The sound director, experience curator, and founder of Humbleriot shares how taking care of himself empowers him to take on anything.
– KEYS SOULCARE
Sound director. Experience curator. Former manager to (and ongoing collaborator with) Childish Gambino. Founder of Humbleriot, an idea shop that explores the bonds between creativity, connection, music, and transformation. Let’s face it: Keys Soulcare community member and “Everything Is Connected” video contributor Anthony Demby wears a lot of hats. (TBH, we’re out of breath after reading his lengthy bio.)
But, through it all, Demby prioritizes taking care of himself — spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. If you want to bring some Demby energy into your life, check out our inspiring chat with the man himself.
What inspired you to leave your work in the music publicity industry and to start your own management and consultancy company?
I was working in music and it had become so transactional to me. I wasn’t aligned with who I wanted to be or how I wanted to work with other human beings. A friend played me a recording of Raphael Sadiq, [and] I knew instantly that that was the way I wanted to feel about working with music.
So I talked to my boss the next morning, and we agreed to part ways. Personally, it quickly went from “oh, I have to quit my job” to “oh shit, I just quit my job!” But, I was always sure I’d made the right decision.
Did you have moments of doubt?
For sure. I was out to dinner with [music artist, producer, and actor] Childish Gambino (a.k.a., Donald Glover) when I was still auditioning to be his manager. I went to the ATM to cover our meal, and didn’t have the money. I thought to myself, “I hope Donald [Glover] pays for this.” But also, in that moment, I realized that money didn’t have the hold on me that it once did. That was so liberating.
Thankfully, he did hire me to manage him. And his company back-paid me for all of the time leading up to hiring me as well. At the time, it was more money than I’d ever received, but even then I was aware that I would never be led by making money the same way.
What advice would you give to someone who is trying to connect with their personal ambition, while wanting to show up in the world grounded in that kind of positivity?
So, I feel like this is a question people are starting to ask themselves more and more. I think that we all know on some level that the world as we once knew it is gone — especially with the radical shifts that these last years have brought us.
The way that I think about it is with two things: What gives us energy and what gives the world energy. I find that when we focus on those and not on things going back to “normal” — because they can’t, right? — that we find truer focus, and that focus helps us build and move forward.
What are a few of your current soul care rituals?
I’m a guy who loves crystals — popping them in my palm, getting grounded, and feeling what comes from them. My favorite stone is labradorite. Whenever I’m in need of a miracle of some sort, it’s my go-to.
And listening to music. Music is my soulmate. I throw on the record and disappear, discovering new parts of myself.
What’s something you’ve learned you needed more of as you’ve explored — and achieved — more in your professional life?
Rest! Rest is so essential — not just for me, but for all of us. I’m not “team no sleep.” I’m not “team hustle.”
What’s your highest vision for the work that you do and the work that you’re doing?
Humbleriot is my company’s name, but it’s also a mindset. You can fight for what you believe in, but have peace still be part of that. For me, it’s seeing young Black and Brown kids live a life that’s not either-or or binary, knowing they can design their own life.
I spent the last 10 years designing my reality. I went to school, I went to college, and all the traditional things. But, there are other ways to think about how you can reimagine your future. You can do a little bit of this and that, if you’re in alignment with it. You can utilize what’s in front of you to use tradition and reimagine.
How can you ground yourself a little more — and in the process, reimagine what’s to come? Share your thoughts in the comments!