INFOCUS: THE PAHARI PROJECT

DELVING DEEP INTO THE PAHARI ROOTS: THE PAHARI PROJECT

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It was more than a month ago. I was just doing my usual things, browsing internet and writing and listening to this amazing song called “Dhattu” by Lalit Singh. The song was about a boy living far away from his home, reminiscing his good days at home, holding on to the scarf of his mother (Dhattu is the Himachali word for a scarf) and I said to myself “You know what? I like this song” and since then the infectious song is getting bigger and better day by day. I came to know Lalit from a friend of mine who by the way is also a singer/producer just like Lalit. “Scandal Point”, was the first song I ever heard of Lalit’s and he has come a long way since. Back then he was known as “Swan Blaze” and he had the pipes!! His voice was dreamy, his music was decent and he was taking every step in the right direction.

Then out of nowhere “The Pahari Project” happened and the song “Dhattu” created a frenzy in Facebook. Positive feedbacks poured in from all over the nation and his song became bigger and better and started garnering praises from the Medias and the people of the “Pahars”. Lalit delved deep into his roots as a “Pahari” and we know that the song is a success because it has resonated with people from all over the country who have ever lived far away from their homes and holding on to the memories of their mother.

This is Lalit Singh, the producer of The Pahari Project in an exclusive and intimate interview with Cisum’s, Palzor Machungpa (also a Pahari).

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Palzor: So, how did “The Pahari Project” happen? Tell us your main motive behind reinventing your sound and production as a whole.

Lalit: Well, this is a point of my life when I am realising the value of my home and my town. So I wanted to express my love for my family and my hometown and the best way to do it was through music.  This was my first reason to start a project like this. And after that I had a thought that if I’m doing it then I should do it in a way that has never happened before. I was born and raised in Himachal Pradesh so the culture and ambience of that place is in my soul. On the other hand I was always attracted towards western music. So I thought I should try to reinvent the music scene in Himachal. A way by which I could produce the music I liked without having to compromise the love of my traditional music. So, I started making music which had influences from both western and Pahari music. So yeah, that was when I decided to fuse Pahari culture with modern music. And the result was “THE PAHARI PROJECT”

 

Palzor:  Now that we are on the topic of reinvention I need to ask you one thing. You have always been “Swan Blaze” more than “Lalit Singh” if you know what I mean. “Scandal Point”, “I see you baby” are all Swan Blaze kind of songs but “Dhattu” brings the Pahari in you in full display. What made you go back to your roots to find your sound?

Lalit: As I said in the song “I was never gone, I am just moving on”. So yea, I was never away from my roots, they were always there with me. But the thing is that I was just a kid and a young kid one you know…. So, I just wanted to be cool and look cool so I decided to call myself Swan Blaze, downloaded beats from internet and sang on them. That’s it! That was “Swan Blaze” Arghh that name though, I still don’t know how I picked it. On the other hand as I grew up, I started exploring music, different genres, and different cultures. I started producing music and that’s when I decided to produce music for myself too. At that point I knew that Swan Blaze was not the one I wanted to be anymore. So yeah, music has always helped me to grow more and to be the kind of person that I am today.

 

13474197_1758601174361256_1631996482_nPalzor: “Dhattu” is a song about being away from home and reminiscing your birthplace and the smell of your hometown’s air. Would you agree that you had to explore the vulnerability of a boy away from his home for this song? And if “yes” how did you do this?

Lalit:  Yes! I agree with you. I did it because that vulnerable boy is me. As you know this song is dedicated to my mom and my motherland. I’m away from my home from since the past 2 years. So it’s just my story and my experience away from home.

 

Palzor: The teaser of the music video for “Dhattu” is out and it looks great. How did you get to associate with RCH for the music video?

Lalit:  Thank you, we really worked hard for the video. We shot for 2 weeks in many different locations. Even I’m looking for the end result. And RCH is a production house based in Chandigarh. One day I got a call from Deepak Roach (The videographer in RCH) who is also the director of the video and he said “I heard your song yesterday and I am continuously listening to it and I think making a music video for it will be great”. Then he told me that he was also from Himachal Pradesh and that the song really touched his heart. We instantly connected and we decided to collaborate on this song. I instantly went to Chandigarh the next day and now the video is about to release. It’s insane how time flies so fast.

 

Palzor: Now that you have set the bar high for yourself by making a song as relatable and awesome as “Dhattu”, how do you plan to follow the footsteps of “Dhattu” and give us more awesome songs like this?

Lalit: I don’t know about awesome but I’ll surely try my best to give something new to my Pahari people.

 

13454015_1758601187694588_1329284498_nPalzor: Can you give us more details about what comes next after “Dhattu”? What else do you have in the store for us?

Lalit: Currently I have two songs lined up after this.

Taantra (which is about the devotion of Lord Shiva. This track will take you in a trance and will make you feel the power of Shiv. )

– Manali (Manali is actually a beautiful place in Himachal, and the song is about… let’s leave it there)

 

Palzor: What inspires you as a songwriter? And as a music producer how do you plan to keep the listeners hooked to your songs?

Lalit: Alright, so the plan is pretty simple. Be unique, think out of the box and be true to your music. I’m fond of poetry. I take inspiration from artists like Mirza Ghalib. I love the way how he says so many things and still speaks nothing. I don’t like spoon feeding my audience. I want them to ask questions to themselves, to think because at the end of the day the meaning is totally based on your perspective. Same thing goes with the music. I try to add soul in every song. You know the genres, the emotions can be different but soul is what that puts a life in every work whether it is art or music or poetry.

 

 QUICK FIVE QUESTIONS: 

Q) A song that describes you.

