Anson Li is located in Forest Hills, New York where he is currently enrolled in college. He just released his first EP “Go My Way”, which you can buy on iTunes (http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/go-my-way-ep/id515968939). You can follow Anson on Twitter (@AnsonOfficial) or “like” his page on Facebook. For more information on him you can go to http://AnsonOfficial.com.
You cover a lot of songs, which song is your favorite that you’ve covered?
“That’s a hard question. I would have to probably say the Paradise Fears one or the We The Kings one. I love We The Kings a lot, but in terms of performance I think I sang the best on the Paradise Fears one. No, wait. Sorry I lied. It could also be the Allstar Weekend one.”
What is your favorite genre of music to listen to?
“I would say that I like literally everything including but not limited to jazz, screamo, classical, rock, classic rock, pop, and pop rock. I guess my favorite genre is probably pop rock because I sing it, and I grew up with bands like Yellowcard and Hawthorne Heights and other bands in that genre. They have been some of my biggest influences so I may lean more towards pop-rock.”
You recently released your first EP, “Go My Way”, can you tell us a little bit about the writing and recording process for that?
“The songwriting process took about three months to do. The only song I had before I even thought to myself, “Oh, I wanna record an EP,” was ‘Can’t Stop’. After that, I realized that I needed to record an EP to get myself out there. I wasn”t that big at all, well, I’m still not that big, but I wasn’t known at all through any source. I realized that I needed to get on it because I want to do this as my living and make my dream come true. I also got dropped from a management company before I could release anything so I self-invested some money for the EP that I recorded in New York City, at Killingsworth Studios. I recorded there for about a month with a producer named Anthony Santo who is really awesome and we got a lot of things done. So basically, before I even got to the studio I had everything written and I knew what I wanted to do so I got in there and just did it.”
What made you want to become a musician?
“Well, when I was five I started playing the guitar. The whole reason I wanted to learn was because I saw a guy in a commercial playing guitar and I was like, “Daddy! Daddy! I want to play that!” and he was like, ‘Ok!’ and then the next week I got a guitar and it’s never left me. It’s been like my third arm. I think I knew that I wanted to make a career out of this when I was ten because it took me like five years to get relatively ok at guitar. In the first five years, I’ll admit something: I was pretty bad. But I started writing songs when I was in fourth grade and it just hit me that this was what I wanted to do.“
Do you have any upcoming shows or concerts?
“Actually I have a lot. For starters I’m doing an entire living room tour! I’m starting the tour from New York City and then I’m going to travel to my fans’ houses and do private performances for them. I’m excited about it because I don’t have a big enough fan base to get on an actual tour, and I can’t afford it, but this way I get to meet all these fans I’ve made over the internet across the United States and actually do shows for them and connect with them that way. And in addition to the living room tour I’m doing some shows in upstate New York and some in New York City. And one in Canada!”
Do you always want to be a solo artist or do you hope to create a band someday?
“I decided about a year ago that I wanted to do solo and I will definitely remain solo because I was actually in a couple of bands as a kid. Me and my old drummer, Russel, were in bands together for seven years and we basically got tired of working with people who weren’t serious about it. Our last band was called Atlantic Meets Pacific and we did that for about a year. It was kind of like this burst of the music that I do now. Once Russel left I knew that I couldn’t hold a name any more and I just wanted to do my own music. I just realized that I’m not going to let anyone stop me from reaching my dream and the only person that can stop me is myself, so why have other people when you could just do it yourself? Plus you’re always going to trust yourself.”
What would you say your greatest accomplishment is so far?
“That’s hard. Let me just say that it’s amazing what the internet can do. Before I got to this point, about a year ago I was constantly told that I sucked and I couldn’t sing and that my songs sucked. High school and middle school were not good times for me. So I’m so glad and in awe of all the people that are reaching out and telling me about how my music has changed their lives or that they love my songs or my lyrics. Honestly that means a lot to me. It’s given me more confidence in myself and more restlessness to continue to pursue my dream.”
If you could play with anyone who would it be?
“I would say probably right now, Yellowcard is at the top of my list. But there’s also All Time Low, We Are The In Crowd, Mayday Parade, Taylor Swift, you just can’t go wrong with Taylor Swift. Let’s see, Secondhand Serenade, Bruno Mars maybe, Allstar Weekend. There’s just so many.”
Do you participate in your music program at school?
“Well, I’m currently in college, but I went to one of the top performing arts high schools in America. I believe it’s actually the number one public arts school. Al Pacino went there, Alec Baldwin, Omar Epps who plays the doctor in House, and Nicki Minaj went there too. It was really cool and I was definitely really involved in everything.”