“As Above, So Below.” The ancient Hermetic saying from the legendary Emerald Tablet declares what is the above is from the below, and the below is from the above, and all these works of wonders are from the one (the source). Heady stuff for an R&B album title, but the Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Anthony David has never been the kind of soul artist to “speak loudly, but say nothing.” With David, the sage psalm aptly describes the ruminations of a seeker whose walk travels over roots, soul, blues, reggae and hip hop to unabashedly express the unexpressed in men’s souls, from the carnal and the provocative to the unsure and the vulnerable. Digging deeper with every project, David continues to peel back layers of public identity, political chutzpah, and playa propaganda to use what lies beneath as the clay for something honest and real.
Anthony David’s third original studio album and debut release on Purpose Music Group/ E1, finds David culling inspiration not only from the headlines but also from the red Savannah soils of the singer’s birth home—from tea parties to magnolia makeouts. Fans of “Georgia Peach” and “ATL Sunshine” know David’s Southern roots run deep. Georgia’s son with the famously raspy voice never dreamed of becoming a singer, not with sangin’ kin who included members of the multi-platinum singing groups Xscape and Boyz II Men. So, the practical David entered the Army straight out of high school. Quickly learning the military wasn’t his bag, at 19, David left after one stint, moved to Atlanta, and entered trade school to become a sound engineer. For four years, David was an everyman: quietly writing lyrics, singing to himself, listening and learning from behind the studio boards, and beginning to nurture the seeds of a dream. He helped form and briefly recorded with funk/rap outfit, El Pus, on their Virgin Records debut, Hoodlum Rock. Eventually, at the urging of friend India.Arie, the 23 year-old David finally picked up the guitar and…it felt like home. Local fans soon came for an invitation to David’s musical sanctuary and suddenly the ordinary was extraordinary. Even after David began touring the world as a background singer and co-writer for India.Arie, he never forgot the beauty of the ordinary.
As conceived through David’s pen, there’s magic in the every day, an alchemy that Brash Music heard in 2004 when they signed him to his first record deal. The interiors and exteriors of regular life were acoustically elevated to high art on his debut, 3 Chords and The Truth. A phone call in the middle of the night becomes a serenade. A loving mama’s boy grows into the father he once despised. A caller’s invitation to love becomes a standout tune on a Grammy-winning album with “Part of My Life” on India.Arie’s Acoustic Soul. With guitar, dry wit, and a voice that instantly reads sincere, David consistently toured the college and coffeehouse circuit on the strength of the universally received 3 Chords…project. Not bad for a “street taught” singer, guitarist, and songwriter.
With the Grammy-nominated duet, “Words,” David and long-time friend Arie continued their award-winning singing and songwriting partnership, this time for a radio hit that originally appeared in 2006 on his sophomore and final release for Brash, The Red Clay Chronicles. The single received repeat business on his major label debut, the Billboard Top 30 R&B album Acey Ducey, for Universal/Republic. The Acey Ducey compilation reflected the lighter, jazzier acoustic soul of his debut and the introduction of heavier electronic music elements and moodier introspections from his sophomore indie collection, The Red Clay Chronicles, introducing David’s early catalog to an international audience. While “Words” got national airplay and reached #53 on the Billboard R&B charts, searing introspections like “Better Than, the five-finger cover of Level 42’s “Something About You,” and warm hallmarks to home like “Kinfolk” and “Smoke One” from Red Clay Chronicles got Anthony David the critical acclaim and a loyal, ever-expanding fan base.
Now, with As Above, So Below, David is looking to marry his collection of disparate fans, those who discovered him as a college circuit acoustic singer, those who loved his electrosoul meets hip hop hipster fare from Red Clay…, and those who celebrated the spiffed up blue-collar boy’s new Hollywood styling and full band productions on his last promo tours for Acey Ducey. It’s time to solidify his fans for a career of longevity, with his own imprint (Rolling Mojo—named after his first car), a new label partnership between E1 Entertainment and Purpose Music Group, and a new producing partner in Nashville songwriter/producer Shannon Sanders (Heather Headley, India.Arie), David is looking to make an artistic and commercial statement with his third original studio release. A known humorist and fresh bachelor to whom much is projected, David reveals more of his worldview, his character, to fill in the blanks for fans. From the gospel-rock political tome, “God Said,” to his duet cover of Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants To Rule The World, featuring A.D.’s cousin, Shawn Stockman, David gives you A.D. unvarnished. There’s even an acoustic seven-minute dough boy tale for the street-lifers, and, of course, even more of David’s rare brand of honest unburdening that tells his listeners they aren’t alone in their thoughts.
Often considered the heir-apparent to troubadour Bill Withers, with As Above, So Below, David is elbowing a space for intelligent lyrics and a grown man’s voice in a scene that’s in a race to be young. A student of Wither’s lyricism; the masculine rhythms of Beres Hammond and Frankie Beverly; the storytelling of Slick Rick, T.I., and Jay-Z; and the blues of Lightning Hopkins, Howling Wolf, and T-bone Walker, David is ushering back the kind of masculine soul that men can identify with and that ladies can nestle up to. With As Above, the thinker extends nourishment for the mind. With As Below, the lover provides nourishment for the flesh. And, with his latest release, Anthony David ever remains nourishment for the soul.
For more information, visit the Official Anthony David site: Rollingmojo