Anoop Desai became American Idol‘s first lucky No. 13 when he was added to the season 8 lineup as an unprecedented 13th finalist. And with an undeniable talent and a unique style, Anoop made it to the seventh week of competition. Now the singer, who was raised in Chapel Hill, N.C., is set to release an album May 4 called All Is Fair and is giving PEOPLE.com a first listen:
“It’s a pop record, but definitely influenced by a Bollywood feel,” Anoop, 23, says of the first single, “My Name,” which is available Tuesday on iTunes.
“‘My Name’ has a double meaning. On one hand, it’s a response to kids that used to make fun of my name when I was little. I wanted my first contribution to be something that said, ‘Hey, my name is now cool, not something to be ashamed of,'” Anoop says. “It’s also about false bravado. Each song on the All is Fair album describes a mindset or a time in my life. ‘My Name’ is about going to a club and trying to act like a big deal. Really, that mentality stems from some lack of confidence, but I think we’ve all done it at some point.”
Anoop co-wrote the song with another former Idol contestant Brandon Rogers (season 6) and recorded it in Raleigh, N.C., with producer Ian Schrier.
“I’ve worked with Ian for almost seven years,” Anoop says, “all the way back to my first days in the UNC Clef Hangers, my former a cappella group.”
Tell us: What do you think of Anoop’s new song?Quantrell Colbert/Bravo