Finding some amazing locally produced music isn’t always easy, but lucky for you, we have discovered the duo Atuzo and Kuotsho! These young promising Indie artists from Kohima are creating music that is rustic, contextual, and hauntingly beautiful— the Folk and Indie Genre has spoken to them clearly and transcendentally.
Staying true to the Indie genre, the duo has self-written, produced, and released their first single ‘Patterns’ on YouTube. Join us as we discuss with them life, their work, and how it all came to be.
Hi Atuzo and Kuotsho! Please introduce yourself to our readers.
Hello there, my name is Atuzo Theluo. I am 21 years old. I was born and brought up in Kohima. I am a passionate musician and presently I am pursuing my Bachelors Degree in Music in Nagaland College of Music and Fine Arts (NCMFA), Kohima.
I am Kuotsho Koza and I am 21 years old as well. I was also born and brought up in Kohima and have recently completed my BA degree course from St. Edmund’s College, Shillong. And together, we create indie music!
How did you guys come together to start your duo band?
We met in Shillong where we were staying in the same hostel. Later when we found out that we shared a similar taste in music genres and our passionate love for music in general which actually brought us together. We had already released a song together officially, it was not a conscious decision to become a band or a duo. It was only after jamming together a few times that we found a sound that we liked and followed it. That led us to where we are.
We also have decided not to label ourselves under a name. We just found that we work well together; both of us write songs and Atuzo is the one who produces the music, so we are just letting it unfold as it is.
Atuzo (left) and Kuotsho (right)
How did both of you get into music? Give us a background.
Both of us were introduced to music at an early age. And have been in love with it ever since. There has been no specific incident or memory that we can recall. It was kind of a process, we both were doing academics all our lives but gradually, this flair for music that was ignited grew into a strong passion and we have never looked back since.
Atuzo is now pursuing a music degree after completing his Bachelor’s from Shillong.
Since both of you are from Kohima, do you think the culture and upbringing has influenced your music somehow?
Being Nagas, we always had a good amount of country music and gospel music playing around us while growing up because our parents would listen to such songs. That has been a core influence since both of us lean more towards folk and indie music, which are linked to country and gospel. We were of course exposed to Pop and other more contemporary styles as well so that has also influenced our music.
‘Unbound’ an original by Kuotsho Koza
Both of you are studying currently. How do you find and manage the time for music?
We are still students in our respective fields of study but still make time to pursue other passions like our love for music. Even though Atuzo is pursuing a music degree, it is different to what kind of music the two of us are making. It has never been a hindrance to our academics.
Also, we rarely make definite plans on meeting up to write songs specifically, so our music has been mostly done in our free time or whenever we meet up. However, we do get together quite often to play music just because we love doing that together. That has helped us in creating our own sound.
Kuotsho, after his Bachelor’s, is focusing on other passions and priorities now.
What’s your creative process? Where do you take inspiration from?
There is no specific process or specific timing for creating our music, we let it happen naturally.
We both have a way of looking at things that is deep and emotional. And so, we draw our inspiration from looking deeply into the artists and musicians we follow, the people around us and the things happening.
We also derive inspiration from certain movies and films that we watch and we like writing songs about real-life stories—about people and their experiences, provided we have gotten permission to do so.
What do you hope people take away from your music?
As artists and musicians, we want our songs to always have a message of positivity. Our songs could be something that is very personal to us or about different phases in life that people are going through, have gone through, and will go through; or our songs could be just about the most random things. But one thing that is important to us as songwriters is that the people listening to it should be able to relate or feel and learn something from it.
Any future plans for the duo?
Yes, we will definitely be making more music together. We are releasing another original song soon, so please stay tuned to our social media handles. Also, our taste in music goes towards Indie and Folk music and so we’d like to get in touch with people who share the same interest to create and learn from one another.
Tell us about your first song together. What was the inspiration behind it?
‘PATTERNS’ is the first song we have written together. It was produced entirely by Atuzo. The song talks about how you might miss out on the things that really mean something to you, and that it will be too late to go after it later on. So through this song, we are just trying to encourage people to live a little and maybe feel a little more. To chase after what they really want in life and not follow the patterns set by society.
The song was inspired and talks about our society. Although we cannot deny that the Naga society is becoming more open to different perspectives and ideas gradually; however we can all still agree that it’s almost like our lives are already planned out even before we even begin to live it.
It’s like there is a set of patterns that we need to follow; everyone is just standing in this long massive queue just waiting for something to happen.
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