Tsali Stm, a commerce graduate from St. Joseph’s College Jakhama, is a young musician whose musical journey started at school where he was a guitarist of a band ‘The Magic Bean.’ The band was a finalist of the ‘The Battle of the bands’ in 2014.
Here, Tsali Stm speaks about how he fell in love with music, thanks to an acoustic guitar his father bought for him. He lauds the initiative of music downloading website Indihut in promoting Naga musicians and their songs, beyond Nagaland. His debut single ‘LOL’ has all his beautiful memories recorded.
Here is an excerpt of the interview with the young musician who said local hero Alobo Naga is his biggest inspiration:
Eastern Mirror (EM): How would you like to introduce yourself to those who haven’t heard about you yet?
Tsali Stm: Hi..! I am Tsali Stm and I am a singer, songwriter and a composer. I am 23 years old and I am a B.com graduate from St. Joseph’s College Jakhama (2016). I am blessed with a very small family: Daddy, mommy, me and my only elder sister Aro, who is more like a best friend to me. She told me to take her name somewhere in the conversation. So I had to….
I listen to almost every kind of music, from locals to EDMs. But I am more into some acoustic, soft rock kind of music. Your encouragement and support would help me grow better in the coming days.
EM: What was the first musical instrument you owned?
Tsali Stm: A replica of Yamaha guitars, Yamaha acoustic guitar, which was bigger than my whole self. I was 7-8 years old when I first got my guitar. My father’s plan was that if he buys me an adult-sized guitar, I would be able to use it till I grow older. But unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Though my first musical instrument was bigger than me, it was the first time I fell in love with music and helped me take my first step towards the world of music.
EM: Who influences you the most in your musical journey?
Tsali Stm: In the first place, it was one of our own brothers, Alobo Naga. But before his popularity in the music industry, there was a contest called “Summer Jam” in Nagaland which used to be held in the early 2000s. That particular contest build my interest in music so much that I wanted to be a part of it. And since then, it became my stepping stone. But the main person who influenced me to venture into musical journey was Alobo Naga, whom we all know is a full time, dedicated musician who sacrificed so much to stand in a position where he stands today. I was influenced by our own brothers. As my own saying goes: ‘A child is grown from home.’
EM: What is your opinion about the music scene in the state?
Tsali Stm: I wouldn’t complain about the present music scenario of our state. It is growing in a very pleasant flow. Yes, I wouldn’t deny that our state lacks opportunities in the field of music. But when we look at the brighter side of the view, we see the fruitful growth from the past few years. One of the best initiatives taken to socialize our Naga musicians and their songs to the outside state is the Indihut. Have we ever wondered where our songs would be today if there wasn’t such initiative taken by our own young entrepreneurs..? Instead of waiting for the opportunity, why not we seek an opportunity.
EM: What is your debut ‘LOL’ all about?
Tsali Stm: It is about a girl whose snores reminds me of my grandpa’s scooter. It is a cute love song about a teenage couple, where everything around them is beautiful. They doesn’t care about what they do or what people think, the only thing that matters to them is that they’re in love and nothing feels more beautiful than that. I wrote this song in the year 2013, during my college days. It so happened that, I was made to perform this song in SNIC NCC camp for more than seven times after winning the 1st position title in solo singing. Everybody, even the army personnel’s started calling me ‘LOL’ since they didn’t know my name.
EM: What are the top five tracks in your playlist?
Tsali Stm: These are the top five tracks in my playlist currently:
- Grow old with you – The wedding singer
- People get ready – Rod Steward
- Man in the mirror – Michael Jackson
- In a state – Lucy Spraggan
- Last night – Lucy Spraggan
EM: Who serves as your inspiration when composing songs?
Tsali Stm: Mostly all of my songs are from real life. Sometimes a simple view, like a sunset can help me complete a song, but sometimes a whole clear story doesn’t even give a verse. I seek inspiration from different places. I don’t know about the other musicians but for me the place really matters to compose a song. And obviously a peace of mind. A quite place and a soft background music with a thought of someone on my mind is all that inspiration that helps me compose a song.
EM: Who is your favorite local artist?
Tsali Stm: I have a lot of favorite local artist. Tali Angh, Virie, Tuden Jamir, Zuchobeni and the list goes on. They are all my favorites and I really enjoy their music. But there’s one artist whom I honestly respect and appreciate. He is Mr Alobo Naga. Yes, he’s my favorite local artist, there’s no question about it. It’s not just about his music or his singing, but his dedication and hard work that really inspires me.
EM: Where do you see yourself ten years from now?
Tsali Stm: My future depends upon our Creator. But as per my present life cycle, I honestly see myself into two different fields after ten years from now. One, a very successful musician with not less than two digit hit songs, and if not, a reputed government officer. Let His will be done. Amen