Anthony Russo Talks Teaming Up With G-Eazy for 'Rewind' & Why He's the 'Millennial Justin Timberlake'


Anthony Russo is making ready to interrupt by because the self-proclaimed "millennial Justin Timberlake" within the aftermath of his cross-country opening set on G-Eazy's The Beautiful & Damned Tour.

Already discovering hundreds of thousands of listeners by the impartial circuit, the 20-year-old pop newcomer boasts the basics for mainstream stardom. Russo's songwriting positioned itself on the feel-good bops "2:AM” and "California." Still, his newest providing on Gerald's "Rewind" video positioned a charismatic face to the breakup anthem's refrain.

The music's no-f—s-given method added edge and newfound legs to the heartthrob's arsenal. Records "I Jusswon" and "Hurt Myself" knock by with the complexities of younger love and sonically showcase the St. Louis native's city influences. Keeping momentum, Russo took his skills overseas for the "Can't Go Wrong" music video, giving his followers an intimate take a look at love.

Billboard caught the ascending crooner through the launch of the weak earworm to debate what "Can't Go Wrong" represents, his transition into Hollywood, and classes G-Eazy taught him on the street.

Your breakthrough single "Ghost Stories" had a Spanish-language introduction. What was its significance?

So the importance with that music, specifically, was simply the vibe it laid down for the file. Gosh, it has been so lengthy since I’ve gone by the interpretation. I consider it means, "No matter the space between you and I, regardless of what number of occasions the solar circles across the Earth, I’ll at all times be lacking you. I’ll at all times be excited about you and at all times love you" — it’s that kind of observe. The introduction lays the inspiration [for the song]. Most individuals most likely didn’t know what it was saying. You can type of inform what she was saying by the way in which she sounds.

The function on G-Eazy's "Rewind" performs by as a dismissal of jealousy, however the music video takes your companion's loopy up a notch. How was filming this video?

Oh, it was tremendous enjoyable! Yeah, the path we wished to seize was that envy or jealousy that pushes somebody over the sting. It performed out to the intense within the music video. The music is [explaining how] somebody is annoying me, blowing up my line each evening, and the way she is getting on my nerves. The video took that idea a step additional. It is cool to see the way it got here to life.

You opened The Beautiful & Damned Tour. In what methods did this cross-country stint improve your showmanship?

Oh my gosh! Well, I have no idea what I realized extra from: performing myself or watching Gerald carry out. G-Eazy is an unbelievable performer, it doesn’t matter what kind of music you might be doing. I feel studying tips on how to interact that measurement of an viewers [was pivotal]. I used to be coming from enjoying reveals with about 10 to 15 individuals, and it was actually a studying expertise. Like, you flip 10 individuals's consideration, and it begins to multiply shortly. Things can set for the more severe or the higher. It is a series response.

I realized to get the entire crowd engaged and tips on how to deal with particular person individuals. That was essentially the most important present and gear I took away from the tour. Also, watching G-Eazy each evening helped me see how he strikes the group. He makes eye contact with individuals. Those are two issues it’s a must to do as somebody on a stage.

You have to hold your self in a way the place there’s a mixture of humility but in addition confidence. You must know you might be up there and why you might be up there. Also, I believed, "Yo! I’d not be on this stage if it weren’t for the individuals within the viewers." So it's a pleasant stability to determine. The tour was nice!

You're initially from St. Louis, however your transition to California has been transformative — a lot so, your single "California" garnered greater than 10 million streams on Spotify. What does this momentum imply to you as an impartial artist?

I feel it is a testimony to what you are able to do with the fitting group round you. Coming from St. Louis, the music circuit out there may be not the best but. I feel town is engaged on it. There is a cause everybody involves LA. There is one thing within the water out right here. When everybody comes right here, everyone seems to be doing the identical factor.

You can discover like-minded people who assist your imaginative and prescient come to life. Fortunately, I used to be linked to nice administration. We have a pleasant crew. Through relationships and connections [my team] has made over time, we had been in a position to domesticate a very good following. We constructed up a fanbase and traction. We received the music on the market with out actually needing the assistance of a label. I feel it's a testomony to what you are able to do with an impartial artist as of late — contemplating streaming platforms and the entry it’s a must to getting your music out to the general public.

Where do you place your self inside the pop style? Who do you take into account your contemporaries?

