Meet Abeni Odyuo, an upcoming musician with a versatile voice, and one who is a power-packed performer. She has no formal education in music. But she grew up listening to music that she says continues to be a motivation for her. Eastern Mirror caught up with Abeni who shared with us her musical journey.
EASTERN MIRROR: For those new to you and your music, tell us something about you.
Abeni Odyuo: Hi Everyone! I am Abeni Odyuo from Dimapur, currently pursuing my Master’s degree in English. I’ve done some cover songs which you can find them on YouTube and I was the 2013 Zoommax Solo category winner.
Eastern Mirror: What is your musical background? Talk us through your musical journey.
Abeni Odyuo: I grew up listening to Country and Pop Music. Well, I did not take any formal education in music but that doesn’t stop me in making one. Song writing is something that I adore and enjoy the most. I started writing songs when I was in college and I think taking up English Literature has a great impact on my writing skills.
EASTERN MIRROR: How do you balance your music with other obligations as a student?
Abeni Odyuo: It was quite hard for me to balance my activities and music as a high school and higher secondary student, so I focused more on my studies. But once I got into college, I maintained a strict schedule and made my first cover song when I was in my B.A 4th semester.
EASTERN MIRROR: A lot of talented musicians in Nagaland pursue doing cover songs exclusively and we’ve seen those practise end at a certain point of time. You also have some cover songs on YouTube which has like more than 2K views. Do you want to end up there or you would go beyond that comfort zone.
Abeni Odyuo: Yes, there are lot of talented musicians in Nagaland, if given an opportunity I believe they will go far. But I think most of us as a new artist that rely on cover songs give up easily because of the limited shows to expose our singing abilities .But for me I’ll continue to make more cover songs cause I love taking risks despite of the backlash that I receive sometimes and moreover I love writing narrative songs so I don’t want to keep those memories in shelves and hopefully I’ll have my own original song release soon.
EASTERN MIRROR: What are your fondest musical memories?
Abeni Odyuo: I have a lot of musical memories because most of the time my families and friends will be in the audience section screaming and dancing when I perform and that makes a beautiful journey. I also remember performing in Guwahati and Mizoram, the audience started to sing and dance along! I didn’t see that coming …I felt so comfortable performing, I’ll never forget that. And recently I performed at Annual Designers Gala which was so cool because I love fashion as well.
EASTERN MIRROR: What are the challenges and rewards that come from working as a musician?
Abeni Odyuo: I think to be a musician you have to be mentally strong and prepared to face criticism from people because sometimes people just don’t like you. And talking about rewards ,if you are strong enough you take those criticism and heartbreaks and you turn them into a song , and I think that freedom to express it the way we want to is the most amazing feeling.
EASTERN MIRROR: What are the unidentified challenges and obstacles faced in a place like Nagaland music industry?
Abeni Odyuo: There will be always challenges and obstacles everywhere you go, you just have to stand tall and not get caught up with the stereotype and take risks.
EASTERN MIRROR: What’s coming up for you on the musical front?
Abeni Odyuo: Uummmm … Lately, I’ve been working with new artists, who are so skilled in their own genre. It will be out soon so I hope people will watch it when it’s out.