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Ones To Watch: Aurora Anthony

Earlier this week we got a chance to sit down with Lower East Side native, Aurora Anthony, prior to his departure for NBA All Star Weekend in North Carolina. The 25-year-old artist has been on the rise ever since his debut single “Sunny Side Down” in 2015 and has not let go of his forward momentum. He recently released his newest music video, “Limitless”, directed by Wave Connect in January, and is coming off of a recent collaboration with Nike where the proceeds of the shoe were donated to help youth in Nigeria through the Save the Children Organization. Keep scrolling for an exclusive watch of the brand-new “Lords of Dogtown” video (directed, shot and edited by Tom Leary of A+ Visuals) and to find out what’s next on the horizon for Anthony.

Can you introduce yourself?

Aurora Anthony from the Lower East Side. I’m EPK. That’s it.

You speak a lot about your upbringing in the LES but can you talk to me about your more memorable moments out here?

Like positive or negative?

However you interpret it?

I just remember this being at epicenter of streetwear culture. I remember being young and it not being so cool to do certain things. You know, getting made fun of and now it’s crazy that it’s just cool but really the light never shined on the Lower East Side.

With being an artist that has a deeper voice and a a very unique cadence, has anyone ever second-guessed your sound or told you that you need to change your voice?

A whole bunch of people but those same people are not in my same position. So it’s like, I hear people whether (I think) it is bad or good advice but I take everything with a grain of sugar and a grain of salt.

Have I ever changed my sound? Maybe a little bit but not to the point where it’s like noticeable. But if I do, I make it more beast.

This is not on my list of questions, but do you feel like sonically you have you changed?

Yes, but like a lot of my early stuff I only put out because because I wanted to show growth.

It’s unfair, to me, if I put out “Crookworld” but didn’t put out “Day of the Lone Wolf”.

There is a kid listening in Montana and thinking this dude is super talented and that he came out of nowhere. It’s unfair to not have them not see the work you did before so that then they feel like they can do it.

It’s about giving the people the steps to see greatness.

Not just being great.

Because then, are you even great?

What do you think are the biggest flaws in the music industry?

I mean, that you can pay to play. You don’t have to be really the greatest artist, if you have the money you can get somewhere and if you have the right people around,  you can make it .

It’s not necessarily about talent, but it’s like that with everything. If you have money, that’s it.

You dropped the music video for  “Limitless” in January, what has been the response since releasing the music video?

This is funny, you know, you do something really good or you do something that you think it’s okay and then when you put it out, people think it’s amazing. Now you have to keep that same level and go above it.

It’s good and it bad, because now it doubles the pressure and workload.

Now I have to match that or exceeded it.

So it’s a good pressure?

Of course, all pressure is good.

I want to talk about fashion—where did you love of fashion begin?

I wouldn’t say I love fashion, but it’s a part of it.

Let me put it to you like this, when I was 10 or 11 I remember I was in Tompkins Square Park and one of my friends came with Bape’s on. Keep in mind this is when no one had Bape’s, everyone had Air Force 1’s. I was like, what the f*** are those? He was like these are from Japan, you ain’t on these yet. From that day on I sought out to find streetwear level shit that no one was on.

Even in middle school, I had grills on in my graduation picture. I was really serious. I would go to ALIFE store and skate in front of there. I would save up all my money for one $50 dollar tee. Same thing with Supreme. I would go into that store everyday. All those stores were right around the corner from my place. It’s like being in a gang. These were the things around me and I was just raised in it, that’s how I got into it.

I have read both your Twitter and your Instagram, both in which you do a good job speaking your mind. What are your thoughts on social media? Do you believe it is a positive platform for this generation?

It’s like it is a rhetorical questions. There are good people that will use it for positive things and there are negative people that will use it for negative things.

Any entity that you deal with, it will be like that as well. So it’s both.

How do you use it?

It depends on how I feel. There is a phrase it’s called being righter and wronger. There has been times on IG that I have done some things wrong only to be right in the end.

I’ve seen throughout your social media platforms your loyalty to Nike, how did that come about? Was it a specific shoe? Through a specific person?

I am African, so my parents never saw a reason for materialistic things. When I was young they never saw the reasoning behind buying a $100 dollar shoe. They would think you are just going to f*** them up and I am going to have to buy you another shoe.

The first pair of nice shoes I got was the Jordan 16’s, Midnight Blue’s, that kind of built my love for the brand. And to this day it is my favorite Jordan silhouette.

When I was a kid, it was something that I couldn’t get. I would only get a certain amount of money to go school shopping so instead of buying a bunch of different things, I would come home with just a pair of shoes.

That’s is where my love of Nike and Jordan began.

Tell me about “100 Wolves”? What’s the back story?

I get asked this questions a lot. At first, it was just my little crew of people.

“100 wolves” sound better than “10 wolves”.

Honestly I don’t remember how I made it up, I think I said it in a song and it just stuck with me.

And then I made clothes, but I didn’t know if I wanted to do clothing with it. But when I put out the hoodie everybody wanted it.

What about “Alphabets”—when will it be releasing?

I don’t have a date on anything I do. That’s the luxury of being independent. I do everything by myself with my lovely manager Trish. I was supposed to have it out this week but I have another video coming first.

Images courtesy of Julian Dakdouk and Kelly Shami 

Stay tuned to Milk for more ones to watch.

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