The (Re) Emergence of Anthony Q.
We all remember Qwanell Mosley of MTV’s Making The Band Day 26 success. We all remember his greatly discussed frustrations as documented by MTV reality show cameras. And we all remember the subsequent fall out that ended in his being asked to leave the group. But now Que, who has transformed himself into Anthony Q, is inviting us to get to know the real him.
“I’m a lot smarter now”, says the mild mannered and kind, Anthony Q as we begin to talk about the ghosts of his past. “I didn’t think I would be solo right now. I didn’t hope for this but I’m thankful, you never know what God has in store for you. I don’t look at it as bad, I don’t look at it as good—it just is what it is”. This new mature man has come with the array of experiences he’s lived through from before we first came to know him many years ago through the editing room of MTV.
After the tragic death of his father when he was just 4-years-old, Anthony Q’s mother did all she could to ensure that he was always loved and well provided for. “My mother was very independent. She is a strong woman. She raised me very well. But it was definitely hard not having that father figure”, he admits, “I had a stepfather—I’ll just say he could have done better”. Perhaps it was this void that allowed music to seep into him. Preferring the musings of great R&B singers Donny Hathaway and Sam Cooke to modern day artists even at a young age, Q’s musical journey began when he first sung Mariah Carey’s “Hero” at his kindergarten graduation. “That’s when I first noticed I could sing”, he says. And he didn’t let it stop there. After enrolling in the high school for the arts in New York, Anthony Q honed his skills through dance classes, plays and voice lessons even auditioning with other superstar hopefuls for a shot on American Idol. He chuckles remembering the words he was told, “come back when your voice matures a little” because soon after he was auditioning for a spot on Bad Boy Records, an experience that led him to where he is today.
Although no longer being affiliated with the group, Q gives a large amount of credit to his Day 26 journey for his growth as a man. “I got to see a reflection of myself even though some of the stuff was edited in a certain way, I got to see my weaknesses and I don’t ever want to look like that again. I don’t ever want to look that emotional. I don’t ever want to be looked at like I’m a bad person. So I just took that experience and I learned from it”, he explains. A now 22 year-old Anthony Q can look back on many of his moments and contribute them to youth—all but one. The love he has and shares with Dirty Money singer, Dawn Richard, is as alive now as it was then. Though staying mum about the details of their relationship he doesn’t shy away from saying the words every woman wants to hear, “I’m really in love”. For Q his growth as a man has also made him grow as a lover in a way that he says he once couldn’t comprehend. “I have a better understanding of what love is now. Before I was young and really in LOVE, love like “WOW”, he says imitating the twitter pated puppy dog he once was, “now I understand it. And I know how to separate it from my business”.
Separating his life from the industry was something he yearned for after living his life in front of cameras for many years during a time in which change was inevitable. So for many his departure from the group that made him a household name was a blow to the artist, but for him it provided him with a chance to really show what he was made of. “I’m in charge now. So now if I fail it’s because I failed. It’s nobody’s fault. That’s the best part about being a man”, Anthony Q explains. His first taste at independence came with his first solo release “Q Files”, an album that he says he used to vent his frustrations with having been let go from the group and misunderstood. But his greater success came with the release of his mixtape “Guitar-Her” which reached over 250,000 downloads in 2 weeks. Highly musical and representative of his growth, Guitar-Her made waves in the industry and excited fans for his next album that he hopes will truly introduce the world to Anthony Q. “The album is going to be genius. All those different steps I’ve taken to this point, all the experiences and life I’ve lived…I’ve put it into this album”.
Harboring no ill feelings towards his band mates or Bad Boy CEO, Sean “Diddy” Combs has aided him in walking into his destiny. A destiny he knows wouldn’t have existed without the obstacles he’s overcome. But now his only focus is keeping his head in the game and pushing towards the ultimate goal: success. “I don’t want to fail and I want to be an example for boys and girls across the world who dream. I want them to know that anything’s possible even though things may look crazy sometimes and it seems like you’re not going to make it. You have to keep your head up and keep striding and keep believing in yourself.”
It seems that he has taken his own advice. Refusing to give up when most would. Showing resilience in a situation that would have defeated most, Anthony Q is ready to make us all believers as long as we’re down for the ride.
Written by: Iman Milner
Photographs by: Ashley B. Nguyen
Stylist: Seth Brundle
MUA: Sydney Milan
Location: @Opulenstudios http://www.opluenstudios.com