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Suay Lo - Singer, songwritwer, producer, engineer, CEO

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Phillip D. Anderson Sr., also known by his stage names Suay Lo and Diggz, is a rapper, singer, record, radio and television producer, media personality, and entrepreneur. He is a six time award winner, including a national award for television production excellence. He founded Suayphil Entertainment in 2006, which later became the most recognized entertainment operation in Maury County, TN. He is now and was an original member of the band, EVOLUTION.

Anderson was born in Columbia, TN on July 11, 1975. His early experiences in performing were singing and directing numerous church choirs at Friendship M.B. Church. His first stab at The Business was in 1993 with four other young men who made up the Rap group, Notorious. In 1999, he created Dat Hollow Boy Productions, a record production company specializing in Hip Hop music. He released his solo debut LP, My Time 2 Shine, under this label along with his mentor, Robert L. Taylor. DHBP dissolved in 2005 after losing his entire production operation after a short stint in county lockup. It was in that year that he met the men in the band, EVOLUTION, and that journey inspired him to form Suayphil Entertainment one year later. Since then, he has produced four albums (eight albums over the span of his career), three television shows, three radio shows and two documentaries.
Early life

Phil Anderson was born eldest of 3 to Joyce Anderson, a single mother in Columbia, TN. His mom came to the realization that she was too young to raise him, so his grandmother, Carrie Anderson, raised him until her death in 1987. He attended Columbia Central High school in 1989 and played on the school’s basketball team for one year. While he was in high school, he discovered record making in 1991 after some of his friends invited him to go to a recording studio and his love affair for creating songs began.

Anderson says he was given the nickname "Sway Lo" as a child after pledging in a high school fraternity and it became his line name because the brothers thought his soulful singing voice made the ladies do just that. He later changed the “Sway” to “Suay” because he felt the sophisticated look fit the man.

Music career

Anderson dropped out of school in 1993 once his group, Notorious, scored a local music hit, Mini Park after Dark. The band packed up and went to Los Angeles for a brief period when Death Row Records showed interest in them. Notorious was unsuccessful in landing a deal with the then music powerhouse, but that didn’t stop Anderson and team from continuing on their quest for music supremacy. After the trip home from Cali, Notorious submitted their music in a contest held by the Nashville urban radio station, 92Q. They won the contest, and a management contract with Lady D Entertainment with Wendy Collins. The band became the opening act for artists ranging from Tony Terry and Adina Howard to Craig Mack and The Notorious B.I.G. The band split in 1995 and Anderson decided to go to New York City for bigger opportunities.

Almost immediately upon Anderson’s arrival to the Big Apple, the offers started to pour in. He finally settled in with two companies. The first was 229th Entertainment, an underground Hip Hop/ R&B company, and a branch of the then Uptown Records. This was where he honed his skills as a songwriter and record producer. He was in artist development when Uptown folded, so he never had that major release. In 1998 Anderson started recording his first solo effort. Along the way he met Kiron Dawkins, and the two took the Greenwich Village music scene by storm. They played in numerous clubs around the city, including the world famous Café Wah. In 1999, Anderson, along with producer and mentor, Robert Taylor, released Suay Lo’s My Time 2 Shine LP. That cd gave them the opportunity to be the headlining act in the Korean Millennium Festival, which only happens every 100 years. This was also the year he went to Uptime University to study audio engineering to add to his arsenal of talents and gifts. This soon landed him an engineering assistant’s gig at Exit 6 Studios in Port Chester, NY, where he was fortunate to work with some amazing talent, including Brucey Miller, baby brother of Mary J. Blige. While working at Exit 6, Anderson landed a production assistant job with Viacom Productions on the hit television show, “Ed.” He also freelanced on a whole host of shows including 3rd Watch, Law and Order, Oz and The Sopranos. “Ed” was cancelled in 2002 and Anderson went on to pursue other independent endeavors before leaving New York for Tennessee for a year in early 2003.

