Rising hip hop/pop artist Tony Enos, who made a splash earlier this year with his “Did it Rite” song, is getting right back into the studio next month to make the record it’s taken his life to create. Literally.
“This album is kind of cathartic for me. I deal with the really toxic, abusive relationship that I grew up having with my father. I deal with embracing my sexuality. It’s me, unapologetically being myself. I deal with the first time I got cheated on, how stupid that whole situation is.” He says that writing the lead-off song, “The Champ,” was what made him decide “This album cannot wait. I have to do it now.”
“’The Champ’ is about coming through all these things,” he explains. “Remember, failure isn’t in the falling, it’s in the not getting up.”
The openly gay Enos also has a string of concert dates here and abroad coming up. But he’s finding time to serve as spokesman and board member for the GLBTQ online school, geared toward giving gay and lesbian students a virtual classroom option – a welcome opportunity for many who’ve been bullied or derided in traditional schools. He also appears at a myriad of HIV/AIDS-related charitable events.
Not surprisingly, he’s amassed a following in the gay community – and quite a bit of fan mail. Particularly moving, he says, was a note from a kid “about 15 or 16, I think he was, who said that listening to me gave him the courage to come out to his mom. That blew me away, especially when I had only considered my music appealing to the adult demographic. I’m not here to be a role model. My loyalty is toward my art. But if kids find something that helps them, I welcome them with open arms.
“The other letter I’ll never forget was from a gentleman in the service who is gay, who said he listens to my music every day, and that it kept him going when he was in Iraq. Imagining this man, fighting a war, well, I called my mom and read it to her, and we were just sobbing to each other.”