A) I still don’t know much about myself. I am exploring. I’ll tell you as soon as I know.

Q) Singing or producing music?

A) Producing

Q) A song that is stuck in your head these days?

A) Kajar Bin Kare (Ustaad Sultan Khan, Salim Merchant)

Q) Pick one holiday destination (inside India).

A) Himachal, Himachal, Himachal

Q) If you had to go back in time and give a 15 year old Lalit an advice, what would you advise him?

A) Don’t change a thing!

Follow Lalit Singh on Facebook

Exclusive: Bipul Chettri

 “ONE ON ONE WITH BIPUL CHETTRI”

                                                                          By- Palzor Machungpa

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If you have not heard people sing along to a Bipul Chettri song then there is a fat chance that you may have been living under a rock. From taxi cabs to parties and picnics Bipul Chettri’s music works for everyone regardless of the age limit. Before he came in the music scene I hate to admit it but Nepali music was a sinking ship. There were some devoted followers who followed it but no one and I mean no one has managed to keep the listeners hook to the radio and their stereo box for a Nepali song like Bipul Chettri. He came and he conquered. One album old and already a household name, Bipul Chettri does it the old fashioned way, by always making music from the heart and speaking truth from a place in the heart which is universal and honest. And this truth has resonated with his devoted fans from all across the globe.

In this exclusive interview with Cisum’s Palzor Machungpa, Bipul Chettri talks about his latest and poetic music video for “Dhadelo (Wildfire)” and about his future projects.

(WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!!)

 

13237878_1105043422875599_4709341702174844045_nQ) Your newest video for the song “Dhadelo” is already garnering praises and appreciation from fans across the country. How did you come up with the idea of making such a unique yet completely relatable music video?

We were approached by Asis Rai from Polka Studios, a group of very young but extremely talented people based in the UK. They said they were huge fans and wanted to create a video by partnering with us. From seeing their earlier body of work, we were deeply impressed with their capabilities and decided to go ahead with it. The video is a mix of free hand 2D pencil animation and some live action rotoscopy, an extremely labour intensive process, which eventually took them almost 18 months to complete with approximately 6000 odd hand drawn pages we’ve been told. We just gave them a gist of the kind of look we wanted and gave them full artistic freedom to do what they felt was right, as we feel that artistes should be given a free hand to do to put their ideas on paper. So the whole narration and interpretation of the video is actually their vision of the song.

Q) Young and aspiring singer/songwriters from Sikkim, Darjeeling, and Kalimpong look up to you, as you have paved the path for future generations who want to make native Nepali music. What advice do you have to give to them?

Our part of the hills have so much talent that if every single one of them decided to take up music seriously, we would have a glut of artists in the industry. Having said that, I am just an album old and very new in this industry as well so all I can say is to be true to your art and most importantly, enjoy what you do.

Q) How did you motivate yourself to release your music? Was it something that you always wanted to do?

I had no plans to make an album at all. It all happened by accident. After I wrote Wildfire, I casually uploaded it on the music platform, SoundCloud where it just took a life of its own. I felt compelled to write some more which eventually culminated into the EP ‘Sketches of Darjeeling’.

Q) Nepali music was a sinking ship before you came, many one hit wonders came and went but no-one managed to hook the listeners like you did. How do you manage to surprise us every time you release something?

Music is very subjective, so I clearly do not know how people have turned to my music but when I write, I do so without thinking much about what people will think but rather try and create something which I would enjoy listening to. So for me, I feel songwriting is a very selfish mode of expressing oneself. Once you present it to the public, it is out of your hand. You just leave it to the listeners to either love it or hate it. Thankfully, we have had some very good response till now.

Q) Sikkim has got musicians coming out of its ears. Everyone wants to record a song. Some people do it for the ladies while some people do it for their hobbies. But one out of every ten of them is a genuine musician who just wants to make music and live for it. What do you want to say to that one person?

I don’t think it is only Sikkim. It is now a worldwide phenomenon with the easy availablity of the tools to do so. For that one serious musician, As I have already mentioned above, stay true to your art and let it take you where it leads you to. One cannot force people to appreciate one’s body of work.

Q) Why do you think music is not taken seriously by our society? I mean “making music for a living” is not a thing here in our place. Why do you think musicians and writers and poets are not taken seriously as an engineer or a doctor?

Music in out part of the world mostly has always been taken casually as a career; not only music but sports as well. For most people, an engineer, a doctor or a corporate job will give them more chances of landing a job which in turn would secure them a regular source of income. But I think the mindset is slowly changing even though it is still an evolving process.

Q) Every songwriter needs an inspiration to write from. What is yours?

There are som many. I take inspiration from people, everyday life, nature, home, the mountains, our old folk sounds etc.

Q) If you were to go back in time and give a 12-year old Bipul Chettri an advice, what advice would you give to him?

That’s a good question. I guess I would have told him to read more. (smiles)

Q) Why do you still work as a teacher? You have accomplished so much as a musician. Why not be a full-time musician?

I have been a music teacher much before I started writing and releasing my music. So it is something that I enjoy doing and also answers your earlier question of having a regular income. I am just lucky that in my case, I am working in a area which has got to do with music education.

Q) Lastly, can you fill us in about your future endeavours? (Hint: Your next album or a song?)

The upcoming album is called ‘Maya’ and is almost complete. It has eight songs and we should be ready for release this summer. Apart from that, we are busy lining up concerts and some small tours around various countries.

