With stage name Macnivil, Martin Longkumer is a rapper from Nagaland who grew up listening to his dad’s collection of old classics.
More into the hip-hop genre of music, Macnivil says, ‘music for me is solace, it enables me to find refuge, a platform where I can share my story and voice out opinions and above all, it is like an art that I want to fall in love with all over again.’
Like most rappers, Macnivil who also practices in-front of the mirror, recently released his official music video ‘Wait For Me’ from his album “Ura Uvie” which has over 70k views on YouTube. His debut single “Fire In My Soul,” a collaboration with Naga Beatz, from the album was released last year. ,
Macnivil has so much to share about his love for the genre and his journey as a musician.
Eastern Mirror: To start off with, share us about your relationship with music.
Macnivil: My relationship with music has been significantly special right from an early age. I was always enthralled by its melodies, and during the initial days, I grew closer to it through my Dad`s influence. A music enthusiast by heart, he had a really good collection of most classics and it was always an exciting venture to explore them all. However, it was only during my adolescent years when I started taking music more seriously. It is during this time that I tried experimenting with my own lyrics and started to write. Introduction to rap music also gave me a whole new meaning to what I was looking for. Music for me is solace; it enables me to find refuge, a platform where I can share my story and voice out opinions and above all, it is like an art that I want to fall in love with all over again.
Eastern Mirror: Musically, what are your biggest influences and who are your favourite musicians?
Macnivil: The biggest musical influence for me is that of empowerment. What a joy it is to witness the power of music changing lives. I think it has always been that way; I mean we all have that one artist that we can relate to and their catalogue of musical recordings are always strongly felt. My favourites are not musicians but rather rappers, I should say. I have a list that will go on and on and my inclination towards it changes from time to time, but I will always have this huge respect for Nas considering that he is the GOAT (Greatest of All Time) and Michael M Sailo (Rest in Peace) who inspired me to incorporate local elements in the kind of music that I do. “Illmatic” and “Azual Thine Chapter II” are also some of my favourite albums.
Eastern Mirror: Top 5 tracks from your playlist.
Macnivil: This is a very hard question but before I respond let me quickly clarify that I am more into new age sounds these days so my playlist will be full of it. If I need to hear old school I can always get back to my archives and personal collection. Moving on, here are the top five tracks from my playlist (in random order).
– Post Malone – White Iverson
– Juice WRLD – All Girls Are The Same
– Nav – Myself
– J Cole – Middle Child
– Drake – God`s Plan
Eastern Mirror: What do you think of the hip-hop scene in Nagaland?
Macnivil: It`s been going great in recent times. I still remember when we first started out there were hardly any people interested in it. Some might assume I am new on the scene but the fact is I have been associated in the game for a long time now. The progress so far is satisfactory; home grown rappers are making a name for themselves which is quite encouraging. There are also a few likeminded individuals working behind the scene to pave way for greater accomplishments. A big shout out to them; I think they are and will promote something positive for the culture. It won`t be surprising if one of our fellow rappers gets signed by a major label or makes it big independently and makes endorsements with MNCs etc. We have all come a long way and I think Hip-Hop is making an impact like never before out here in Nagaland and that is really encouraging to witness.
Eastern Mirror: What are the main inspirations for your lyrics?
Macnivil: When it comes to the pen game, I choose to keep myself progressive and adapt with the changing musical landscape. My inspiration comes from the array of circumstances that life brings our way. I have always believed that songwriting is a creative endeavour which allows me to blend in different ideas and musical influences. As an artist I tend to distinguish myself from the ordinary, therefore accepting new challenges is quite daring for me. Right now I am working on something different; I know it comes with a lot of risk but this is what I choose to stick with. The Nagamese Rap that I am working on right now has a lot of potential and it is encouraging because people from as far as the United States and South Korea have commented saying that they like my sound. I would like to conclude with this “Originality Matters” and that is where my main inspiration for writing lyrics comes from eventually.
Eastern Mirror: Favourite part of your practice would be?
Macnivil: It might sound funny but most rappers like to practice their raps in front of the mirror and pretending like they are the next big star including me (laughs). Leaving the joke aside I would love to practice and perform along with a live Hip-Hop DJ, I am really grateful it will happen soon. This one is for my friend DJ CJ; I think together we are going to achieve a lot of things and we both know keeping it real is what really matters. I would also like to take this opportunity to encourage my fellow Rappers and other Hip-Hop Artists to never give up. Polish your skills by practising hard and find your signature sound so that you can make desired impact and progress along with it. It`s all love.
Eastern Mirror: Your dream venue? And the best crowd you have performed till date?
Macnivil: My dream venue is headlining in front of a packed Arena in my own capacity without the need to rely on other artist to do the same. We all have aspirations that are next to impossible so I do not want to exaggerate on it. But yeah, being part of the Hornbill International Music Festival might turn out to be a good start for me because I want to represent locally before I even dream about going national or global.
Best crowd I have performed so far? I don’t know, I have performed in various capacity throughout my time as an artist. But I think performing at Nagaland Fashion Week 2019 was a memorable experience judging by the fact that I am nothing close to what the fashion community is all about. It was also surprising because a lot of the attendees, mostly models, designers and socialites complimented that they like my music (laughs). Other than that, there was this event called Havana Night at one of the luxury hotels out here in Kohima. The vibe was crazy, the setting urban and the crowd simply amazing. We had a good time performing and literally we got stoned to the bone by the end of the event. The experience was memorable it still excites my tingles of imagination.
Eastern Mirror: With more than 70k views in YouTube, share with us about your journey towards the making of your recently launched official video ‘Wait For Me.’
Macnivil: This song is really special and close to my heart and I am happy because so far the response has been positive. The songwriting process started back in 2016; I was just back from my time in Bangalore and was inspired to do something local musically. Influenced by this desire, I was able to finish composing but had to halt it because I was juggling with work as a start-up entrepreneur. Fast forward, this year I was introduced to our Director Paul and his Naga Twist Productions by one of my friends who happened to be one of the actors in his movie “My Cloud fairy”. So we discussed on a couple of stuffs and tried working out on an OST but it didn’t fit in. By then my song was also completed along with assistance of Naga Beatz and after I sent the demo to Paul, he was kind of impressed with the overall input. That is when we decided to team up and shoot. He was kind enough to sponsor me on the MV project. We had a lot of fun shooting along with the team and also visited a lot of beautiful places both in Nagaland and Manipur. Lastly, I want to thank everyone for the love and support. 70k+ views in just the second week of its release is huge. Keep spreading the love.
Eastern Mirror: Any upcoming projects that you wish your fans to keep a track on?
Macnivil: Very excited to tell you all that it’s a yes; I have lots of project coming up. I have decided to be more active musically from now on and also I am working on my Nagamese Rap EP “Ura Uvie” which I plan to release it without following the normal blueprint of album distribution. I think I will rather release it online MV after MV through a scheduled timeline. My collaboration with DJ CJ is also nearing completion and we have a lot of other surprises which we plan to execute it steadily. So, stay tuned and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube Channel because that is where I am going to release all of my future works which are in the pipeline. Lastly, Thank you so much Eastern Mirror for checking me out and to all my friends and supporters who have been there for me since day one. I appreciate your effort and I love you all. God Bless.