Music with a message

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Tony Enos would like other gay musicians to have a better opportunity than the one he carved out for himself. 

The South Philly resident, raised near 5th and Porter streets, released a new album on June 1 called “Indestructible” that Enos says he tries to help young gay people verbalize their feelings.

“I really want to give youth of the LGBTQ the language to express their feelings with this record,” said Enos, 37. “I think a lot of times growing up, young folks have a visceral feeling but they’re not able to put a name with it. They’re not able to say they are anxious or unsafe, they just know that they feel something.”

Indestructible is Enos’ sixth studio album and his third over the last 24 months. His 2020 release Posi+ive was a courageous formal announcement that Enos was HIV positive. His new album is an olive branch to others who experienced or are experiencing the emotions Enos battled growing up gay in South Philly.

“I unpack a lot of my experience growing up gay in this album,” Enos said. “With that, I’m hoping that they’ll be able to have that ‘me too’ moment. I’m hoping that the record can foster some healing and be good medicine for young folks or even older folks who have never had a healthy opportunity to discuss it.”

Enos admits that things are different now in terms of acceptance of the gay community from when he grew up. 

“I was in fights every day, constantly in the principal’s office,” Enos recalled. “I was always looking for the exits or looking to defend myself. It wasn’t easy.”

He says the world has made some progress since then, especially in Philadelphia.

“I was riding on the 47 bus home the other day and was noticing all the rainbow flags,” he said. “Back in the day it would have been a full-on protest outside somebody’s house. But now, it’s amazing to see all these rainbow flags and all the support and awareness in the community that there is now.”

Enos’ music can be found on all major digital platforms and his YouTube channel. Indestructible is 17 tracks with 11 songs and six interludes. It includes a cover of Gloria Gaynor’s “I will Survive.”

He’s also hoping to promote new acts with live music. Enos recently started a monthly residency, playing live music at the Abbaye on 3rd Street in Northern Liberties. 

“I’m trying to introduce new Philly artists through that show by having a new opener every month,” Enos said. “And just trying to change the help and change the faith and the opportunities that are available for artists in Philly in a healthy way.”