John Mpamei from Tamenglong, Manipur currently working in Doha, Qatar has had exciting music experiences. Since the age of six Mpamei has been into music with his father as his major musical influence. He debuted with a band in 2013 at Hard Rock Café and his first album “Far Away” was released on Vh1, MTV and 9XO. His new single from the album “Illuminate” which is slated to be released this year was shot in Georgia, Bangkok, Doha and the Maldives.
In today’s Rhythm Of Love, Mpamei talks us through his musical journey.
Eastern Mirror: What is your musical background? Talk us through your journey
John Mpamei: When I was around six years old my dad bought us a guitar and a keyboard. Since then I’ve been into music. My dad is a music enthusiast and the whole family would sing hymns together every evening during family worship time.
Eastern Mirror: Is music what you wanted to do growing up?
John Mpamei: Music has been a part of my life through my dad ever since I was born. I didn’t know whether music was what I wanted to do but it has definitely grown on me. As I grew in maturity, so has my musical skill. I also realise that music is a medium through which we share our joy and pain with the world, sharing our inner feelings of love and gratitude. Music is one important facet in bringing peace.
Eastern Mirror: What’s your song writing process? Do you have any influences?
John Mpamei: Mostly my writing is about my day to day life experiences, seeing what’s happening around me. I make sense of incidences and write them as lyrics. My greatest influence is Coldplay they have amazing lyrics.
Eastern Mirror: What do you feel is the best song/album you’ve ever released and why?
John Mpamei: I have released only one album so far “Far Away” and I consider the album to be my favorite because it’s about my personal life experience as missing someone you love coz I wrote the song when I was out of India. It’s also my first single that was released on Vh1, MTV and 9XO.
Eastern Mirror: What are your fondest musical memories?
John Mpamei: It was the spring of 2013, the day my band debuted at Hard Rock Café. We were recognised as professionals!
Eastern Mirror: Having seen the international community of musicians, how it works, what are their ideas and suggestions to improve the music scenario here, given the fact that there is no proper label here.
John Mpamei: I have seen few bands in Dubai as well as in Doha, Qatar. Most of the bands are successful because they have really good management backing them. Good management is the backbone to be successful. Musicians can focus on their skills when the management makes sure everything else is in place. Being in North East India does not come with lots of advantages but with the growth of social media we can reach out to a bigger audience and we do not need to depend so much on record labels. As long as you can be good at what you do, we can always take advantage of the 21st century infrastructure has made available.
Eastern Mirror: How do you balance music with other obligations?
John Mpamei: I am very fortunate to be doing what I love, that is music. My other obligation is teaching music. Not all my students will become professional musicians but they are aware of the advantages of music. I also mentor some who are into music and I do hope they will do well. There are times when you are distracted but I just look forward and I just dream big. Learning to ignore certain things and focusing on something productive makes me happy and personal happiness is the most important obligation most people forget, but I don’t take light of this important pursuit in life.
Eastern Mirror: If you were to compare Northeast music scene with the world, how long is it going to take us to grow/develop?
John Mpamei: As we all are gifted with music I think it’s not that far. All we need is discipline, believing in ourselves and not giving up easily. Another important thing we need to know is “melody.” Melody in music is what draws people to the music.
Eastern Mirror: What’s coming up for you? What are you working on? Do you have any definitive aims or goals for your career going forward?
John Mpamei: My second album “illuminate” is going to be released by the end of this year. It is important for me to work hard and be focused in what I do, to be good at what I do. Reading books is what I’m working on for self improvement. My goal is to give back to the people by sharing my music.