Interview: Anthony Russell
Anthony Russell came onto our radars earlier this year when he appeared on the 14th season of the X Factor UK; wowing the judges and mesmerising the audience with his heartfelt rendition of Julia Michaels’ Issues. His voice is what initially captivated us all but it was his passion and pure love for his craft that launched him from the screen into our hearts. It didn’t take long for our own Louis Tomlinson to recognise Anthony’s talents and publicly throw his support behind the proud Northerner.
We caught up with Anthony amidst preparations for the launch of his first EP and to talk about what Louis’ support has meant to him personally and professionally.
Louis has always been vocal of his support for emerging artists, especially those who have come from beginnings similar to his and is very passionate about those he sees potential in. Does having someone such as Louis, who has found success starting from a similar position as yourself, drive you even more regarding your musical aspirations?
Yes, most definitely. It is really inspiring to me, seeing him do so well from the background he came from, just like mine. It makes me think and believe I could do that, it's so genuine of him and down to earth to be the way he has been. The messages and conversations I have had with Louis, make me believe that if I work as hard as I can, to the best of my ability, I could possibly do the same and be an inspiration to others.
You have previously identified yourself as a “Born and bred Scouser”. How important are your roots to who you are and the music you create?
Well I like telling the truth, and the story of who I am. I like to be real and for people to be uplifted by my music; where I'm from and what I've been through and I express that through my performances and music.
It was your initial performance of Julia Michaels’ “Issues” that got all of our attention. Since then you have covered Beyonce’s “Runnin’”, Rick James’ cover of “Mary Jane”, Niall Horan’s “Slow Hands”, and Louis’ “Just Hold On” to name a few. You’re quite diverse in your song selections. Are your musical influences and inspirations as diverse?
Yes, I listen to different genres of music and write in different ways to try to show I'm versatile. My influences are David Bowie, The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, George Benson, Luther Vandross, and all jazz and classical music.
Releasing your own work is a momentous time for any artist, being able to really put themselves out there for everyone. What can fans expect from your upcoming EP?
Well I'm going for a comeback type of feeling, real in your face material, as if to say "this is who I am" and try and get it over to my fans and the people that I can relate to. I'm going for rock type of sound with some ballads ....just raw music which is relevant and not fake.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us anthony?
I'd just like to say thank you for being so loyal and taking your time to ask me interesting questions. I feel so appreciative that you would show support if I was to tour UK.
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Interview conducted by Rachel | Edited by Rachel and Maree