Independent soul music is on the rise, and singer/songwriter Jarrard Anthony is aiming for the top spot. Following in the footsteps of crooners like Eric Roberson and Anthony David, Virginia native Jarrard Anthony is independently releasing his fourth full studio album Ready To Live with the intention of showcasing his brand of soul to the world. Armed with a new distribution deal in place with Nia Music Distribution/eOne Distribution, the man frequently dubbed as “Mr. Independent” is poised to become the new king of indie soul.
Jarrard first hit the scene at age 19 with his debut EP The Dream, which featured a regional Virginia hit single “So D-Vine.” He would go on to break into the coveted UK market, retooling his EP into the full length release Don’t Sleep….Just Dream, which took the #2 spot on the UK charts and held it for several weeks. What came after was a series of more albums, national and international tours, all the while earning himself the moniker “Mr. Independent” after turning down several major label deals.
After a decade-long staple in the indie soul scene, Jarrard took a step back from performing to concentrate on his marriage, family, and building his spiritual life. Of his musical return he states, “Storms and transitions in life caused me to have personal revelations that allowed me to see myself in ways I never thought. The love I found in my wife allowed me an opportunity to grow with my best friend. It was a positive feeling of contentment in life without music as the driving force behind every move I made.” Content with the fact that he would not return to music as a performer, it was a phone call that changed everything. “The final catalyst was a conversation between Purpose Records co-CEO George Littlejohn and myself. I was calling him to speak about an event I was doing in Richmond in reference to Kindred The Family Soul, and I wanted to drop a bug about some other artists I thought he should consider for the projects PMG was working on with indie soul artists. He asked me, ‘What about you?’ I said ‘What about me?’ He was asking if I was planning to do another project. I told him I wasn’t and he stated that if I ever re-considered, Purpose would be interested in distributing it. From there I had a conversation with my wife and she was very encouraging about me making a return to the studio with intentions of releasing new music.”
In preparation for his return to music, Jarrard also made a challenge to himself to lose some of the weight he put on during his down time. Dubbed the Ready To Live Challenge, he disciplined himself to a healthier regimin of eating and exercise that culminated into a 25-pound weight loss. He went on to issue the challenge to others. “I also issued a public challenge to anyone who found out about my challenge to pick one bad habit they want to eliminate and remove from their life for 30 days. It could be but doesn’t have to be foods–it can be whatever they choose, just something that you know you are allowing to be a hindrance to your progression. Hopefully, after 30 days without it, that change will last a lifetime.”
For Jarrard Anthony, music is just more than a job. He is a part of a legacy that has vowed to keep honest soul music alive and kicking. For him, soul music is “going through a cycle of reintroduction” reminiscent of hip hop in the eighties. Now more than ever is a great time to live as an independent. As for Jarrard Anthony, he is ready to live.
For more information log onto www.jarrardanthony.com.