Interview With Anthony Kannon Ahead of East Coast Tour
This Friday March 6th, Ithaca artist Anthony Kannon will head out for the first date on his first multi-stop, multi-state tour of the East Coast. Along with this tour Kannon plans to release a new music video for the track "Last Days" from his collaborative project with Meech Booker "Blur". The video will release in conjunction with the start of the tour on March 6th to give fans who can't join Kannon on tour something to look forward to as well. Ahead of the tour and the release of the music video we caught up with Anthony Kannon to discuss a variety of topics ranging from the success of "Blur" to his plans for the tour and after. Check out the interview below and be sure to support Kannon while he's on tour by purchasing merchandise or even tickets if you can't make the event. It helps cover tour costs and goes towards the next one as well!
UA: The last time we spoke you were just getting ready to drop your first official collab project with Meech Booker “Blur”. This project saw relative success in short order how was it being able to see an immediate reaction from your fan base? AK: That was a blessing. It was a completely experimental project, unmarked territory. The reaction from people was all over. Some were surprised, some didn’t like it; overall, it is the most replay-able music I’ve ever dropped. It’s a very casual listen compared to a lot of my music, and I think that’s what sparked a lot of the popularity surrounding it. Very thankful for all the support that it’s received.
UA: After the success of Blur you put together a live concert with Meech alongside a number of other Ithaca locals how did this event come to be? Were you surprised with the results? AK: This event was orchestrated by me and Saint Kid. We had been talking/planning for months in advance, and spent a lot of time trying to come up with a local lineup. We wanted to shine the light on the talent from our (somewhat) immediate circle of artists that we connect with on a daily basis.
I was very surprised by the turnout. We exceeded not only our own; but everybody’s expectations. We actually are in the midst of planning our second show, with a date of April 17th. We are trying to make it bigger and better than the last.
UA: You had a hand in putting that event together who were some artists who really stuck out to you following their performance or preparation for this show? AK: Man, all of Dim 136 killed it. J.J. Wolfe especially. He always has such great energy when he touches the stage. You may see him returning at one of our upcoming events ! To be honest though, there wasn’t anybody who slouched. Every artist turned up, and provided amazing performances. I was genuinely surprised.
UA: Over the last year you have performed in a number of cities and venues in Upstate NY are there any events that really stand out to you as some milestone events for you? AK: The biggest milestone personally would be the show me and Saint kid threw actually. Completely local, no sought-out headliner, no special attractions besides local talent. 250 came out to support, and that was jaw-dropping to us. In 2019, I opened up for: Safaree, Jadakiss, and tons of local acts. Headlined some shows as well! Saratoga is one of my favorite cities to perform in though. Syracuse always shows love as well!
UA: Now you are set to perform on your first east coast tour traveling outside of your bubble to some new venues, are their any nerves or anxiety leading up to this? AK: Absolutely. I always say that nerves/being nervous isn’t a bad thing. It just means you want (whatever you’re nervous about) to go well. I have never been to some of these states, I haven’t been to most of these cities; and I definitely have never performed in any of them. One thing I make sure to do though, is be prepared. I handmade merchandise, I stocked up on CD’s, I have business cards and anything else you could imagine.
I am trying to make this a networking experience, and soak in all the beauty that this trip will offer me.
UA: Youre heavy on networking with social media and consistently working to spread the word for new artists was this part of How your involvement in this tour come about? AK: Good question. In retrospect, 100%. I always use social media as the tool that it is, and try to connect with hundreds of artists-weekly. I had a show in Fleetwood, PA with a Wu-Tang affiliate; and an opener by the name of J-Smoove. I have never met these people, but they could sense my determination through the conversations we’ve had, and in return connected me to an artist named Billy Lyve. After speaking with him, working out the fine details-and confirming everything; he added me to the bill along with multiple artists from around his area + across the east coast. Truly honored to be a part of it.
UA: Whats it been like planning and prepping for the tour? How has the process of obtaining your own merchandise gone? AK: It’s been manic. Nonstop. I work 40+ hour weeks, and easily another 40+ hours into music. Whether it be: strategizing, memorizing songs, getting mixes together, writing, etc. Adding this new merchandising aspect has been time consuming to say the least, but very worth it. Me and my girl have been working 6-7 hours after we get off work sometimes just making sure everything is prepared. I can’t lie though; I love the grind.
UA: How has the support been ahead of this tour, both from fans and friends/family? AK: It has been overwhelming. I see a lot of people who assume that I’m going to be on tour with a celebrity, or headlining my own tour, or filling stadiums/arenas.
Some people I thought would be excited don’t really care.
Most people (the majority of my supporters and extended family), are unbelievably happy for me. I wish I could bring all of them along this journey, but we don’t have a tour bus or anything. I will be packing a car full, maybe two, every trip and riding out-trying to get as much support as we can out of state. I am very appreciative of everybody who has shown support so far.
UA: Do you have any plans in place for capturing content while your on tour and finding a way to share that with your fans at home? AK: Absolutely. Zakhi Schar (Schar Studios) will be on the journey with me basically every date. We will be vlogging, taking pictures, and shooting videos the whole trip. I couldn’t be more thankful for him! I needed somebody to do it, and I look at Zakhi like a good friend. He offered, and we hashed everything else out. Very excited for that.
UA: With this being the first official Anthony Kannon tour can you walk us through the process of preparing your set list for the tour? Is it a mixture of tracks on Blur & ColorBlind? Any new content? Any throwback remixes?
AK: To be honest, (I’m assuming) the majority of people won’t know too much of my music. I will be performing “Ghost” because that’s obviously my biggest track, and then throwing in montages of unreleased material-because I think that’s my best work so far.
I will be sprinkling tracks from a couple of the new projects I’m working on.
Preparing is rather simple; the hardest part is choosing exactly what songs to perform. I have a mixture of oldschool/classy vibes, modern sounding hiphop, and some real bars for the rap fans. I’ve never performed any of these songs except for “Ghost”, so we’ll see how it goes.
UA: Youre set to begin your first east coast tour this weekend on March 6th opening for Billy Lyve which is a massive opportunity but looking down the line say youre the headlining act, and youre going on tour you have three opener slots who are you taking with you? Hard mode: cant be all SR
AK: Damnnnnnn this is a hard one. I know I’m gonna leave somebody off this list, but I’m just going from a fan’s perspective-logistics aside.
If it were strictly Ithaca based: JJ Wolfe, Meech Booker, Mr. McBean Without Ithaca artists: Gscaffa/Ty Burst, TY Vega$/Slick Fashionz, ‘Dwellers
This is not necessarily who I like the most in the area, but this is who I have utmost confidence in rocking a show with. There are tons of artists I could’ve chose; and if you ask me on a different day, the answer could change. For the most part; I think our vibes, content, versatility, and energy would all play out well chemistry wise. Mr. McBean is one of the best performers I’ve ever seen live (period) when he’s on his A Game. He coming with me anywhere !