Based out of Pune in India, Aseem is a singer, composer, studio engineer and live sound engineer. With his dynamic voice and sound arrangements, he’s been changing the Indian Pop sound by bringing in his influences from western artists such as Mac Miller, FINNEAS and Thundercat.
Anara Publishing caught up with Aseem to ask him about his music making process, career to date, and the importance of publishing.
Tell us about your journey within music. How did it all begin?
Music started at a young age for me as I’ve come from a family of singers, actors, painters and all-round creatives. My parents played a lot of Indian classical music to me, and I’ve been exposed to different genres of music for as long as I can remember. I think that in my head, I always knew that music would stick with me regardless of what happens in life, my aura completely changes when someone mentions singing or music. When I finished 12th grade, I had to choose between academic or arts studies, thankfully my family love both arts and science, so they’re really supportive. My uncle owned a recording studio too, which inspired me to undertake a UK course in Studio Sound Engineering. Since then, I’ve taken further courses in post-production and live sound engineering, and now I work freelance (as well as completing my own independent music).
Who influences you in music and why?
You can draw inspiration from anything in life, so it’s the way that you look at it that really matters. I love the mini soundscapes, the way that certain instruments get treated in the mix, there’s so many interesting things that I hear on different records by other artists. There’s not one name in particular that I’m influenced by, it’s many. It’s great when listeners tell me who they think my music sounds like though, I’m always open to that.
We checked out your #SpotifyWrapped stats from the end of 2021, it’s amazing that you had over 180K listeners from 120 Countries. Congrats! How does it feel to know that your music is reaching places all over the world?
It’s such an interesting thing to look at, it proves that the listener doesn’t need to understand what you’re lyrically singing word for word to feel the intention and emotion of the song. Language is never a barrier, and it’s a blessing that my music has reached so many countries. I’m happy there’s been growth in terms of listeners, but for me the #SpotifyWrapped stats are like my personal report card that I can evaluate and learn from. I just need to keep going and focus on the process. It’s important to not give up.
Do you have any touring plans for this year, and does your online stats influence the countries and locations where you choose to perform?
If things get better (in terms of the Covid-19 pandemic), definitely! I’ve been thinking about touring for a while now, and there’s no better feeling than performing live. I feel like I have so much more to express than what’s on my records, it’d be great to play my upcoming album live too. But that’s all I’m saying on that subject for now! There’s honestly no bigger joy than performing live, and I hope I can do some gigs in the UK. My fingers are crossed!
You’ve had great success on Apple Editorial Playlists, how does this impact on your career and visibility to new fans?
It’s also a blessing, Digital Streaming Platforms are giving focus and spotlight to artists that they think are doing well and that’s such a good thing. It’s great to see so many platforms helping independent musicians in the commercial market. Sometimes you find your music on playlists in between Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga which is an incredible feeling, that’s a thing that motivates me! I recognise that it’s not just good for me, it’s good for the entire independent music scene. I’m happy to see others do well, I want people around me to succeed and chase their dreams.
What should we expect from you over the next year? Any releases/plans/tours?
There’s a lot happening in this coming year, I’ve been working on collaborations, new music, and I have my Bollywood debut at the end of March which I’m excited about! That has opened a lot of doors for me. Whatever I do, I make sure that I do it properly and leave no page unturned. I’m never going to leave my listeners wondering what’s coming next, there will be plenty coming their way in the next few months. I hope the years ahead are great for every person.
Who would be your dream person to collaborate with on a track?
I’m going to say this once so I can put it out in the universe and hopefully manifest it. My dream since I was younger has always been to sing with A.R. Rahman. His music affects my head space with the dynamic changes, meaningful lyrics and overall beautiful sounding work. I will keep on working hard, so hopefully he will hear something that I’ve made one day! In the meantime, I’m going to keep expressing myself through music and focus on that.
Why did you look for a publisher, and why did you choose Anara Publishing?
I already knew about sync and publishing at an in-depth level. At first, it admittedly felt too complicated – almost like rocket science, but since my first chat with Debs at Anara Publishing, she has given me so much insight and support. I chose Anara as my publisher because they believe in me and trust in my work, they understand that making music is a complicated process and they want to help in any way that they can. The way that Anara has been giving me insights about publishing and how to make the most of my work has really helped my career. Publishing is a key tool for independent artists!
Lastly, what is your advice for up-and-coming songwriters and composers?
Wow – I never thought I’d be in this position to give advice to people! I’d say that you should be honest with your musical expression and don’t hold yourself back from saying what you think is right. Also, maintain your focus, trust, drive, determination and honesty!