WORLD MUSIC DAY
A tribute to Lamtsala H. Odyuo on WMD
‘She was the most daring, supportive and loving wife one could ever met. I got rejected by some people because i was a musician, but Lamtsa loved me for who i was and her wanted to struggle and make it in life together.’ Mhathung – Purple Fusion
‘Lamtsala stayed with us for a short time but the most wonderful thing that she left for us is the endurance and magic of music to heal the souls. The song she sang will live on to inspire many.’ Arenla- Abiogenesis
The Fête de la Musique’, also known as Make Music Day or World Music Day, is an annual music celebration that’s celebrated around the World on June 21.
The concept of an all-day musical celebration originated in French Minister of Culture, Jack Lang. The festival later became
celebrated in 120 countries around the world.
Fête de la Musique’s purpose is to promote music in two ways: Amateur and professional musicians are encouraged to perform in the st
reets or other public spaces.
Many free concerts are organized, making all genres of music accessible to the public. All concerts must be free to the public, and all performers donate their time for free. This is true of most participating cities.
World Music Day is a day of free music during which professional and amateur musicians alike perform. As Nagaland joins the rest of the world in commemorating the day meaningfully, Eastern Mirror highlights a number of local musicians for our readers. This is our take on the members of the music industry of Nagaland and our celebration with them in what we love too–music!
World Music Day celebrates Music. However, do you think current media marketing has reduced the event to mere performances?
Oren Mozhui: Two factors that have played heavily into recent changes within the music industry are the burgeoning presence of the Internet in commerce, and the arrival of social media, from Facebook to YouTube. Many Artists are becoming a star overnight just because of Media. Media is Like God father for all the artists. Therefore, I should say that Musicians of this generation are Lucky because Media Marketing is very powerful and very strong.
Obed Kath (Divine Connection): Music and media is of great importance in today’s generation. It has become an integral part of every civilized society. When we talk about how advanced societies have become: we talk about music and its industry. I think media marketing is an indispensable tool of music industry in Nagaland as it is to the rest of the world.
Mhathung Odyuo (Purple Fusion): Tricky question, I’ll b honest there is no market for music in our state; most of us are still doing music for the love of it. Trick is to focus out of Nagaland.
Yanpvuo Kikon: That certainly depends on how each individual defines music. Everybody has different taste and as much as we think we should respect each other’s musical taste, it depends on how we differentiate between music and performance. I think the manner in which musicians and music lovers come together to organize something for the love of music is in itself a significant step towards celebrating music.
Alobo Naga: World music day was never a commercial event it was mostly like a street event or celebration where musicians and artiste comes out to perform, the trend is still there but only true musicians celebrate and values it these days.
Music history in Nagaland traces back to her ancient ethnic roots. Do you believe current musical trends from Naga artists reflect those roots?
Oren Mozhui: Most of the Naga artists follow the western music, we don’t follow our Roots, We want to follow, only the latest trend even in music, and we called it “indi”
Well, I am among very few musicians who has tried fusion of Western music with naga Folk music, its interesting indeed, We Should keep our roots alive by doing some researches but it depends on our conviction, Sincerity and interest.
Obed Kath: I agree that music has always beena part of our culture; We Naga were singers and instrumentalists long before we were exposed to western music, but currently substantial numbers of musicians have ventured to varied genres of western music except for few bands and groups like Abiogenesis, Purple Fusion, Nagaland Chamber Choir.
Alo Wanth: There are very few artists I know from Nagaland who are trying to reflect this idea into their original music. To name the few, bands like Purple fusion, Abiogenesis and Tetso sisters. They have made a great impact in bringing out our ethnic music in a modern platform. Proud of them!!
Where do you see the music industry in Nagaland in the decade?
Alo Wanth: Music in Nagaland is growing at a very fast pace. When it comes to music we are second to none. But when it comes to music as an industry we are far behind, in fact we have not started yet. I would say within 5 years from now if Nagaland can have one FM station and one music channel that will be a huge achievement.
Yanpvuo Kikon: The past 2 years we have seen a drastic transformation, maturity, quality in terms of our local indie artists writing and producing top class original music. We have seen how we have most certainly surpassed other NE States including Mizoram in terms of producing and exporting accomplished top class Acts. 10 years from now, if our musicians are truly serious, really work hard, dedicate themselves and produce top class music which is relevant to the global music scene I am confident enough to state that our musicians will truly establish a real music Industry wherein sufficient revenue is generated by our artists themselves by way of
1. Outsourcing digital music into the State (Artists like Dj Ina composing jingles and music for big corporate clients like IBM already happening.)