‘Maya’ Promo: http://bit.ly/1Z5L0gY

Follow Bipul Chettri on Facebook

InFocus: Agyaat

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“THE FAIRY-TALE JOURNEY (YATRA) OF AGYAAT”

Five guys with their big dreams (Thulo Sapana), embarked on their musical journey (Yatra) to spread happiness and positivity through their music and now their story is a fairy-tale (Pari ko katha) of its own. They are called “Agyaat”, a Kalimpong based band comprising of Sudarshan (vocals), Rakesh (bass), Nabin, Karan (drums) and Sharad (guitars). Their debut single was “Thulo Sapana”, a feel good song with peppy lyrics and an upbeat vibe to it which gave them a pretty impressive head start and launched them as a band to look out for. Between their hectic schedules and a new song on the way titled “Pari ko katha”, Sharad the guitarist of the band chats with CISUM and talks about their song writing process, the impact of their music on the audience and about their new music which we all are eagerly waiting for. In an exclusive chat with Palzor Machungpa.

Q) I feel like I am in a dream sequence right now. I love your music and I am so stoked to interview at least one of you. You guys are so awesome and the music you create makes me so happy. What is your mantra behind it? Any secret recipe?

Sharad: Ohh! There is nothing sort of a mantra actually… The thing we do is, we just basically work on each songs very properly and carefully. From the lyrics to the melody and right up to the music. It’s easier for us to compose songs because Sudarshan, our lead vocalist has already written a bunch of songs. So, what I do is I pick some of them and arrange the music according the lyrics and with time the song becomes what you hear on the radio and Sound Cloud. Sometimes the song takes a day, a week or even some months to complete.

Q) But seriously there is a happy vibe to the songs you make. Even your very recent “Yatra”, had me going like, “Wait that happens with me”.

Sharad: Yeah. Most of our songs has this happy vibe coming from it and I guess most people who listen to our songs seem to be like that. Happy and liberated and free. But I don’t know how that comes to our songs. Maybe it’s the happy mood in which we compose the song. We are happy when we make music and I guess it is what that resonates with our audience.

Q) Tell me about “Thulo Sapana”. The idea behind it and the composing elements that you guys incorporated into it. I know you have had this question asked like a hundred times but it’s a great song and it deserves to be questioned.

Sharad: “Thulo Sapana” is why we are a band. Talking about this song is like talking about the origination of “Agyaat”.  We all were living in our own worlds. Sudarshan was in his world of work and no music at all (he is an engineer), Rakesh (lawyer) in his cases, Nabin (teacher) with his students and classes, Karan in Jalpaiguri and I was associated with a professional band called “PRITHIBI” in Kolkata. Everyone had their own lifestyles until Nabin came to know Sudarshan. Then one fine day we all met, had some jam session and ended up doing a Nepali project called “Thulo Sapana” which became a huge success and it marked the beginning of “Agyaat”. It’s safe to say that it has become the most important thing in our lives. And also, “Thulo Sapana” was composed three years ago.

Q) A fairy tale indeed. So Sudarshan writes all the songs?

Sharad: Sudarshan writes the songs. I arrange the overall song and then finally all of our band members sit and decides the final product. “A fairy tale” reminds me of our upcoming song “Pari ko katha”.

Q) So your new song that you recently released is “Yatra”. What was the idea behind the song? What message it gives and how has been the overall response for the song?

Sharad: “Yatra” is a song actually dedicated to a couple and their journey in life, going through ups and downs. “Yatra” connects to people in a different way. I mean everyone relates to it differently. People can relate if they are falling out of love, people can relate if they are alone and going on with their lives and couples who are going through a testing time can relate with the song too. The feeds that we have received with “Thulo Sapana” and “Yatra” has shown us the dividing audience. The happy and carefree ones and the emotional souls. The emotional ones are more drifted towards “Yatra” and the jolly ones listen to “Thulo Sapana”.

Q) “Pari ko katha”. Details please.

Sharad: We are hoping that “Pari ko katha” will attract more audience towards us. As it is one of the oldest songs written by Sudarshan, it is an important one too. He has tried to record this song two or three times before this and I don’t know why it was not getting the right vibe before. But this time, we are done recording the song and it is undergoing mixing and mastering. It took me a month to arrange the music alone. We are planning to release the song very soon online and hopefully people will resonate with it like our previous songs.

Q) What are your future plans then?

Sharad: We have not thought about it yet. Right now we all are focused working on our album. We are not even doing shows. First we will finish the album then we shall consider doing shows in order to support the album. There will be 10 songs in it.

Follow Agyaat on Facebook

Download Agyaat’s “Thulo Sapana” : 

Download Agyaat’s “Yatra” : 

InFocus: Apurva Tamang

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“CANDID WITH APURVA TAMANG”

apurva-tamang-sa-re-ga-ma-pa Six years ago a small but ambitious boy hailing from Mirik, Darjeeling represented all of the hill people when he competed in the TV singing competition show “SaReGaMaPa Lil Champs”. He opened the gates for all of us when he competed in that show and won the heart of judges which had some of the biggest musical influences of India like Alka Yagnik, Abhijeet to name a few . Since then he has gone on to perform in various events and innumerable shows which showcased his versatility as a singer and a performer. A high school student by day and an aspiring singer by night, we at CISUM are super stoked and proud to feature APURVA TAMANG as our “Artist InFocus” this week. 

Get to know about his future plans and how he manages to balance his dreams to conquer the music world and his studies. He also played a game with us in which he claimed that he is a diehard Belieber (me too bro!). But when it came down to choose between Bieber and Bipul Chettri, read on to find who he chose. In an exclusive chat with Cisum’s Palzor Machungpa

Palzor: How was your CBSE exams?

Apurva: Fortunately, it went well. I feel good about it.

Palzor: Now that your exams are over, can you tell us about your future plans? Your debut album and your further academic plans.

