image courtesy of antoneosoul.com
The choices we make and the music we choose to make changes the corporate and public culture.
Anto Neo Soul
Art is a form of expression that is quite extensive and diverse. However, it is quite rare to find someone who has managed to capture the attention of audiences in more than one field. Such people deserve to be celebrated and one Anto Neosoul is one of those people.
From his days on the hit television drama(s) Siri and Shuga to hosting the teen magazine show that is Teen Republik to his massive presence on stage, Anto has proven to be more than just a one dimensional artist. It’s for that reason when we got the chance we had to have a session with him so that he could share with us the story of his artistic journey. Here is Anto Neosoul:
Who is Anto Neosoul?
Anto Neo Soul is a reggae artist who is free to do any genre.
Do you mind telling us a little bit about your background?
My hometown is Kawangware, I grew up in an extended family. My childhood was filled with music, there was a lot of reggae, Koffi Olomide and Sarafina. I went to Lavington Primary, did my high school in Upperhill where I used to perform for other students.
I was selected to attend Makerere UNiversity but I dropped due to the love and passion I had for music.
When did you start your music journey?
My journey began as a child as I was always exposed to music. However, I started doing performances in class 4. I even had the opportunity of performing for His Exellency Daniel Arap Moi.
How did your parents take it?
My parents have always been super supportive. From the first time I showed interest to date they have always been with me 100% and I am eternally grateful for that.
Tell us a little bit about your debut album, STAR BORN?
It has 16 tracks but there were more that are yet to be released. At the time I got to release my first official single called chips funga. The reception was pretty good. I had managed to get signed to a label called Pine Creek. While at Pine Creek I got to work with several awesome producers such as Provoke, Blackman, R-Kay and even Dillie who produced my second single titled Paid my dues.
That’s great now let’s talk about your music videos. What’s the secret because your quality and production is always on point?
Thanks for the compliment. I always do extensive research first. I look for ideas in other videos and magazines and I borrow a leaf or two. After that, I write the script down then I look for a director who can present my vision appropriately.
Moreover, I come from a film background and this always pushes me to do something different. I always strive myself to change the concepts so as to push myself and to get out of the comfort zone.
Might you have any honorable mentions that you’ve worked with?
Yes, I worked with the amazing Brian Kyalo on the video for Chips Funga. I also got to work with Enos Olik on 2 videos.
We noticed that your fashion taste is quite unique what goes into it?
In my line of work you must always be a trendsetter. I always strive to do just that by incorporating elements of my art into it. I believe music, fashion and style go together. Aside from that I am a perfectionist and I believe in artistic value in that I should stand out.
Who are some of the designers you prefer?
I love Bonke and Sandstorm.
I really love supporting the Kenyan fashion industry as it trickles down to the Kenyan society.
It’s a widely known fact you have been a television icon at least for most people. We are interested in knowing how you transitioned to and from one show in particular. That is Teen Republik?
The opportunity to become a host on the show came about after I was done with Shuga ssn 2 back in October 2011. The show really helped me develop and grow my brand (Anto Neosoul). The show really helped when I was releasing new stuff as people connected the two that is my music and my input on the show. I got to release my first video a year after joining the show. Even after leaving the show people would still identify me with it and that also helped in getting my name out there.
In all your travels and in your journey so far, what is your opinion on the Kenyan music scene?
Across the border, specifically Uganda where I got to spend part of my teenage hood, I noticed that the people there are more supportive of their culture as compared to Kenya. In Kenya the industry is a bit tougher on the local artistes due to the fact that Kenyans have been more exposed to more foreign content than our counterparts.
Despite all this I believe Kenyan music is amazing. This is a good thing because I am a strong believer in the fact that the choices we make and the music we choose to make changes the corporate and public culture.
What is your current your playlist and who are your dream collaborations?
I have some Wizkid, Joe Stone, Angie Stone, Chronixx, 2 Pac and Biggie of course and Kanye West too. I loved Life of Pablo.
For my dream collaborations I’ll say: Rihanna, Chronixx, Gentleman, Beyonce’ and Victoria Kimani.
Can you tell us 5 random facts about yourself?
- I am only hyper in the studio.
- I don’t take alcohol.
- I don’t take red meat.
- I love black coffee, I don’t take dairy products.
- I also don’t take tea.
To close us off, what should we expect from Anto in the near future?
I am working on a reggae EP. It’s very diverse and there’s something for everyone.
To connect with Anto Neosoul you can reach him via the following handles: