An American music critic, Anthony Fantano rose to fame from his music-reviewing YouTube channel and website called The Needle Drop. Aside from this YouTube channel, he has several other music channels where he discusses and rants about the music industry. The YouTube sensation has also amassed several names for himself which include ‘the Internet’s busiest music nerd’, ‘Cal Chuchesta’, ‘Melon/Melonhead’, and ‘The Best Teeth in the Game’.
Other than being a YouTuber, and music critic, Fantano is also a vlogger and musician. He generally hunts for music from several labels, follows up on these labels, criticizes them, then proceeds to make covers of these songs and albums for his millions of subscribers.
Anthony Fantano’s Career Journey Started On The Radio
The music critic was born on October 28, 1975, in Wolcott, Connecticut in New England. Not much is known of his parents at this point except that they got divorced when he was 19 years of age. More so, during his growing up years, Fantano was overweight for which he received several criticisms and mockery. These mockeries made him dissatisfied with his weight, causing him to start a strict vegan diet and exercise regime which has paid off really well as he is quite fit now.
For his education, it’s known that Anthony earned his first degree from Southern Connecticut State University where he studied Political Science, Broadcast Communication, and Journalism. During that period, he also attempted to start a career as a cartoonist after being motivated by “The Simpsons” but that career path was short-lived.
However, after graduating from Southern Connecticut State University, Anthony Fantano started his music career at his alma mater. He worked as a music director at the University’s radio station and during his time there, he acquired a deep knowledge of different genres of music.
Later on, in 2007, he began working at a Connecticut Public Radio where he had the opportunity to start and host his own program titled The Needle Drop. Following the launch, in that same year, he gradually started to review songs and albums on the program.
He Moved On To Join The YouTube Band Wagon in 2009
Anthony commenced activities on his first YouTube channel named thatistheplan in early 2009 during which he experimented with video reviews. His first video review in 2009 was with Jay Reatard’s record and with the success of that, he continued making video reviews in subsequent years.
However, it is known that in 2010, Fontano removed older video reviews that contained clips from the original works to avoid DMCA violations. During this time, he also worked in a high school pizza restaurant to earn extra income but in 2011, he decided to devote his time to The Needle Drop, though he still had relations with WNPR, the Connecticut Public Radio until 2014.
Due to his versatility, Anthony’s music website and YouTube channel showcase different kinds of music such as hip hop, rock, folk, jazz, pop, indie, experimental, and many others. He also garnered a lot of fame for his works and this eventually landed him an interview with SXSW about the rise of music vlogging in 2011. The details of the interview were later released on The Guardian in March 2011
Fontano Has Achieved Great Heights In His Endeavours
In 2012, Anthony’s YouTube channel grew to about 10,000 subscribers and due to his outstanding performance on music criticisms over the years, Fontana currently has 1.16M subscribers on his self-named YouTube channel while The Needle Drop has 2.23M subscribers. More so, Fantano’s growing popularity and competence earned him The Rise Competition Award which was given to him in 2011. The Needle Drop also bagged the 2011 O Music Awards under the category, “Beyond the Blog”.
The Award-winning music critic has also done some work as a video producer and a notable work of his is tied to Cal Chuchesta. He also has an album named ‘Taiga’ which was released in 2009, as well as ‘The New CALassic’ and ‘Anthony FanFiction Volume 1’ which were released in 2015. Some of his popular singles include “Cal 2 B” which was released in 2013, “Mykey Come Back” released in 2015, “Slap Chop” in 2018, and “Don’t Talk to Me” featuring Fellatia Geisha which he dropped in 2018.
Fantano’s Net Worth Is Gradually Increasing
During the course of his career, Fantano has acquired over 2 million subscribers alongside recording over 412 million views from his YouTube channels. It is hereby safe to say that he has enhanced his financial status and amassed enormous wealth from his vlogging since he started in 2009. However, the exact figures he earns for his contributions online is yet to be known but it is estimated that his total net worth sits at $750,000 as of 2020.
Although his current worth is a far cry from what other popular YouTubers are making from their online career, Fantano has the prospects to be on the list of high YouTube earners if he does not relent. The multiple skills he possesses make him a YouTuber to look out for in the coming years.
Controversies That Have Been Linked To The Music Critic
The reputable Needle Drop host has not been left out of criticisms given the level of popularity he has gained. At a certain time in his career, he was at the center of a controversial statement following an accusation by Fader magazine. This incident happened in 2017 when the magazine uploaded an article in which Anthony was accused of promoting alt-right and being racist sentiments in the videos on his YouTube channel thatistheplan.
Fantano also stirred chaos online when he used Pepe the Frog memes, targeting feminists and belittling the work of black musicians. He was criticized because of this and in response to these accusations, he uploaded a video calling the criticized article a “hit job”.
However, the music critic debated the accusations, stating that the video was “satirical”. Anthony Fantona made it known that he had no biased opinion in reviewing the different types of music and he shows no favouritism to whites over blacks. Later on, Fader magazine deleted the article from their site as they settled the issue amicably with the music critic.
Thread: Music reviewer Anthony Fantano of The Needle Drop was exposed for his alt-right youtube channel that attacked "SJWs" and feminists, targeted black musicians w/ racist memes & hosted "Sargon of Akkad" Carl Benjamin & neo-Nazi Sam Hyde on his podcast https://t.co/aHIZk6CidM
— Heresy Labs (@heresysquad) June 15, 2019
He Is Happily Married To An African-American Lady
One would think that as a critic, Fantano’s career would affect his love life but interestingly, Anthony Fantano has a good marriage going on. After dating his adorable African-American girlfriend Dominique Boxley for a long time, he popped the question and they got married.
However, the pair have not been liberal with facts about their love life, although it was gathered that they met online in 2000 and had a long-term relationship until the mid-2000s when they got married.
There’s no doubt that Dominique has been of immense support to her husband and his vlogs. She has been seen in several episodes of The Needle Drop vlogs where they both sing their favourite songs and entertain subscribers.