Written By: Lalo Mata
Published: May 8, 2020
The 16-year-old musician in Anthony Griego is looking to become one of the best artists to come out of the 916.
AG is truly one of the rarest sounds to come out of our area and contributes his soothing and rhythmic vocals to an incredible set of sounds provided by him and his father. The duo produced a 6 track EP titled, “This is Art”, which is an incredible lift off to a long and successful career.
If you like the sounds of Rex Orange County then you’ll be a fan of “Scars of Society”. A song well over 4 minutes in length with the slow playing piano and the vocals that carry into a masterful solo of sounds and instruments that bring in a roaring set of vocals that carry this song to one of the favorites off of “This is Art”. Another great song comes in “Revel”, which is an upbeat song with breathy finishes to each line that provides sweet-sounding verses. Along with the upbeat vibe in Revel you can listen to the techno-inspired song of “Reflect” to give you the feeling of 80s style indie music that brings joy to the ears for everyone to jam to in the car.
Just turning 16 Anthony has become a talented musician with his vocals as well as his resume playing many instruments. From playing instruments such as the cello, clarinet, and more to bring to the table while partnering with his father’s skills in the studio creates an outstanding first product in This is Art. This EP will jumpstart a trilogy of products followed by “We Are Art” and “I am Art” to lift his career and express himself in the form of art.
What inspired the concept of “This is Art”?
“When I first came up with the idea of “This is Art”, it was sort of out of nowhere. I was twelve and in seventh grade at the time and I was just starting to get comfortable with my singing after being shy for so long. I think because of the fact I was finally capable of being confident with my talents is what led me to invent the concept of “This is Art”. The only thing is it had no actual concept. That is until I wrote my first song on my ukulele after taking a 2-year break from songwriting. “This is Art” is my way of saying “I am who I am.” The inspiration came from the fact that I knew there is no changing who you are; you’re stuck being yourself. I fell in love with the idea of allowing what you create, whatever that may be, define who you truly are. What you create is who you are; so create something beautiful.”
Creating something beautiful is unique to each person because it’s different from everyone else. Anthony’s “different” means to make extraordinary music through his singing and talent of instrument playing.
Is there a certain vibe you like sticking to in your music? Why?
“There is no specific “vibe” or “rules” I followed in the making of This is Art. Early on in the production of This is Art (the recording and writing phase) I was listening to a lot of classic rock, oldies, and Queen, A LOT of Queen. A recurring theme within all of these songs and bands is the sense of authenticity and the pure love for music that you could tell was put into their tracks. I was heavily inspired by this because “This is Art” is a passion project. The only thing I made sure to do when recording “This is Art” was no matter what lyric I sang into that mic, it meant something and it was authentic and performed out of passion.”
What was your favorite song from your EP? Why?
“It’s a hard thing to choose a favorite song, I have a hard time choosing a favorite anything. However, I believe all the songs from the EP have been my favorite at different times. It really just depends on how I’m feeling. “This is Art” was written to tell a story, one story that I know for certain, and more stories that I hope the listeners get to create on their own. So for me, my favorite song was whatever I happened to have recorded at the time. Since now the EP is released I think “Revel”, the last track of the EP, is one of my favorites because Revel has such a “get up and dance” type vibe, and yet it tells one the most valuable life lessons I’ve learned. That being, don’t let the negativity in your life consume you, rise up, and live in the moments with positivity and gratefulness in mind.”
Who motivated you to chase a dream in music? How?
“My motivation to chase my dream in music came from a life long passion of music passed down from my family and my dad (who is my producer). My exposure to music has been very diverse, especially from a young age. When I was a kid, my main inspirations were people like Kurt Cobain, Michael Jackson, and the entire catalog of Guitar Hero. As well as hip-hop inspirations like E-40, 2Pac, Eminem, and Tech N9ne. However, it didn’t stop there. Growing up, I would listen to a lot of 50s through 80’s era music from my Dad’s side of the family. As well as a long list of Mexican great hits from my Mom’s side of the family. I personally found myself, however, listening to a lot of artists like Adele, Lorde, Bruno Mars, and Freddie Mercury. In a way, all the music I listened to and was exposed to growing up until now is what motivated me to pursue music. When we recorded for the first time, I ended up naming that first song “Enough”, which is the second track of the EP. I titled it Enough because I was tired of dreaming and wanted to start creating. I realized that I would get nowhere by just waiting for the opportunity. Instead, I went and created my own opportunity.”
With an EP full of amazing music there is definitely a style of Oliver Tree inside the beats and sound of certain parts of songs and songs as a whole. Billie Eilish is another great comparison because of the diversity of the album. It gives you lyrics for every mood and song for every emotion.
Who is your audience in your music? Why do you write for them?
“My audience for this EP was myself. Every song has a little bit of me in it. Whether that be mental health, specific occasions, experiences, or people in my life. It was all written as a way to express how I felt. “Dream”, the first track of the EP, I feel like is my most vulnerable song on the EP. It’s also why I say I wrote the EP for myself because Dream allowed me to talk about things I’ve struggled with without ever having to actually say them, and the experience of writing the song, in a way, was therapeutic. Another good example of this is my song “Enough”. The entirety of the song was written as almost a letter to myself stating that I’m capable of achieving my dreams and goals. Now since the EP released, I’ve had people tell me that certain songs really spoke to them. For example, “I’m on My Own (With You)”, the 4th song from my EP, had an impact on a good friend of mine named Sayola. She had experienced a difficult breakup and what I wrote was able to reach her in a way only music can. Even though my direct audience is myself within my music, I believe the authenticity that comes with that way of writing appeals to a wider audience and creates more of an impact.”
What message do you want them to hear?
“To everyone who has been impacted by my music or has supported me through this journey. Thank you. Like I mentioned before, I wrote this as a way to tell my story, and the fact that you’re able to make your own story from it is something unfathomable to me. The amount of times I’ve felt so supported and loved throughout this process is unbelievable. This entire experience has been life-changing and so rewarding. Always remember: Your life is your art, so whatever you create, allow it to demonstrate the beauty and greatness within you. You are art.”
This is Art was released on all platforms on April 24th for the audience of indie music and interesting sounds to fall in love with. As a 16-year-old artist we expect AG to become a household name with a big following in the future. While you’re staying home, driving around town, or even finishing up finals for classes, make sure to give this 6 track EP a listen.