Since his time on BBC’s Let It Shine, Anthony Sahota has since gone on to star in a number of shows with his most recent being in Horsham’s 2019 pantomime of Peter Pan playing the titled role and he is now getting ready to release his new single Firefly. Away from music and performing, Anthony is working with business partner Sam Callahan on their new motorsport company and car channel The Drivers Side which will give race car experience days and they have recently been working with the mental health organisation The CALM All Porsche Trophy Cup. After speaking to Anthony last year for his performance as Peter Pan, we had a catch up with him about his new single Firefly, collaborating with Sam Callahan on their new motorsport company and their plans for The Drivers Side.
We understand you are releasing a new single soon, can you tell us more about it?
It’s a new year, a new song! I’m super excited to announce I will be releasing my next single Firefly. It’s a song to empower my listeners, especially after 2020 and the year everyone has had. It’s about that flame in you, that never goes out, that pushes us forward, acknowledging that you are your own ‘flame’.
I finished this song during the pandemic, and I want to showcase this new track to get people moving in 2021.
How long have you been working on the release and why did you decide to release it now?
Firefly has been a work in progress since early last year 2020. It’s a different sound to my current songs and so I wanted to make it pop as much as possible. Releasing it in 2021 is aimed to be a token to all of us, getting through such a hard year.
How have you found working on music during the pandemic?
It’s been refreshing actually! Because of the amount of time having to spend inside, I’ve been able to put even more energy into songwriting and developing projects such as music.
When did you start having an interest in music and what do you enjoy most about performing?
My parents told me they couldn’t help but notice my interest in music since I was around six years old. I used to always dance and try to make noises to copy songs. A funny story was that I apparently used to hold both sides of the sofa and try to sing Earth Song when I was very small.
Performing gives me an exciting buzz, seeing the reaction and feeding off an audience’s energy makes me love performing.
What’s your journey been like since appearing on Let It Shine?
BBC Let It Shine was a great platform to be on, being on the show taught me lots in a very short time frame, working with well-known and respected names which gave me a massive insight, deep into the industry. My journey afterwards was aimed at focusing on taking every opportunity, I went on to do three big shows straight after the TV show, a national UK tour including playing both leading roles in Peter Pan and Aladdin in Dubai. My journey has continued, but also opened up new opportunities and enabled me to push other avenues that I’m also passionate about, including starting my own exciting businesses!
How did your collaboration with Sam Callahan come about for your new motorsport company and car channel The Drivers Side and what’s it like working together?
Funny enough, I reached out to Sam mid-2020 on Instagram as I just landed a main role playing Peter in Peter Pan at Hoddesdon. He played a main role in Aladdin the year before and I wanted to see his perspective on the theatre and overall experience working there. After we spoke, we both realised we had very similar interests and skill sets, our passion for motorsport and cars brought the friendship together. Sam and myself now run our new motorsport car channel and company – The Drivers Side! An amazing friendship built in the most difficult times.
What plans do you have for your company and channel?
We have big plans. Little steps to get there, but big plans, nevertheless. We soon aim to be doing Race Car passenger rides and Track Driving Experience days at renowned tracks across the UK, offering this to anyone who wants a fun, super interactive all-day experience, going FAST (safely). We will be bringing many passionate people together, showing everyone how you can get up close and personal with motorsport. We also plan on collaborating, like we have already in 2020, with The CALM All Porsche Trophy Cup, a mental health organisation involved in running motorsport for a great cause. Another great company that I have been alongside is Unique Porsche run by Darren King, providing incredible cars in the world of motorsport, an amazing company with very talented individuals that also support CALM.
I have big plans, pushing our YouTube channel and our other platforms, bringing viewers and customers the best, most relatable motorsport content to screens.
How has it been working with mental health organisation The CALM All Porsche Trophy Cup?
It’s been a big privilege working alongside CALM. It is such a great cause run by Philip Waters, that has a great bunch of people involved in the team, making a difference – it’s even better because we are all very passionate about motorsport and, in 2020, The CALM Porsche ran many races, one being Brands Hatch to which CALM had many donations. Each person who donated had their photo added to the race car. To be a part of this was a big privilege and something great to see for mental health and in motorsport.
Where does your love of motorsport come from?
Since I was young, I was obsessed with three things, music and cars and planes. So, it all stems from when I was small. I used to race karts at a very young age at Thruxton race circuit. A love for going fast and operating machines, I think really suited my character as I was full of energy all the time! I then went on to get my Private Pilot’s licence at Thruxton air circuit which ultimately lead me to studying Mechanical Engineering at University, a whole other passion completely, however closely linked.
What do you enjoy doing away from music and motorsport?
I enjoy going to the gym and keeping in shape. I also like water sports such as canoeing as well as snowboarding, if I get the chance to travel to do so. However, something I like to do at home is cooking, that’s when chef Antonio makes an appearance.
Last time we spoke, you were preparing to play Peter Pan in The Capitol Horsham’s pantomime, what did you enjoy most about being in the show and working at the theatre?
Horsham has to be the top of my list after performing there last year. An amazing theatre with amazing people. I really enjoyed the buzz Horsham gave each show, a really energetic audience. I particularly loved heading out to the entrance after each show, meeting the audience, they had such a positive and great spirit, including all the children amazed by Peter Pan’s flying!
What are your hopes for 2021 for music and motorsport?
I hope to release Firefly and let everyone hear what I’ve been working on throughout lockdown. I have big plans for a new music video, something cinematic with amazing visuals.
I had planned in January to be getting my full race licence; however, lockdown has delayed this, but this will be going ahead in the next few months. The Drivers Side plan on getting two new race cars to the fleet, to which we will be offering experience days. Sam and I are also super excited on launching our YouTube channel, pushing brand new content to our viewers and collaborating with amazing companies and organisations such as Unique Porsche and CALM throughout the year.
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