We had the good fortune of connecting with Anthony Smets and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Anthony, how do you think about risk?
When it comes to risks, it’s almost like gambling. You don’t know your odds; however, your instincts tell you the odds are in your favor. Hence, why we take risks. Trusting your instincts is a massive part of risk-taking because you genuinely have to believe in yourself. When I first started off, I taught myself how to make instrumentals, full written songs, and mix and master. I always dreamed of being in the music industry. While doing this, my parents had me in sports, hoping that I would become a D1 collegiate athlete and soon be a part of a professional association. So I went with it for a while, all up until my freshman year of college, where I played football at Saint Norbert College in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Unfortunately, that same year, I ended up getting a severe concussion which ended my football career. It’s funny how the universe works because the entire time, my heart wasn’t fully invested, and it came back around to show me that it wasn’t my path. It was time for me to pursue my dream, but it wasn’t going to be easy, especially making it into the music industry.
This is where I knew there were going to be some risks. I mean, think about it: I was a self-taught musician and audio engineer; I didn’t know if my work would be good enough for the music industry; I overall was terrified. But I had to give it a shot and see how I matched with other professionals, so I did. After my freshman year of college, I moved back to Los Angeles, California, my hometown. Still in school, I applied myself to three internships in which went well. Having mentors and professionals saying that the work I had done on my own sounded great was a great feeling. The fact I was still growing and learning from them was even better. Later, I finally got a job at a music label known as P Music Group. I became a media specialist in video editing, music production, mixing, and other media variations. I had finally done it and finally understood what it meant to take risks. I thought about it and knew that I could have been easily rejected, especially being self-taught, but I kept working and pushing for my dream. The risk of putting time into an industry that is not guaranteed was well worth the journey, and considering I am still young, I will continue to work my way up.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Following this dream was never easy, and to be completely honest, what made it difficult to pursue it was having to do everything on my own. Yes, my family helped, but only to a certain extent. They wanted me to experience the adversity of being in the real world, and there were times where I let this adversity walk all over me. It was frustrating. Getting to where I am today didn’t happen overnight. In fact, what frustrated me the most was doubting myself all the time, always in my head telling myself to quit, I wasn’t good enough, or how I wouldn’t make it. I wanted to hit the ground running being a perfectionist, but that was never possible in reality. Unfortunately, it slowly got to a point where it was impacting my mental health.
There was a point in my life where I hit rock bottom, and I never thought I could reach the top. Thoughts of negativity surrounded my mind, impacting my personality, the way I carried myself, my love for music, my relationship with family and friends, and it was a terrible feeling. However, I never lost my faith, and I constantly prayed. I knew that this was the path that God wanted me to experience to keep me humble and not lose sight of those who truly cared about the person I am. My only question was when it would end?
Well, that period of time soon came to an end when the little things started to appear. Friends called me out of nowhere asking how I was doing, family coming over just for some company. It was the little things like that, and they all told me one thing. Write about how I was feeling and turn it into a song. So, I did, and I gotta say that was probably the best advice I have ever taken. I was so caught up trying to write about what other people would like rather than focusing on my own experiences. For this, I believe it was a blessing because I was so caught up by what others thought. Yet, God knew it was time to hit the reset button and focus on my well-being. To answer this question, it was never easy, but it was worth understanding why it was not.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
You know, honestly, if my best friend were to visit the area right now, we wouldn’t go for the stereotypical adventures you see on social media or anything. Rather, we would spend time catching up and doing the little things. Now granted that’s a humble and honest answer, but for the purpose of the question, I think we would either spend a week in Cabo San Lucas or Las Vegas. What we would do is probably invite our closes friends, get a penthouse, go to the clubs, gamble, and spend some time at the pool with all you can eat and drink. But you know what they say about those two cities, whatever happens in Cabo or Vegas, stays in Cabo or Vegas. Why we would do this, is because when there isn’t a week off, we are constantly working and staying on top of our priorities. Seriously though, we always talk about getting a break. So if we did have one, it would be in those two cities, having the time of our lives.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would love to thank all the people who have believed in me from the start. These people would be my family, my true friends, all the people that hired me when I first started, and everyone else who saw something in me. I would love to give my brother from another mother, Daniel Lesh, a special thanks for helping me stay on top of my career and gifting me with my first recording microphone. I will never forget my eighteenth birthday when he got me that microphone and told me that if I was serious, start learning and working. Shoutout to you, bro! I would like to give another special thanks to Dan Horn, president of Saint Genevieve High School, and all my teachers for giving me opportunities that went way beyond high school. Thank you all for your knowledge and wisdom. I would also love to thank the CEO and president of P Music Group, Michael Paran, for believing in me and giving me the chance to be in this industry. Last but not least, my parents for raising me the way they did. You both have inspired me in so many ways to “focus” and stay on top of what is essential.
Jake Hannah Anthony Jordan Smets