The multi-hyphenate on his sneaker partnerships, career highlights, and his dream music collaboration.
With over 131k followers and counting, Aurora Anthony is a name to know. The self-described “jack of all trades” has a career that spans everything from music to modeling to collaborations with major brands such as Nike, Puma and Jordan. As a first generation Nigerian based in New York City, Anthony got his start by featuring on tracks for musicians such as Seddy Hendrix. The breakout moment? Being selected by heavy hitter Future for a documentary produced with 1800 Tequila, where Anthony received mentoring that led to his debut album, TUNDE.
Between his busy schedule of making music to modeling, Anthony gives us a glimpse on his upcoming collaborations as well as his take on the new wave of influencers.
Your work spans from music, to fashion to modeling, how did you get your start?
I started off as a graffiti artist and was really influenced by my surroundings, growing up in the 90’s. Graffiti branched off into music, which I was always doing in the background. I actually got scouted [as a mode] in high school but was initially not interested, as I wanted to focus on music, but then I realized they could go hand in hand.
Has it been at all challenging moving between these different facets?
If I was just in music I wouldn’t know what I know about fashion. I love being able to know a creative director, the history of a brand and how it fits with my aesthetic, instead of having a stylist do so. Being in all these different channels is helpful but ultimately it also makes things easier and more fun.
From the many brands you have worked with, was there one in particular that felt like a turning point in your career?
That would have to be when I worked with Tiffany and Co. That job was like okay I am in the same position as people like NAS, Yung Thug, Peter Do and Marc Jacobs. It was an insane shoot during the brand’s relaunch and I remember thinking this is a massive turning point — like how is this happening?
Your Nike collaborations are major, what inspired the designs?
The opportunity with Nike came super early on during my relationship with them. They had this incubator program and worked with other contemporaries in my space. Having the chance to customize such a recognizable silhouette, the Air Force 1’s, was insane. I wanted to create something [personal], so I landed on the idea of nationality, specifically being Nigerian. The end result featured an inverted Nigerian flag, which I was super happy with.
What’s your favorite thing about living in New York City?
If you’re from here and you haven’t traveled, it still feels like you have seen the world. Everybody has to stop here, it’s like Mecca. For example if you meet someone from Norway , they’ll bring their friends here and you get the full Norwegian experience! It’s amazing.
How has social media impacted influencers like yourself?
Right now there is functional fashion and then there’s Instagram cosplay like, I am going to take this photo, wear all these crazy runway pieces that were not intended to be worn together. When I go out I want to wear what I’m comfortable in and what I would actually wear. So I try to stick to my POV and not get too caught up on the social media aspect of it.
If you weren’t dividing your time between making music, working in fashion or modeling what would you be doing?
I’d probably own a creative agency or manage others. It’s important to guide people and when I was coming up, I didn’t have a lot of mentors to help me navigate this world. I was left to fend for myself. Now, I get questions about how I got to where I am, so I’d want to seek out cool and interesting people to introduce to places or people they’d have never met. I’ve taken so much from the industry that I would love to be able to give back, like a circle of life.
What’s the most exciting aspect of going on tour?
The best part is seeing other people experience the same feelings and emotions as you. It truly is amazing watching everyone get into your music and it creates a sense of togetherness that’s worth more than anything.
Who is one musical artist that you would love to collaborate with?
Because I’m from New York, I would have to say Jay-Z. I feel like we have a lot in common. He’s such a talented and established artist that doing anything with him would just be wow.
Any next steps for you?
I have a shoot coming out with Puma in August so that’s going to be fun. There’s an album coming out at the end of the year, which I’m super excited about. It’s a more mature version of my last project.