Jarrard Anthony is one of those people that you root for; he’s the kind of man and artist that appreciates life and understands the blessings he’s received and shares them in various ways. Since his days as a shy teenager who came out of his shell once he discovered his (singing) voice and joined a group that went on to win several talent shows and develop a following in Richmond, VA to being a devoted husband and father today, music has been beyond an outlet for Mr. Anthony, it’s been part of his personal navigation system.
The pursuit of a career in music produces far more disappointments than hits for most and creates in many a belief that success is beyond their reach. Jarrard Anthony has been faced with those disappointments through his high school group dissolution, a record deal that never materialized and a public that hasn’t always embraced his growth as a man and its reflection musically. However, an inner strength that comes from having peach within has turned those challenges and others into the motivation to deliver his music independently and create outlets for himself and others in the Richmond area.
The Dream EP was the first step on the independent journey of Jarrard Anthony, it was a project that climbed the charts in the UK and naturally led to a full-length release Don’t Sleep…Just Dream, which also did well on the UK charts and led to a tour through Europe. Keep in mind that we’re talking about an independent artist; that tour was birthed through the connections Jarrard made on the internet, e-mailing and calling promoters and venues to deliver his sound to the fans. The projects that followed kept in line with his foundation of hard work, even as he experimented with his sound, opting for a more electronic sound on S.ynergisitc E.nergy X.change and going acoustic on Diary of a Messenger.
The road from “So Divine” in 1998 to 2010’s “Damn Sista” was a journey of discovery; there was so much to be learned about the music industry, about life, about fatherhood, about himself that he decided to do just that, step back and learn. Deciding that he had his fill of music, Jarrard decided to provide more stability for his growing family and developed a business and started working with local talent. Also, in an attempt to keep the Soul music scene in Richmond in fresh, he started the “Saturday Soul Social” to spotlight some of that local talent and expose some of the Indie Soul talent that’s been making the rounds. However, he couldn’t shake the music bug as he snuck off to his office to record new music. The result was a partnership with George Littlejohn and Purpose Music Group, current home to Bilal, Eric Roberson, Angela Johnson and Kindred the Family Soul. Turns out that those little ditties he put together in the office were something Littlejohn and Purpose felt the people should hear, chief among them, his wife.
“Lucky Day” was the song he played for his wife, after which she encouraged him to continue his pursuit of music. A few steps further in his spiritual development than he was last time around, Ready to Live (due June 19th) is Anthony’s latest attempt to
exercise peace in his music. It turns out, that’s his ultimate goal, to exercise the peace he’s found in any situation. As always, the music is a reflection of where he is at this moment in time, but also accented of where he hopes to be next. It’s that constant quest for growth that fuels Mr. Anthony, the love for self, the love for his wife, the love for his children and an undisputed love for Soul music.
As he gears up for the release of Ready to Live, he’s embarked on “The 30-Day Ready to Live Challenge”, which is an exercise in discipline, as he not only attempts to lose weight, but adapt a healthier lifestyle. He’s halfway through his personal challenge, but your challenge for accountability and discipline can begin whenever you’re “ready to live”. Jarrard Anthony’s music is about life, but his life is not about music, not anymore. His life has evolved to be about the things that make him smile, the tangible happiness that he’s able to grasp when the music stops…
Follow Jarrard Anthony on Twitter @jarrardanthony_ and stay up-to-date on his music and live shows at www.jarrardanthony.com. For more information on the “Ready to Live Challenge” follow his Tumblr http://www.jarrardanthony.tumblr.com
About the Writer
Between rhetoric and reality is where you’ll find Al-Lateef Farmer: Black man, husband, social documentarian, and slinger of Soul by the pound. His brand of social commentary rooted in independent thought can be found at http://worldaccording2teef.com, and on Twitter @wrldacrdng2teef.