Learning to play musical instruments needs years of practice, study, technique, and dedication.
At just 17 years of age, Imnainla Jamir from Mokokchung became an internet sensation in Nagaland. The reason: Videos and images of her playing the electric rock guitar among a population that has not many females who play complex, highly technical instruments such as the rock guitar.
With no formal education in music, this guitar prodigy took the effort to learn to play the guitar from her brother. Her efforts paid off when she was given the stage at the Hornbill International Music Festival 2018.
Although Jamir has not released any originals yet, she has become an internet sensation in her own right and someone from whom music fans, especially rock guitar fans, might want a set of work in the future. In today’s Rhythm of Love she talks to us about her musical aspirations.
Eastern Mirror: We’re surprised at this new face in the scene. Tell us a bit about yourself and what you were up to before the 2018 Hornbill rock?
Imnainla Jamir: Well, I am a student, I am 17 year-old, I’ve just appeared my 10th, and I’m from Mokokchung district Nagaland. Besides playing guitar, I love painting and doing craft works.
Before the Hornbill International Music Festival 2018 I’ve been performing at some small gigs at the locality and then some one or two bigger ones.
Eastern Mirror: You may not be the first girl to don the electric lead guitar in our region, but you certainly are one of those that show big promise. Do you have formal music education?
Imnainla Jamir: I do not possess any formal music education. I am self taught; I did start my basics being taught by my elder brother. However I plan to pursue a formal education in music in the coming years.
Eastern Mirror: What about your parents; what did they say when they found you loved an instrument about which even males don’t get much support from their parents?
Imnainla Jamir: Well, I can say that my parents have been quite supportive towards my intention to pursue music and I haven’t come across denials from them regarding my passion for music and they have always stood by my side.
Eastern Mirror: The songs that you played at the Hornbill rock were generally Blues. In a world where musicians your age these days don’t even know how to play the guitar like youngsters of the ‘80s’ and even the ‘90s, why, of all, a complex genre like the blues?
Imnainla Jamir: Blues is a very complex genre indeed…!! Firstly I can state that the first wave of influence over the blues was through my brother, who himself is a great fan of the blues, having being taught the basics by him.
Once Willie Dixon, the well known American song writer/singer mentioned:”Blues is the root; everything else it’s fruit.”
I believe that many popular genres in today’s world ranging from rock, rock and roll etc…has its roots in the blues. As a musician, no matter how much you go on developing, it is always a good thing to stick to the roots! The thing about Blues is, it has got soul, emotions-you name it!! There are unlimited things you can extract it of it. It is, as I would like to state: a minefield of limitless musical knowledge.
Eastern Mirror: What are your greatest strengths as a guitarist who is learning her trade?
Imnainla Jamir: I should say determination.
Eastern Mirror: Who are your main influences and your favourites?
Imnainla Jamir: There’s quite a few actually… such as Plini, Intervals, Marco Sfogly Polyphia and B.B King…
Eastern Mirror: As a young guitarist, do you see a future for guitarists—specifically rock and rock guitar instrumentalists?
Imnainla Jamir: Yes, I do. Given the right determination, focus and time, anything is possible.
Eastern Mirror: Do you think the current generation of music icons and the digital and technology-driven music is producing more and more mediocre young musicians?
Imnainla Jamir: No, I just believe that every musician has their own way to express one’s feelings and emotions through any category of music they want. Every category of music has its own beautiful way to express and I wouldn’t want to limit it but keep an open mind towards it.
Eastern Mirror: Do you have any work, or plans of any, to release?
Imnainla Jamir: Not as of now… but working on it.
Eastern Mirror: Knowing that the music industry is no more how it used to be even two decades ago, where do you see you five years from now on?
Imnainla Jamir: Well as of now, I have only stepped into the tip of an iceberg- a small and a humble beginning. I should say, to think about where I’ll be five years from now, I honestly can’t assume anything right now.
But I can assure myself that I will strive harder and maintain keen focus and determination in hope that I will claim a bigger stage than where I am today, in the near future.