When Anthony Hathaway was 10 years old, his father committed suicide. His dad had been working in the family’s guesthouse in Hagerstown, Maryland. Anthony had stayed home from school that day because he was sick and his dad had come to check in on him 30 minutes earlier. He’d told Anthony he loved him and went back to work, or so everyone assumed.
When Anthony’s mom took his dad a cup of coffee later, she’d found him sprawled on the floor, foaming at the mouth but his skin was still warm. Her screams alerted Anthony and he’d dialed 911 as he’d been trained to do. By the time the paramedics arrived, nothing could be done to save his dad. Young Anthony had watched them carry his father away in a body bag.
Anthony’s father’s death changed everything in his life. His mom’s grief was palpable in the days following the funeral. His older brother and sister didn’t look too well either. Life for them all had changed. Anthony knew life would never be the same again.
Everyone copes with loss in their own way. For Anthony, listening to some of his father’s favorite songs comforted him. He’d always been a sensitive child but his sensitivity seemed to increase as he grew older. Whenever he felt sad or worried he’d scribble words down and start singing them. By the time he was 16, he had filled a notebook with lyrics and verses.
In college, Anthony majored in Business Administration and minored in film production. After graduation, he found a job at BET, working as a manager for a small project. His hard-working nature opened more doors and he found himself working with Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Carlton Keyes.
Although he was mainly involved in the film production of Keyes’ projects, Anthony had an eye for detail that helped to improve Carlton’s songwriting. When two of the songs on that project were nominated for several music awards, Carlton jokingly remarked to Anthony that he should start his own singing projects.
Anthony did exactly that. In the next few months, he went to work and polished his first-ever track. He titled the track “Flickering Lights” in memory of his dad and released it on his YouTube channel. The track attracted a viewership of 150k+ within the first two weeks and thousands of comments. Each comment spoke about loss and how it changed the viewer’s life.
Encouraged and overwhelmed by the response, Anthony went back to the studio and created “Bowed”. This time, he incorporated his videography in the track and the change was noticeable. The track was featured on his former employer’s BET platforms and led the charts the first day.
Anthony has since collaborated with major artists, including multiple-platinum selling singer-songwriter Yasmin Bates. Together they have toured the country performing and raising awareness. For Antony, the power of music cannot be overemphasized. “I couldn’t save my dad even if I had wanted to. If I can save a single soul today, my work will be done.” He plans to do more songwriting in the future saying, “Music is medicine. I intend to heal the world with my music.”