Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I loved music as a child. I had a troubled upbringing and I had a tough time, to be honest, but music and certain musical artists were a constant support to lean on. I became obsessed with the nuances of writing, performing, and producing a record. I attribute my unique skillset to being really good at listening to music. Years before I taught myself how to play, I mastered listening.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started doing this?
It’s hard to pinpoint one experience as the strongest or most interesting. I’d say that the most interesting fact about my experience moving to Los Angeles is that all the things you might think matter, don’t, and the fears people often have are not justified. For example, people talk about a fear of becoming a small fish here, but the truth is that if you’ve got something special, that gift is only magnified on these stages. Truly unique talent is expected here, so people are super receptive to it, talking about fans and audience-goers. Also, while there are connections to be made and all that, a lot of the hype is fake clout chasing and butt kissing. Over and over I’ve seen people form friendship groups around what they think they can get from their relationships, professionally. The upside is, pleasantly enough, that the artists themselves are some of the best I’ve had the pleasure to work with. If you want to move to Los Angeles for a handout, you might have a hard time, but if you want to make great art you’ll be in good company.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
At some point, I had to decide that music is as much a part of me as my feet. That said, I realized that I can’t see a time in the future where I don’t want to be building on and contributing to this thing. So, the process of creating it has become so deeply engraved in my brain that I simply do it with or without meaning to. Now, if ever I am forced to go a few days or even a week without creating something new, I find melodies and concepts throwing themselves out of my mouth as I go about my days. To get to this place, I had to decide to do my 10,000 hours of work to become a master. When I got really serious, I locked myself in a room every day after working eight hours and would work another eight hours or so on creating and producing music. I just did this every day for years. Eventually, it shifted from something of an exercise to a part of my being. Do that.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
There’s a handful of people who have deeply helped or inspired me to grow as an artist and person. Right at this moment, I feel like mentioning my daughter, Harper, who’s two and is a force of love and light. She inspires me constantly, just by existing as herself. She’s taught me so much about what it is to be human. She also drives me to help create a better world and to contribute all my gifts for the good of it.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I believe that as artists, we take our experience (often pain), and we use our craft to portray is as something beautiful for others to enjoy. In that, we heal ourselves, but we also sort of heal the energy of the experiences and sometimes traumatic situations. Maybe the nicest bit of all is that people who receive the art, the listener or viewer or what have you, can then be healed through it as well. The whole thing is sort of healing, and therefore good I’d say.
Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?
I’ve had so many words resonate with and shape me in moments. How about “Imagine”, the song title by John Lennon. There’s so much to be done today, and there’s so much we all want to see changed. The act of summoning the bravery to imagine what the actual change would look like, rather than just seeing the problems as they are, that’s the first and possibly most essential step.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Hit me on Instagram! @antonypaynethehuman, or, I’ve got lots of music and lyric videos on youtube at youtube.com/antonypaynemusic. Love that.