*”So much of music today is adults pretending to be children, but that doesn’t really interest me,” Anthony David says of his new eOne/Purpose Music release Love Out Loud. “I like being able to create something that sounds really good on the surface, and then later people can hear it again and think ‘What?!?!? I didn’t realize he was singing about that.'”
Over the course of six diverse yet highly distinctive albums, the charismatic Georgia-bred singer/songwriter/guitarist and three-time Grammy nominee has charted an idiosyncratic path to create a deeply personal, effortlessly accessible body of contemporary R&B.
A restless seeker whose creative vision encompasses a broad range of stylistic influences and lyrical interests, David employs a playfully adventurous songwriting sensibility and a singularly expressive voice that ranges from
raspy forcefulness to confessional intimacy, giving his work an emotional resonance that’s been celebrated by critics and embraced by a growing international fan base. The latter group includes President Barack and Michelle Obama, who’ve named David as one of their favorite artists.
Anthony David’s remarkable evolution continues to yield powerful results on Love Out Loud. The 11-song album, six of whose tracks were self-produced by David, finds the artist exploring an eclectic array of inspirations on such stirring tunes as “Aspiracy Theory,” “So Jaded,” and “Movie Night,” reflecting David’s growth from acoustic solo performer to widescreen conceptualist and multi-faceted bandleader, and underlining his unique niche in the R&B landscape. Elsewhere on the album, “Official” includes guest vocals by up-and-coming songstress Algebra, “Livin’ It Up” features talented Atlanta newcomer Demetria McKinney and young reggae star Gramps Morgan, and the anthemic title track features backing vocals by several youthful performers from AWOL (aka All Walks of Life), a Georgia-based youth charity with which David has worked extensively.
“This album’s a blend of where I started and where I’ve evolved to,” David notes, adding, “I feel like I’m an ongoing experiment. Old school R&B used to be known for its content. But at some point, the modern version of it became something that’s rarely known for its content, and people tend to abandon the title R&B if they want to do something deeper. But I love R&B, and I love soul music and I love hip-hop, so I wanted to create something bigger.”
Signing to Purpose Music Group/eOne Music, David released a pair of musically and conceptually ambitious project in 2011, the album As Above So Below and E.P. “Location Location Location”. Those projects marked an unmistakable maturation for the artist, expanding his sound and vision into audacious new areas, and incorporating the talents of such guest performers as the aforementioned Algebra, rapper Phonte of Little Brother, and Anthony’s cousin, Shawn Stockman from ’90s R&B supergroup Boyz II Men. The latter album also spawned Anthony’s first Top 20 R&B hit, “4Evermore.”
Along with David’s vocals, songwriting and guitar work, Love Out Loud also features some significant contributions from his longtime live band, The Do/Gooders, which includes guitarist Brandon Thomas, bassist Demonterious “Detoxxx” Lawrence, keyboardist Jalon Smith, drummer Quinton Robinson and songstress Sonni King. “We have such a good time on the road that I wanted to bring them more into what I do in the studio,” Anthony asserts. “When I started out making acoustic records that was a good way to find my own sound and showcase my strengths. Going out and performing like that was a lot of fun, but I felt like I needed a crew that I could build something with. We share a very large musical vocabulary, so having them around makes my arms and legs longer, and we’re all on the same page so I rarely have to explain myself.”
The Do Gooders’ considerable talents played a crucial role in allowing David to realize some of his most challenging ideas, musical and otherwise, on Love Out Loud. “I think that this album’s kind of top-down, from really big ideas to really small ones, political things and personal things, head and heart,” Anthony states. “For a while I tried to lay off of the romantic songs, but I ended up doing some of that anyway, and those songs are really, really fun. I’m influenced by personal stuff and I’m influenced by other music, but I’m equally influenced by the stuff I read and see, whether its futurists like Ray Korowai or comedians like Bill Hicks and Louis C.K.
“Music has been mining for so long in the same fields, and there’s so much more that we could be playing with,” he concludes. “I want to keep making music for a very long time, so my thing from the beginning has been to just stay consistent and keep coming up with good stuff. You just have to show up with good songs and do what you’re meant to do, and hope that people catch on over time. And if it takes several albums to draw the whole picture, that’s ok. I’m just trying to use the tools I have to make it look and sound easy and fun.”
As he counts down to the release of Love Out Loud, David has decided to provide fans with a glimpse into some of the stories and inspirations that went into the songs included on the album. Additionally, he shares snippets of each track, as he offers behind-the-scenes information on the creation of his sixth album…enjoy!
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