We caught up with Anthony David backstage at his performance at Highline Ballroom in NYC to talk about his new album “As Above So Below”, how the sound compares to his previous albums, how “4Evermore” came together, working with India Arie, his new mixtape, maintaining his sound in the current r&b climate and more.
YouKnowIGotSoul: Your fourth album “As Above So Below” will be releasing in a couple of weeks. How are you feeling right now?
Anthony David: Awesome. The label’s working good, the team’s working good, the reviews are good, people seem to enjoy it and it seems like a good time to put this out.
YKIGS: How does the sound on this album compare to your previous albums?
AD: Just a little more developed I think. Shannon Sanders executive produced it and he’s a mastermind, he’s had several albums of hits now and he’s such a talented guy. Andrew Ramsey, his partner, he’s a great songwriter so they brought that thing to it. They’re also great musicians, one’s a keyboard player, one’s a guitar player, so we had so many good elements. So I think it’s just stepped up.
YKIGS: Tell me about the single “4Evermore”. How did that song come together?
AD: My homey DJ Kemit had the track and he gave it to me, we’d been planning to work together for a long time, and right off the bat the chorus and the verse came to me. Someone else suggested it should be a duet, so me and Algebra are good friends, I called her up and she came through and did her part in maybe an hour or two. Phonte I hadn’t known yet but I was a big fan of Little Brother and he was the only one I knew that could cover that kind of content in a mature way that needed to be done on that. So I sent it to him, got to know him, and that was it.
YKIGS: I love how that one came out.
AD: Thank you man, I appreciate it.
YKIGS: Do you have any other collaborations on the album?
AD: Yea my cousin Shawn Stockman from Boyz II Men, we did “Rule the World” which is a cover of the song by Tears for Fears. I always do an 80’s cover.
YKIGS: You put a mixtape out last week also, tell me about that.
AD: Yea “The Sound of Love”. That’s really one of my dreams come true because the Superfriends in Atlanta, DJ Mars, DJ Trauma and DJ Doc, they’re good friends of mine and I go to their parties all the time. We’re in the same world but we’re sort of in different worlds, they’re in the music industry, one is the DJ for Ciara or Usher or something like that. Basically we’ve both got our things and I’ve always been down with them, I love what they do, so I’d love to hear how they interpreted the music. It was really DJ Mars’ idea and I basically just gave them all of this old stuff, exclusive stuff and some of the new stuff and they tied it together. It’s nice; I was listening to some of it myself, I really enjoy it.
YKIGS: It’s been received well since you released it?
AD: Yea we put it out on Twitter and Facebook, and a lot of the blogs have been picking it up. None of the major blog sites have it, but it’s still traveling very well which is kinda good. Sometimes if you give just to a major blog site then you can tell that it’s their influence, but this I think is really a viral thing so I’m happy with how it’s going.
YKIGS: You’ve contributed a lot of writing to India Arie in the past and also worked with her. Do you see yourself working with her again in the future?
AD: Oh yea, we’re family. It’s just whatever, we just hang out and talk, we don’t just do music. We’re also always playing each other’s music, her new record is really nice, I’m just a fan.
YKIGS: As someone who continues to make real R&B and soul, does it ever get frustrating for you when you hear a lot of commercial songs on the radio?
AD: I don’t hear the radio *laughs*
YKIGS: *Laughs* I feel like the real musicians like yourself deserve more attention then you’re getting.
AD: Yeah it’s sometimes frustrating, but it just depends. I’ve always said there’s 10% of music in every room that you’re going to go into that’s good. Even a lot of underground stuff. I just go by the song and I just pick songs from any genre, any place. I don’t even have to get attached to the artist, so I’m just trying to do that.
YKIGS: Have you ever felt pressured to try some new things?
AD: I always feel pressured to try new things anyway just because, with your music, you’re sort of introducing yourself to people, you’re having a conversation with someone, and you almost want to let people know the many facets of what you do. But to bend over backwards, no, I’m not doing anything that I don’t want to do. I know that something that I like, you’ll like as well.
YKGS: I respect that.
YKIGS: Final question, how long do you see yourself recording music in the future?
AD: *laughs*I don’t know, I can’t see an ending now.