The possibility of going into business with a sibling might cause anxiety for many of us. But anxiety is never an emotion evoked by brothers Anson and Eric Dawkins better known as Dawkins & Dawkins, who use their brotherly bond to write, record, and perform some of our favorite music.
For the Davenport, Iowa born brothers, sibling bond is for life. After all, they have supported each other’s early musical endeavors since they were 3 and 4yrs old, learning to harmonize with their mother and play instruments—Anson plays drums and trumpet, and Eric plays the piano. As children they would appear at revivals and churches with their parents—their mother a singer, and their father a Pentecostal preacher—not knowing that God was preparing them to be Dawkins & Dawkins the laid back yet charismatic duo with sick harmony performing on stages in front of thousands and working behind the scenes with some of the best in the business in different aspects of entertainment.
If you are a loyal fan, you are familiar with their timeless work starting in 1993 with the release of the self-titled Dawkins & Dawkins. After, there were seamless releases: Necessary Measures, Focus, and From Now On. It’s something about their music that has an identity that doesn’t change depending on what’s popular. And they don’t make conscious choices to redefine it based on what other people think. Instead, the change is organic and effortless withstanding time.
After a 10-year hiatus, the brothers, who make loving God look cool, doubled down, and caught us up to speed by releasing a series of albums on Legacy Music Group. A multi-volume project entitled Never Gets Old—Love & Light, Vol. 1 and Faith & Favor, Vol. 2. The innovative concept features fan favorites as “In My Feelings,” “I Was Just Thinking,” and “That Love,” while hits like “Still Good,” “Come By Here,” “Trust” and “Already” round out the last leg of the experience. However, the dynamic duo, who was busy creating during the Covid-19 pandemic, has enough music to bless us with two more volumes in 2022.
But this is not where it ends. Just when we thought we had our Dawkins & Dawkins fix, the talented Dove, Stellar and Grammy® nominated artists hit us with their first seven-song Christmas EP to ride out 2021 entitled Never Gets Old: Holiday Volume. A classic timeless jewel, like all their music, with predictions to be an addition to the annual holiday playlist of many homes, the brothers are doing a few things differently this time. They feature Commissioned group member, Mitchell Jones on “Little Things,” and they break the tradition of creating originals by remaking “Most Wonderful Time of the Year” of course with a D & D twist. The EP also offers songs to keep you in the holiday mood like “Imagine Christmas,” “Wonderland” and three more unforgettable gems.
I chatted via zoom with the fun-loving brothers and like most close-knit siblings, the responses were in sync, or they finished each other’s sentences as if the interview was rehearsed. Priceless.
Q. What’s it like to work with your brother?
Eric: The best! He’s probably the easiest business partner I’ve had. We agree and we disagree but it’s always for the betterment for whatever we choose. He’s my best friend, my business partner, and all that.
Anson: It’s great. It’s important that we to get the opportunity to let our kids see us working together and building and having a business together. And not just for our kids but to be an example for others who have siblings. It’s so challenging for me to see siblings that can’t be around each other.
Q. Because you are so close, when you’re on stage performing do you know what the other will do automatically?
Eric: Yes. We’ll do stuff… It’s almost weird but not shocking when it happens. Like a harmony run or something that’s unplanned and we’ll end up keeping it for the next show. In almost 30 years, I can count on one hand how much we’ve rehearsed with each other.
Anson: This time because we’re doing different things and have other people involved, we’re having to rehearse which is out of the ordinary for us. But we have to make sure everyone is in sync.
Q. What keeps you driven?
Anson: The ability to use the gifts that God has given us. It’s a gift within itself to be able to do the music and to challenge ourselves to go to the next level. It’s an amazing feeling when you create. You’re going to a place with nothing, and you go in your head, and come back with this thing you get to share. It’s the actual doing and being and I love how it blesses people.
Eric: Family keeps me driven. Coming home and actually owning my home, and not having to say no when my wife or kids ask me for something is a blessing. But for me, it’s not a money thing. Even if I wasn’t making a living at this, I would still probably be doing something in the music industry because of my love for music.
Q. Why did you feel like it was time to release a new project?
Anson: It was a natural thing especially with Covid happening because we had time on our hands. Eric started creating and writing and when he gets going, we just start writing and collaborating. With Eric being involved with Legacy Music it gave us autonomy and total creative control. We had free will to do what we wanted. We were able to under promise and over deliver. It’s evident when you hear the music that it was the right time.
Q. Was it difficult to complete the project during the pandemic?
Eric: Completing the project was actually easier than any project we’ve ever done. Technology played a big part. Out of 30 something songs, there might be seven or eight we recorded in the same room. Sending things back and forth was easy. By us having creative control, we set our own calendar. When we felt like we were close enough to release the project, we put a date on it.
Q. There has been an overwhelming amount of social media chatter and positive responses about the projects. How does that make you guys feel?
Anson: It was very encouraging. Sometimes I would interact and wonder if they are really feeling it. It’s been fun to see people being interactive and hearing their hearts.
Q. What is your superpower?
Anson: Invisibility. (He laughs but is very serious) I can walk in a spot and blend in. That’s the way I like it because I’m an introvert.
Eric: Patience. To do what I do in the studio and not get super frustrated is a gift. Even outside of the studio, I have patience.
Q. What is the best advice you’ve been given?
Anson: We were in the studio working with Fred Hammond and he said, “Keep everybody in the game.” Meaning you need everyone to be at the top of their game when you’re working on a project. If you start saying things to make people doubt themselves, they won’t be able to bring their magic to the project.
Eric: I’ve gotten the best advice from myself. I told myself to never let anybody do me better than me. Don’t let anybody come in my lane and outdo me. I try to be the best at being me.
Q. How important is a healthy sibling relationship?
Anson: It’s very important. We’re in business together. Where Eric is weak in certain areas, I’m strong. And vice versa. And when we have blind spots, the other can catch it.
Eric: It’s paramount to anything else. Our family is tight. We grew up like twins. We never have an issue telling each other we love you. We’re not afraid to be affectionate with each other. We never hang up the phone without saying “I love you.” In fact, it’s trickled down to our kids as well. They’re very affectionate.
Q. How important is a father-Daughter relationship?
Anson: It’s a blessing. My girls bring out the best in me. Even at my worst they bring out the good stuff. They grew me up fast and they keep teaching me things. I continue to learn from them.
Eric: Our relationship has its challenges and rewards; however, we’re working on reaching benchmarks. I’ve learned a lot. It’s grown me up as well… We’re a lot alike but she’s the sensitive side of me.
The proud fathers are enjoying watching their girls grow and experience life. Eric’s daughter is now a background singer for Dawkins & Dawkins, while Anson’s daughters are pursuing degrees. The oldest is in Grad school studying English and the youngest is an undergrad studying to be a speech pathologist.
Q. How would you finish this sentence. I am at my best when…
Anson: When I get sleep. LOL! For real. I ain’t down with team no sleep.
Eric: I’m a professional sleeper. I don’t fight it. If I feel it coming on, I go with it. I could be at the computer and the next thing I know, I’m out.
Q. Will you be touring soon?
Eric: We’re working on some things. We’ll be in Houston, TX on December 18th. It’s a Pay Per View live stream type of deal with a live band and background singers. We’re working on other cities as well, but this is the first stop.
Q. Any last words for our readers?
Anson: At the end of the day when people think about Dawkins & Dawkins, we want them to say, “These are guys that lived out their love for Jesus in every aspect even with the mistakes. And had fun doing it.”
This article was orifginally published in Groov Magazine.