Him Self Her - Anakim

Anakim is one of the most exciting faces to hit dance music in recent memory. Having released on some of the electronic music’s most beloved labels such as mau5trap and EIN2, the Los Angeles talent has built a reputation that most electronic producers can only dream of. Using the methods that he learned at Icon Collective Music Production School, Anakim continues to push the boundaries of dance music by polishing his self described “intergalactic underground” sound.

The Los Angeles based producer kicked off 2020 at full speed. In the first month of the year, not only has Anakim been recognized by one of the worlds largest media brands (Billboard Dance ‘Top Emerging Artist’), but he has also released a massive EP on Desert Hearts Black. The ‘Poseidon’s Revenge’ is the perfect collection of tracks that showcase Anakim’s ability to produce perfectly engineered dance music. Anakim’s grand entrance to the new decade has us all excited for what’s in store for his future.

> Hi Anakim, thanks for joining us today. Let’s start with the basics—tell us more about your path from having your mind blown at EDC to becoming the underground, melodic tech artist you are today?

I was introduced to EDC Los Angeles in 2010, like you mentioned, and spent the next five years chasing that feeling one can only understand when they’ve been bitten by the music I literally went to every show and rave I could attend. 

2015 is when I attended my first Desert Hearts festival, while I was still in music school, and that’s where I figured out my sonic identity. Since then I’ve literally dedicated my time and efforts into pushing this sound that truly speaks to me at my core.

> In your own words, how would you describe the “Anakim sound”? Do you feel you’ve finally homed in on an aesthetic that is completely your own?

“Intergalactic underground sounds” is what I’ve always described my music as. It’s melodically rich and delightfully sinister, while still being dancefloor destroying and sexy. 

> Which producers inspire you most at the moment, and why? 

Stan Kolev is probably my biggest inspiration. I don’t know him personally, but his music has this almost spiritual quality to it that you can feel. I don’t think there has been a time I haven’t played a track of his in my sets. They really get a fantastic reaction from the crowd and fit so well with what I produce as an artist.

> What’s the riskiest move you’ve made so far in your career? Did it pay off? Or did you learn a valuable lesson if it didn’t?

A few years ago my first manager decided to leave music altogether just as we were starting out. Living in Los Angeles, I had no idea where to begin or who to reach out to because I was so new to the scene and fresh out of music school. My manager briefly introduced me to a guy named Chris via email. He was working as an assistant at a big agency at the time. I decided to reach out to him and see if he had any advice and it just so happened he recently left that big agency because he wanted to take a shot at artist management. We’ve been together ever since and he’s legitimately one of my best friends in LA and the best manager I could ask for.

> On a similar note, what is the biggest challenge you’ve overcome thus far as a budding musician? 

Los Angeles has so much to offer artists, but there are so many pitfalls to get caught up in. I’d say the biggest challenge I overcame was separating work from play. Working, DJing, partying, it can all blend together so quickly when you’re an artist in the industry so you have to create solid boundaries for yourself in order to set yourself up for success when opportunities strike.

> As you’re an Icon grad, we imagine your studio setup is looking quite nice. Tell us what you got in there—what gear are you currently working with? Top software/plugins?

I’m actually in the process of building out a proper studio. For now this is what I’ve been relying on since I launched my Anakim project.

My go-to softsynths are Sylenth1 by Lennar Digital; Diva and Repro by u-he; and Omnisphere 2 by Spectrasonics. I pair those softsynths with my Ableton Push 2. It’s my prefered midi controller. My studio is really small at the moment, so the only piece of analog gear I have is a Novation Bass Station II. Rounding out my favorite plugins is the entire Slate Digital catalog, which I have a subscription to their all-access pass.

You really don’t need much to make good music.

> Your artist name has a biblical reference in it, and have talked in the past about spiritual awakening and meditation. Seems you’re deeply involved in this aspect of yourself, so tell us—how did you find your way into spirituality, and what does it mean to you? When was your first instance of “awakening” and what do you do these days to tap into that? 

I believe that the world and the universe around us, all animals and plants, and human beings – there is this greater connection between everything that we don’t fully understand yet or that we have lost the understanding to. It was upon reading the Ancient Hindu text called the Bhagavad Gita (Eknath Easwaran translation) that really opened my eyes up to interconnectedness between all living things and the cosmos.

I’ve done meditation retreats in the past, ayahuasca ceremonies with shamans, etc. Those are all stories for another interview, but these days I just rely on meditation to help tap into a state of flow and my creative side, as well as to help staying grounded.

> Your latest EP has a religious (or should we say, mythical) reference in it too—Poseidon. Can you dive into the concept of it and what inspired the tracks? 

Honestly, when I was making Poseidon’s Revenge I came across these crazy, sort of aquatic-type chirps when I was sound designing. The drums and bass of the track were very sinister and rooted in techno. The first thing I thought of when listening to the track was the god Poseidon and a reign of fury. That’s how the concept of Poseidon’s Revenge was born. From there The High Priestess and Alien In The Stargate came to be a few weeks later. I’ll leave the interpretation of those tracks to the readers, but they absolutely have to do with the larger story of Poseidon’s Revenge.

> Why choose Desert Hearts Black as a place to sign it?

Marbs and Evan Casey are wonderful people who I’ve always had great respect for. I’ve run into them a bunch at Desert Hearts events in the past and we all share a love for the same style of music. When Marb’s agent, who I’m friends with, told me they were creating the Black label, it was a no-brainer for me that this newly finished EP of mine belonged with them. 

> Going off of that, does spirituality ultimately play a large role in your musical vision? Are you a believer in the idea of “technoshamanism” and the ability of music to help bring others to a higher plane? 

Absolutely, yes. When I tell people I make music to be the soundtrack for interstellar travel, I do mean that. But what I also mean is that deep space, what is “out there”, is also a metaphor for the deep inner space that resides within you. That’s the actual “space travel” I create mini-soundtracks to, and that travel can only be done through meditation.

> If you weren’t doing music now, what would you be doing instead?

I’d probably still be acting, pursuing roles on TV shows and movies.

> You can pick up a copy of Anakim’s new release on Metro Dance Records from …HERE…