I take into account myself to be… effectively, it’s attention-grabbing. I’m positive a whole lot of artists have a tough time with that query. You by no means wish to evaluate your self to anybody. I’ll inform you who I’m an enormous, big fan of. So I’m a giant fan of John Mayer, though I make music that’s fully completely different. His affect on my writing has been unbelievable.

He is my aim so far as being a superb songwriter. John Mayer has it. He simply has it! His music is intimate. It connects to individuals, and that’s the reason it’s wonderful. I say sonically, I'm extra of a Justin Timberlake.

So you’re feeling you’re a millennial Justin Timberlake.

Yeah, I’m extra of a contemporary JT. I really feel like that [title] makes him appear outdated, and that isn’t the case. JT will at all times be a legend, and his music will at all times be [in the] now. You can take heed to his stuff as we speak, and it will get you shifting. It has tempo; it has every thing that you simply want for a superb time. It shouldn’t be outdated. I hate to reference this as "trendy JT." So I’m extra so alluding to what he could be influenced by if he had been surrounded by the issues that millennials are surrounded by now, and if he had been making music at the beginning of his profession [today].

2018 showcased your songwriting on the tracks "Hurt Myself" and "I Jusswon." Still, the weak music "2:AM" was surrounded by a viral buzz for its lyrics. Do you consider that situation is frequent?

Yes, I completely do. In reality, I feel everybody of their life experiences that by the point they’re 13 or 14, ? Maybe for a seventh-grader, it is not going to be [up at] 2 a.m. however as a substitute 11 p.m. Everyone has skilled that eager for somebody and being absent-minded in the intervening time they’re presently in as a result of they’re so targeted on what an individual is perhaps doing.

It is since you miss that particular person. Your thoughts is simply elsewhere. That is a pure phenomenon as people. I feel that’s what makes the music relatable. It is fairly reduce and dry. There is nothing too metaphoric concerning the observe. It may be very simple. It simply hits you.

For readability, do you consider many individuals are concerned with people whereas they’re considering of another person?  

In explicit, this music has one lyric that pertains to being out with another person but having your coronary heart in one other place. The ethical of that story is lacking one particular person, whether or not you might be out with one other woman or one other man. You [can be] out and about, whether or not that’s at your job, or at college, no matter. You can’t do the duty in entrance of you since you are targeted on this different particular person. The music's story is [based on] lacking somebody, simply lacking that one particular person, [for you]. Some can shake your life up, and you’ll't get that particular person off your thoughts.

You lately launched the "Can't Go Wrong" visible. Describe your travels together with your video love curiosity in Portugal and Thailand.

So, that was a fairly wonderful expertise. I used to be in a tough time with myself after I met her. Yes, she was touring to Thailand after I was in LA. Something inside me, effectively, the artist in me stated, "love is love." I like, love. Imagination is type of the place every thing stems from as an artist. I used to be at some extent the place I felt like going, regardless that it might need been the craziest factor to do. To me, it was not the neatest factor to do [on paper]. Still, I adopted my coronary heart on the market.

I met her. She impacted my life unbelievably. That is type of what the music itself got here out of. The video was what we simply occurred to have as footage. It was not ever supposed for the music. It is uncooked. I’m tremendous grateful for her, and that file. It means rather a lot to me.

Tell your followers concerning the message behind the tune.

It is explaining how if you meet the fitting particular person no matter they are saying to you feels good. It is a enjoyable music and anthem about if you and another person join. The puzzle piece matches. No matter what that particular person does, you’ll be able to say what you need, however it might't go incorrect. We simply can't go incorrect. You [feel like you] already gained. You are previous the purpose of getting to appease to me. You did it. Yeah!

What do you want your listeners to find out about you?

I want my listeners to know I’m a easy dude. I attempt to make music in an sincere and weak approach. I’m delicate to a whole lot of issues creatively due to that. As an artist, it’s a must to be. So, I could make the [type of] music that they wish to hear.

I’m human as everybody else. I expertise the highs of life, the lows of life, and I don’t essentially take care of it any in a different way. No matter how a lot success I obtain by music or fame, that can by no means change. I nonetheless personal permeable pores and skin.

I would like my followers or the individuals starting to take heed to me to know that the particular person on the opposite aspect of the headphones is rather a lot like them. I hope that that retains a superb relationship between my followers and I. I by no means wish to wish to sway from making sincere music. You know?