“PQ: There once was an album called READY TO DIE. The artist who recorded it died less than 3 years after it was released. Be careful what you speak into existence.”
Once upon a time rap group Public Enemy asked, “Who Stole The Soul?” and unfortunately no one has been able to offer a suitable answer. The stir caused by the re-introduction of neo-soul god D’Angelo via the BET awards is a testament to the vacuum caused by his absence. With R&B’s obsession with popping (and throwing) bottles in the club, the state of meaningful music is in the drink.
But if you’re willing to look a little deeper Jarrard Anthony may have exactly what you’re looking for. With two albums under his belt and a collection of smooth, bedroom friendly tracks on his new album Ready To Live, the Virginia native has everything he needs to bring some missing pieces and missed emotions to music. All you gotta do is listen.
TUD: Where do you think your album fits in with the general landscape of today’s music?
Jarrard Anthony: That is an interesting question. Today’s music has many textures, but the majority of what is given the largest public platforms promote excessive glorification of external gratifications.
My music is designed to promote peace and joy from within first and that will then reflect in all externals around you creating whatever reality you want to see yourself existing in. Ready To Live adds color to the landscape and brings balance to, what I feel is, a lopsided music marketplace. My music is made for people who are in love or even desire to be or for those who want to cultivate the best part of themselves. That is the journey I’m on and I am just sharing my experiences through music. If you consider yourself a “Real N*gga” or a “Bad B!tch”, this probably ain’t for you. However, if you consider yourself a King or Queen and your mate as the complement of that, then READY TO LIVE was written with you in mind. Whoever wants to investigate that concept for themselves, I openly encourage it.
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Readers may not expect that kind of metaphysical content and “King or Queen” talk from someone whose favorite group is Jodeci.
LOL…Jodeci is dynamic in their talents, which are massive. It’s nostalgia that keeps us loving those that impacted us most. Their story was always fascinating how they were young teenagers that came from the country and went to the big city and made it. That inspired a young 13-year old kid from Virginia to say, my group and me can do it too. At the time I discovered Jodeci, my ideologies were way different so I wasn’t really thinking about how the content was shaping their own direction or even mine at the time. I was a kid going through puberty and chasing girls thinking that the vocoder Devante used was dope or that note that JoJo hit was crazy. My thoughts were if we sing like that, we can make it too! That passion drove me to want to pursue music as a career.
You’ve been using that passion to go the indie route so far. Would you ever be open to changing that and giving a major a chance?
Certainly in the right circumstances. However, the climate of the music business has and is changing so much so fast, independents have a lot more ability to maneuver. “Major” labels are like the Titantic and Indies are like speedboats. Who can turn corners to avoid the icebergs faster? The only real difference between “major” labels and independents is really the amount of money they can afford to lose. I can’t afford to lose any. (Laughs) They might be able to take a larger hit and keep rolling. I am comfortable though doing music on my own terms and grateful for experiences learning the business that many artists who have been on “majors” never receive as far as knowledge about publishing, promoting, copywriting, booking, manufacturing, etc. Take a look at some former “major” label artist releases and you will see and hear substantial differences in presentation and quality of music. I am thankful for my education as an indie artist and businessman. Sometimes people mistake the term Independent for “alone”. I have a great team that makes being Independent actually very advantageous. They are so amazing and provide so much support I don’t feel like I am lacking anything in terms of people resources. However, I am always open to opportunities that expose MY OWN identity and music to as many people as possible.
Watch Jarrard Anthony’s video to “Damn Sista”
Break down the logic behind the title Ready To Live.
READY TO LIVE is about being at the point in your life when you know who you are. That moment of divine revelation where you say with a wide smile on your face… “This is the path I will travel and grow on for the remainder of my time on this planet.” It doesn’t mean changes and shifts won’t come, but all of those changes will be inline with the destiny that you have embraced and readily accept whatever is in store. It’s always seeing your glass full. Half with water and half with air, both necessary components for survival. Everything won’t be easy, but you receive it in peace and keep moving forward. READY TO LIVE is about speaking and being what you want to see created in your life. You don’t attract what you want; you attract what you are so READY TO LIVE is about directing energy. There once was an album called READY TO DIE. The artist who recorded it died less than 3 years after it was released. Be careful what you speak into existence. Be READY TO LIVE, be READY TO LEARN, be READY TO GIVE, be READY TO GROW, be READY TO LOVE. That’s what this is all about.
Being that this isn’t your first album, did you have any specific things you wanted to do this time around that you didn’t get to last time?
Absolutely, music is a reflection of environment. I wrote previous music with the intentions of releasing it on an album. Initially, I wrote this as a journal of sorts, capturing moments without any intention of releasing it at all. I wanted to capture the joy having a family has brought me, the love I have for my queen, and “overstanding” that what I put into the atmosphere is what I am gonna get back. Sonically, I wanted an album that reflected a blend of 70’s soul music, modern R&B, and New age sounds. I wanted to also have great features and musicians. It all came together perfectly. Working with Nate Smith was really an integral part of that. He was a definite specific, because I told him that if he didn’t produce it, I wasn’t gonna do the record. I meant it. I feel like this is my first album since I am still being introduced to so many new listeners. For the first time it feels like its’ a 100% accurate testament of what I represent as an artist and as a man.
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