Apurva: I have just started working on my first full length debut album. I can’t say much except that it’s a very interesting album with some experimental music and variations. And about my future academic plans I think I will opt for Bachelor of music. Then I’ll be doing masters in music and hopefully I will do well.

Palzor: Tell us about your life after SaReGaMaPa.

Apurva: After SaReGaMaPa I started to learn more about music. Then I took training under Sir Alip Kumar Saha.  Being there in Mumbai for 6 months changed my life. I got to know many things about life along with music. After the show was done, I did about 250 shows in different venues and events. Although I started singing from a small age, SaReGaMaPa made me delve deep into music. I started to get indulged in music seriously after that.

Palzor: What was it like to be able to perform in front of some of the biggest musicians of the country?

Apurva: It was a great pleasure to be with them and to watch them teach us. I learned many things about music performing for them. I feel blessed to have sung in front of them.

Palzor: Anything you learned from the judges that you would like to share with the rest of us?

Apurva: Firstly, to stay positive no matter what. By looking at them you really get energised and the dream to achieve and be like them really fuels up and the dream does not look like dream anymore. You feel that the dream can be real because they were just like us. They too had a dream of becoming a singer. They worked hard and they fulfilled their dreams.

Palzor: I watched your interview at YougainTV and you were very vocal about your love for Justin Bieber. Any other local or Indian artists that you look up to?

Apurva: I follow Bipul Chettri a lot. I don’t follow a particular artist but I do like listening to all of the new music and the upcoming artists.

Palzor: And why do you think that our local musician brothers and sisters don’t do well in the national scene? I mean, there are hundreds of musicians here but they are just fading. What’s your take?

Apurva: We need to be more united. We need to be more aware of the things going around us and I am sure that this unity will one day turn into a big music industry of its own. Artists and musicians must respect each other. We need to have each other’s back. That’s the most important thing.

Palzor: Now that your high school is over. How do you think you will balance your studies with music?

Apurva: It is hard but now I am habituated to the timings. Some sacrifices are always needed to gain something good right? So, I think hopefully I will balance them just fine.

Palzor: Name one artist that you would not mind swapping your life with.

Apurva: Justin Bieber for sure.

Palzor: A collaboration with Justin Bieber or a duet with Bipul Chettri?

Apurva: I cannot choose so I am going to say both.

Palzor: Indian music or American pop?

Apurva: Indian music for sure. We need to look into our country’s music first.

Palzor: One song that is stuck in your head these days?

Palzor: Mann by Bipul Chettri

Palzor: Let’s play a game okay? I will name one thing or a human emotion and you have to name one song immediately without much delay okay?

Apurva: Okay. I’ll try.

  1. Q) Love A) My own song. “Timro aakha ma”
  2. Q) Break-up A) Love yourself by Justin Bieber
  3. Q) Childhood A) Taare Zameen Par
  4. Q) Frustration A) Gravity by John Mayer
  5. Q) Party A) The whole discography of Honey Singh
  6. Q) Bieber Fever A) Purpose, Believe by Justin Bieber

 

Follow Apurva Tamang in Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/apurvatamangofficial/

InFocus: Tribal Rain

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KENNETH ON WHY HE THINKS THAT LOCAL MUSICIANS ARE NOT TREATED WITH RESPECT BY THE EVENT ORGANISERS IN SIKKIM.

Keyboardist of “Tribal Rain”, a classical experimental Nepali band from Sikkim chats exclusively with CISUM about their new music and the state of musicians in Sikkim.

Tribal Rain is a classical experimental Nepali band from Sikkim. The band is known for their unique genre of music which fuses classical acoustic genre with a modern metal tinge to it. The band comprises of Rahul Rai in vocals, Kenneth in keyboard, Biren Lama as the bass guitarist and Shushant Ghatani as the percussionist.  Featured in “GOOD NEWS SIKKIM” as their cover story last year and an envious line of songs the band is yet to release their new album. Catch the keyboardist of the band Mr Kenneth in an exclusive chat with CISUM’S Palzor Machungpa.

 

Palzor: How did you guys find each other and decided to form a band?

Kenneth: Well, actually in the beginning we all were in separate metal bands like for instance, Rahul (the lead vocalist) was in “Dream Diabolic” and so was I in another band. Later on we felt like doing something different with our music and presenting it to the people you know, like an acoustic version of our songs. Rahul was the first one to take the initiative and fortunately we met him through some friends. We all got together and jammed and we really kicked off and we really liked the idea of giving something new and unique music to the people. Hence, we decided to form an acoustic band and that’s how “Tribal Rain” came into existence.

Palzor: I heard your songs. They have this old school vibe in it yet they sound so modern. Why this genre?

Kenneth: Actually the genre is a bit mashed up version of classical and metal genre. The kind of music we perform has the old school acoustic classical vibe with a tinge of metal which we incorporated in an acoustic manner. We make this kinds of music so that we could promote this kind of genre especially in tune with Nepali language so that people could have some fresh and unique feeling while listening to it.

Palzor: And I see its working right? 3000+ likes on Facebook and some pretty big gigs and a growing fan base. By the way how has been the response so far regarding your music and your approach to invent a completely different kind of genre?

Kenneth: We never thought that this type of genre could ever appeal to the masses. Actually we composed our songs and hoped for a few response since the kind of music that we make are first of its kind here in Sikkim but we were wrong. The people here are very much inclined towards music than what we initially expected. They were very flexible with the kind of music we made and we have received immense praise and appreciation from the fans. Therefore, we are deeply encouraged to make more music for them.

Palzor: speaking of new music why such a long hiatus? Your last song “Hunudeu jey hunucha” was released last year in November. I mean, why not make new music more often than vanishing in thin air just like that?

