The unexplored paradise on earth, Northeast is not only blessed with natural beauty, unique culture and rare wildlife but it is also very rich in music, traditional dance and instruments. The country’s eastern part has got a lot of fabulous music talent in its psyche which is largely unheralded, undocumented, unheard and underappreciated or neglected but it is still there. Unfortunately for most of us what subjugates our airwaves is rarely in synchronization with what titillates our harmonic delicacies. I ain’t denying the captivating or appealing knack of Badshah or a Himesh, I’m just saying that there’s a treasure of untapped potential around, and their spesh music really needs to be heard.
Despite of possessing a glorious musical reputation, the Northeast of India hasn’t sadly attained the level of appreciation it should have.
It holds some kind of crazy juju magic. Mostly, every single person can sing or play an instrument. Awesomeness is that a lot of them can do both at the same damn time. And they’re superb, like really superb, like, “Is that Stevie Wonder singing? Nopsie Nopes, it’s just a guy down the street” level good. Unluckily, the talent has not really being nurtured, and encouraged to grow, except within a small or little circle.
Lacking venues for bands to perform in regularly is a major drawback.
Shillong, which is often called the ‘Rock Capital of India’, or “The hub of Rock Music” has only around 2-3 joints for bands to perform on the regular basis which Yes seems to be quite absurd with respect to other parts of India where there are several assorted clubs and bars. Northeast has the splendid culture, and there’s a lot of music being imbued in families, but they just don’t have the platform to unleash their talent. Comparatively, Shillong and Dimapur are still better, according to the availability of venues. Arunachal Pradesh apparently has almost no feasible bar or club for smaller artists to perform, which is quite disarrayed considering the kind of fervent talent the people have within them , such as the likes of singer-songwriter Takar Nabam and Indie faves Yesterdrive (after reading this article you must check them out and they won’t disappoint you pakka promise 😀 ) . Festivals like Ziro and hornbill are held which are prominent, but they need more bars and clubs for bands to make money/drink/catchy jam/gossip about the instances and happenings for the rest of the year.
Another major problem is that often most of local artists from the Northeast are sidelined in performances involving big stars.
Local artists love performing with the stars and likewise they get a chance to earn a little portion of income by doing this. Artists opening for the likes of Sonu Nigam or Farhan Akhtar or any other renowned singer should be given a speck of support and respect, so they feel confident about their own future in music. Unfortunately, state authorities fail to recognize this need or rarely recognize it due to which a lot of openers often end up with no performance time.
Lack of promotion and bookings is also an obstacle.
Much famous Mizoram based Boomerang Band has super duper exciting and fantastic musical talent. From scouting for opportunities in their hometown in the North East, to being busy juggling concerts and their individual careers, Boomerang has taken a big step into the national rock stage. They are almost mini-celebrities in their hometown who can manage bookings in Bombay and the rest. Same is for the vets like the hot-panted Low Majaw or blues-behemoths Soul mate. But others starting out as inexperienced or those who don’t have a connection have a really hard time gaining gigs outside and getting their music heard, regardless of their ardor for it.
There are a several such reasons why the appeasing music from the Northeast doesn’t hit the mainstream like it should, and listing them out would take all day.
The point is, it needs to be heard, because it’s really good and is gonna entertain us for sure. If you’re curious about the music there, here’s some of the other Northeastern acts I dig into and you should too – Abiogenesis from Nagaland and their folksy tribal goodness, the politically charged Imphal Talkies from Manipur, Street Stories (pop-punk) from Shillong, Stillwaters (rock) from Sikkim and Yesterdrive (indie-rock) from Arunachal. These aren’t all , still there are many which are left so yeahhhh let’s start listening to the precious treasure of music of the unexplored paradise.