As the sun beats down brutally, and as your television screen strengthens its grip on you, take a break from the seventh season of the IPL. Enjoy these seven songs from our seven sister states instead. Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura — these north-eastern states are where you will find more passion, talent, and creative hunger than anywhere else in this country. While there may be no real measure to substantiate that statement, the videos that follow will speak for themselves. Also, it is not an exaggeration when it's said that the aforementioned states collectively provide the most fertile breeding ground that there is for art and culture here on Indian terrain. Watch the videos. When you are done, imagine for a moment how enriching it would be if the others who are equally gifted are discovered. Well, take comfort knowing that with the internet, it is only a matter of time.
Afflatus is an all girl band from Shillong, Meghalaya. Their music has the U2 kind of simplicity that is hard not to like. There is no trace of self-indulgence on the part of any of the four members of the band. They let their music take its natural course without trying to accommodate a guitar hero here, a flashy drummer there, or a flamboyant singer somewhere. This video should be testimony enough. Coincidentally, that is the title of the song too.
2. ZOHMING THANGA
Zohming Thanga is a guitar player from Aizawl, Mizoram. If you close your eyes, you might be misled into believing that you are listening to Eric Johnson. That sweet fat tone maintains itself beautifully all through this instrumental, whether he is playing clean or using Overdrive. There are quite a few tricky phrases that Zohming is playing. Do not let the dulcet signature tune trick you into believing it is simple. It is not. Also, do not let his modest smile deceive you. Anyone who plays like that is a monster. [2Blue smiles]
Boomarang is once again from Aizawl, Mizoram. They are notorious for their infectiously catchy guitar riffs, energetic vocals, and politically-charged lyrics. This song, however, will put you in touch with their deeper, more emotional side. It is about a place they call ‘home’. If you miss their Tom Morello-esque guitar work towards the beginning, all you have to do is wait for the bridge.
4. ALOBO NAGA
Alobo Naga is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Dimapur, Nagaland. His voice, his guitar, and his musical persona... everything screams INTERNATIONAL STAR. This song is about the ‘Laughter & Tears’ he has shared with his special one, and still plans to. The video has a touch of John Mayor’s ‘Your Body Is A Wonderland’ vibe to it. Yet, it is original and refreshing in its own way. As for the girl in the video, if she's not Alobo’s love in real life, she should be. She clearly brings out the best in him. [2Blue smiles again]
5. JIM ANKAN DEKA (FEAT. RITWIKA BHATTACHARYA)
Jim Ankan Deka is a multi-faceted creative individual from Guwahati, Assam. Musician, film maker, and photographer... these are just a few of the ways you can attempt to describe him. Here, he teams up with singer Ritwika Bhattacharya to pay his homage to the late Sufi legend, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. You should be a fan if you are not one already.
You do not really need me to introduce you to Soulmate, do you? Featuring the inimitable Tipriti Kharbangar on vocals and Rudy Wallang on the guitar, they are unarguably India’s most sought after blues band today. While originally from Shillong, Meghalaya, they can be found more often in Mumbai, thanks to their gig schedule. Watch this video and you’ll know why.
7. PAPON (FEAT. SUGANDHA GARG)
Once again, you do not need me to introduce you to Papon. The Guwahati-born singer has been making waves with his ‘Assamese folk meets western rock’ kind of music for a while now. If you have been following the independent music scene, you may know his band East India Company. Here in this song, Papon collaborates with the immensely gifted Sugandha Garg. You may have watched this video on TV. But it sure is worth watching a few more times.
Image Credit: manoramaonline.com, post.jagran.com, nh7.in
Article By: 2Blue (aka Tirthankar Poddar) forayed into the Mumbai rock circuit in 2000. Having gained notoriety for his powerful high-pitched singing and on-stage charisma, he was soon invited to sing for Vayu. After 5 years in Vayu and countless monumental shows, 2Blue formed the hard rock band Zedde (pronounced z?d). Always a man for his heroes, the self-taught singer attributes his vocal prowess to his childhood heroes: David Coverdale, Joe Lynn Turner, Ian Gillan, Ronnie James Dio, and Bruce Dickinson. For him, if a thing was good once, it always is.