Griffin Anthony played at the Commandant's Cavalcade on Saturday.
Somehow, it is always easy to recognize a star, even if he is relatively unknown.
Like many other musicians, Griffin Anthony has many tattoos and shows up in a simple black t-shirt and jeans. Yet he still has the unmistakable aura of a rock star, that certain something that is instantly recognizable.
His gentle demeanor is a bit of a surprise as he describes why he prefers to play farmers markets rather than clubs.
“It’s so different from the club atmosphere, where they rush you to set up, sound check, everything is based on ticket sales, people are grouchy, burnt out and jaded,” he said over a much needed cup of coffee at O’Neils Sandwich Shop.
Anthony finds it a pleasure to play at the farmers markets in Westchester and Fairfield County. “Everyone is so nice, so appreciative of music. They’re so friendly,” he said with a soft smile.
At 29 years old (in a few weeks), Anthony may be living just about everyone’s dream. His education was paid for by playing Division 1 baseball, and he makes his living making music. On top of that, he has already achieved three college degrees in psychology, sociology and business.
In college, he played different sports and started writing music. “The music was a hobby. But a publisher contacted me and asked what I thought about writing music for television or film. I said, What, do you mean I could make a career out of this?”
Anthony’s music now appears in all of the Kardashian shows, America's Funniest Home Videos, and all of Housewife shows. It has also appeared in a variety of shows on ABC, NBC, E!Entertainment and more.
He has also shared festival stages with James Taylor, Dr. John, Aaron Neville and Don McLean. George Noriega played a part in Anthony's current album, The Canyon, which he will be playing at local venues throughout Fairfield County.
Having majored in baseball, it is hard to believe his parents would object to a career in music. “I dropped out of grad school to my parents chagrin. In Division 1 baseball, you wake up, go to conditioning, take a few classes. Everyone in Florida is into the farm system,” he said. “I’d had some injuries and I just didn’t think baseball was going to be it for a career, and then this opportunity for music came up, and my parents were like, what’re you doing?”
The school paid for Anthony’s surgery, and while recuperating, he attempted graduate school for his Masters in Business, but after six months, he thought, “I just wanted to go into music and get my writing on television. Then the producer handed me the check for music licensed by ABC, and it blew my mind. I was all starry-eyed! I can wake up, and make music, and it was great!”
After signing with a publisher, Anthony thought, “Everything was great. I found a number of music students that graduated from the Miami School of Music, and we recorded a little more, got published with this band, and then we started to play festivals, Nashville.”
After so much success so early in life, Anthony still maintains his humility. “I am really happy now. I like not having to promote, just playing a few sets, play the smaller shows, meet cool people.”
While being successful seems to come easy for Anthony, he said the challenge comes from the writing. “It is what keeps me interested. Writing for reality shows, trying to put a soundscape to whatever they are asking me to do. If they are looking for a reggae sound or want me to put something together that uses the word porcupine in the chorus, it’s like a game. And the publishing frees me up to play the smaller shows.”
If Anthony has any advice for aspiring musicians, it is, “Follow your dreams; however, if it involves public opinion, wait before you publish anything. Hone your craft.”
After everything he has done, it is a surprise to hear Anthony say, “I still have so much to learn. I am still so young. I am a student of living.”
To listen to Anthony's music, visit Soundcloud: www.soundcloud.com/griffinanthony