“In 2010, I released my first album. I was into solo project. I invited lots of musicians to play for one of my concert. There were around 70 artists coming and playing. These guys were all in different bands, they helped me in the concert. It was like everyone was playing in different bands but we felt that was the calling, we thought that was what we were looking for, we stick from there. The paper wrote Alobo Naga and the band, our band name is derived from the quote.” Alobo Naga the lead singer spoke to Manipur Times in an exclusive interview.
The band got an opportunity to write a song for an international short film festival in Guwahati. The band manager got their deal in 2010. A song titled ‘Painted Dreams’ was submitted and the band got an offer to make a video. That was how the popular video music Painted Dream was made.
“We were like just another band from North East. From there people started appreciating our music video and it was featured in International channel VH 1. Next moment we show ourselves in International Top 10. There were bands like lady gaga and all those stuffs. We were looking and we felt like wow. At first we were in top 8, next week it clinched to top 4. Then the song was nominated for the European music award. There were five bands from India. There was a voting thing happening and we won the vote. The winner from India was nominated for the world music there we could not win. Winning in India was a great thing for us” – Alobo Naga
Alobo Naga and the Band have clinched the Best Indian Act MTV Europe Music Award in 2012 and it has inspired the bands in the North East so far. Recently they performed at YAC Ground as a part of Nongin Music Festival2013.
The band has performed in Hyderabad, Calcutta, Delhi and many other places in India. Aboard they have performed in Singapore, Indonesia etc.
“We are all guys in the family and our family gave us time to follow our dreams when we are on tour. We are all from different family background, the common point is we are good friends, best of friend; we have a very good chemistry, so that is very important in the band. Even if you are really talented, many bands break up. The Chemistry the ego whatever it is like differences. All of us have differences but at the end of the day we know how to compromise. The friendship is bigger than the music that’s why it works and the songs are. See we are very fortunate like everyone is talented. If one of our band member brings us a song. Everyone do our own part. He plays the guitar, he plays the bass, the drummer will beat and I start composing the melody,” say the band members.
Alobo Naga and the band focus on social cause issues. “Tonight one song was about Crime against Women and we dedicated the song to Binalakshmi Nepram. First song we dedicate to the youths, the world is full of favoritism, and these days are like survival of the fittest. So young people are really discouraged by these things and they give up easily. We called our song ‘Youth Anthem’ the song tell the youth that you should stand for your right if you are right and do not let anybody stop you from doing right. Do not let anybody tells you even that you can’t do it.
All our songs are something to do with hope, faith, love. Painted dreams are about telling someone if you believe you can achieve your dreams. All you need to do is just pray and work hard. We keep it simple and go straight to the message” says the young and sweet smiling Alobo Naga.
What Nagaland has inspired the band?
“The land, the people it is like any other North East place, in Nagaland every family there is a musician, in the sense like everybody sing. Even if it is not professional everybody sing. There is someone in the family who plays guitar, everywhere you go around. You go to church every Sunday, when you grow up you go to Sunday school you are taught songs, you sing in the church every Sunday, when you go to school before you start your classes you sing in the assembly, music is all around us every time. Those things inspired us. Everybody loves music the government also loves music when you go to a party or concert all the ministers sings even the chief minister can sing , the chief secretary sing just like that. Music is a part of our life,” – the band
What have you given to Nagaland ?
“When we really started nobody even imagine that a band from Nagaland can go and achieve these but we did it. With that we gave hope to all the young artists not only young but all the artists felt if they can do it we can also do it. Nowadays promoting the song online has become popular in our State, every day you see a new band coming with a new video. Sharing the music online and they are really doing well in that way. So in that way we are one of the pioneers and we are really happy to do that” – the band.
My father bought me a guitar.
I am Fung Walling and I play bass guitar. I have been in lots of band. ‘Blended for him’ was my last band. During my college days, we were quite popular, those days we were in gospel band. I was really into music from a very small age. My dad bought me a guitar when I was eight and that is how I started playing. My dad and mom they love music. That was very encouraging. My father supported me my mom was nagging and wants a government job. My music career was because of my dad.
I take music as a career I can say that now.
Message to youth – “ have fun because life is short, have fun but in a good way ”
Akhum Jams – lead Guitarists
“We support vocal as well, every member in the band sings. I learn to play guitar from my mother when in tender age. She loves singing. She was my inspiration. 14 years old. I have been in Churches playing music for 3 years. I was playing in metal band call Melodrama. Actually won the MTV campus rock idol. And I happen to join the Alobo Naga and the Band.
We are here and we are doing what we love to do because of our parents, their encouragement and support. There are days to come, years to come for a music lover like us”.
“We are working for an album with Tim Palmer, a Grammy Nominee and sound engineer from US. Palmer has worked with Ozzy Ozbourne, Pearl Jam etc. He heard our music and we proceeded with our project. It cost us a lot, for a band you don’t earn much but we are looking forward and one song is already mixed. Hopefully by December Alobo Naga and the Band will be able to release one album.
Another project call ‘Let her live’ based on ‘crime against women’ which we want to campaign in every part of India is also coming up. And there are lots and lots of tour ahead.
Social networking is making us feel closer. Follow us in our facebook page. The Crowd in Imphal was really good. We as a musician feel proud when people sing our song. They were jumping they were enjoying our music and it touches our heart,” says Alobo Naga and the Band.
Alobo Naga- Vocals, Guitar, Piano, Bamhum, ukulele
Theja Khate- Drums/percussion/vocals
Akum Jams- Guitar/Ukulele/vocals
Fung Walling- Bass/vocals
DJ Sumika Yepthomi- Turntable / Guitar/vocals