Late bloomer Anju Sreekanth’s musical journey had begun with her taking up singing as a hobby. Her journey to transform into Taceō from Anju Sreekanth has been an interesting and challenging one, especially coming from a nonmusical family. After being enrolled in rigorous IIT coaching classes in New Delhi, Taceō took the road less travelled, and somehow convinced her parents to let her pursue music.
“Mustering the courage to consider a music school while withdrawing from IIT coaching classes that I was enrolled into was the turning point of my life,” says Taceō. Later, she joined Performers Collective School of Music in Delhi, and Global Music School after that.
I fell in love with composing as I got intrigued with music theory, but my disposition as a perfectionist kept me from releasing my own music at that time.
With time, she began replicating the vocals of artists such as Rihanna, Beyoncé, Demi Lovato and Shakira. Eventually, she began playing with music, mixing and moulding it in various ways to create something new and weird. Lately, she’s been engrossed in Afro-beat music, and artists such as Burna Boy, Wizkid, Rema, Joeboy have certainly had a slight influence on the production for her upcoming single, ‘Portal’. “I feel that comparatively, music got to me really late because I’ve seen so many talented artists putting out great music from such a young age,” she adds.
While formally joining music school pushed her boundaries, she was not quite at the point where she could release her own music. “My stint at music schools showed me what it really takes to be a musician. I fell in love with composing as I got intrigued with music theory, but my disposition as a perfectionist kept me from releasing my own music at that time,” says Taceō.
Moving to Mumbai and composing her debut single ‘We’
Her move to Mumbai from Delhi as a producer intern only added to her knowledge and experience. She’d already produced the music for what was later released as her debut single, ‘We’, in 2021. “The music for ‘We’ was produced in 2020, but I’d set it aside since I just couldn’t figure out what was the emotion and meaning behind the music at that time,” she says.
It was only in 2021, with a particular experience, that it all came to her. “I felt something that only this song could make one feel like. Thus came the lyrics, which blended with the composition impeccably. I returned to Mumbai in 2021, after being stuck in Delhi for eight months, and recorded the vocals in my bedroom. The most fun part for me was recording the vocal harmonies and putting everything together for the chorus,” says Taceō.
The artist describes her debut single as a mellow yet euphoric song. The lyrics talk about the ‘too good to be true’ feeling of having found a connection that transfixes your mind and soul in unison, or tears it apart. The dual feeling of calmness and contentment embodies the song.
On her upcoming single ‘Portal’ and debut EP
‘We’ was released only recently, on August 28, and now Taceō is gearing up for the release of her single ‘Portal’, an electronic and Afro-beat fusion, on October 11. The inspiration behind the song was one of Output’s plugin overview videos on YouTube.
“The video inspired me to take up fusion of different genres. I found it completely riveting that its music kicks off with a normal glitchy electronic piece until the drop unexpectedly dips into an Afro-beat groove. The urge to instil this feeling into a song of my own, compelled me to sit on this idea and bring together the pieces I had constructed in my mind. With music having a more prominent role in ‘Portal’ compared to the words, I wanted to bring out my love for Afro-beat music through this track,” explains Taceō.
Moreover, she’s presently working on an EP, which is scheduled for release on October 23. Taceō is reluctant to pigeonhole herself into a particular genre. She believes that her different personas as a singer and producer allow her to shape her musical ideas into reality in different ways. Her diligence in not only listening to, but industriously studying music shines in the way she talks about her influences.
It’s easier to get your name out there as a female producer due to a dearth of female producers in the country. But on the flip side, the struggle for equal recognition is still raging on.
While women have been foraying into fields which were hitherto marked by a predominantly male presence in the field of music, there are certain attitudes and perceptions that still surface time and again. Drawing on her experience, Taceō says, “Being a female artist has its pros and cons, I’d say. For instance, it’s easier to get your name out there as a female producer due to a dearth of female producers in the country. But on the flip side, the struggle for equal recognition is still raging on. I’ve personally dealt with strange looks and raised eyebrows when I’ve mentioned that I’m a music producer as well, since it’s a male bastion.” The stereotype that women can only be vocalists or instrumentalists at most is what needs to change, she believes.
For a woman who had dared to define her own path, Taceō has come a long way. She’s settling in the industry and learning the ropes, one project at a time. The next step would be to have a collaboration with some Indian musicians like OAFF, Kiss Nuka, Kayan and Dropped Out. For now, Taceō is happy creating music that lets her reach out to people, which transports them to another world, if only for a while. “Creating music also helps me communicate and express what goes through my head, since I find it exceptionally hard to be social in general,” she adds.
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