“I just want people to love each other and have a good time listening to my music,” said local hip-hop artist Anfernee. “That’s always the goal, no matter what genre I’m pursuing or what style. Whatever people want to call it — it’s just to make people feel something.”
The emotional component of sound occurred to him as a kid when he was mesmerized by a seemingly mundane TV advertisement. “I saw a Burger King commercial with Minnie Riperton’s ‘Loving You,’ and I knew at that moment that I wanted to do that, that I wanted to sing. That’s when I was like, ‘Okay, I want people to feel what I’m feeling.’ ”
Through a childhood interest in poetry, he discovered that he wanted to do more than just put words on a page waiting to be read. His first EP, The Conspiracy, was released in 2016, and that year he opened for Atlanta rapper Rich Homie Quan at Columbia’s Spring Out Music Festival. He followed up with a dance-centric collaborative album with French electronic duo Adamandy, Nice, Pt. 2 in 2017 and with a darker, more introspective record, H.Art, in 2020.
In April 2019, Anfernee was on the bill at Cultura Festival, the Royal American event produced by Charleston artist Matt Monday to showcase the city’s burgeoning rap scene. “We were all trying to break the cusp of being local artists and get to bigger media,” he said. Earlier this year he opened for Riff Raff at The Main Course in Columbia.
He focused on fine-tuning his writing craft when the pandemic set everything back last year, and he started an internship at Charleston’s Truphonic Studios to learn the ins and outs of the industry. With additional singles and music videos in the wings, he has planned a Sept. 10 show at Pour House with fellow rapper Tyrie.
Anfernee intends for his blossoming success in the scene to serve as a symbol of perseverance to anyone struggling to make art as a way of life.
“I was literally homeless, and I made it all the way to where I am now,” he said. “I just want people to know that as far deep down you are in the trenches, there is somebody who has been there and understands. I feel you, and I want you to know that I relate to you, and we are in this together. We’re all still climbing trying to get to the top. If I got to this point … then you can do whatever you put your mind to.”