Trailblazing Houston performer earns Texas-sized spotlight in new Pepsi series

Trailblazing Houston performer earns Texas-sized spotlight from Pepsi

Fat Tony Houston
Houston's Fat Tony is one of four Texans featured in the Pepsi campaign. Photo by Maxwell Gay

Sure, “Old Town Road” is all the rage, but Houston’s own Fat Tony (Anthony Lawson Obi) has been working that sound for a while.

The man behind Houston-centric releases such as RABDARGAB (a tribute to an HISD reading program) and MacGregor Park blends classic ’90s country, R&B, and rap to create a sound that has been described as a “one-man genre.” (His TikTok mixing Brooks & Dunn and Too $hort has gone viral.)

Now mega brand Pepsi is taking notice of the phat and Fat musician as part of its The Taste of Your Texas road-trip campaign and mini documentary series. The tour, which highlights trailblazing Texans, stops by all major cities and centers on four stars. In Houston, Fat Tony releases an exclusive video (watch it here) for “Gambling Man (Mariachi Remix),” accompanied by a 12-piece mariachi ensemble.

Meanwhile, Fat Tony will give an intimate tour of his Third Ward childhood neighborhood, where he recollects in a statement that “never seemed like our dreams were out of reach.”

The Pepsi tour kicks off in Austin with a visit with Eliana Gutierrez of Valentina’s Tex-Mex BBQ, the youngest female pitmaster in the country.

After the stop in Austin, Pepsi’s Texas road trip moves on to Houston and Fat Tony, then on to the San Antonio area, where another rising female star is roping in lots of interest. There, Pepsi will spotlight 21-year-old Jordan Maldonado, a roper, cattle breeder and Miss Rodeo Texas 2019 who is redefining what it means to be a beauty queen. Inspired by the barrel-horse-wrangling, tiara-topped Maldonado, Pepsi will contribute a $20,000 scholarship during the next five years to the Miss Rodeo Texas Association in an effort to help elevate the next generation of young rodeo women.

Finally, the Pepsi Texas road trip will trek up to Dallas to feature Michoacán, Mexico-born artist Mariell Guzman, whose technicolor murals and focus on her heritage and cultural themes have helped her shine in the male-dominated mural scene.

“With thousands of PepsiCo employees based all over Texas, we have a deep understanding and appreciation of the Lone Star State’s unmistakable spirit because it’s an integral part of our everyday culture,” says Julie Raheja-Perera, vice president of marketing for PepsiCo Beverages North America, central division. “Today, we’re thrilled to shine a light on four extraordinary Texans as they share their unbridled pride through their distinctive self-expression — and encourage all Texans to join in and tell their own unique stories.”

As part of the campaign, Pepsi is encouraging all Texans to share their own favorite tastes of Texas on social media by highlighting a revered family recipe or hidden local gem and the using the hashtag #TasteOfMyTexas.