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Vaughn Anthony: Emerging From The Shadow Of John Legend

Submitted by on July 26, 2010 – 9:16 amNo Comment

What’s it like being the little brother of a “Legend?” That was the question in the back of my mind a few days ago when my phone rang with Vaughn Anthony on the other end. As the youngest brother of R&B crooner John Legend, Vaughn is well on his way to blazing a path of his own in the music world as a singer and surprisingly, a lyricist. Having worked with industry luminaries such as Wu-Tang Clan’s Ghostface Killah and Rick Ross, Vaughn is determined to build his own legacy on his own terms. During our conversation, Vaughn dished on the origin of his nickname (“Mr. Everything”) and the difficulties he’s faced in trying to step out of his brother’s shadow.

How did you get the nickname “Mr. Everything?”

Well, the style of music I do, I can basically almost do any type of style. My friends were like, “Yo, you can do everything.” I just ran with that, and here I am.

Do you think you would be as interested in a career in music if John hadn’t been as successful as he is now?

Him being there definitely helped me with my decision to go after music. And also, some of my peers also pushed me towards that because they helped me realize that I can really do this. But definitely, John being in the position he was in at the time and that he’s in now definitely helped my decision, but it hasn’t been easy. I’ve definitely been working hard as an artist, as a performer, things like that. It’s definitely been harder than what I thought it would be.

In what way?

Getting people to understand your vision. Getting them to stop listening to the tone of my voice and trying to compare me to John, and just listen to the words and listen to the style of it and all those things. Also, just being turned down by labels and things like that. Things like that are what are hard, but for the most part, it’s been more of a blessing than a hindrance because at the same time, while they keep turning me down, the better I get.

Do you thinks labels want you to be like John?

Nah, I doubt that. I heard that L.A. Reid said, “There’s only one voice like that at one time,” so they don’t want me to be like John because I’m not John. I’m a totally different type of artist.

Your last effort was the EP The Future, which was released last July. What new music can we expect from you in the near future?

I’m about to drop this mixtape on ya’ll like a bomb. It’s going to be crazy. It’s me singing and also showing my other side, rapping. I really have to separate myself from my brother, that’s why I was like, “Okay, they ain’t going to listen to me sing, so okay, I’m going to spit for ya’ll.” I’m putting my own country twang to it and making it all the way right. I can’t wait to drop it.

Now can you flow?

You’ll see. I’m going to have to send you some music, and you’re going to be like, “Wow.”

What’s the mixtape going to be called?

I’m thinking about The Grind. Vaughn Anthony: The Grind. But I’m not too sold on it. I’m just brainstorming, but right now, I’m thinking The Grind mixtape.

I read in an interview where John talked about how he kept you under his wing until you were ready for the industry. Were there ever times where you lost patience with playing the background role and being kept under his wing?

I’m the youngest boy, so I’ve been playing that role all my life. But I’m trying to break out of that, but at the same time, it’s been more beneficial than detrimental to my career because I’ve learned so much. Just watching John and how he moves, his business moves, and the way he writes a song and how hard he works, things like that. You know I picked up on that—I’m going to take that and use it in my career, so it’s definitely been a blessing.

Do you have any plans outside of music?

Yeah, I want to venture into acting and things like that when the time presents itself. That’s definitely something I’m looking forward to doing, as well, but right now, my main focus is this music, and other ventures that come along with the music—all that will come with success.

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