Engourai Zeme born and brought up in Tamenlong, Manipur is an upcoming guitarist, lyricist and composer. Zeme developed his passion for music at an early age and wishes to perform like John Mayer one day.
Quitting college life to follow his dream was not an easy decision for him and his family but Engourai says that as music has always been his dream career he kept going against all odds.
His composed song “Where is the Love” (also featuring by Kilang Jamir on Keyboards and Imlier Jamir of Incipit on the Bass), is his debut single recorded at Basement Studio owned by Imlier Jamir and Nokrang Lkr.
He is currently pursuing music at Hills Praise Music Academy, Dimapur.
EASTERN MIRROR: When was the first time you picked up a guitar? And what was your first experience like?
ENGOURAI NEWME: I was 11 when I really picked up a guitar. I learnt some essential guitar chords myself by that time. It was a magic moment for me when I picked up a guitar because without much effort I could learn some basic chords within a short period of time and I could play along with songs and eventually progress to the extent where I played in my church for Sunday school students song presentation later on. And I fell in Love with guitars
EASTERN MIRROR: Who were your early influences?
ENGOURAI NEWME :During those days when I was young enough I was deeply influenced by Metal bands like Children of Bodom, a7x, Bullet for my valentine, Lamb of God and whatever is metal hehe but that didn’t last for long and my taste kept changing as I grew up . To be precise I love John Mayer a lot and I would proudly say that His songs inspired me to write lyrics, play guitars and sing. I’d love to perform like him.
EASTERN MIRROR: When did you own your first guitar?
ENGOURAI NEWME: Well, I owned my first Guitar recently right before I joined music school. But not to be puzzled, It was my big brother’s guitar back at home that helped me keep my passion alive and kicking. Thank you to that guitar.
EASTERN MIRROR: What was your journey like venturing out and joining the music world? Do you feel you’ve reached your goals?
ENGOURAI NEWME: It was a tough moment for me as well as my family when I decided to choose my career as a musician, because I had to give up my studies, walk out from college and start something different. What kind of parents would be happy if someone who is about to finish his degree course suddenly wants to give up right! But I had my own dreams and music was a major part of my dream. I joined in some small beat contests and I got best guitarist title and that really encouraged me to move forward and my family began to understand that I was made for it. This is just the beginning of my journey. I hope and I believe that God will support me.
EASTERN MIRROR: Is playing guitar, composing and writing lyrics your sole passion or do you plan on starting up a singing career too?
ENGOURAI NEWME: I love everything about playing guitar, writing lyrics, composing song and sing because that has been my dream for years, Therefore Yes, I am planning to building up a singing career too. And also right now I am working on another song that I will hopefully release by next year January 2017and the title is “I miss you”.
EASTERN MIRROR: What does your debut “Where is the Love” mean to you? Was it hard to balance the guitar work with the vocals in the songs?
ENGOURAI NEWME: The Song “ Where is the Love” is one that I like the most Among all the lyrics that I have written. This song talks about real Love that we really have been missing out, the love for the poor, among brothers and sisters, The Love for victims of disasters etc. and also a “source to solve” wars, hatred, murders, rape that is happening around us. This song is a kind of lamentation by one sincere citizen who tried so hard to bring about something good to his society which he couldn’t execute it, therefore He is searching for that ‘Love’.
It was smooth. It was not that difficult for me to sync in with guitar works in vocals because I used only rhythm while I was singing. However, in later part solo came in but it was not that difficult to balance with vocals
EASTERN MIRROR: Any tips you can share with musicians out there? And what do you do to sharpen your skills?
ENGOURAI NEWME : Don’t stop believing in yourself, Don’t ever try to become someone else but yourself, Be original and that will take you far beyond what you actually aimed for because music is full of surprises when you work hard.
To sharpen my skills,I practice a lot and as my elder brothers also have good knowledge of music, I get feedback from them which helps me quite a lot, and of course my teachers are a major part of who I am now though I am still learning. Sometimes I will record it in my phone and listen to it which helps me improve in many ways. Most important thing is to practice and practice.
EASTERN MIRROR: Who are your favorite guitarists? Top 5
ENGOURAI NEWME: My top 5 favorite guitarists are John Mayer, Guthrie Govan, John Petrucci, Alex Hutchings, and Orianthi.
EASTERN MIRROR: Where can people find more information about you?
ENGOURAI NEWME : You can Visit me on Facebook (Engourai Newme Zeme), twitter (Engourai Newme), and Instagram – Engourai (Radiohead)