Kenneth: Definitely we are in talks for releasing our album soon but you know how difficult it is for an upcoming band to make an album and release new music very often. And regarding the gaps I would say it is because of the restrictions that the families of our place put on their children regarding our career choices. I mean unlike the western countries some of us cannot get the emotional support and financial aid from them and moreover many events that we play are unpaid for because we are (GHARKO BAND) “LOCAL BAND”. Unless you’re rich or get sponsored it is very difficult to make music in the studio and deliver it. But having said that we have decided to release our album in the coming future.

Palzor: I understand that and I am sorry. So new album eh?

Kenneth: No, it’s okay I mean most of us face the problem and deal with it somehow but these things need to flash out more often you know. Yeah! An album comprising of 8 songs most probably. But it’s not confirmed as yet. If everything happens right then we can start working on it.

Palzor: I think that that the local event organisers take local artists as granted. I mean because you guys are from home and they treat you all in a very unprofessional way. What’s your take on it?

Kenneth: Yes, exactly I mean we have to work really hard for the show and we cannot do it for free. They should know that and they should respect it. Being a band does not meant that we are rich. We need financial stability to put forward our music and we work our ass off for it but sadly people fail to understand that. And it demotivates us as a person and as a musician.

Palzor: What do you suggest the event organisers in Sikkim could do to promote hill talents?

Kenneth: We don’t want lakhs of rupees. I guess what every musicians from the hills wants is some respect and a good treatment and some basic amount of money after a show unless it’s a charity show. I mean we need money so that we can continue functioning and make new music. I don’t think anyone would want to work or play music for free unless it’s for a charity event. I know we are not engineers and doctors but what we do is just as much as hard as them. I think people need to understand that and respect that.

Palzor: What would you change in Sikkim if you were given a chance?

Kenneth: I mean musically I would say we need more organizations like OMAS and CISUM. I would want to make Sikkim a better musical destination for people all around the world.

Palzor: Any messages that you would like to convey to your supporters?

Kenneth: Well, firstly we would like to say that we are really thankful for accepting us and our music. Secondly, I want to say that we all are trying our best to make a good foundation for acoustic music and anyone who would want to pursue it in future. Lastly, I want all the musicians from the hills to never stop making new music and to never stop trying.

Listen to Tribal Rain’s Bhanai

Follow Tribal Rain on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tribal.rain.sikkim

 

 

InFocus: Street Stories

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Shillong’s Indie Rock stalwarts Street Stories are all revved up for their sophomore release, Deaf Punk coming out on March 1st to kick start their multi city tour. The band has been steadily growing fan base grabbing since they releaesed their last EP “The Apple and The Clown” five years ago and an acoustic EP and some singles along the way. Consisting of Pezo Kronu on Guitar and Vocal duties, Riko Kronu on Bass and Vocals and Matsram Sangma on Drums the trio has been blending indie rock, pop punk, with throbbing bass lines, catchy guitar riffs and orchestrated with cool drum beats since the January of 2010.

 

We had the opportunity of catching up with Pezo Kronu about the new EP, touring and more.

 

You just announced your new EP and a tour, how’s the overall feedback?

Yeah! So far we have had massive support from all our friends and family and fans who has played a major role in making all of this possible for us. We had recorded this EP with a good friend Kevi Pucho also the frontman of the band We The Giants, we had friends help us make the promos, videos, album art etc etc.. so there are a lot of people behind in making this happen. We also had Daniel from Digital Suicide while recording the album. Our lyric videos were made by Toshi Longchar (video for – Only Human)and Daniella Sohkhlet (video for -bedroom Horror). Aloran for making the album art. And we have Mr. Uddipan Sarmah to thank for believing in us and for making this tour happen and putting us in the roster.

What were the themes and influences while writing the album? How was the writing process like compared to your 2011 release The Apple and The Clown?

There was no particular theme in writing this EP, it was mostly random stuff about whatever we felt or thought about things in life or love etc etc. We have songs about finding beliefs and getting lost and trying to get back kinda things and also relationship related songs. We went for the name Deaf Punk because this reord has the most unpunk songs we ever wrote both lyrically and sound wise, theres much more sound that involved synths and keys added to it by Danial Langthasa from the band Digital Suicide. So yea this EP is more POP based sound wise i guess.

What are you expectations and what can fans expect from this album ?
We just hope that people like the new experiments we have tried on this album and if not we hope that they will like our future releases better. As for us personally, we have minimal expectations and just want that this should be out to whoever wants to listen to it and whoever takes interest in listening to our music.

Pick up a song off the album and tell us the meaning and story behind it.

Cheyrrian Bark // The Vinyl Records
Cheyrrian Bark // The Vinyl Records

There is a song called “You and I”, obviously a song about love as the name would suggest. and that song is pretty intimate and close to me personally because that song was inspired by a dream that my girlfriend had where she was saying or singing a set of lines which later came to be the first four or five lines of the song . So she told me about it and i decided to put it in a song and it came out pretty well. But, i wanted to have a female voice sing in that song so i decided to contact Cheyrrian Bark of the Vinyl Records and she was glad to feature in it and that just made it perfect.

 
You are on this year’s 2 Storke Tour with The Circus which starts in just few weeks, how are you looking forward to it.
Yes, thats a major event for us and we are very very excited and nervous at the same time because we have never done such a huge tour like this one. We hope to make the best out of it but untill then the idea is still sinking in as we prepare for it.

 

Finally, what are your plans for the band’s future?

We really plan to make some cool music videos and a full length album, thats pretty much the target for the year. And of course, to play as many shows possible and to reach more people and places.
Thank you for taking the time to do this interview, anything else you wanna add for the readers?
Thank you for talking to us. Keep supporting us and you all will keep hearing much more from us in the days to come. Thank you everyone!

