STERLING, Va. (WDVM) — Indie artist Anees is no stranger to Instagram live. Much of his feed includes video shot from inside his car, which has become his studio.
“I’ve been in studio rooms that don’t sound as good as the car and I think part of it has to do with the way that the car’s built and part of it is just magic,” Anees said.
“I delivered pizzas for 10 years here. I commuted to and from school here. So I’ve clocked months of my life freestyling in this car,” he said.
Before he starts performing, he’ll chat for a bit. He invites his followers to send words for him to incorporate into a freestyle. “For me, just tapping in, it’s become extremely comfortable.”
He’s so comfortable that when singer-songwriter Justin Bieber requested to join Anees’ livestream last week, he didn’t miss a beat. He was in the middle of singing his new song, “Slip,” that he wrote (in his car) about his wife. Bieber danced to the rest of the song and asked him to perform it again for the thousands of people who had tuned in by then.
Anees said all of his time on Instagram live prepared him for that moment.
“Bro, what?” Bieber said after the second rendition. “Oh my God, you’re so talented, bro. Oh my God.”
“Maybe previously an artist of my standing would have to move out to L.A. or move out to New York just to be near a room with one of these artists,” Anees said on Thursday, “but instead I can be in the same car I delivered pizza in, you know, half a mile from my house, hanging out with the biggest artists in the world.”
“When you have someone you love this deeply, though, writing these lyrics comes natural and I feel like that’s what I see in your music, bro,” Anees told Bieber. “I know you’re a man of faith, as am I, and the way I see it the way it — the way I was always taught is it’s like a triangle. You go with your partner closer to God together.”
“People keep asking me, ‘How did you meet him? How did he find you?’ I don’t know,” Anees said. “And you know what? A lot of people say, ‘Wouldn’t you want to find out? Wouldn’t you want to know?’ And the answer’s no because for me, I think some things are better left to God. Better left unknown.”
Anees is about to drop two new singles: “Love is Crazy” and “Drunk on Myself,” songs about loving others and loving yourself.