2. People from outside the State coming to Nagaland for recording and production (Already started.)
3. Music Tourism by way of innovative and out-of-the-box music festivals such as NH7 Weekender, Woodstock festival, Tomorrowland etc organized in the State.
4. Nagaland has the potential to becoming the hub of music learning in the region with the potential of attracting even foreign students
5. Exporting top class talents outside the State (Already Alobo, Nise and others have pioneered this scene)
6. Nagaland based digital artists and visual studios producing music videos, editing, animating, VFX etc for clients from across the globe.
This is what I envision of my generation by having personally involved with musicians, artists and digital entrepreneurs from our State and outside.
Senti Longchar AKA Desert King: Music Industry is where we should focus more because it is one of the
solutions to unemployment problem in the state. “Tapping the untapped talents” and promoting them could be one of the objectives. Hotels, restaurants and streets should be an open platform to the musicians. Music is a key to happiness.
What are the aspects of expression, or issues that you feel that most Naga musicians fail to highlight through music?
Oren Mozhui: Most of the Naga musicians fail to Write Gospel songs; we fail to praise our
creator with our Original songs, and we use our writing skills in a selfish and Ignorant ways, we can’t grow as a musician without Elevating God with our music.
Abel Assumi (Testify): Issues can differ from one musician to other and there can be lots too. I feel our musicians and singers are doing quite well, whether it is the dynamics or the lyric writings. But to point one issue, sometimes we tend to focus on ourselves so much that the song or music we write becomes boring for other people, so what I want say is we need to compose or write something that can sold and liked by the people.
Imli Lee: We Naga artistes and musicians fail to experiment and make use of the rich cultural and traditional instruments and tunes we Naga have. But it can all change if we impart the importance of our folk and cultural music to our younger generation.
Alo Wanth: Being original and honest in writing and delivering the art. We should write what we feel and experience while writing and making music. I think we should make music from the local aspect to feed the global market.
Alobo Naga: Music is a gift, a tool to express or project our heart out, it is so powerful that we can use it to transform. People and the society too but many a time musicians are so focused on their music and their performances that they fail to focus on the story & the projection to convey their message in reaching out.
Theja Meru: Many times we lack conviction, we go with the flow and what’s in and trending, we need to write more our experiences, dreams, aspirations and yes frustrations.
Do you feel that the role of the Music Task Force has accentuated the general aspirations of musicians in the state?
Rebeka Lerina: Yes, I do feel that the Music Task Force has been playing an important role for the musicians in our state. The competitions, concerts, charity concerts and workshops done by the MTF have been playing a major role in molding quality musicians. Not only do they build musicians but also through all these, I see that people are coming to know more about musicians and give importance to music artists.
Amongla: With the birth of Music Task Force came along some good musicians, a great chance of platform for our talented youngsters, but besides that, if I have to be honest, MTF hasn’t done much of commendable job. Providing musical tour for everyone to take part of course did a lot of good for the aspiring musicians but one can also not deny the fact of the struggles a soloist or a band has to go through in their musical journey. Talking from my experience I remember how we faced some issues: needing a room for practice, needing cash for refreshments/fooding, instrumental equipments and spending obnoxious money to record a demo. I wish MTF would build a state of art studio; won’t it be a more practical help and support for our promising artists?
Abel Assumi (Testify): Mmm yes! Some people were benefited and some not, I can’t say that they boost or accentuated the musicians in our state but it was actually the determination and the hard work of the musicians that kept the wheel spinning. To be honest some people don’t even know what is MTF .
Moba Inggang: MTF of Nagaland was initiated by the state government to encourage Naga musicians to take up music as a profession. Yes! To some extent they are doing a commendable job and lot more things to do. In my opinion they are spending lakhs of rupees on Hornbill Rock Contest alone instead if they could invest on good recording studio for the musicians then that would have great help for music community as a whole. They should also reach out to other artists in different parts of the districts and promote their music. MTF so far is focusing on artists in Dimapur and Kohima, which is not doing enough to talented artists in other parts of the state.
Alobo Naga: They are playing a big role no doubt but they can do better once they stop taking it as a policy and really use it to improve the music scenario of Nagaland. Sky is the limit!
Yanpvuo Kikon: We have a Government Music Task Force; well that itself is better than having nothing at all. It has certainly managed to accentuate the aspirations of our musicians but what MTF needs right now it to carry out a detailed impact assessment & analysis of the needs and aspirations of our local musicians. Our local musicians in turn, need to update themselves, understand the dynamics of the global music industry. Through Interactions with industry experts from across the globe, we can definitely work towards understanding our strengths and work towards developing a solid vision, mission and practical roadmap wherein the fund utilization can generate outcomes of value.