 

 

Follow Street Stories on Facebook for Tour Updates and more: Facebook.com/streetstoriesband

InFocus: The Lazy Fingers

Their debut single is called “Salala”. A feel good song with a feel good lyric and an amazing composition that consists of guitar riffs, drums and a soul soothing voice. Their band is called The Lazy Fingers, an unusual name but what they do is pretty amazing and it seems that many people agree with the kind of music they make. Result?

Continuous gigs to many main events in and around the state and a building fanbase. Siddhant Rai, a member from the band and the lead vocalist catches up with Cisum’s Palzor Machungpa in an exclusive interview where he talks about their aspirations, inspirations and many more. And he shares his top 10 all time favourite tracks from his music playlist.

 

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Cisum: First things first. I loved your song “Salala”. How has been the overall response?

Siddhant: Thank you. Well, the people who have heard the song told us that they loved it. Its a soft and light song with a nice message which is easily acceptable and comprehensible. So far the response have been good but we have not done anything special to promote it. So, I dont think that many people have heard it but we are happy for the love that it has been getting till now.

Cisum: Introduce each and every member of your band to us. Their names and their places in your band.

Siddhant: We have Mingma on the keyboards, Rupen on the bass, Dibya on the drums, Shikhar as the lead guitarist and lastly me on the guitar and vocals. The most important thing about our bans is that we are the best of friends and we are always there for each other. In good times and bad times we are always there to help each other and boost each others confidence. We tease each other and we like to pray together often and find that God is the integral part of us.

Cisum: Why “The Lazy Fingers”?? Is there any story behind christening your bands name with an unusual name such as this?

Siddhant: Well, we were practising for an inter school band contest. We did not have a name that time. We were a nameless band but then we got called up on stage and they did not have a clue about our bands name. We were speechless when they asked us about our bands name but then our bands mentor and our founder Mr. Jigmee Wangchuk named our band as “The Lazy Fingers”. I think it has a lot to do with the kind of music that we play and that is blues and slow blues. And thats how our band became “The Lazy Fingers”.

Cisum: Interesting. As we know so less about you guys why don’t you introduce yourself to the world?

Siddhant: I just kinda did. Lol. As I said earlier, we started playing together since we were in school. We studied in St. Augustine when a band contest brought us all together and thats it. Since then we are together, making music and playing gigs all over the state. We are just a group of guys who lives and breathe music everyday.

Cisum: Describe your sound for those who have not heard of you yet.

Siddhant: Our sound is not particlularly categorised. Not by us atleast. We like to listen and play all kinds of stuffs that feels good to hear and that we connect to. But we definitely started with the blues.

Cisum: Tell us about your writing process and the overall production and recording stuffs.

Siddhant: Okay, so I do the basic melody thing then we jam together and work the song out. We share our ideas and feelings then Shikhar, our lead guitarist arranges the song and with the help of us all we do a basic home recording. We also do the final recording at our home studio. Shikhar does all the recording, editing, mixing and mastering stuff. Then comes out the song.

Cisum: What is your favourite and the least favourite thing about being in a band?

Siddhant: The best thing is that we’ve got each other and sometimes the worst thing too is having each other. But I am beyond glad that these guys are my band mates and best friends. We are what we are because we have each other. Lazy Fingers is us and without them it would not be good as it is today.

Cisum: If not musicians what would each of you be?? According to you.

Siddhant: Rupen would be a teacher, I would be a preacher, Mingma would be a scientist and I cannot imagine what Shikhar and Dibya would be without music.

Cisum: As an upcoming musician from Sikkim what do you think that our state lacks in terms of promoting local artists and giving them exposure?

Siddhant: Good venues and proper payment to artists are two important factors which determines the growth of artists in any region. More sponsors and label companies should come up for good business and promotion of artists.

Cisum: Speaking of artistry, who do you guys look up to? Where do you find inspiration for your songs?

Siddhant: A lot of artists, a lot of songs and music and not just artists but people who have inspired us.

Cisum: Anyone in specific?

Siddhant: BB King, Eric Clapton, James Brown, Coldplay, Alex Murdoch, Elvis Prestley and so on.

Cisum: What are your plans for future? Do we see an album coming up soon?

Siddhant: Definitely. We want to release some more singles and a music video. And of course keep living music throughout our lives.

Cisum: Any advice that you would like to give to all the aspiring musicians from Sikkim?

Siddhant: Live your art and don’t be scared of the world. Your art everyday is your win everyday.

Cisum: Lastly, since we could not do our weekly playlist this week we would like you to share your top 10 all time favourite songs.

Siddhant: Thats a tough one but here it goes:
1. Yellow – Coldplay
2. You’re no one till someone lets you down- John Mayer
3. Orange Sky- Alexi Murdoch
4. I’m Yours- Jason Mraz
5. Sunny side of the street- Rod Steward
6. Yeti Dherai- Narayan Gopal
7. Love came down- Brian Johnson
8. Iris- Go Goo Dolls
9. Don’t wanna miss a thing- Aerosmith
10. Where is the love- Black eyed peas.

Follow The Lazy Fingers on

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Cisum Weekly Playlist #2 – Valentine’s Day Special

VALENTINES

One of the most commercial day of the entire year is upon us. Not the “World Finance Day”, but the day of lovers, when everybody is struggling to find a perfect gift for their better half. It is that week of the year where Monday is “Teddy Day”, Tuesday is “Chocolate Day” and so on… It’s that day of the year when florists double their prices and restaurants are set to entertain all the lovebirds of the town with over-the-top menus and special requests.
Roses, chocolates, teddy bears test the limit of your pocket balance and your endurance. But one thing which is free and triumphs all these expensive gifts is the gift of music. Guitar players and singers can woo their better half with their talents but those who are stuck with none of these can turn on the music player, cuddle with their partners and lose themselves to the power of music and the love it spreads.

