Anthony Obiawunaotu, aka Fats Tony (FT), is aware of that it’s communities of people that make artwork. Certainly, communities make all the pieces on this world occur.
He’s 34 now, however in eighth grade, the music fan had a Walkman radio-inspired epiphany. Already late to authorities class, FT was frozen in his tracks listening to Cam’ron’s “Oh Boy.”
After listening to your entire track, FT went on to class. There he informed his three friends that it was time for them to not simply respect music, however to begin making it themselves for actual. On the spot he assigned two to be rappers, one supervisor and he’d be the producer.
By way of function reversals, style modifications — together with punk, arduous rock and rap — over the subsequent 20 years FT has fearlessly and passionately moved ahead. The Houston-based rapper might be acting at 10 p.m. Friday, April 29 on Norman Music Pageant’s Winston West Stage.
“I’ve at all times pushed for collaboration my whole life as a musician and nonetheless am at present,” FT mentioned. “I prefer it as a result of I get to study somewhat bit about another person’s course of and worldview. All the most effective music I’ve made has been a collaboration.”
There are only a few songs in FT’s catalogue the place he wrote the lyrics and carried out the music solo.
“I don’t consider within the thought of the person genius. That’s one thing the media and leisure industries attempt to push, that there needs to be a Kurt Cobain or Tupac,” he mentioned. “The checks and balances that come from collaboration profit me too. I like having a producer there who tells me to strive it once more, make that lyric clearer, so I can return and refine it. These are the constructing blocks that I feel it takes to be an excellent artist. I’ve at all times be cognizant of that in collaborating.”
FT is trying ahead to being a part of the massive, free, out of doors dwell efficiency extravaganza that’s Norman Music Pageant.
“I might be working by means of my complete discography plus enjoying a bunch of songs from my newest album ‘Exotica,’” FT mentioned. “The competition is free and open to all ages, so I really feel like I must put out a groove and vibe that brings pleasure and vitality to everybody on the market. Count on stage banter, jokes and tons of storytelling together with excessive vitality music. A one man present with rapping, singing, enjoying the music and working everywhere in the rattling stage.”
Houston is presently among the many most dynamic, multicultural and quickest rising cities on the planet. FT is a proud product of the storied Third Ward there.
His confidence, willpower, easy persona, humorousness and lyrical brilliance are nothing wanting inspirational as each a musician and an individual.
“Houston contributes to my artwork in a giant manner,” FT mentioned. “I’m from a spot the place a number of nice music occurred earlier than my time and through after I was a child. Blues’ Lightnin’ Hopkins, gospel, jazz, rock, rap and nation scenes stretch again over 100 years in my metropolis. Rising up I by no means felt music was too far out of my attain. I by no means needed to depart Houston as a result of it was wack — I simply needed to depart to see extra. Once I go searching my metropolis I’ve loads of inspiration.”
FT has been performing frequently since 2007. His discography dates again to then and encompasses over 10 discs, together with the aforementioned “Exotica” (2020) and 2021 single “Ain’t For Me.”
“Proper now what I like about making music as an grownup is having far more appreciation for the second,” he mentioned. “Now after I’m occurring tour, enjoying live shows, collaborating with individuals I prefer to step again, soak it in and actually worth the current. In my previous it’s at all times been about what’s subsequent. Get the primary file deal then what’s the subsequent file deal going to be. This tour is a few weeks lengthy — how do I make the subsequent tour a month lengthy?
“That’s undoubtedly spurred by rising up in a capitalist society the place we’re at all times presupposed to get extra, extra, extra. I’m at all times appreciating what’s occurring within the second greater than ever earlier than.”
FT considers himself a leisure in addition to expressive thinker. He soaks up vibes, cultures, data, artwork, movies, music and literature.
As a baby, exterior of faculty, he spent a number of time alone studying and studying on the web. FT was a cultural influencer amongst his pals.
No person has ever informed FT he can’t carry all this into his flavors of hip hop, so he does it. He acknowledges the good multicultural inventive gumbo at all times on the simmer all through Canada, the USA and Mexico that feeds your entire planet.
“I’m within the nice custom of American music with what I do,” he mentioned. “That’s why I’ve a rustic track and do a Mariachi combine in considered one of my songs. Being a Texan, I completely view Mexico as my dwelling and neighbor, too.”
FT’s songs are in regards to the ups and downs of the human situation by means of a non-judgmental lens. The individuals in his songs, no matter their flaws or qualities, are reaching towards the next humanity.
FT has written loads of compositions about himself, household and pals. His newest album is totally different.
“It was an excellent problem to put in writing one about characters that aren’t me and about conditions that I haven’t precisely lived by means of,” he mentioned. “It was the toughest album I’ve needed to write, however the one I bought probably the most satisfaction from writing. By way of these different characters and their tales, I bought to precise myself. There’s energy in storytelling I need to carry by means of the remainder of my profession.”