This month’s profile features Anthony Mossburg, a multi-award-winning acoustic artist from West Virginia who is currently residing in Columbus. According to comments made on his website by his fans, Mossburg is known for writing moving lyrics, creating melodies that stick with you long after the song is over and for his deep, rich, unforgettable voice. He’s also the winner of the recent CSA Finale Showcase presented by the Columbus Songwriters Association this past December.
GCAC: Tell us a bit about yourself. Where did you grow up? Are you from the Columbus area? If not, what brought you here?
AM: I was born in Fairmont, West Virginia, but grew up in Southeastern Ohio in a very small town called New Matamoras. I lived around that area most of my life, but about a year and a half ago I moved to Columbus. I’ve been doing music full time for about three years, so when a friend of mine took a job in Columbus and was looking for a roommate I didn’t hesitate to take the opportunity to come to a new city and meet new people!
GCAC: Your career is really taking off! Looking through your FB page and yourwebsite, we see you’ve been recognized for so many awards lately, we couldn’t count them! This must be a huge boost for you personally and professionally. What’s the most exciting thing that’s happened for you so far?
AM: Things have been going really well lately, which has been really great because this year has been up and down. It always feels good to put all you have into something and have other people notice. The most exciting thing that has happened to me so far would definitely have to be the opportunities to play live. Awards and things like that are really awesome and I’m extremely thankful, but none of them compare to being able to perform live and connect with people!
GCAC: Your album was voted “Country CD of the Year” by the 2014 Ohio Music Awards – and they also voted you “Best Singer/Songwriter.” Congratulations! But after listening to quite a bit of your music so far, “country” isn’t necessarily what comes to mind. Why do you think your music appeals to country music fans?
AM: I can’t say that I wasn’t a little surprised as well! But the more I thought about it I don’t really think my album fits into any one category. I always have trouble describing my sound to people because I have a lot of different influences and feel like it could fit into a few different genres. I grew up listening to ’90s country and still enjoy a lot of country music and I think that’s why it comes out in my music. So it is definitely a compliment to have my album named country CD of the year!
GCAC: Did your family and friends encourage you to follow your heart? Who have been your biggest cheerleaders; your mentors?
AM: I have the most supportive friends and family anyone could ask for. When I originally quit college to pursue music I expected my family to try to talk me out of it, but they never did. My mom and grandma have been in my corner from the
beginning and there is no way I could be doing this if they weren’t there to help and encourage me. Musically, there are a couple of guys who have really helped me along the way and continue to do that. My friend Jared Bryant helped me a ton early on when I was first starting out, and he continues to challenge and encourage me still. The other is my friend Shawn McDonald, who helped me write a couple of songs on my last album and has taught me a lot about the industry and music in general.
GCAC: How long have you been writing and performing? When did you realize you had a great talent for it – enough to pursue a professional career?
AM: I have been writing songs for about eight years. I began just writing songs as a way to relieve some stress; I never thought that I would do it for a living one day. I started performing around the same time that I started writing. The first time I really believed I could pursue a career in music was during a conference in Nashville. They had a competition with everyone there where they would play peoples songs over the sound system and everyone would rate the song. Out of the entire conference my song got the highest rating and won, which completely caught me off guard. That was the first time that I really felt like I could actually do this.
GCAC: What type of music do you enjoy listening to? Who are your favorite musicians?
AM: I love acoustic-driven music. I don’t listen to the radio much so most of my favorites are not that popular. My favorite artist of all time is Ben Howard. I don’t think there are many artists out there who put as much emotion into their music as he does. Fleetwood Mac is another band that influenced me a lot when I was younger. Their album “Rumors” is one of my all time favorite albums!
GCAC: What inspires you the most in your work? Do you typically come up with lyrics first?
AM: I find that I am most inspired by seeing someone else do what they do at a very high level. There is something extremely special and rare about someone who has given up everything and dedicated their life to their craft. Seeing that pay off and seeing them in their sweet spot might one of the most inspirational things to experience! As far as songwriting goes, I don’t think there is one certain way it happens. Sometimes with a guitar and melody. Sometimes while driving and thinking. It can really start any way, I think that’s one of my favorite things about it is that it is completely unpredictable. Songwriting keeps me on my toes constantly because you never know when the next song is going to come out, or if it will at all. If it was just a formula then I would have been bored with it long ago!
GCAC: Where are you playing next? Where can people go to learn more about you and your music?
AM: The winter is always a little slower for me. Not as many show opportunities, but it will pick up some in January. To keep up with me or contact me my website iswww.anthonymossburg.com, or you can follow me on twitter and all of that fun stuff@amossburg. All of my music is on iTunes, along with Pandora and Spotify! Thanks a ton for taking the time to look into my music!
See Mossburg’s YouTube video of “Whiskey & Wine” Live! You can also learn more about Mossburg by visiting his profile in the ColumbusArts.com Artist Directory. Are you a Columbus-area artist? Sign up for your free profile today atColumbusArts.com/artists/ and click on “Create an Account.”