This week we are going to countdown the top 10 songs for a perfect Valentine’s Day week.

Let’s go with…

#1 QUEEN- LOVE OF MY LIFE
Most romantic line: “You have stolen my love, you now desert me”

#2 AEROSMITH- I DON’T WANNA MISS A THING
Most romantic line: “Every moment spent with you is a moment I treasure”

#3 SECONDHAND SERENADE- AWAKE
Most romantic line: “I will share the air I breathe”

#4 TIM MCGRAW AND FAITH HILL- IT’S YOUR LOVE (ACOUSTIC)
Most romantic line: “Better than I was more than I am and all of this happened by taking your hand”

#5 RONAN KEATING- IF TOMORROW NEVER COMES
Most romantic line: “So tell that someone that you love, just what you’re thinking of if tomorrow never comes”

#6 ED SHEERAN- PHOTOGRAPH
Most romantic line: “Loving can heal, loving can mend your soul but it’s the only thing that makes us feel alive”

#7 SECONDHAND SERENADE- FALL FOR YOU
Most romantic line: “Because a girl like you is impossible to find, you are impossible to find”

#8 TAYLOR SWIFT- BEGIN AGAIN
Most romantic line: “I think it’s strange that you think I’m funny cuz he never did” “But on a Wednesday, in a café, I watched it begin again”

#9 LIFEHOUSE- YOU AND ME
Most romantic line: “There’s something about you I can’t quite figure out, everything she does is beautiful and everything she does is right”

#10 ED SHEERAN- GIVE ME LOVE
Most romantic line: “Give me love like never before, cuz lately I’ve been craving for more”


Honorary mentions:

*RYAN O’SHAUGHNESSY: NO NAME
Most romantic line “Every now and then I see a part of you I’ve never seen”
*ED SHEERAN: KISS ME
Most romantic line: “Your heart’s against my chest, Lips pressed to my neck I’m falling for your eyes but they don’t know me yet”
*MATT WHITE: LOVE
Most romantic line: “And I can feel it in your kiss, It just gives me tender bliss”

Curated by Palzor Machungpa, Content Editor

In Focus: Chappal

We caught up with Chappal a post-rock/math-rock band from Jhapa, Nepal. These guys haven’t been a band for long, but they are making a big statement with their music.We got the opportunity to ask them few questions about the band formation, their influences, how people react to their music and more. Check out what they had to say below.

chappaninterview

His name is Hillihang Ejam, the lead guitarist of “Chappal” a post rock band hailing all the way from Jhapa, Nepal. After releasing a bunch of guitar covers on YouTube they finally found their sound and released their heavily appreciated tracks like “Samaya” and “Timi Beautiful La”. Already popular among their fans for their unique style of music here is Hillihang Ejam in an exclusive chat with Cisum’s Palzor Machungpa.

 So tell us about your band. How and when did you guys meet? And when did you all decided to come together and form a band?

It was 2012. I used to play guitar at our late guitarist’s house. He used to listen to me play guitar. So, one day he brings his friend who is now the drummer of our band and they both watch me play the guitar. After I finished playing they both came over to me and said that they really liked how I played the guitar and asked me if I was interested in forming a band. I was like “Yeah! Count me in!” because at that time all I played the guitar with were some dai’s (brothers). So, that’s how we got the idea of forming a band. At first everybody wanted to play lead guitars only so we had trouble finding our bass guitarist. But I guess our band was meant to be. One day our drummer brought a bassist who was more than willing to be a part of our band. And plus we all are from the same village. So that helped.

Why is the name of your band “Chappal”? I mean is there some reason behind it?

Actually, we wanted to be a punk band and make fun of everyone but after a year we were like “we don’t give a shit about what others say or does”. So that’s how we came up with “Chappal”, a band who really wants to make music for free minds without any judgements and criticism.

“We want our music to liberate people. We want our music to make people feel free”


3000+ views on YouTube and still counting. Growing fan base and so much appreciation from your fans. How does it feel??

It feels awesome. I have met people who recognize me when I walk down a street because of our music. They know our songs and we are so much grateful that they appreciate our music making process. The love from our fans keep us strong and they motivate us to make more awesome songs.

 

Going through the comment section of your videos we saw there’s a demand for vocals on your music, though most bands in the post rock circle are instrumental would you incorporate vocals in order to cater to your fans?

Yes, absolutely. We will be doing vocals in our songs but that does not mean we won’t do instrumentals. We are an instrumental band but we will make some songs with vocals in them and they won’t be post rock but we will try to make the song as post rock as possible.
You can say we will be doing different type of music but we will be doing post rock as our main style and yeah, no love songs.

 

Let’s talk about your new music. Your latest song is called “Samaya”. Tell us a bit about the writing process on a typical “Chappal” session.

We write everyday but we never know what to do exactly. Making a song takes months so we go on tweaking our guitars. Sometimes we get stuck for weeks and sometimes it gets so messy that it takes a very long time to figure out what we exactly want. Most of the songs are composed by me. At first we make a song and when we think that it is fit for recording we go ahead and record it. Even during recording we keep on changing things if it’s necessary to make it sound good.

 

chappalpractce

 

 

While composing new songs. Do u take inspirations from other bands? Which artists do u look up to while making new music?

Yeah! We do a lot. We take inspiration from several bands but we have our own stuff. We take hints but we try to make our music more unique as possible. Personally, I know very less about music so I learn from those who know them. I listen to music which are post-rock and math- rock influenced. I like music which are instrumental oriented and I am a huge fan of progressive rock genre.

