Tafari Anthony
‘Live in a Dream’
Independent

Toronto-based artist Tafari Anthony burst into 2020 with beautiful energy after a two year hiatus to regroup, consider what is important to him as an artist, and write material with his unique perspective. Earlier in the year Anthony released “Centerfold,” a queer breakup banger showcasing his remarkable vocal range. Now he’s back with “Live in a Dream” a danceable reflection on the struggle for individuality and contentment with one’s surroundings. 

“Far too often in my career I’ve had many people try to tell me who I should be and try to mold me into something that they’ve already seen. The promise of a greater future if you do this and that, had me do many things I would’ve never done in order to chase someone else’s vision,” says Anthony. The clever lyrical interchange of the phrases “living the dream” and “live in a dream” brings forward a conflict with personal subjectivity. Are you living “the dream” or are you trapped in an unrealistic expectation based on some gatekeepers’ outdated expectations of what your identity allows you to be–living in someone else’s dream? Tafari Anthony chooses the freedom of a personal journey. He chooses to dance, he chooses to let his vocal runs be playful and his style be beyond a simple definition. 

The pre-chorus braids together a rising 90s vocal harmony with delightful R&B ad libs. Anthony’s voice moves through the body as you listen, it’s pretty impossible to hear him and not start feeling yourself; it’s a contagious confidence. The track was produced by Alexander Flockhart. It’s clear that the artist and producer have a symbiotic thing going, I got the sense that the beat foregrounded the artist. At the same time it felt kind of lackluster. In an era where pop divas are getting weird and we’ve heard SOPHIE, the production of this track feels uninspired. That being said, the post-chorus woodwinds were an exciting element. This is a foretelling of big things to come for the talented Tafari Anthony.