While in TN, Anderson produced his sophomore music effort, “Sex, Lies and Hip Hop Music – Book II.” It generated enough buzz to put him onto the Nashville music scene, but sales were dismal. His stock started to rise when he met Kerry James and linked up with Terry Williams. The three of them began producing a gospel music stage play and hired R&B singer Dave Hollister, formerly of the group Blackstreet. After that play, numerous offers started to pour in, including a halftime performance at a professional basketball game. A chance meeting at Anderson’s recording studio placed Josh “Mr. Clean” Turner and Luke Jones inside his facility for a session. Anderson thought these guys had a real gift, but his busy schedule did not allow him to take a real interest in the group at the time. He did, however, attempt to shop the group to other local producers. Anderson continued to work in the studio with the guys. But past troubles came haunting him in the spring of 2005 after being caught on a probation violation from an assault charge in New York stemming from 2000. He was extradited to Westchester County jail to serve out his 3 month sentence.

Upon his release in October 2005, Anderson left New York for good. He got his GED, enrolled into college and decided to get a regular job and live a regular life. That lasted about 3.8 seconds. He reconnected with Josh Turner and was invited to attend studio sessions with the group, EVOLUTION. They asked Anderson to join the group permanently, and he became the last member of the group at that time. They released their debut group effort, “About That Time,” in 2006 to become a local phenomenon, outselling the competition, past or present. The group produced several acts and projects, including the launch of Suayphil Entertainment, which also introduced Luke Jones as a solo act. The group produced two music theater stage productions and started a television series that spun off the album, which would begin Anderson’s media career, before the group decided to call it quits in winter of 2007

The Public Figure

While attending a small college in Columbia, TN, Anderson and EVOLUTION scored an opportunity to produce a weekly television show adequately named, “About That Time.” Originally designed to be a vehicle to promote the group, it was left without content once the group disbanded. Rather than see the air time slip away, Anderson hired a new team of guys and totally shifted the focus “About That Time” from band news to local entertainment news, politics, high end real estate and community service. Anderson had the fortunes of interviewing numerous local, national and international celebrities and political figures, making his mark as Suay Lo and creating a brand in Suayphil. Anderson co-organized a stay in school initiative, encouraging young people to get an education through the power of entertainment. Part of this project launched his second television series entitled, “Making the Grade.” These two broadcasts, along with all his civic work earned him five awards in 2007. He organized the year’s city council debate and aired it on live television, in which he was also the executive producer. Anderson also spent countless hours volunteering at the local senior citizens center, and found the resources to release his first album under the Suayphil umbrella, producing a full length LP for the artist Jordan “Dolla” Bills titled, “Dat Heat.” During this time, Anderson produced two county-funded documentaries, before leaving both shows January 2008.

In February 2008, Anderson was given the opportunity to try his hand as a radio show host. He became the substitute host for a weekly talk show, which spiraled into his very own daily morning variety show, which he executive produced. He went back to his old formula of interviews, and breaking songs for upcoming artists. The radio broadcasts were just as successful as the television broadcasts. He also, during this time, released his second Suayphil music effort and third solo album, “Phillip the Great.” He also co-founded the TN Hip Hop Coalition, an organization committed to community service work from Rap artists, producers and other movers and shakers in the local Hip Hop community. Anderson went on to produce two more radio programs after that, before departing from his radio duties in December 2010 to focus on a custody battle, but not before releasing another album for the artist, Jennifer “Chyna Doll” Kinzer entitled, “The Fresh Princess of Columbia.”

Family Life

Suay Lo is not only an entertainer, but he is also a family man. Although never married, he does have four children, Suay 15, Phillip Jr. 13, Hope 10 and Faith 4. They reside with him in Columbia, TN. He loves his duties as a full time father, and firmly believes in the old saying, “family first.” He hopes to have his children follow in his footsteps, but he does not try to force any of them in The Business. Spending time with his children is his favorite pastime. He enjoys volunteering his time to charitable organizations, because he feels giving back is the ultimate way to get ahead.

He is an entertainer, entrepreneur, humanitarian, and father. No matter what words you use to describe him, there is still only one SUAY LO. Some people describe him as legendary. Many heads from his city had visions of taking the game of Hip Hop to different levels. Suay was the one showed them all things were possible. He is influential, as well as inspirational in his community. He is never afraid to fight for his beliefs, even if it brings him trouble and/or harm. There’s still a lot of fight in Diggz, and the hits will keep coming while he’s at it.

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