Ithaca rapper ‘Anthony Kannon’ goes international; signs with U.K. record label
(WENY) -- A rapper from the Southern Tier is going international. Ithaca’s Anthony Henry, known by his stage name Anthony Kannon, announced in May 2023 that he signed with New Dawn Records, a record label affiliated with Universal Music Group.
“Every accomplishment after this point is a blessing.” Kannon said, adding, “I never thought when I was recording at ten years old that I would’ve signed an international record deal.”
The 25-year-old rapper's lyrics are rooted in his life experience, as his raps aim to serve as a therapeutic outlet for himself and his listeners. Kannon learned from a young age how rap could help him heal.
He remembers being encouraged by his father to pick up the mic for the first time when he was just six years old, following the separation of his family.
“My brother’s in juvie, my mom’s in prison, I can't afford not to make the right decision,” Kannon said, adding, “That was the first rap I ever wrote. I was like six, my dad said keep going.”
Anthony being shot during a home invasion was a moment for him that helped kick-start his rap career. He processed the experience and used it to fuel his dreams, and in the process, found a love for making music.
These experiences have pushed him to develop his music into the therapeutic tool it is now.
“I come from a musical family; my father has always been a professional musician,” Kannon said, adding, “Being introduced to hip hop at a young age, combined with what I was going through at that time, it was kind of just a natural lead up to start using that as a (therapeutic) outlet.”
Starting when he was 18, Kannon got to work, collaborating with creators like Frost Gamble, who originally has roots in Binghamton. Their partnership created a distinct archive of music.
From there, the pair decided to email out a handful of songs in hopes of getting attention from a label. The 25-year-old artist announced on May 5th the hard work paid off and that he and Gamble have signed with New Dawn Records, a label based out of the U.K.
“I gave him the OK, we sent it over, and within a few weeks, the label hit us back,” Kannon said, adding, “(They) said, 'we want 12 songs, these are the songs, and let us know if you’re interested; we'll mockup a contract.’”
The label will help distribute Kannon's album, Cautionary Tales, which is set to drop on October 20th, 2023.