Since the whole post-rock/math-rock thing is new to Nepal and even in India, do you think it’s harder for an instrumental band to survive in the scene compared to one with the vocals?

I am not worried about that. I know we are new but if we make good music then people will hear our songs and they sure as hell will like it. We must find a way to stand out from other normal bands because many other bands does the same thing that we do but what will make us different is if we work harder and find a new way to stand out.

What kind of emotions do you think your music presents to your audience?

We want our music to liberate people. We want our music to make people feel free.

 

If you were headlining an arena show and you had to choose 3 bands to open for you, who would it be and why?

Opening for our show??? Damn! We shall cross that bridge when we get there. Meanwhile, we would rather open up for other bands.

chappal

QUICKIE!!

Q: Your take on Social Medias.
A: Great way to reach masses and promote anything.

Q: One song that you are obsessed with right now.
A: FLCL×アジカン「エントランス」(MAD)

Q: Best movie.
A: District 9. It’s the only movie that I did not skip to the end.

Q: Guilty pleasure songs.
A: Poker Face (Lady Gaga), 22 (Taylor Swift) to name a few.

Q: Favorite Bands.
A: Asian Kungfu Generation, Chon, Periphery, Archadbald, Procupine etc.

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Words: Palzor Machungpa
Content Editor.

Cisum Weekly Playlist#1

 

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So from now on we are going to countdown our top ten songs on our playlist every Tuesdays. Some songs in our list are old and some are new, but it’s our personal opinion of what we think and what we prefer as musicoholics. So, here are the top 10 songs on our playlist this week.

And let us start with….
Drum Roll……….

 ZAYN-  PILLOWTALK

 

Was it obvious? Oh yeah! The former 1D heartthrob going Han Solo in this peppy R&B influenced song. At first I was very critical about Zayn leaving the band but if it’s for this then yeah! I am supportive and glad that he did it. And did I mention that the chorus is epic! And by epic I mean The Weeknd meets Ed Sheeran epic. It is infectious and boy he can sing. If this song did not make your list then I don’t know… “Have you been living under a rock?”


THE CHAINSMOKERS: ROSES (FEATURING ROZES)

I first heard this song in a video made by a dancer where he does a lyrical hip-hop dance. I had no idea that it was this song that the guy was dancing to. I hated their song “Selfie” so it was a no brainer for me to listen to any of their song but this song is so good, especially that voice and the music. And the best part?? The dubstep thingy that they have put in the song. Hell! I wanted to break dance after listening that part. A pure winner!


ED SHEERAN: TENERIFE SEA

As much as I loved “Thinking Out Loud”, this song is without any discussion the most underrated song of the entire album. What intrigued me about this song is the music and the lyrics. I mean, his voice is good but in this song the lyrics completely overshadows his voice. This song is my favourite song of Sheeran after “Small Bump” and “Kiss Me”.


JUSTIN BIEBER: LOVE YOURSELF

No wonder this song is blowing the charts. I mean the sweet guitar riffs and that voice! Major feels throughout the song. This Ed Sheeran penned song is so good that it’s easily the best song of the year 2015 and half of the 2016.


 NEW ROMANTICS: TAYLOR SWIFT

 

Another underrated song and the best song of her entire album “1989”. This song is the sound of her album which she so much described in her numerous interviews and that is 80’s influenced Synth-Pop. Taylor swift sounded never cooler than this and she never wrote these massively coolest lyrics like “Cuz Baby I could build a castle, out of all the bricks you threw at me” and that chorus “The best people in life are free”. You did not assume that my list would be without a Taylor Swift song. Did you?


RIHANNA: WORK FEAT. DRAKE

Listen Here.

Rih hits it hard with this song and who better to collaborate than the guy who grandpa danced his way to the top last year with “Hotline Bling”. This tropical house influences track is a winner all the way. Rihanna’s Navy were all disappointed when she kept on delaying her album “ANTI” which was supposed to release last year but what they got for the wait is very well worth it. You guys can check her other tracks too from her latest album like “Consideration” “Desperado”.


CARLY RAE JEPSEN: RUN AWAY WITH YOU

 

Remember that song “Call Me Maybe”?? How could anyone forget about that Canadian girl who made it to the top of charts with her debut single? As much as over played her first song was “Run away with me” is as under played as her first song to stardom. The 80’s synth-pop along with her voice is indeed her best song of her entire career. It is safe to say that it was one of the best songs of 2015.


DRAKE: HOTLINE BLING

 

I celebrated my New Year with this song played exactly at midnight. I made a video of me grandpa dancing and posted in my Facebook too. Every shopping I did I searched for that red hoodie jacket because it looked so good on him and I thought I would look good in it too. Enough reasons to justify why this song is in my playlist.


ALESSIA CARA: HERE

Another Canadian in my list. This 19 year old YouTube phenomenon is so good at what she does that she is easily the best new artist of 2015. “Here” is a song about being not interested in parties and frenemies. The anti-party anthem of the year. Between Snakeship’s “All my friends” and this song I choose this because of that voice and that haunting background voice.

 


AGYAAT: THULO SAPANA

Let me just be clear I am not into Nepali songs. But the music video of this song made me like this song. The song reminded me of Jason Mraz and Hunter Hayes’s collab “Everybody’s got somebody but me”. But all said and done this song made it to this list because I heard it during my first date and this song always brings memories.

 


So, these were the top 10 songs on my playlist this week. See you another Tuesday with another 10 songs. Till then watch this space for more and like us on Facebook.

-Palzor Machungpa
Content Editor