You may recognize Anoop Desai from your living room, as he made it to an impressive six place finish on American Idol. The Pop/R&B singer continues to banish racial boundaries through his music while serving as a role model and storyteller. Read on to learn about Anoop’s new series of releases titled Zero, The Trilogy, as well as his focus on connecting with his fans.
Without using the words “alternative,” “pop,” “rock,” or “hip-hop,” describe your sound.
I believe music should be evocative. It should take you to another time and place. Whether it’s an upbeat summer jam like “OoWee” or a introspective pseudo-ballad like “Want Your Love,” my goal is to make music that tells a story–music that matters. Hooks are a big emphasis to me when I’m writing, and I also want to create music that everyone can sing along to. I was influenced by a lot of different types of music growing up–Classical Hindi, Oasis, Boyz II Men, Skynyrd, U2…you name it! All of these artists and genres bring together unbelievable melodies and captivating stories.
Congrats on making it so far on American Idol! How have you continued to keep the hype and support since leaving the show?
I rely on my fans and supporters so much to be the driving force behind my music. I’m so lucky to have them, and taking over the radio dial is just the next step for us. Hype and support are two very different things. Genuine support is something you can only achieve with a great product. That’s my job day in and day out, to produce for my fans.
What inspired Zero The Trilogy?
What I said before about music being evocative–to me, Zero is a cyclical place. It’s one that can relate the crux of someone’s experiences. I was thinking about the idea that you can’t have one without zero. Growth and greatness have important origins in nothingness and in desire. I think that this truth holds for most things in life. When we are really able to relate to where we came from, we’re much better suited to handle the future. I also wanted Zero to be about the things you don’t really say out loud but are at the core of our actions.
How are you actively promoting and marketing the EPs before and after each is released?
Since the next chapters of the Zero Trilogy are being released every few months, social media, radio, and club DJs have been instrumental in keeping my fans and followers up to date. I’m a big believer, as I said earlier, that the biggest thing you need to worry about as an artist is producing a great product. My fans and a growing number of new fans are on board with Zero, and spread the word on a daily basis.
How do you engage with your fans?
Twitter (@anoopdoggdesai), Facebook, Ping, Tumblr (anoopdesai.tumblr.com) and in person. I find it really helpful to wax philosophical or make observations online. It helps people know who I am and really get behind why I do what I do. My fans are the integral part of every effort I undertake, so the better they know me, the more fruitful that relationship becomes. I love talking to fans when I run into them too!
I read that all of your releases have been “self-funded.” What are some of the creative ways in which you’ve accomplished this?
Kickstarter has been a great source of support for us. Fans can really be a part of the whole process. Other than that, it’s a fun process of living in and from the music industry–there’s always the business side to everything we do. It’s a matter of making those opportunities matter.
Aside from the release of your EPs, what projects do you have coming up?
A couple theatrical projects are in the works, but mostly, I focus on being a better writer and performer each and every day. Each song is personal for me, and I believe that’s the way music should be. When you have three album length projects coming out in a year, “other projects” is a pretty nonexistent thought.