It goes without saying that the latest half-decade of pop music has been heavily motivated by 1980's chic. But while a new age of iconic pop stars has ruled the charts, one truly gifted artist has patiently—but relentlessly—fashioned his life’s work under the radar.
Anthony Rankin. If you haven't heard his name, you will soon. In an era flooded with wannabes, this young musician displays with blinding clarity all of the star power, chops, and vocal prowess to go head-to-head with just about any household name
In September 2013, Rankin (now three years beyond 2010's retro funk-infused Blow This House Down) made a leap into the mainstream pop universe by releasing his first installment of LOVE ELEKTRIK: a "pop music saga" scheduled to span a series of mini-albums, offering four songs apiece. The second installment—co-produced by Victor Brodén, like its predecessor—will release in early 2014, with anthemic lead single "Phoenix in Vegas" scheduled to drop on December 10, just in time for the holidays
An indisputably electric performer who constantly conjures comparisons to Prince and (someone in his own age group) Bruno Mars, Rankin is a graduate of the old school: a faithful student of classic R&B and pop. If Mars is the closest thing in 2013 to Michael Jackson circa Thriller, Anthony Rankin is vintage-correct Purple One: a virtuosic multi-instrumentalist, obsessive self-producer, exhilarating entertainer, and anything-but-average songwriter
He grew up the son of a professional drummer (his father) and an avid record collector (his mother). From the age of four, Anthony gravitated toward any instrument that was in the room; piano, drums, and eventually guitar—the tool that lit the fire in him to start writing songs and performing live at eight years old… and never stop
The term "musical genius" is oft overused, but ask anyone who has worked with Rankin, and the phrase is uttered with unanimous sincerity. A northeasterner-turned-Nashvillean, Anthony relocated in late 2011 to Music City, where he found immediate success as a highly sought player. During the decade prior, he dedicated every waking moment to furthering his career as a solo artist; duking it out in the club scene, touring on his own dime, and turning out as many self-released recordings as humanly possible
After graduating with a music degree at 21, Rankin worked daily as a studio engineer and sideman, doing whatever it took to earn a living by way of music. It was during this time that he also disciplined himself to master a variety of genres, from country to funk, if only to uphold his growing demand as an extraordinarily diverse session musician
But at his core the undercurrent of timeless pop music has steadily flowed. Anthony Rankin is an undeniably complete artist, a true master of his own domain. And in the midst of a new world order of pop superheroes, he just may be the total Darwinian evolution of the genre.