Some of the best songs ever made included an anthem-like line that summoned you to shout it out with reckless abandon. Nashville songwriter asadsangabi knows all about this, and boy does he deliver.
As an undergraduate at Belmont University in the heart of Nashville, asadsangabi saw his music career begin to take flight when he formed his band Oddnote back in 2017. If you thought rock music lost its potential in the midst of this generation, Oddnote proved otherwise, with their infectious edge that gives the listener a fresh indie/punk-rock sound rivaling that of Nirvana and The Black Keys.
Every album and EP they’ve released has had a different set of musicians, resulting in a slightly different sound for each project. Right now, Oddnote’s band members include Brandon Britton (guitar), William Cheatham (guitar), Matthew Crutcher (drums), and Keason Henry (bass). But regardless of who the musicians are (although it seems like these guys could be here to stay), Oddnote has always made a fierce impression with their expertly crafted guitar riffs, pulsating drums, a bumping bass, and committed vocals. And no matter what, asadsangabi always had something to say.
This remains true now more than ever in asadsangabi’s solo work, and as of this publication, he has released his debut single, “Mental Vacation.” Unlike Oddnote’s 70s to 90s inspired sound that fixates on political introspection (check out their newest single “Unknown” for reference), “Mental Vacation” offers an uplifting message reminiscent of the early ‘00s, comparable to Outkast’s “Hey Ya” and Sum 41’s “In Too Deep.” The song quite literally gives the listener a ‘mental vacation’, through the use of an addictive line that croons, “I said it’s okay to be what you want to be,” that sticks with you long after the song has ended. And I don’t know about you, but I think the majority of us could use that reminder every now and then, especially when it’s intertwined with a solid bass line and a foot-tapping beat. Diving further into a personal and intimate atmosphere, we’re excited to discover what else asadsangabi has to say in this new endeavor of his.
We got the chance to find out more about what he’s been up to, solo career and Oddnote alike, gaining an inside-look into what makes asadsangabi the artist he is now.
You seem to be quite the writer. Can you describe your songwriting process?
My songwriting process consists of living my life and experiencing as much as possible. That’s about as much of a process as I have, to be honest.
Who are some of your primary influences within your music?
A lot of my deep influences (ex: Nirvana, Sonic Youth, The Strokes) come from the 90s and early 2000s, however, I listen to all types of music from nearly every era in popular music. I also grew up around a lot of Persian music because of my family… I’d say that influence gave me the majority of my ideas for melodic structures and timing.
Earlier this month, you performed with your band Oddnote at the virtual Live On The Green Festival. What has it been like adjusting to the new norm of “live” shows?
Honestly, relieving and stressful both at the same time. While I’m relieved that I can take time to really focus on my art and mental health, not being able to see or play LIVE music is stressful.
Even though it’s been awhile, how would you describe yourself as a performer? In other words, what is your primary goal when it comes to connecting to an audience?
I try to speak directly to the listener whenever I write or perform a song. I like to think of my performances (whether recorded or live) as a conversation I get to have with whoever is paying attention, cause that’s when the most intimate moments can be made with people.
It’s not been long since Oddnote released their newest single. How are you navigating working with a band whilst working on your own music?
I have no navigation, I’m honestly just going with the flow. This is the first time I’m releasing music on my own, and what’s even crazier is that I’m releasing this music under a last name that I’ve been insecure about since I was a little kid. My navigation is just following the path that leads me to self-growth and creative versatility.
Do you find that this year (in all its pandemic glory) has helped you creatively? Or has it been somewhat of a challenge?
The 2020 pandemic made me accept who I am in every single type of way, and the amount of creative inspiration that comes from that type of experience is priceless.
Okay now let’s talk about your single. What does “Mental Vacation” mean to you?
It’s a getaway from routine for me.
How do you hope listeners will respond to your new solo sound?
I hope listeners will feel the same way I felt when I wrote the song: stress-free!
What can your fans expect from both Oddnote’s upcoming album and your solo music?
Nothing. Don’t have expectations, just listen to the music and enjoy whatever comes out!
It seems like you may be embarking on a new and exciting era. What do you hope to achieve during this period of your career?
I am going to create a new wave.