UK based Christian rapper Leon Anthony has just released his debut single 'Growing Up' featuring fellow Christian emcee A Star. Produced by Geeda Beatz, who has previously worked for Grammy Award winning rapper Lecrae, ThisL and Derek Minor among others, 'Growing Up' is a gritty, raw and uncompromising record, which sees Leon Anthony delivering an insightful, thought-provoking social commentary on inner city London youth culture, with strong support from A Star, who also delivers a compelling narrative.
Hallels: Leon, thanks for your time. Let's start with yourself, how did you start singing for the Lord?
I started rapping as a joke with a few of my friends when I was 17. Lots of people liked it so I continued and then I started it take it a bit more serious as the years progressed.
Hallels: How would you describe your style of music?
I am a very diverse rapper. My debut single Growing Up has a very gritty, grime hip hop sound but my next single will have a totally different sound because I am a lover of different genres of music.
Hallels: Your new single "Growing Up" speaks of the challenges of growing up in the inner city of London. Why did you feel the need to address this issue?
This song is very close to my heart because a lot of my school friends have gone to jail or are still involved in crime. At the start of the Growing Up music video you will see me at a gravesite where my best friend was buried and at the end of the video you will see me supporting a young person who went through similar things that I have gone through. Over the last 10 years I have been mentoring young people to help individuals make positive life choices so they do not go through what I went through growing up.
Hallels: What do you think are the major challenges of ministering to inner city kids today?
One of the major challenges is a lot of young people don't know who they are, lack confidence and a sense of identity which leads them to follow others. I can relate to this as my mother raised me with good morals but when I was at school I was a different person and fall into peer pressure.
Hallels: The proceeds of your singlego to "Sow a Seed" ministry. Tell us more about "Sow a Seed."
My passion is to help underpriviledged young people in the UK and abandoned children in Africa. My wife and I are setting up a charity to raise funds to go to Ghana to build a children home for abandoned children. This is one of my motivations for releasing music to raise funds to help children in need.
Hallels: Are you currently working on a follow-up album? If so, when do you expect to release it?
Yes I have already recorded an album. I will be bringing out a few single then hopefully release the album next year.
Hallels: For our readers who would like to find out more about you or your music, where can they go?
My debut single Growing Up Ft A Star is on iTunes, Amazon and Google Play.
You can find me on Facebook, twitter and Instagram @LeonAnthonyUK. Also check out my new website which is www.leonathonyuk.com