Anthony Saunders is a Pop/R&B producer, songwriter, singer and pianist. Most notably he has produced tracks for Justin Bieber, Joe and worked with production Powerhouse Adonis and Bagladesh. BestFan recently had the opportunity to chat with Anthony about his passions and projects he is currently working on.
Brock: Hey Anthony! What are you up to now in California?
Anthony: I am actually working with some writers and producers. I am going into the studio with Mario and Midi Mafia in a couple of days- some really incredible singers, songwriters and producers.
Brock: Very cool! Where did the writing originally begin for you?
Anthony: At home actually. I have been writing ever since I was young. I was into poems, sonnets and then writing manifested into something else for me. I have become a musician, singer and pianist so it all just kind of came into one.
Brock: Do you still actively sing?
Anthony: Yes I do.
Brock: Do you have your own project you are working on?
Anthony: (laughs) That’s something I am working on secretly.
Brock: So it’s very ‘hush, hush’- I will pretend like I didn’t hear anything!
Anthony: (laughs) Yes. Yes.
Brock: What are you most excited about, coming up in the future?
Anthony: Just working with great people! I am meeting with a lot of great artists, writers and producers that I came up listening to and its just great meeting people that do the same thing that I do – and learning that’s another one, I am just loving that!
Brock: What was the last thing you have learned and were excited about?
Anthony: The process of how things work, in a “camp” sort of situation. I was writing with Melanie Fontana and a producer by the name of Jean Baptiste- he did production work on the Britney Spears and Will.I.am’s song ‘Scream and Shout’. The whole learning process of how they go about doing things – it was just a great experience period.
Brock: Where do you find most at peace and ready to write?
Anthony: In the studio, in front of my piano or in front of my keyboard-at any given time honestly- I could be anywhere, the melody will pop into my head and I will save it in my phone or doodle on a piece of paper.
Brock: What has excited you the most so far in your career?
Anthony: I would say my placement with Joe. I was a big fan of Joe. Growing up as a kid I listened to Joe and I was able to write and produce a song for him that made it on his album and then he came to Kansas City. We sat down and talked and the words of encouragement of how much he loved the song- it was just a crazy moment in my life.
Brock: That must have opened many doors for you-
Anthony: Oh yeah- the Justin Bieber project – which was insane. Being able to be a part of that experience was phenomenal.
Brock: Now for our fans I am going to need to ask you more about the Bieber experience. Were you washed away in the pandemonium?
Anthony: It was crazy but it wasn’t chaotic, it was just a wild ride – it’s a rush.
Brock: Do you yourself have ‘Bieber fever’?
Anthony: (Laughs) You know, I do- I love what he does. Like I said, I feel like he is a tremendous talent and we have yet to really see just how talented he is.
Brock: What was it like working with him?
Anthony: It was amazing. He is like an artist who has been here before that has so much to give. I know everything is a process but when you see the real Justin for what he is – he is light years ahead.
Brock: Who is someone else that you think you would like to work with that has that same type of personality behind them?
Anthony: I want to work with NeYo. I love his writing ability and everything that he does. I would like to work with Common – I love everything that he talks about he is just all over the place- but so good.
Brock: I love Common!
Anthony: Oh and I would love to work with Prince. I think that would be an amazing experience from a musician’s standpoint, as a musician. Dianne Warren or John Legend- I would love to work with him.
Brock: I was reading that Prince has been one of your biggest influences- is this true?
Anthony: Oh my God-Yes! Prince and Stevie wonder. It started off with Stevie Wonder and then when I discovered Prince at the age of 18. I was like “This is it, this is everything I have ever wanted to do.” I have a great vocal range- I played four to five different instruments started off with piano. Prince dipped into every style of music from jazz to classical to R ’n’ B to Country to Rock, Pop and for me that is everything I could ever want in an artist.
Brock: Tell me more about your upbringing, you grew up in a very strict Christian family, how has that influenced your work and your writing?
Anthony: Growing up in the church you hear a lot of things it is a very emotionally based situation. Spirituality I believe ties hand in hand with the essence of the human soul and that can be transferred through music- I really believe that. My mother’s side of the family sings and plays instruments and my father’s side, there are 11 brothers and sisters that sing play and direct. Music was a big thing for me growing up. It is what we are and what we do. Church was the training ground, where you have to learn to play immediately – you are thrust into a situation where you need to be able to sing anything at anytime.
Brock: So what do you have going on right now, like this week what is on your docket?
Anthony: Yesterday I was in with Melanie Fontanna. Next week I’m going in with producer, Mikey Mike. I am working with a lot of producers and writers as well. Honestly it’s like a Mission Impossible situation. I have things on the calendar almost everyday (Thank god) my publisher, BRAG Media, is always getting me into new situations. It’s like, “What’s the mission today Anthony?” Its dope, I enjoy it, I love it man.
Brock: How did your new publishing/management deal come about?
Anthony: It’s interesting. I was actually working on music with the Justin Bieber camp and I wanted a publishing/ management sort of situation and my cousin had presented a deal in the past and it just never seemed to be the right time. I called him up and asked him if the deal was still available with BRAG Media and he said it was. We decided to see what we could do and we connected and talked and now here we are. I signed a publishing deal with BRAG Media/Reach Music. It is really a family oriented situation.
Brock: So, what opportunities has that deal opened up for you?
Anthony: Oh, everything that I am doing here in L.A right now. From hanging out with a new kid named Marco that Flo Rida signed who is unbelievably talented – I love working with him. I was able to go to his show and hangout with him after- it was amazing. They also have me working with established songwriters and producers. I am just doing a lot of things that you wouldn’t normally get to do.
Brock: I just saw Flo-Rider a few weeks ago – he has the biggest arms I have ever seen!
Anthony: Yeah they are huge!
Brock: Are you working with Flo Rida now?
Anthony: I’m not working with Flo Rida, I’m actually working with Marco.
Brock: I’ll have to check him out! Will you be making the move to L.A then?
Anthony: I plan to, probably by the summer I will be out here.
Brock: Very nice! What is your favorite part?
Anthony: Every part! (Laughs) I love Kansas to death, it will always be home but this is where I need to be to be “in the scene”. L.A is a very different type of scene.
Brock: Who is your favorite artist out of Kansas?
Anthony: Oh, man Janelle Monea- we graduated high school together and I love her, her voice, we have gone to school together literally all our lives. I am happy to see and proud of her doing what she has done.
Brock: Absolutely, could we get some dirt on Janelle Monea during high school? (Laughs)
Anthony: (Laughs) No, I can’t I can’t, all I have to tell you is she is an amazing person and an excellent musician- she deserves to be where she is right now.
Brock: She is doing amazing and looked amazing at the Grammys as well.
Anthony: She has always been flawless man!
Brock: Have you guys worked together in the past growing up together?
Anthony: We have gotten into certain situations like talent shows and traded ideas and things if that nature.
Brock: Awesome well thanks for talking with us!
Anthony: Thank you, I really appreciate you. I really hope the world can appreciate what I am doing. My advice for any aspiring artists and song writers is to look at the greats. For example David foster, Prince, even the younger ones like NeYo.