“I haven’t looked back since and my only regret is that I didn’t follow that little voice in my head back when I was 17. Imagine where I would be with 10 plus years in. That’s why my upcoming project is called Better Now Than Never.”

Check out the interview with The ANThem exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.

Skilly: Where did this all start? Tell us about your journey in the entertainment business.
The ANThem: I started when I was 17 or 18 deejaying and beatboxing. Then I got a drum machine at about 23 and when that happened I knew I was going to do this. I started just making little simple beats. I was in the band in middle school and high school so I knew how to play a few different instruments (tuba, clarinet, bass clarinet, trumpet, drums) so putting together the sounds came naturally.

I moved to rhyming over the beats I made. I have found that most people listening want a voice to go with the instrumental. After I got some of my rhymes out there I started to get other up and coming producers to send me the beats they couldn’t find a home for. And now I’m here today talking with Skilly. Crazy.

What would be your biggest piece of advice for the young kids out there trying to do what you do?
Don’t give up on it. Here’s a story. I have been good at beat boxing and deejaying since I was 17 and I love music. I had albums people had never heard of and knew the lyrics to songs within a day. All of that was pointing to go into music, but I ignored that and did what everyone told me I should do: get a valid job and work a real job. So I did.

I remember recently sending some stuff to Steve Lobel at his music counseling email and he told me this is what you should be doing. I haven’t looked back since and my only regret is that I didn’t follow that little voice in my head back when I was 17. Imagine where I would be with 10 plus years in. That’s why my upcoming project is called Better Now Than Never.

What are some of the hardest challenges and tasks in your position?
I think getting heard is one of the hardest challenges. Actually getting the music in front of someone that can do something with it. There are a lot of part timers that just dabble in this and that, but I’m really do this. Every free moment is spent on my music and promoting my music. Exposure is a big challenge I face.

We all know the entertainment business is very tough, but what do you find is the best way to promote and advertise your music?
Others might say my methods are not viable, but I am all over the place. Anywhere that says that want to hear music I send it. I love making music and I do it strictly for the love of music. No accolades, no fame, all for the love. I put in work making hundreds of songs (my current laptop has over 200 songs and 400 beats) and then I disperse them I am of the firm belief that if you put in enough work and get it out there to hear, something will come back eventually. Patience is the name of the game.

Tell us about your city. How are the artists and the fans?
What can I say about Atlanta? Black Hollywood, home of the Braves and the land of the hustlers. It’s been my home for all 30 years I have been living. It’s the only place I call home. There is a lot of talent in Atlanta: rappers, singers, producers, and songwriters. Not to mention fashion too. As far as fans, well my reach isn’t that far yet but I am seeing great response to something different. The music fans in Atlanta are diverse and knowledgeable. You got to come with it or they’re not feeling it.

Where do you see yourself a year from today?
I see myself producing for some established acts. I’m putting it into the universe. If I say it, it becomes reality. Maybe even have some songs that I’m spitting on turn a few heads and make people say, “Hmmm that country boy ain’t half bad.”

Who and what were your biggest inspirations? Who do you look up to in today’s world?
1st I would have to say my pops. He was always a pillar of strength and had the determination and ambition to leave corporate America and start his own business in landscape. I wanna keep that entrepreneur spirit alive. It’s part of the reason that I strive to do it all.

If we are talking musically, I take my inspiration from old Atlanta artists Goodie Mob and Outkast. I really want to bring that originality back to rap. No auto tune, just soulful and trap inspired beats with mean bars, a message, and some stories. Back to a simpler time in hip hop.

How do you feel about the music coming out today? Do you like it?
I like some of it. I really dig Kevin Gates and my sensibilities lie with more old school Atlanta artist as well like TIP, Jeezy, Goodie Mob, and OutKast. I do feel as though a good percentage of artists these days are simply copying whatever they hear on the radio or through mixtapes and not really trying to cultivate their own sound. Waves come and go but with something original and authentic it becomes timeless.

Where can we contact you and find you online?
Reverbnation: theanthem7
Twitter: @The_ANT_hem
Instagram: @ant_Lanta
Facebook: Anthony BigA McKellar
Soundcloud: theanthem85