Theja Meru: I have been very connected with MTF from its early days and feel it’s one of the best things to have happen to Nagaland, thanks to visionary leaders like Neiphiu Rio our former Chief Minister, and now under parliamentary MTF Khriehu Liezietsu things are going from strength to strength with shows at Hard Rock Cafe, Hornbill On Tour and various local initiatives. No state in India has this feature, we need to appreciate our leaders for the political vision, 2006 was quite a turning point of music in Nagaland, with a Hornbill Rock Contest, we found ourselves in the National arena, since then
the train of music has not stopped. Today our musicians are criss-crossing the nation, and international venues. All credits cannot be given to Government alone, many agencies are also equal partner, but hats off to the Government for being such a catalyze.
What are your views about the one and many music competitions of Nagaland?
Rebeka Lerina: I personally feel that the competitions are growing to a large number. The good thing is that it gives the opportunity to get to know new talents. Music competitions indeed boost up musicians to be more hardworking and as a result bring out the best on them. However, I am not really satisfied with the competitions in Nagaland because of the voting systems where they sell out their votes. It financially drains lots of people and the deserving ones does not get the title. Moreover, I also see that many of the winners do not shine after the competition.
Amongla: Musical competitions of Nagaland are the new doorway for introducing and encouraging promising talents. I only wish the public voting system to be a lot more easier where everyone, I mean everyone in general, can take part without having to ‘pay’ for their votes. I am sorry, it’s been quite some time since I m out of Nagaland but I heard people still buy/pay for voting for a contestant. How about SMS voting system? Just a thought.
Abel Assumi (Testify):Oh …!like there are so many right now… But I don’t have any problem with all this issue no matter what people says. But there are some sub standard ones, can clearly see that they are doing it just for money. But the ones which are going strong, kudos to them and keep upgrading keep promoting!
Moba Inggang: The music com
petitions should be committed to expose the true talents of the artists or to nurture and bring out the true talent in the state. It is unfortunate if that is not their goal and interest.
Alobo Naga: I have no problem when it comes to Business because most of them are doing it for money but my problem is almost all the competition organizers are making fake promises, none of the shows are really into promoting the musicians or singers. It’s an overnight fame game but at the end it’s not their fault i blame the participants also who spend so much money even going to the extent of begging and do nothing after the show is over. When the organizers themselves don’t know how to promote themselves how will they promote these artistes?
Yanpvuo Kikon: Why Nagaland isn’t progressing is because ‘Votes ‘ are bought, right from electing our leaders to our talents. Only if our people understand that by allowing meritocracy to prevail, Nagaland has the potential to become the most beautiful, progressive and prosperous State in India. By promoting the best, all of us will automatically strive to work hard to achieve greatness and not mediocrity.
It is pretty simple. If someone is hunting for real genuine talent, then the final selection will reveal whether the winner of the music competition is star material. Real talent cannot be bought with money, it requires immense passion, practice, dedication and hard work to acquire skills which has the power to win the hearts of a generation. If talent could have been bought with money, Anil Ambani will become the best singer in Nagaland.
Theja Meru: I think competition and reality shows are healthy, at the end of the day it’s an industry, somebody, somewhere’s got to make money. These activities also give greater visibility to our local talents.
Do you consider music in the region a trend, or is it a profession?
Rebeka Lerina: Music is both trend and profession. Some really serious and passionate people are taking music as their profession. I respect them greatly because it needs a lot of patience and hardwork to take music in a professional level. It is also a trend. Lots of musicians loves to get involve in music as a part of their hobby.
Moba Inggang: Every Naga is a music lover and it is obviously a trend, and also a passion of many Nagasto be a musician in one way or the other. But to be considered as a professional musician, one has to be not just a music lover also have discipline, determination to pursue music and also have a space where one’s music is loved and recognized by the people. One should also be convinced that it its one’s calling in life, and one has to hav
e the talent or ability to reach out and touch people through their music.
Mhathung Odyuo : To survive as a musician is a little difficult, we need to focus outside.
Theja Meru: It’s both a trend and a profession. Not without hurdles but excelling none the less.
Could you name five artists fromthe state that you believe changed the music scene positively?
Mhathung Odyuo: Alobo Naga and The Band and Tetseo sisters are really doing good, in the past Divine Connection brought Nagaland into the limelight. Apart from these there are lots of upcoming musicians and bands that are doing great on the internet. Squadorn is still the oldest surviving band, and ohh yea Abiogenesis has taken Naga folk fusion music ahead.