When it comes to cranking out new music, there aren't many soul artists — locally or nationally — who are as prolific as Atlanta-based vocalist/guitarist Anthony David.
Last year alone David dropped his lauded full-length As Above So Below and the EP (of sorts) #LocationLocationLocation. Come next Tuesday (Nov. 13), when he serves up his latest offering, Love Out Loud, he’ll be able to add another full-length project to his discography.
The album features a diverse collection of 11 songs — from reggae to soul to even a few pop-ish tracks — that are peppered with hints of 1960s, ’70s and ’80s-era music ... which you’ll be able to hear this Saturday, Nov. 10, when David celebrates the release of Love Out Loud with a show at Center Stage.
But before he takes the stage or his new tunes go on sale, David gave us the lowdown about on his latest.
Carlton Hargro: So what’s the concept behind the new album?
Anthony David: Well ... on my other [albums] I had these things in mind that I wanted to do. But this one was just kind of free. I just wanted to do something light ... I wanted to go in and do stuff I liked. That was it.
On Love Out Loud — and really on your older albums, too — your music sounds very modern, but there’s a nostalgic undertone to it. Is that on purpose or what?
Yeah, I feel like you can bridge that gap. ... I don’t think the hipsters need to be over here and then the people that like old music should be all the way over here. I don’t think they should be so different. I don’t understand the hard line people draw.
You tend to write songs that seem thematically opposite to each other. Just look at the title of your last album, As Above So Below. Is that your philosophical approach to creating music — to make things kind of black and white?
I guess in the context of a song, sometimes you have to draw the black after you do the white. Take a song like “4evermore” [from As Above So Below]: If you listen to the lyrics, it’s a romantic song, but it very much acknowledges all the pros and the cons [of relationships]. ... That’s the same way as if I do a song like “Jaded” [from Love Out Loud]. To me it’s funny, but people might listen and go, “Oh, he’s sad.”
You’ve been in the game for a while, where do you feel you are as an artist at this point in your career?
Good question. I really have no clue! The main thing is about the consistency. That’s what my goal was from the beginning: Be consistent, put out a body of work, and drive it home that way. ... One thing I can say, I’m trying to expand what my generation has defined as soul, or neo-soul and that kind of thing.
A lot of your fans probably think of you as the guy who sings while strumming a guitar. How have your live performances evolved as your music has become less about you being this lone guy on a stool?
You know, the first album was all guitar. And through that process I discovered: “Wow, I’m bored sitting here the whole time!” I thought, “I like it, but I can’t let this be all of it.” And so, in the last couple of years I solidified the band — that I’m calling the Do-Gooders — and they helped me create a whole show. I have the perfect crew now. So that’s my goal this year: to tear up stages everywhere.
Anthony David plays Center Stage on Saturday, November 10. $20-$25. 9 p.m. 1374 W. Peachtree St., NW. www.centerstage-atlanta.com.
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