Jun 16, 2022
4 min read
Anish Sood is Anyasa, an electronic dance music producer with over a decade of experience composing original electronic dance records and DJing in clubs and festival stages worldwide. Known for his signature techno-house sound infused with some of the most cinematic soundscapes and esteemed voices from India, the Anyasa project is already making waves internationally.
The first Indian artist signed to Above & Beyond’s Anjunadeep label, Anish originally began his career at 18 in 2008. The young producer worked his way up the live events sphere, producing and performing his unique takes on the techno and electronic dance music he heard while traveling abroad. Before adopting the Anyasa moniker, Anish was a touring EDM DJ-producer who, in the early 2010s, performed at festival favorites such as Electric Daisy Carnival and Tomorrowland. In those days, his sound reflected what prevailed, mainly western takes on contemporary big room and progressive house music. Over the lockdown period of a global pandemic, the artist reflected on his sound and the direction he wanted to take it once live events returned.
“After going from 120 to around 60 shows a year to then zero, I was faced with an excess amount of time. With no clear horizon as to when things might resume and with everything feeling very uncertain, I waited,” he said. “The first few months we treated it like a holiday, making cocktails, doing intense grocery runs and performing via live streams. Then, I began to reflect.”
Ultimately, according to the Anjunadeep producer, he decided on reinventing himself entirely—honing in on the voices he enjoyed listening to, voices that transcended mediums and language barriers.
“Indian movies have a lot of song and dance, and so, they have very strong soundtracks. These soundtracks are the pop sound of India—the true, real, commercial pop sound of what the masses, what everybody, listens to on the radio and on TV… It’s always Bollywood original soundtracks. So, a lot of clubs also play Bollywood music in remixes or bootlegs. Throughout my career, because EDM and house music was so new then, I was constantly having to subvert venues when they’d come up to me during my sets like, ‘ok, you’ve had a great night, but close out with a few Bollywood tracks.’ I wouldn’t play any because I detested it—it was a sound I didn’t believe in. I wanted to transcend the Bollywood bootlegs and play what they were listening to in London and New York,” shared Anyasa.
He finally realized this endeavor under his new pseudonym Anyasa, after many years of live sets and Bollywood requests, via his debut Anjunadeep EP, “Gaya.” The title’s name derives from Gaia, the Greek goddess of Mother Earth, and as such, Anyasa pays homage to divine, feminine energy with the project.
For his first record via the esteemed imprint, he enlisted vocals from four Indian singer-lyricists whom he had discovered on Spotify and Instagram after hearing their work and resonating with it. Isheeta Chakravarty, Bawari Basanti, Avneet Khurmi, and Amira Gill give the deep-house and techno record he’s always wanted to make a cinematic feel—their voices are melodic and combined with Anyasa’s mesmerizing electronic dance soundscapes, many of the tracks also exude a meditative quality. Overall, the EP demonstrates the artist’s versatile range and detailed production prowess.
His sophomore effort on Anjuna is “Athena.” A harmonic, introspective work infused with another plethora of unique Indian vocalists and several enchanting takes on the modern house and techno sound. In the EP, Anyasa seamlessly integrates and distorts vocal samples from the various songstresses he’s enlisted for this body of work. For those that enjoy more nuanced, ambient takes on deep-house and techno, the Goan producer has included several extended mixes.
Anyasa is currently touring around India, playing the music he’s always wanted to play. Many of his live performances begin with melodic, syrupy-house cuts, which build up into euphoric, big room techno and house music that energizes and commands an unwavering focus from audiences.