Up Close With Anthony Faulkner
Anthony Faulkner Talks About Coping and Shifting Creatively During The Global Pandemic, The Ups and Downs of Being An Artist, and His Efforts To Bring Hope Through Music.
An encounter with A’ngela Winbush at church one afternoon years ago changed Anthony Faulkner’s life. The R&B star encouraged Anthony to start singing and consider doing it professionally. Fast forward to today, Anthony has recorded and released several singles and albums independently. He has collaborated with artists from across the globe including Winbush on his hit single “Closer” from his album GUARDIAN ANGEL. Anthony has established himself as a globe-trotting, award-winning, multi-genre, international recording artist. Coupled with his passion for travel, culture, and philanthropy, Anthony has exposed his God-given gifts to millions from the United States to Africa and from the United Kingdom to Asia. His music is diverse. His experiences are vast. His brilliant creativity and empathetic heart have shaped a phenomenal life for the young singer and songwriter.
In this special Q&A, Anthony gets real about his experiences as an indie artist, gives a candid scan of the good and bad moments in the music industry, and transparently shares a bit of his life coping through this life-altering global pandemic.
- How has your music/career progressed over the years?
My artistry has grown by leaps and bounds over the years because I learn what to do and what not to do. I also had to learn how to be authentic, but be competitive. It’s one thing to say that you want to be at the top of the charts, but I didn’t want to be or sound like everyone else.
I have run into many different walls, but I’ve always been a strategic thinker so I never let closed doors or failures defeat me. With that being said, I decided to take my music overseas to where I could freely be me. It has been an incredible journey. I’ve been the first to do many things like being the first American artist on the “Night To Remember” event in Uganda, the first American artist to perform with the Joyous Celebration Choir in Johannesburg, and the first American to be on stage with Kenyan music star Kambua at the Groove Awards in Kenya.
- What are some of the pitfalls of being an artist and what is something new artists should be aware of?
I’ve dealt with ‘dirty ducklings’ in this industry from crooked promoters to people who are just out to get your money. My advice to other artists is to do your homework on people and open your mouth and say something about any lack of integrity in the music industry. Be careful who you do business with.
- What are the secrets to being an international artist and traveling abroad?
First, I don’t take my ability to travel and perform for granted. You have to be humble, respectful, and know that you need people when you step out on faith to do something that hasn’t been done before and to tackle goals and dreams such as this. To be an international artist, you really have to work, grind, and network to establish relationships to get your name and artistry recognized in order to be invited to perform. Sometimes you will have to go abroad and spend weeks at a time to gain exposure. But remaining humble is key. You cannot behave arrogantly and you cannot think that the American way is the way other cultures and countries may do things.
- What are you doing creatively during this pandemic and what has the pandemic done to hinder or enhance your music career?
I’ve had to totally hit reset. I’m a constant traveler – I usually traveled every weekend. I haven’t traveled since February! It has been very uncomfortable and unsettling to not know what is next. I’ve had to process all of this like everyone else and ask God to help me keep my mind. I’ve had to learn to redirect a lot of energy which has included renovating my home and renovating the way I promote my music.
If you’re an indie artist, your music probably hasn’t reached the masses, so your music has life to it. I’m seeing that more than ever now. I’ve re-released my “Closer” single and experienced resurgence on my “You Are Amazing” single and video. Because of this great new activity, I’ve had to create a completely digital campaign for both songs.
It would be nice to have one song that hits everywhere at one time, but that sometimes doesn’t happen. Sometimes we have to promote to pockets. I’m promoting these two songs in strategic pockets from various aspects of digital media, Urban radio, CCM TV and radio, and Gospel media. I’m exposing my music to a wide variety of audiences in various pockets and that’s proving successful.
- Have you created new music during this pandemic?
I’m a part of a song of unity and hope called “Stand As One”. Danton Whitley and Mosaic Sounds created a song in response to Covid-19. The song speaks about being in the midst of this pandemic but trusting our Lord and Savior to pull us through. It was a great opportunity to work with Danton and the many artists that came together to record this song.