Detroit R&B singer Pierre Anthony’s star rises
By Steve Furay
Special to the Michigan Citizen
DETROIT — Pierre Anthony is one of Detroit’s most exciting lead male vocalists, a versatile lyricist who excels both on stage and in the recording booth.
His new self-released album “Motor City” is a tribute to the city that raised him and a statement to the world that his time has arrived.
“This is my introduction to the world, to the city of Detroit,” says Anthony. “To let them know that I love them, that I appreciate the support and hope they continue to support me.”
Anthony has spent his life with music, long understanding that he could make a successful career for himself entertaining crowds.
The native Detroiter has put all of the joys and pains of his life into this debut album release, selling it to listeners hand-to-hand as he performs throughout the city.
“Every time I look up, I’m pressing 100,” says Pierre Anthony. “I may press a 100 here, 150 here, and they’re gone in like a week. I do a little gig, and they start going; once it starts, it seems like it don’t stop.”
The signature song from the album is “Motor City,” a statement declaring his hometown allegiance and a shout out to the familiar streets that run throughout Detroit. The song represents the neighborhoods in the city where so many people live, a change from the usual main roads that get mentioned in songs.
“It’s a good look; it’s fun,” he says. “I just wanted to make a spirited song with all the troubles that Detroit is going through, from the civil aspect and city government. I’m just tired of the negativity. So I figured that I’d make a song that would probably bring some hope.
“You’ve got to come out to the hood, too, so I just started shouting everybody out, that’ll give people a sense of hope that somebody will rep it right. I was born and raised here, so it’s only right.”
As a Detroit artist, being true to himself has been a guide for the messages he puts in the music. He says he is careful to write lyrics that are positive, honest and representing his growth as a man.
“Authenticity goes a long way; originality goes a long way. If you can’t be original, then you’re only going to last for so long,” he says.
“I’m not talking about Cartiers and gators, none of that stuff cause I don’t do that. That’s what the game has been missing, someone who personifies realness, because you see so many different facades, it’s hard to tell who’s real and who’s not. I don’t talk about nothing I haven’t been through.”
With a passion for his art and a dedication to refining his skill, the 31-year-old singer is now closer to his goal of having music become a full-time career, mainly due to the personal sacrifices that many artists are not willing to make.
His voice has already traveled globally, having contributed to the 2012 album “Rebirth of Detroit” from the late producer J Dilla. He also performs with Guerrilla Funk Mob and has collaborated with hip hop groups Cold Men Young and 5 ELA.
“You have to love this craft,” Anthony says. “Don’t treat it like a hobby; if you really want to do it, then do it. But you’ve got to put in work, ain’t nobody gonna give you nothing. Nothing is promised to you; don’t nobody owe you nothing.
“If you’re not willing to do the hard work and dedication behind what you’re trying to pursue, you’re just wasting people’s time. That’s why you hear so much passion and so much pain and so much determination in my songs.”
That passion for the music is what ties him to the Motor City legacy of artists that Detroit is known around the world for, an association that he understands. His goal is to continue to support local artists throughout his career.
“There’s a lot of talented individuals in this city — a lot of them,” he says. “The talent level here is unbelievable; maybe it’s because of the pain that we endure.
“In Detroit, we’ve experienced some kind of pain, no matter how extreme or how minimal it may seem.”
His commitment to the local scene, plus the hard work and dedication to his music, has led him to a nomination from the Detroit Black Music Awards for best male R&B artist, an accomplishment that he’s proud of and hopes will launch him toward greater opportunities.
The 5th Annual Detroit Black Music Awards will be held Aug. 4 at Berts Warehouse Theater in Detroit.
His next performance will be as an opening act for hip hop artist Ron D, who will celebrate the release of his new album July 20 at The Old Miami on Cass Avenue. The event begins at 9 p.m., and tickets are $10.
“It’s been a hard grind,” says Anthony. “I feel like I did put in the work; I walked a hard line to get here. It feels great, very humbling, though.”