Chemists. How did they originally discover you?
Anthony Lewis: I went to sing for a producer, and I didn’t know it was for the Chemists label. When I was singing, a man named Garnett March walked in and told me I was dope. So he wanted to cut a couple of records on me and then we just started making magic and magic. It’s just a blessing that I found the right team and I know where I belong at.
YouKnowIGotSoul: The Chemists are a relatively new label and I can tell by observing you that you’ve got the whole package. How did you know this was the right spot?
Anthony Lewis: Just by the energy at the label. It’s never negative, it’s always positive and they like to move. We’re moving, there’s no break time, we work. If I give them 100% of me, they will give me 150% of them into me. So I found the right team for my career.
YouKnowIGotSoul: Talk about your current single “Candy Rain”. What influenced you to remake the classic record?
Anthony Lewis: “Candy Rain” is an old school record by Soul For Real back in the late 90’s. We felt as a team that we would come out with a record that people know so that when they hear it they’ll say “Who is this? I remember hearing this when I was a little kid, this is crazy!” They get to know who Anthony Lewis is, the one singing it this time around. So I did the song and it’s been amazing.
YouKnowIGotSoul: Sometimes when people cover classic songs from years past, music fans are a little sensitive about the newer version not living up the original. Have you got any feedback from fans on how you did compared to the original?
Anthony Lewis: Yes I got crazy feedback from fans and from family and friends as well. They’re all loving it. They like the transition of the record, they just love it. I didn’t want to go too far from the original because it’s not my original record. I tried to show them that I’m an old school artist type. Everything is just going pretty good.
YouKnowIGotSoul: I know you’re working on this debut album. How’s that coming along?
Anthony Lewis: It’s coming along great. We got Looney Tunes the producer, we got Drumma Boy. It’s coming along very good.
YouKnowIGotSoul: Sonically what’s the sound like?
Anthony Lewis: It sounds like an r&b/hip hop album. I like to talk about young love to make older people and younger people think about how their lives are. I like making young people think about how life is good and don’t rush it. For older people, I try to show them what they were like in high school. I just want to make good music, that’s it.
YouKnowIGotSoul: Have you collaborated with any artists or have plans to?
Anthony Lewis: I’m definitely planning to collaborate. You don’t even know how many artists I want to collaborate with. So far I’ve collaborated with Billy Bang and Joe Moses. That was definitely an honor because I listen to Joe Moses’ stuff all the time.
YouKnowIGotSoul: When do you expect to release this album?
Anthony Lewis: Probably later on this year or the top of next year.
YouKnowIGotSoul: When someone hears an Anthony Lewis record for the first time, how do you want to make them feel?
Anthony Lewis: Honestly, I want to make them feel that old school never died. I want to make them feel that music that everybody loves. I just want to make great music.
YouKnowIGotSoul: Anything you’d like to add?