In a network-is-your-net worth business like music, visibility and acknowledgment can change a musician’s career. Most up-and-coming artists only dream of the chance to showcase their raw, unsigned talent with the resources and support of someone highly respected and established. 1800 Tequila and their prestigious Artist of The Decade, Future, make this dream a reality for a handful of artists with 1800 Seconds Vol. 2, a curated album made to uplift underdogs and support their voices.
Released on December 18, 2019, Vol. 2 is a compilation of 12 songs by seven diverse artists who, after being selected by Future, were flown out to New York City in secrecy to create in the studio with Papamitrou, Meek Mill’s Dreamchaser-signed producer. Aurora Anthony, 25, was in the middle of rolling out his latest album when he received the news of his selection.
“Naturally, you want that confirmation that you’re on the right route,” Aurora admits over the phone from Europe, transparent about the boost in confidence he felt during the process.
As a creative who describes his music as “thoughtful,” the Lower East Side rapper knew he couldn’t create just any kind of song for Vol. 2. The music had to adequately represent his resume. Aurora is aware that the higher he climbs, every new song could be the one to pop. It was 6LACK who said, “If I do it once, and it pops, I’ma have to keep doing that shit over and over again. You can’t build no fanbase like that,” a sentiment that Aurora echoes.
Our conversation, lightly edited for content and clarity, follows below.
DJBooth: When did 1800 reach out to you initially?
Aurora Anthony: Early November. It was a surprise. I was in the middle of a rollout for my album, and one of my friends was like, “Hey, would you mind pausing the album?” I responded by telling him the opportunity would have to outweigh what I’m doing now. 1800 Seconds Vol. 2 was worth it.
When did you first start to feel this could happen?
It was during the second phone call. I was like, [the company] wouldn’t call me twice if [they weren’t interested. Although it was a crazy opportunity, I just knew this was going to happen.
How did it feel to be hand-picked by Future for this record?
It meant a lot. When you have an A-List celebrity giving you a co-sign, that’s what you look for as an up-and-coming artist. Naturally, you want that confirmation that you’re on the right route. That’s what it was for me. It gave me boosted confidence about my music and what I been doing as an independent artist.
What’s your creative process like?
I’m the type of artist who thinks about what I say before I say it, because music is for everyone, and if you say something, you have to stand on what you said. I don’t want to say something now that, in five years, I wouldn’t be able to defend because I don’t believe in it. I want my music to be real to my life and my situations. Creating a song like “Field Trip,” I wanted to make sure the song made sense to me because I have to live with it at the end of the day.
Why is it important to be thoughtful about the kind of songs you make?
Let’s say I decided to make a song. A song that’s unlike the music I make, and it gets big. There’s going to be some confusion when listeners go back to the music I make genuinely and hear something different. I wanted to make sure whatever I put out on this album, it was a piece of me. As an artist, you have to expand your palette, and I feel like I did that with “Field Trip,” but I had to make sure it was still me.
How do you plan on using this opportunity to your advantage?
As an artist who is unsigned, this is a huge stepping stone that puts a lot of eyes on my situation and everything I been doing. It has opened even more industry doors for me, and I’ll be using this attention as a springboard for what I have going on. It’s been a blessing.