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Singer-Songwriter Marmen Talks About Growing Up in a family of Musicians in Nagaland and Her Life as a Full-Time Musician in Hyderabad

 

Marmen was 6 years old when she sang at her first gig. Fully backed and supported by her mother and family, this singer from Nagaland has grown up performing at Church, school and many other cultural functions. You may have heard her lovely voice from her debut song called “Shitty Luv”, written and recorded with fellow singer-songwriter Oren Mozhui. 

We had a little chat with singer Marmen from Nagaland about her songwriting and music, which she says is continually influenced by her personal life and family. She talks to us about her passion for music, her love for her job and her plans for the near future.

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Singer-songwriter Marmenla Pongen.

  • Hello Marmen. Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hi, my name is Marmenla M Pongen. I’m also known as Amenla and Marmen. I was born on the 21st of April, 1991 in Kohima, Nagaland. I’m the youngest of 6 siblings and now, I live in Hyderabad and a full-time singer and performer.

  • What got you started as a full-time musician and stage performer?

With my mom as my mentor, I started singing at the age of 6. I had no formal training & grew up performing in church, school functions, and cultural events. In 2014, I shifted to Hyderabad in search of better opportunities in music. Event organizers and promoters around here slowly started taking note of me.

“Now, as a singer and karaoke jockey, I perform in social and cultural functions, weddings, and universities. I think it’s been going pretty good now considering that the number of gigs I play has steadily increased from one per week to 4 days in a week.”

Marmen performing with her band at Global Exhibitions in Hyderabad.

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Marmen performing at the Global Exhibitions in Hyderabad.

  • What initially sparked your interest in music?

My mom was part of the Kohima Ao Baptist Church Choir, my elder sisters and brother are all singers, so music has always been a big part of our family. The spark and love for music were born through listening to them and learning with them.

  • How has your upbringing influenced your style?

When I was young, my Dad would listen to Boney M and Abba. My sisters listened to Sheryl Crow, Shania Twain, Enrique, and my brother loves listening to Eminem or RHCP. Since everyone at home has rather different tastes in music I grew up listening to an eclectic mix and I’m influenced by all genres. Thanks to them, I can now be versatile & adjust quickly while performing with anyone.

  • What is your work philosophy and where do you take inspiration from?

My work philosophy is to work hard and to always be patient and humble. When I look around, there are a lot of talented people all over the world… especially in Nagaland. I always keep myself updated, and take inspiration from my fellow Naga artists and also from my dear mother.

Marmen, on the top right corner, with her family.

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Marmen, on the top right corner, with her family.

  • What do you hope people take away from your music?

I hope people feel a sense of calmness when they listen to me singing. I want them to feel an emotional connection to my songs and my voice. I always say that music is a universal language and I hope I can spread peace and love with it.

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Photo: Marmenla M Pongen

  • What’s your next release going to be like?

Currently, I am working on another cover video which will show a different side of me. It is also a big challenge for me… So keep supporting me 🙂 I don’t want to spoil the surprise so remember to keep an eye on my profiles!

Marmen singing a solo at the NCF musical night in Hyderabad.

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Marmen singing a solo at the NCF musical night in Hyderabad.

Marmen performing at the Winter Carnival.

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Marmen performing at the Winter Carnival.

To listen to Marmen’s music, check her out on YouTube and follow her Instagram and Facebook to get updates on her latest releases.

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Photo: Marmenla M Pongen.

Ale Mero

Master's Student in Hyderabad, with a passion for contentwriting, Arts & Culture

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