Anish Sood is definitely not an unknown name in the world of dance music. Being one of India’s most popular Indian electronic DJs and producers, his successful 12 years career has seen him play at global music festivals such as Electric Daisy Carnival, Tomorrowland Unite, and Sunburn Festival to name a few. Anish’s inclination towards music started at an early age. His dad and uncle are both guitar players and he grew up with a lot of classic jazz and rock around the house. He feels that this atmosphere definitely set the foundation and also built a strong affinity to music very early in his life. His introduction to electronic music which he is known for today was a little later in the early 2000s with progressive trance and classic house.
During the lockdown, Anish decided to go back to his roots and make music as a creative outlet. What started as a one-off project during the lockdown, turned out to be a beautiful tale of new stories and new sounds. The emotional and euphoric soundscapes of progressive trance served as a reference point to the project forward. A new sound definitely needed a new avatar, leading to the birth of ‘Anyasa’. Anish Sood’s transition to ‘Anyasa’ has him bringing his Indian roots to a global stage. With his Gaya EP getting signed on to Anjunadeep, Goan-born Anish Sood became the first Indian artist to be signed to the renowned London-based label. The founders of the label, Above & Beyond named the label after the infamous beach of Goa, Anjuna making this collaboration feel a little like a homecoming.
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Anish dropped Rasiya featuring the beautiful vocals of Isheeta Chakrvarty as the debut single from the EP. It has been received very well by not only the followers of the label but my Anish Sood’s ardent fans as well. And I’m sure it’s not only the team here at Goan Insider but the entire world that is eagerly waiting to hear the magic of Anish’s new sound with the release of the other songs from ‘Gaya’ – Nacho ft. Bawari Basanti, Ranjhna ft. Avneet Khurmi and Nadiyan ft. Amira Gill
At Goan Insider, Anish Sood a.k.a Anyasa spoke to us about how he conceptualized the entire Gaya EP and how he made it reach the years of Anjunadeep Records. Read about it below.
What inspired the name Anyasa?
Anyasa translates from Sanskrit as ‘spontaneous and effortless’ and to me that is how this evolution feels.
The idea behind changing my artist name was to wipe the slate clean and create a fresh start. I think the new sound and radically different approach to Gaya really deserved a new identity and with a label like Anjunadeep backing the release, it felt like the right move to make.
The name itself took a while to get right. I had some basic ideas laid out and they were – It had to sound “Indian” and hence Sanskrit was the go-to language. It also needed to sound like an evolution of my name and thus I was looking for words that started with ‘A’ and of course it had to make sense in the larger scheme of things as well. So I basically bought a bunch of Sanskrit dictionaries, started shortlisting words, and eventually lucked out! ‘Anyasa’ translates to spontaneous or effortless and I can’t think of a better way to describe this evolution.
What made you move towards your new sound? How would you describe it?
Emotive, euphoric, and nostalgic! The music is written with the intent of taking listeners on a journey
The idea was for Gaya to be a conceptual EP, something that I planned as a one-off project during the lockdown. However, during the process, I found myself very strongly gravitating to this sound and it almost felt like this transition was meant to happen at this point in time.
Tell us about the story behind the tracks from your Gaya EP.
Gaya was written with the intent of being a conceptual EP. This was right in the middle of the first lockdown when inspiration and motivation were at an all-time low and I was just trying to make music as a creative outlet. There were a lot of small things that came together in hindsight to create Gaya. I looked back at a lot of progressive trance from the early 2000s and that definitely served as a reference point for writing music that was emotive and euphoric. Working with Indian vocals was also a chance discovery but the further I delved into it, I quickly realized that there was something special.
The EP itself is designed to take the listener on a journey through the night. It starts off with ‘Rasiya’ which is a mellow take on vocal deep house. The vocal is really the star of the track and the production was built around it for support. From there on the EP gets progressively darker and the tracks have been arranged very carefully to create big moments on dancefloors. I think what I’m most proud of with the EP is that even once the energy levels pick up significantly towards the end with ‘Ranjhna’ and ‘Nadiyan’, they don’t lose the emotions from the vocals and that really is the essence of the sound I wanted to make with Anyasa.
Who has worked on this project with you and what made you choose them?
I collaborated with four incredible singer/songwriters on this EP – Isheeta Chakrvarty, Bawari Basanti, Avneet Khurmi, and Amira Gill.
For me, it’s all about that first reaction. There has to be something special that instantly draws me to their voice. I think each of the collaborators is very unique in their own way and I’ve also processed each vocal differently to bring out the texture in their voices.
Tell us about “Rasiya,” the lead single of your EP. What made you release this before any of the other tracks from the EP?
I first discovered Isheeta Chakrvaty on a track by Anhad & Tanner which they asked me to remix. I was truly blown away by her voice as well as her ability to write Indian classical melodies with a very fresh and contemporary feel. In many ways reaching out to her was the start of the journey that put me on the path to Gaya and then Anyasa.
We decided to release Rasiya as a single since it’s the most accessible record on the EP. It has a very feel-good vibe about it and is a great way to introduce listeners to the new sound.
How did your EP catch the attention of Anjunadeep records?
I sent the EP to a friend of mine who knew the label manager at Anjunadeep. He really liked it.
You are the only Indian artist to be signed to Anjunadeep. How does this make you feel?
Thank you! It’s a pretty surreal feeling, to be honest. I grew up listening to Above & Beyond and Anjunadeep and some of the oldest CDs in my first DJ case feature their records. Beyond the initial excitement, I’m actually very grateful that they have signed a sound that is quite radically different from the rest of their catalog and that’s always a huge risk for such an established label.
They have an impressive distribution network. I’m also really excited for Anjunadeep’s very loyal following worldwide to listen to the music. I truly believe it’s a unique and authentic sound and I’m looking forward to sharing it.
What advice would you have for budding artists from the music industry?
Two key words – patience and resilience. Like everything in life, time is the key to finding a sound and identity.
It’s also really important to stay focused on your vision. It’s often easy to pick opportunities that come along the way that may not fully align with your vision and there is nothing wrong with seizing those moments because everyone’s journey is different and we all have bills to pay. The important thing however is to come around and find the path again and that’s the only way to effectively breakthrough.
What are your future plans as Anyasa?
First up is a special live stream set that was recorded on a cliff above Anjuna beach. It’s a great homecoming for the label and showcases a beautiful side of my hometown, Goa.
We also have a music video coming up for ‘Rasiya’ very shortly which is a collaboration with my friend Tridha Choudhury. The second EP with Anjunadeep is almost done and should be scheduled for release towards the end of the year.
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