Anuj Rajkumar is a man on a mission. The founder of The Legends of Music, Anuj is a legend in his own right – a person who channeled his dedication to music that saw his passion project grow into a vibrant online community.
Creativity Undefined spoke with Anuj about finding like-minded music lovers, his earliest music memory, and his advice to anyone starting out on their creative journey.
What inspired you to start The Legends of Music? How has the journey been?
I started The Legends of Music in April of 2018. I was inspired to start this account based on my own struggles of trying to find like-minded people who were into the same music I was.
So I created this account in an effort to try and build a community that would unite music lovers across the UAE, and I’m talking about all forms of music not just Rock.
Over the last three years, the journey has been phenomenal as I went from nothing to 68K followers and have since been followed/reposted by Guns ‘N’ Roses guitarist Slash & Hollywood Actor Jason Momoa.
Looking back, what was your greatest achievement and your greatest challenge? Why?
Looking back my greatest achievement was getting a message from a 75-year-old man in Washington DC, who told me that a lot of my posts on The Beatles reminded him of his teenage years since he had seen them many times in concert and had met them personally once.
That being said, my greatest challenge was learning how to review music in a manner where I’m not pushing my personal opinion onto the reader.
Is there anything that you would’ve done differently or wished had happened differently? What? Why?
Looking back I wish I would have spent more time putting myself out there interacting with my followers as I originally kept myself anonymous and made it about the music. However, more and more people became curious as to who I was and eventually I did a face reveal when I hit 50K followers.
How do you select the songs that are featured?
I spend a lot of time researching and familiarizing myself with the material I’m posting about. So from that research I have a book where I turn that research into subject matter or ideas and I note them down.
Therefore, when I post something, I really am just posting content in relation to what I have researched and that book comprises of over 10K ideas, which has been accumulated over the last 3 years.
How long does it take you to research the facts that are listed? Have you ever had to correct anything?
On an average basis it takes me anywhere between an hour to three hours a day to properly fact-check and research a post. However, there are exceptions to this as some posts have taken longer.
It seems that you focus on British and American artists. Was that a deliberate choice or was it how the account evolved over time?
Yes, that’s correct! I do this because a large portion of the history of music seems to have come from these two countries/regions. However, since then I have evolved the style of content, I have posted by featuring artists from other parts of the world like India, South Africa, Austria etc.
So, while a lot of my content is dominated by British & American artists, I do feature a diverse range from time to time.
Would you consider incorporating more musical stars from other regions, such as the Middle East? Why?
Yes I would definitely consider this as a lot of my followers often ask me to feature upcoming artists from the Middle East, India and, other regions.
Is there anyone that you wouldn’t feature? Who? Why?
I have a strict rule of listening to the music beforehand, and if I like it then that artist would be featured. However, if I don’t like it I won’t post anything about them.
The reason I do this is because I try to look for those artists who are serious about making music and aren’t doing it just for the clout or to get famous.
Do you play any instruments? If yes, which one(s) and why?
I used to play the guitar 6 years ago, but I put it down and committed myself to become a student of music. I completed my university education locally and a lot of the people from the music club weren’t open-minded people and I found them really limiting as musicians.
So I put my instrument down and focused on filling the gaps in my musical education.
What’s your earliest musical memory?
It was the year 2005 and I had just received my first ever mobile phone, which had just 8 MB of internal memory. My older brother offered to send me one song from his mobile via Bluetooth (back in the good old Bluetooth file sharing days haha) and I said “In The End” by Linkin Park.
I don’t know why I said that song or how I heard of it in the first place, but I said it and that is my first ever musical memory.
What shifts have you observed from creatives – indie or otherwise – especially those in the musical field? Will these last beyond the pandemic? Why?
Prior to the pandemic happening, creatives had the biggest opportunity of a lifetime by showcasing their work in person. However, since the pandemic took over, I feel more and more creatives are taking advantage of the benefits that come with video content (i.e. Tik Tok, Reels & IG Story) as it’s the closest thing we have to human interaction right now.
I do feel these trends will last beyond the pandemic as it’s slowly becoming the manner in which creatives present their work to the rest of the world.
What advice would you share with anyone starting out that you wished someone had told you?
The biggest piece of advice I wish I would have gotten when I first started out was to doubt myself less and have faith in my work more. I think doubt kills more dreams than anyone cares to admit and as a creative person, I feel we have a moral responsibility and that’s to share our work with the rest of the world.
This is the biggest piece of advice I would give to anyone starting out right now. I would highly recommend everyone to take that step forward and put their work out there irrespective to what anyone thinks.
How do you balance your personal life and creative pursuits?
It takes discipline to be able to keep up my content schedule consistently the way I have for the last 3 years, which is posting 6 posts a day daily. So the way I find my balance is through meditation and mindfulness.
You know when you’re with people whose company you really cherish, you should be mindful that you’re focused on that and not bring other things from your creative life into it. That’s how I find my balance.
Are you currently working on any project(s)? Can you share some additional information about it/them?
I’m currently working on creating 25 playlists on Spotify, which contain about 9500 songs in each playlist. This project is an extension to my Instagram page where users can freely discover music from their favourite artists and discover new songs from artists that they didn’t know about before.
Should you wish to look these playlists up, search for “The Legends of Music Vol 1” on Spotify or “The Legends of Music Vol 2”. I’m currently in process of updating Vol. 3
What’s a goal that you hope to achieve, personally and professionally, in the next five years?
From a professional standpoint it’s my ambition to accomplish the following, within the next five years:
Hitting the 100K follower mark on Instagram
Releasing a Podcast
Creating a publication on Medium, which will feature more in depth articles about the music I post on my Instagram page.
Writing a book titled “The Legends of Music Vol.1” and it’ll be an anthology on the history of music starting from the 1800’s till now.