Artist, musician, model and fashion designer, AnthonyJSenseI does it all and doesn’t believe in limiting his creativity to one form. Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, Anthony was exposed to music at an early age through his family’s involvement in their community’s church. Coming from a father who is a pastor, Anthony began to explore creative expression through music by singing in church when he was younger. To this day, his background in Gospel music coupled with his own spirituality, has influenced his style of music across all genres from Pop to Rap to Hip-Hop.
When it comes to his music, Anthony embraces versatility. His talent and musical range is clearly visible in the recent release of his debut EP, “Way of the Sensei” which includes 6 story-telling tracks, one of which gained the attention of Madison Pettis after the release of the song, “Maddi Petti.”
For anyone pursuing a passion full time, the experience can be filled with highs and lows as well as joys and the occasional exhaustion. Not only does Anthony pursue his artistry full time, but he has also continued to work as an essential worker during the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. Anthony speaks honestly about the realities of burnout that he experienced while creating his music during the day, and simultaneously working shifts at night for months at a time. When asked about how he was able to remain healthy and grounded during this time, Anthony had this to say:
ANTHONYJSENSEI: I was doing everything at a minimum so I probably wasn’t taking the best care of myself, but I was like, I gotta do what I gotta do, it’s part of the process. I tell people all the time that a story can’t inspire people if it doesn’t have adversity and I know I have plenty of adversity to inspire people right now…I had people telling me, “Bro, you gotta get some sleep” because they saw me in the studio and told me, “You look drained.” You don’t want to get to the point where you mess up your body so much that you can’t recover.
Throughout his time in quarantine, Anthony has channeled his energy into his music and feels this year has allowed him to thrive in a unique way that wouldn’t have otherwise been possible. Being forced to sit with himself, look inward, and focus on his craft, Anthony says it was part of what allowed his EP to flourish.
ANTHONYJSENSEI: If it wasn’t for COVID, a lot of my growth and a lot of my peer’s growth wouldn’t have happened. We hit a milestone in COVID that we probably wouldn’t have hit and I think it was because it just made us sit down, because we couldn’t go anywhere, and really focus on the craft. I think we’ve all built new skills in light of this. We built new connections. I’ve gotten a lot of work out of this Corona season so honestly, it’s kind of a blessing in disguise… Yeah we got some things taken away, but we also have massive growth.
Throughout his journey, Anthony has emphasized the importance of having a supportive community to keep him motivated and inspired. Not only have his friends served as a source of emotional support, but they’ve also been partners in creative collaboration. Anthony and a trio of fellow artists have created a fashion brand titled, “Midnight District.” Their clothing pieces incorporate music as well as fashion to reflect the shifts and changes in hip-hop culture.
When it comes to Anthony’s vision for the future, the sky’s the limit. Going forward, Anthony ultimately wants to give back to the community that got him to where he is today. He strives to be a role model for young people in his city to inspire them to follow the path of passion in their lives but to also be prepared to work hard for it. Anthony is proof that with dedication and a love for the craft, that you can create the life you dream of for yourself if you know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it’s the right path for you.
AnthonyJSensel is always open to creative collaboration. If you are interested in connecting with him further, give him a follow, a comment, or reach out on his Instagram and YouTube Channel. Be sure to be on the lookout for his upcoming music releases through Apple and Spotify
Written by Erin McCluskey